‘Rapid HIV testing, rapid syphilis testing’ available at Vieux-Fort Wellness Centre

By Department of Health and Wellness

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Rapid HIV and syphilis testing will be among the services available at the clinic every Tuesday.

(PRESS RELEASE) — The Department of Health and Wellness is continuing to ensure that the sexual health of women and men is a priority, as the department works towards enhancing access to sexual and reproductive health services on island.

As of January 15, Saint Lucians can now access services every Tuesday at the sexual and reproductive health clinic at the Vieux-Fort Wellness Centre.

The clinic will provide men and women with advice on all aspects of contraception and sexual health and also treatment of sexually transmitted infections (STIs).

Acting Senior Medical Officer in the Infectious Diseases Unit, Dr. Gail Gajadhar, says it is important that citizens have access to sexual and reproductive health services as to improve their health and well-being.

“We have had two separate clinic services that offer sexual and reproductive health services at the Vieux-Fort Health Centre. One was once a week on a Tuesday and the other one was once a month every fourth Thursday. So, rather than have two separate services, we took the decision to integrate the two services and it is a service that is open to everyone. You can see both males and females physician to discuss any issues that are sexual and reproductive health related.”

Dr. Gajadhar says it is necessary that Saint Lucians are informed and empowered to protect themselves from sexually transmitted infections.

“So, one of the things we would like to engage persons is do your testing every year at least or if not every six months. I am talking about if we are doing blood testing, you can do your HIV test, and you can do your syphilis test. Right now, we have rapid HIV testing, we have rapid syphilis testing. The other testing will require a blood sample being drawn, when we talk about things like hepatitis B, hepatitis C, HDLV 1 and 2. All five things I have mentioned are forms of sexually transmitted infections. Then you may have a woman who complains of discharge or a man who may complain of a discharge or burning on urination; that is something else that would require investigation and again that is where your sexual and reproductive health clinic would assist with that.”

The Sexual and Reproductive Health Clinic at the Old Nurses Home at the Victoria Hospital is open to the public from Monday to Thursday.

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