Sun | Jan 17, 2021

JASL to host drive-thru HIV/AIDS testing

Published:Wednesday | November 25, 2020 | 12:09 AM

World Aids Day is observed on December 1 each year. It is an opportunity for people worldwide to unite in the fight against HIV, to show support for people living with HIV, and to commemorate those who have died from an AIDS-related illness.

Founded in 1988, World AIDS Day was the first-ever global health day.

Every year, United Nations agencies, governments and civil society join to campaign around specific themes related to HIV. The theme for the 2020 observance is ‘Ending the HIV/AIDS Epidemic: Resilience and Impact’.

This year, as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, Jamaica AIDS Support for Life (JASL), through its three chapters located in Kingston, St Ann and St James, will be providing free HIV testing across Jamaica.

Team members will be going across the island for what is being dubbed ‘city pop-ups’ in popular town and squares. On December 1, the JASL will be hosting drive-through testing from three locations, in Kingston at the Sovereign on the Boulevard, in St Ann at the Great House Pharmacy parking lot, and the Montego Bay Scotiabank parking lot at the Fairview Shopping Centre.

World AIDS Day remains as relevant today as it has always been, reminding people and governments that HIV has not gone away. There is still a critical need for increased funding for the response, to increase awareness of the impact of HIV on people’s lives, to end stigma and discrimination, and to improve the quality of life of people living with HIV.

There is still an integral need to raise money, increase awareness, fight prejudice and improve education. It is a solemn reminder of those that have been lost, but also a celebration of life for those who continue to fight.