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Minister Donville Inniss wants men to come forward early to get their health checked. (FP)
Men have continued to outnumber women in the number of new cases of HIV diagnoses and AIDS related deaths.
Minister of Health Donville Inniss made this revelation yesterday at the launch of the Regional Testing Day (RTD) Barbados at the Scotiabank head office on Broad Street. Innnis said that according to the HIV surveillance Programme of the Ministry of Health there were 133 new cases in 2010 of which there were 89 males while in 2009 there were 111 new cases of which 58 were male.
Innis added that the men were being diagnosed at an older age of around 40 years as opposed to 32 years for females.
“This is significant and once again perhaps reflective of the fact that men have the worse health seeking behaviours, men invariably do not like to go to doctors, men often times delay seeing a health care professional until it is too late or until it is at the stage where they really feel they just will die,” the Minister said while urging men especially to come forward early and be tested.
The Regional testing day scheduled for June 24 is as a result of a partnership between the Caribbean Broadcast Media Partnership on HIV/AIDS (CBMP), Scotiabank and the Ministry of Health to promote HIV testing. The initiative which started in 2008 in six Caribbean territories now involves 18 territories with over 8 000 people tested regionally last year. Operations Manager of the CBMP Michelle Yearwood said they are hoping to get to 20 territories involved with over 10 000 people tested regionally at the end of this year’s session.
Health Promotion Officer of the Ministry of Health’s HIV Programme Norma Bynoe said the Ministry of Health testing team will operate seven testing locations at the Scotiabank locations of Broad Street, Haggatt Hall, Black Rock, Warrens, Hastings, and Holetown with a further site at Independence Square to capitalize on the large number of people who pass through Bridgetown.