Help for prostitutes ... Health workers look to cut spread of HIV

July 11, 2017
Water Square in Falmouth, Trelawny.

Health authorities in Trelawny are targeting sex workers for HIV testing and counselling.

"We drove up in the bus on Back Street at 11:30 p.m. We spoke to the sex workers and told them of our mission. They grasped the opportunity readily and our work was made easy," Elton Gardner, of the Trelawny health department, said.

"Our intention is to pay weekly visits to Back Street and clubs in and around Falmouth speak with the sex workers and offer the testing which is free and the results are ready in 25 minutes," he added.

According to the officer, the visits are not just for testing, but are part of a total prevention service where high-risk groups, who are vulnerable to HIV and STI infections, are educated on the use of condoms and risks to which they and their clients maybe exposed.

"They are encouraged to think of cervical cancer, encouraged to do Pap smears and avoid drug use. Many of the sex workers are into the use of hard drugs.

"Since the programme started over 200 tests have been carried out. In this list of people tested are men who have sex with men," Gardner told WESTERN STAR.

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