CREATING THE FIRST CHECKPOINT IN CYPRUS
THE CREATION OF THE FIRST PERMANENT
PREVENTION & TEST – CHECKPOINT CENTRE – IN CYPRUS
Under the supervision of the Ministry of Health
February 21, 2017
PRESENTING OUR MAJOR DONORS
Next Tuesday, February 21, 2017, the HIV Support Center (KYFA) announces the creation of the first permanent Prevention & Testing – Checkpoint Center – in Cyprus (next April) under the supervision of the Ministry of Health, with the support of our sponsors RCB Bank and Remedica.
Many put fear over prevention and this is a very negative emotion. This reaction is most probably the result of an era during which infection with HIV was a truly terrifying and terminal spectre, equal to a “death sentence”. However, this is no longer the case as most HIV positive people, having access to modern medication, are expected to live a normal lifespan.
Today, an HIV-positive person can live a normal life, with the same life expectancy as a non-HIV-positive person.
Over the past 5 years, HIV checkpoints were adopted in many European countries. Our goal at KYFA is to create the first such checkpoint in Cyprus, accepting individuals for HIV testing twice a week. Further to checkpoints, a European Testing Week takes place every year for two weeks and on a daily basis with partners participating from over 50 European countries. Unfortunately, in Cyprus there is still no such checkpoint adopted.
A checkpoint centre is all about early testing. Early testing is essential as knowing your HIV status is key. The sooner people are diagnosed with HIV, the sooner they can lower their viral load and even reach undetectable levels. Adequate early treatment reduces significantly the risk of transmitting the virus to other people.
“Checkpoints” are prevention centres, providing services of counselling and rapid testing for HIV.
A “Checkpoint” offers free, confidential and anonymous rapid HIV testing. All one needs to do is simply book an appointment by phone or by visiting the KYFA facilities in Limassol. The duration of each appointment is approximately 30 minutes and includes a rapid HIV test as well as risk assessment and reduction counselling. Rapid testing is the easiest and quickest method of testing to perform, requiring only a drop of blood from your finger and providing results in just one minute.
The percentage of reliability ranges from 99,6% to 100%. In case HIV antibodies are detected, then the NHS is contacted to take over the case. We can book an appointment with the NHS for those persons infected and accompany them to the hospital, if this will make them feel more comfortable.
Counselling includes the announcement of the results and provides information on HIV and the necessary psychological support. No unnecessary amount of information is provided. The HIV-positive person will be listened to carefully and is provided with all the required information, depending on the case.
Alongside the creation of the first checkpoint, a Mobile Unit will also be established as to serve all cities in Cyprus and give access to the rapid HIV testing to all those interested, yet unable to visit the centre.
President of KYFA
(Support Centre for HIV-positive people)
For more information on KYFA visit the following links:
KYFA 2016 TV Campaign: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LDp4ycrFWqM
KYFA Facebook Page: https://www.facebook.com/KYFAsupportcenter/
KYFA Website: https://www.kyfahivcenter.com
For more information: +357 25 340 305, +357 99 575 074