Minister warns HIV ‘has not gone away’ as two die this year
Four people have been diagnosed with HIV this year and two people earlier diagnosed with the virus have died, the Ministry of Health revealed today.
Kim Wilson, the Minister of Health, speaking in the wake of Wednesday’s World Aids Day, said that, although the public’s attention had been on Covid-19, HIV had not gone away.
Ms Wilson added: “World Aids Day is an opportunity to reflect on how far we have come.
“It is also an opportunity to focus on raising awareness and understanding of the disease and the importance of knowing one's status.
"Deaths among persons with HIV in Bermuda continue to be low, likely due to advancement and availability of care, treatment and support.
“Additionally, deaths occur among persons of older ages, and the reported causes of death among persons with HIV may not be directly related to their HIV infection.”
Ms Wilson said it was vital that people were tested for HIV so they knew their status.
She said: "Being diagnosed and starting treatment at an early stage ensures that you have a better chance of living a long and healthy life.
“You can have the test done by your doctor, or you can go to the Communicable Disease Control Clinic at the Hamilton Health Centre.”
Tests at the Communicable Disease Control Clinic are free and confidential.
People at increased risk of HIV – including those who have had more than one sexual partner since their last HIV test, those with other sexually transmitted diseases and those who had sex with someone with an unknown HIV status – should be tested more often.