For the past few months, the Collectif Arc-en-Ciel (CAEC) has been organizing screening sessions for sexually transmitted infections (STIs) such as HIV, Hepatitis C, and Syphilis for the LGBT+ community and the general public. This initiative, which was developed in collaboration with PILS (Prévention Information Lutte contre le SIDA) and the Ministry of Health and Welfare, is free and confidential. These sessions are held at its headquarters, Avenue Darwin, Quatre Bornes, every Saturday from 9am to noon.
“Through this initiative, we want to promote a positive, non-judgmental and comprehensive approach to health. Getting tested is crucial to reduce the time between infection and diagnosis and allows for earlier access to treatment for both individual and collective benefit. Prevention is better than cure; support is provided before, during and after screening. The majority of sexually transmitted infections do not cause symptoms. As long as the infected person is not treated, he or she remains contagious and risks transmitting the infection to other people if he or she takes risks, such as unprotected sex,” said Jean Daniel Wong, director of the CAEC.
The main objective of this weekly meeting is to make these tests accessible to the entire population in a taboo-free environment, where everyone can be tested to better protect themselves and others. In the same vein, the CAEC wants to raise public awareness about regular screening, which allows for the diagnosis and treatment of infections as soon as possible and in the best possible conditions.