The Ministries of Education and Health are aware of a rumor that is currently circulating regarding a number of students at the Berkeley Institute being tested for a sexually transmitted infections (STI), specifically HIV.
The Minister of Education, the Hon. DR JP, MP said, “This rumor is not true and is being addressed by the school with students, parents and staff.”
The Minister of Health, the Hon Kim N. Wilson added, “In Bermuda, HIV is a reportable condition and there have been no official reports to the Epidemiology and Surveillance Unit of any new infections in persons of high school age in many years. Our internal surveillance also has not shown an increase in cases. Public health alerts are posted to www.gov.bm/health-data-and-monitoring - persons can go there for information.
“HIV education is ongoing and the Ministry of Health has regular services available to all senior public schools, middle schools and P6 students, focusing on behavior change and the transmission and prevention of STI/HIV. As part of the standing Community Nursing programme of the Department of Health, school nurses and public health nurses may be called in to supplement what is taught within any health/life skills courses in the curriculum. This has been common practice. Public Health campaigns regarding prevention and transmission of HIV also occur regularly throughout the year (HIV Awareness Month, World AIDS Day, Sexual and Reproductive Health Awareness Week.”
HIV testing can be done by your doctor or at the Communicable Disease Control Clinic at the Hamilton Health Centre. Testing is fully confidential and free of charge. HIV testing is always voluntary, requires consent and is conducted in a private setting.