|An Inside Look at a V.E.S. Health Fair|
Aaron Watson & Juan Ceja - PVNN
Many people came to Colonia La Aurora for a free rapid HIV test provided by V.E.S. (Vallarta Enfrenta el Sida, A.C.) on September 13, 2008. This effort was teamed up by peppy drag queens from Mexico City and their Condomóvil, which helps bring sexual education to a new level. With the coordination of this endeavor, free condoms and preventative information were also distributed.
Getting a rapid HIV test through V.E.S. is a four-step process. The first step is an introduction to what will be happening during the entire process and filling out a little paperwork. Next, pre-test counseling takes place, which includes information on safer sex.
The third step is the actual rapid HIV test itself, which is a mere prick of the finger and takes less than one minute to administer. Once the nurse has completed the test, you are instructed that the results will take approximately ten minutes to process. After the results have shown, one of the clinic's representatives will discuss your results with you and provide post-counseling - regardless of the test results.
For those who test negative, post-counseling is provided to inform individuals of methods on how to maintain an HIV negative status through safer sex. For those with a positive result, post-counseling and referrals to the appropriate channels are provided as well as information regarding community organizations. CAPASITS (Centro Ambulatorio para Atención del SIDA e Infecciones de Transmisión Sexual) helps with medications, treatments, individual psychological care as well as family counseling.
It's important to know how to have safer sex and help prevent this growing epidemic. V.E.S will be hosting many more free rapid HIV testing in the weeks to come, all located in various colonias around the bay, including:
• Sunday, September 28th, 10 am-2 pm, Colonia Ixtapa Plaza Principal
• Saturday, October 11th, 10 am-2 pm, Plaza Principal, Colonia Las Palmas
• Friday, October 17th, 10 am-2 pm, San Salvador and Brasilia, Colonia 5 de Diciembre
• Sunday, October 26th, 10 am-2 pm, Unidad Deportiva Jardines, Colonia Jardines
• Sunday, November 2nd, 10 am-2 pm, Manantial and Lima, Colonia Buenos Aires
• Saturday, November 8th, 10 am-2 pm, Paseo de las Palmas and Libramiento Luís Donaldo Colosio, Col. Barrio Sta. María
• Saturday, November 15th, 10 am-2 pm, Plaza Principal, Colonia Infonavit
For more information, call (322) 223-0535, visit their WEBSITE or stop by the V.E.S. office at Hidalgo #457-1 in downtown Puerto Vallarta.
Puerto Vallarta's HIV/AIDS non-profit organization, Vallarta Enfrenta el SIDA, and CAPASITS, work together to provide high-quality medical care, counseling and psychological support, education and prevention programs, and outreach to at-risk communities in the Banderas Bay area. For information, assistance, or to volunteer or donate, please visit VallartaEnfrentaSida.org. To learn more about VES, click HERE.