Leading up to World AIDS Day on Sunday, the Porcupine Health Unit is focusing on prevention, testing and treatment.

Public health nurse Patrick Nowak says instead of booking a testing appointment at the PHU office in Timmins, you can walk in during office hours this week.  And although testing is never offered in Kapuskasing, it is this Wednesday, between 10:00am and noon.

“We offer a variety of testing for blood-borne illnesses such as HIV, Hepatitis C as well as other illnesses that can be sexually transmitted as well,” states Nowak.

You have the option of blood drawn from your arm, or a prick of your finger.

You might also notice red scarves tied to poles and other places in your town this week.

Nowak  says it’s a form of education about HIV and AIDS.

”Just to sort of let the public know that HIV is treatable and with the proper treatment and care, people with HIV can live long and healthy lives; reduce the risk of transmitting HIV to others,” he notes.  “So every red scarf will have an information card on it with basic facts about HIV.”

You’re welcome to take a scarf to use to stay warm this winter.