CYDEC Conference 2019

HIV coordinator busts myths surrounding the virus

Cayman’s Health Services Authority said there are many myths that still surround the human immunodeficiency virus or HIV.

HIV and STI coordinator at the HSA Laura Elniski revealed one of those myths is this idea that the virus just affects the gay community.

Ms. Elniski also set the record straight on one other rumour about HIV.

“It’s a virus that only attacks humans and it reduces our immune system. So we don’t get it from any other species, it’s human to human contact,” she explained.

Ms. Elniski went on: “The contact is through blood, semen, vaginal secretions and breast milk. So that’s our risk, we don’t want to go out and think: ‘oh I can get it from a mosquito bite’, that myth has been dispelled, we don’t have that issue here.”

And a reminder the HSA provides free HIV testing. It is available at the Red Cross every Tuesday between 9 a.m. and 1 p.m.

About the author

Caroline James

Caroline James

Caroline joined Cayman 27 in September 2018 after seven years working for Sky News in London, both as a Producer on the World News programme and, latterly, as News Editor on the Foreign Desk, where she led coverage on the ground of stories as diverse as the 2016 US Election, corruption allegations surrounding FIFA and The Oscars. Before this, she worked as a Producer for Associated Press Television News (APTN) for two years, based in their London headquarters. Caroline graduated with a BA Hons degree in Arabic, French and German from Durham University, before gaining an MA in Television Journalism with distinction at City University, London. When not hunting down stories in Cayman, she can be found playing tennis, practicing Bikram yoga or enjoying a beer on Seven Mile Beach. You can reach Caroline at or 326-2243.

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