Call for HIV test kits

James Kon

Legislative Council member and President of Brunei Darussalam AIDS Council (BDAIDSCouncil) Yang Berhormat Iswandy bin Ahmad called for authorities to allow the importation and sales of HIV test Kit on the local market during opening remarks of a virtual ceremony on Wednesday.

He said, “Since the start of the second wave of COVID-19 outbreak in Brunei Darussalam, most of us have been introduced to the antigen rapid test (ART) to detect COVID-19 infection, which can be done at home by oneself.”

This allowed for early detection of COVID-19, which helped curb transmission of the virus.
“Similarly, a rapid test kit for HIV has long been available on the market outside of Brunei Darussalam, but not in the country,” he said.

The LegCo member said the kits will help with early detection of HIV, especially for people uncomfortable to get tested at public health facilities. “This not only ensure individuals who are infected with HIV can receive early treatment and live a normal life but also help to prevent further spread of the disease.”

Individuals receiving continuous treatment will not infect others, he said, and urged authorities to consider bringing in HIV rapid test kits to the market to increase testing access for the populace.

Legislative Council Member and President of BDAIDSCouncil Yang Berhormat Iswandy bin Ahmad with participants of the virtual red ribbon ceremony. PHOTO: BDAIDSCOUNCIL

Meanwhile, 15 members of the BDAIDSCouncil received the red ribbon awards for their contributions to BDAC programmes in a virtual ceremony on Wednesday, held in conjunction of WorldAIDS Day.

Minister of Health Dato Seri Setia Dr Haji Mohd Isham bin Haji Jaafar delivered a recorded message on World AIDS Day themed ‘End Inequalities. End Aids. End Pandemics’.

Permanent Secretary at the Ministry of Health (MoH) Haji Maswadi bin Haji Mohsin, Permanent Secretary at the Ministry of Culture, Youth and Sports Mohammad Amirrizal bin Pengiran Haji Mahmud, Acting Deputy Permenant Secretary at the MoH (Policy and Management) Dr Hajah Anie Haryani binti Haji Abdul Rahman and other officials were also present.

The 15 recipients of the Red Ribbon Award were Dr Haji Ahmad Fakhri bin Dato Paduka Haji Junaidi, Hajah Salmah binti Haji Mohd Noor, Nurul Adilah binti Mahmud, Awangku Mohd Al-Mutaqibillah bin Pengiran Haji Hasan, Dr Norhazny bin Sani, Akmal Nasri bin Kamal, Masuria binti Haji Damit, Siti Kailene binti Mohd Jazlan Kashfi, Siti Khalilah binti Haji Khalid, Siti Najihah Kamilah binti Latif, Norul Alhakim bin Pandin, Aqmar Nazhirah binti Hassan, Muna Munjiyah binti Haji Abdul Malik, Mohammad Zulhafiz Zariq bin Damit and Awangku Mohd Haziq bin Pengiran Japar.