UNIC mobile clinic and ‘Cy checkpoint’ partner for free HIV/syphilis screening in Nicosia
07:00 - 30 November 2023
The University of Nicosia (UNIC) Mobile Clinic recently joined forces with Cy Checkpoint (Testing and Prevention Centre for HIV and Sexual Transmitted Infections by the AIDS Solidarity Movement) and offered anonymous, rapid and free HIV/syphilis screening tests at Eleftheria square, in the old centre of Nicosia.
Sixteen medical student volunteers, under the supervision of Danny Alon Ellenbogen, Clinical Associate Professor of Internal Medicine and Infectious Diseases, were trained to take sexual health history using the community data forms of Cy Checkpoint.
On the day of the expedition, the students observed the peer-counselling and testing procedure performed by the Cy Checkpoint community health workers, and practised their communication skills by taking sexual history from a total of 48 people.
This event was part of the European Testing Week celebrating its 10th anniversary, and was supported by the Municipality of Nicosia and the Cyprus Ministry of Health.
“This was my first expedition with the mobile clinic and it was incredibly special. We were able to connect with people from all walks of life, whilst combating the larger societal problem of the stigma surrounding testing for sexually transmitted infections. I was able to practise my communication skills with people who came to get tested, and create a safer and private space while taking their sexual health history. I would encourage all students to participate in the mobile clinic expeditions, as they allow us to put theory into practice and get a much richer experience out of our medical studies at UNIC,” said Tatiana Nicolopoulos, (South Africa, MD, Class of 2028)
“I am very blessed to have participated in my first mobile clinic expedition, that focused on HIV and syphilis testing. This wonderful opportunity allowed me to serve others, while gaining hands-on experience and skills in the medical field. Frequent HIV and syphilis testing is imperative for personal health and well-being, as well as for public safety. I strongly recommend that all medical students partake in similar initiatives,” said Aliraza Rajabali (Canada, MD, Class of 2028)
“The mobile clinic expedition was such a wonderful opportunity to see the connection between our course at the medical school and the real-life impact we will get to make as physicians. As someone who is passionate about sexual health education, it was a very special experience to go into the community, and contribute to the process of breaking stigmas around HIV and syphilis testing. I urge each and every student to take part, and look forward to participating in future expeditions.,” said Shiri Rachel (Warshawsky, Israel / USA, GEMD, Class of 2027)
“The opportunity to participate in this expedition was extremely rewarding for me. Being able to engage with people of various backgrounds, and gather sexual health history, as well as to be a shadow in the testing process, was some of the highlights of my experience. I highly recommend participating in this expedition, as it is a practical chance to contribute in breaking the stigma, and making testing for HIV and other sexually transmitted infections accessible to all,” said Sarah Elgazar, Egypt, MD, Class of 2026.