Western Cape Department of Health Gears Up for World Aids Day
The Western Cape Department of Health will be out in full force tomorrow and will have free HIV counselling and testing at various malls, police stations and Health facilities. Leading by example, the national cricket captain, Graeme Smith will be one of the many celebrities that will be testing at the Bellville Middestad Mall at 12:00 on World Aids day.
Every year, thousands of people die from HIV/AIDS related diseases across Africa. Earlier this year, President Jacob Zuma called on all South Africans to take responsibility and be responsible and get tested for HIV. The Western Cape has tested more than three hundred and sixty-six thousand (366 000) people for HIV from April - September 2010. World AIDS Day is celebrated every year on 01 December to increase awareness, fight prejudice and to improve education on HIV & AIDS.
As the Western Cape is getting ready to embark on a national campaign to create awareness, the Western Cape Department of Health began proceedings a day early this year. The HIV Counselling and Testing (HCT) campaign was launched in May 2010 to encourage people to know their HIV status. The theme is 'I am responsible; South Africa is taking responsibility'.
The Department made a call on the public to get tested at the Middestad Mall in Bellville on Tuesday, 30 November. Radio personalities and professional soccer players were amongst the public who got tested at the event.
Braving the elements, Saskia Falken and Julian Naidoo of Heart 104.9 fm stood in the queue to get tested. After much anticipation and a small prick, both the radio personalities got tested, counselled and now know their HIV status.
The Western Cape Minister of Health Theuns Botha says "it is encouraging to see how many people are testing for HIV. As World AIDS day is tomorrow, I want to make an appeal to the entire Western Cape community to go out and get tested."
The International theme for World AIDS Day 2010 is 'Universal Access and Human Rights'.
Western Cape Department of Health
Tel: 021 483 9981
Cell: 071 315 3581