President Jacob Zuma launched the ambitious HIV Counselling and Testing (HCT) campaign on Sunday. Under the campaign, health care workers will encourage patients to take an HIV test. This practice is called the health care provider-initiated testing method. However, patients still have the option to decline the service.
Nkululeko Nxesi of the National Association of People Living with HIV and AIDS (NAPWA) welcomed the launch of the campaign. In his address he called on health care providers to honour people’s rights and to ensure a quality of service as they work towards reaching the target of testing 15 million South Africans for HIV.
Listen to an extract of his address by clicking on Audio File 1 above.
Vuyiseka Dubula of the Treatment Action Campaign (TAC) echoed Nxesi statements. Dubula said people should not be coerced to take an HIV test under the HCT campaign. This campaign ‘means that people are given an opportunity to be counselled, but also are given an opportunity to be given information, and then, they can decide whether they want to take that test’, she said.
Listen to an extract of her address by clicking on Audio File 2 above.
Michel Sidibe, Executive Director of the Joint United Nations’ Programme on HIV and AIDS (UNAIDS), also welcomed the launch of HCT campaign. Sidibe described it as a ‘prevention revolution’.
Listen to an extract of his address by clicking on Audio File 3 above.
Click on the link above to access the audio clips.