The Equality Unit, in partnership with HigherHealthSA, is once again embarking on its annual First Things First HIV Testing Campaign. The campaign will take place on 3 – 6 March 2020, from 09:00 – 16:00, at the VV Hall at the Neelsie.
The annual campaign provides free, easy, quick and confidential HIV testing to all students and staff. Tests are conducted by sensitised counsellors in a safe and private environment. The test will take no longer than 15 minutes with a quick and painless prick to the finger.
“We are setting our target at testing 2 020 Stellenbosch University students and staff thus calling on everyone to join the First Things First HIV Testing Campaign,” said Michelle Munro, the HIV and Sexualities Portfolio Manager, at the Equality Unit in the Centre for Student Counselling and Development.
Munro added: “Universities are not only places where learning happens. They are also spaces where our students socialise and make meaningful connections with one another. We believe it’s important for Stellenbosch University to create a platform where our students are safe also when it comes to knowing their HIV status.”
According to statistics released by the World Health Organisaton (WHO) in 2018, an estimated 7,7 million South Africans are living with HIV. The WHO estimated that the number of people newly infected with HIV stood at 240 000.
As part of this year’s campaign, we are calling on students and residences to challenge each other to get tested. Students and their residence will then be entered into a lucky draw to stand a chance of winning exciting prizes.
“Once you have been tested, we ask that you fill in a short confidential contact form which will be entered into a lucky draw. Individual students as well as their residence can win great prizes,” said Munro.
“We cannot emphasize enough the importance of knowing your status. With this campaign, we hope that our student population will do the right thing for themselves and their partners by getting tested,” Munro said.
For more information on the First Things First HIV Testing Campaign e-mail Kaylon Weppelman at firstname.lastname@example.org.