Govt wants Aids tests for 35 000 students
Nielen Bottomley, News24
Cape Town – The government is aiming to test around 35 000 students for HIV and Aids by the end of this year.
Health Minister Aaron Motsoaledi launched the First Things First campaign at the University of the Western Cape (UWC) on Tuesday.
The campaign, a partnership between the private sector and the departments of health and education, aims to increase HIV and Aids testing among university students.
It is set to be rolled out at all 72 campuses at the country's 23 public higher education institutions and targets at least 35 000 people for testing.
"It's important that young people are at the centre of our prevention strategies. We are excited by the enthusiasm displayed by young people in institutions of higher learning,” said Motsoaledi.
The rate of HIV and Aids in 18-to- 24 year olds is among the highest in the world.
"It is not just about sexual behaviour. The risks for acquiring HIV are also related to abuse of alcohol," he said. "Another name for unsafe sex is alcohol."
The campaign was initiated in 2011 and saw 22 000 students being tested. Of these students 58% had never been tested before.