HIV at forefront of new initiative

2016-07-26 06:00
 Photo: supplied The campaign ambassadors (from left) Maps Maponyane, Dr Sivuyile Madikana and Mzokhona ‘Mzokoloko’ Gumede.

Photo: supplied The campaign ambassadors (from left) Maps Maponyane, Dr Sivuyile Madikana and Mzokhona ‘Mzokoloko’ Gumede.

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BROTHERS for Life, in partnership with USAid and Pepfar officially launched the Testa Boy Campaign, supported by the Department of Health (DoH) and the South African National Aids Council at the International Aids Conference last week.

It joins a united effort to support UNAids targets to lower the spread of HIV by achieving 90% status awareness, -90% treatment for those diagnosed with HIV and 90% of people receiving antiretroviral therapy having viral suppression.

The campaign launch, which was well received in KZN was attended by some of Mzansi stars who pledged allegiance to the campaign.

This included Maps Maponyane, SABC1’s Uzalo lead act, Kay Sibiya, Gagasi FM Radio Jock, Mzokoloko Gumede and Mzansi resident Doctor, Sivuyile Madikana.

“Today’s launch event was really important for me and I am glad I got the opportunity to contribute meaningfully towards changing the HIV/Aids in our country,” said campaign ambassador, Maponyane.

“Very often my peers see HIV/Aids as an issue that does not affect them because it does not have a face, they think it happens to other people. I want to be a person and voice that helps them see that we are all affected, no matter what background we come from.”

Brothers for Life unveiled its new television advert aimed at raising awareness about HIV and encouraging men to get tested.

“This is one of the ways we can combat the increasing numbers of people living with HIV and I could not be more proud to be part of a campaign that is actively aimed at changing how we as men see testing for HIV,” said Kay Sibiya.

In a recent study conducted by the Centre for Aids Research, Development and Evaluation it was found that men have significant barriers to HIV testing and accessing treatment.

“This research has helped us understand and address the fears that men have. The TVC takes the HIV test as its starting point, and follows a man visualising his fears of change and loss that a positive diagnoses will bring. We want to show that a positive status will not rob a man of his standing in his community or the love and respect of his family, and that HIV is manageable,” said Brenda Goldblatt, director of strategic communications at the Centre for Communication Impact.

Negative or positive, you are still the same person and there is always something you can do to maintain your status.

For more information about the campaign, visit www.brothersforlife.org or interact with the group on social media platforms like Facebook (Brothers for Life Yenzakahle) and Twitter (@BrothersSA). - Supplied.

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