HIV: Ekurhuleni residents get tested

2010-10-09 22:51

Johannesburg - About 300 hostel residents in Ekurhuleni were tested for HIV on Saturday, the Gauteng department of health and social development said.

Spokesperson Mandla Sidu said this was part of the national HIV/Aids Counselling and Testing campaign (HCT) launched in April, encouraging the public to know their status.

Health MEC Qedani Mahlangu launched the campaign in Kwesine and Thokoza hostels.

Over 700 000 people have been tested in Gauteng since the launch of the campaign.

"Leaders in the area interacted with hostel resident about the importance of knowing their status and using protection each time they engage in sex," said Sidu in a statement.

Mahlangu encourage young males to get circumcised, which minimises the risk of contracting sexually transmitted diseases.

She also assessed the health and social needs of the residents in the area.

Sidu said the health department would visit shopping malls, informal settlements, taxi ranks, community gatherings and rural parts of the province were health facilities were not easily accessible, to ensure that the province meets its target of testing 3.3 million people by June 2011.

"The purpose of the campaign is to diagnose HIV, TB, diabetes and high blood pressure patients. In order to get people on the treatment in time. Early treatment reduces deaths especially from TB and Aids," he said.

The provincial health department has increased the number of ARV sites in hospitals, community health centres and clinics. More than 303 000 patients were currently on treatment in the province. "More than one million patients have been assessed and would be brought into the treatment programme when they reach treatment requirements."