Zille govt to hold HIV test lucky draw
Cape Town - The Western Cape government will hold a lucky draw to encourage people in the province to be tested for HIV.
Premier Helen Zille said on Friday that any person who was tested at one of the province's testing points between November 28 and December 9 could win R50 000.
She said the project was part of the government’s 16 Days of Activism for No Violence Against Women and Children.
"Persuasion has not worked. We would rather use incentives than coercive methods to ensure that all adults regularly test their HIV status," Zille said.
The Western Cape government spent around R661m on its HIV/Aids programmes in the 2010/2011 financial year.
Zille said 1 042 942 people had been voluntarily tested for HIV in the province in the past year, while 103 000 were on antiretroviral treatment by the end of October.
Sexual violence a factor
The susceptibility of women and children to HIV was directly linked to the high levels of sexual violence committed against them, she said.
"Often women and young girls become infected as a result of being coerced into having unprotected sex with men who are ignorant of their HIV positive status and who believe it is their right to have inter-generational sex with multiple concurrent partners," Zille said.
"This is violence against women and young girls. Their choice is taken away from them and they are exposed to risk and harm."
Zille was recently criticised for suggesting that men who had multiple sexual partners and refuse to use condoms be charged with attempted murder.
Aids activists slammed Zille’s remarks as "careless and misleading", warning that criminalising HIV/Aids infection went against international guidelines and would create an incentive for people not to get tested.