Zille draws HIV-test winners

By Drum Digital
08 April 2013

Over 4000 Western Cape residents took part in an HIV testing campaign lottery in February, provincial premier Helen Zille said on Monday.

"The data that has emerged from it has been encouraging, making a case for the effectiveness of this kind of focused testing campaign," she told reporters at the audited draw of five winners in Cape Town.

The province ran a campaign between February 4 and February 22 in each district municipality of the Western Cape and in two sub-districts of the Cape Town metro.

Those who took part stood a chance of winning one of five R10,000 cash prizes.

The winners of the campaign came from Bellville in Cape Town, Wittedrift in the Eden district, Laingville on the West Coast, Kleinmond in the Overberg, and Rondavels in the Central Karoo and Winelands district.

Their identities were not made known.

Zille said that of the 4001 people who took part, 55 percent were women.

"This is very significant, because ordinarily the gender breakdown of those who test for HIV under normal circumstances is 30 percent male and 70 percent female," she said.

About 17 percent of the group claimed this was their first HIV test.

Three-quarters of the group tested was between the ages of 15 and 44, which is the most-at-risk age bracket.

"Testing is a crucial step in our battle against HIV.... We are hoping it will become a part of people's lives. They go for a dental check-up once a year. They should go for an HIV test [at least] once a year."

-by Sapa

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