Truck aims to improve health

2019-11-21 06:01
Young men from Philippi received a new haircut after getting tested for HIV.PHOTO: SIYABONGA KALIPA

Young men from Philippi received a new haircut after getting tested for HIV.PHOTO: SIYABONGA KALIPA

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A new mobile truck that offers young men the chance to test for HIV was unveiled on Tuesday 19 November in Philippi.

The Amajita Tutu Truck was launched by the Desmond Tutu HIV Foundation as part of the International Men’s Day celebration which was marked on Tuesday.

Ndumiso Madubela, the foundation’s coordinator, says the truck is targeting men between the ages of 15 and 35.

He described the group as “a high risk of HIV infection”. He said they also tend to avoid health clinics because of the long queues. “The idea is to bring health services to young men and to meet them in spaces they navigate,” said Madubela.

Not only can men be tested for HIV and receive a free haircut from Legends Barbershop, they also provide men with their viral load.

Madubela said the truck will also be going to other townships.

Lukhanyo Gxaleka, who got tested and received a haircut, said it was quick and easy unlike going to the clinic.

Gxaleka said a lot of young men are also afraid of going to the local clinics because they might be seen by people they know.

Another young man, who did not want to be named, said he is happy to finally know his status and encouraged others to get tested.

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