Free HIV testing this December

Don’t assume, be sure and test for HIV. This is the message being communicated through Lancet Laboratories World AIDS Day campaign which aims to provide consumers with the opportunity to know their status and, at no extra cost, help someone else know their HIV status too.

Through an extensive communications drive, Lancet Laboratories will be motivating people to bring a friend, a spouse, a partner, a co-worker, a loved one or a buddy to come for an HIV test from, 1st December (World AIDS Day) to 15th December.

Peter de Wet, Lancet Laboratories, Group Marketing Director said, “Lancet’s Care Campaign urges consumers to not assume, be sure and get tested. HIV doesn’t distinguish between age, race, religion or socioeconomic status - no one is immune from HIV and it is the responsibility of all South Africans to get tested.”

Lancet Laboratories applauds the great initiatives provided by Government in the public healthcare sector during World AIDS Day. “Our campaign aims to complement these existing programmes and, importantly, reach segments of the South African population who generally perceive themselves as ‘low risk’ including married couples and those in long-term relationships,” says de Wet.

As people are encouraged to monitor their cholesterol, blood pressure or blood sugar on a regular basis, Lancet will be encouraging consumers to review their sexual health. This includes an annual HIV test or more frequently if the person considers their sexual behaviour to be high risk, and a medical assessment for other sexually transmitted diseases.

Dr Allison Glass, Champion of Lancet’s Care Campaign and Clinical Virology Pathologist at Lancet Laboratories said, “Getting tested and knowing your status is critical for a number of reasons. Firstly, HIV is not a death sentence. It is a treatable illness, and safe and effective therapy is available. What’s more, starting treatment early, while you’re still healthy is associated with the best possible outcome. Knowing your status can also help you prevent spreading HIV to others.”

While the campaign will encourage people to attend the testing facility in pairs, Dr Glass says that all blood tests are carried out discreetly, privately and in the strictest of confidence.

Access to HIV testing will be provided at all Lancet Laboratories testing depots and facilities around the country, from 1st to 15th December.
“As one of the country’s leading private pathology laboratories we want Lancet’s Care Campaign to demonstrate that we’re more than just a laboratory. We care about the people of South Africa and want to help them achieve their greatest health potential,” concludes de Wet.

For more information on where to find a Lancet Laboratories depot or for any additional information on the campaign, please visit www.lancetcares.co.za or call the toll free customer service number on 0800LANCET (0800 526 238).

(Lancet Laboratories, December 2011)

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