Govt, business to promote HIV testing

17 August 2010

The Department of Health will be partnering with Business Unity South Africa (Busa) to help strengthen the government’s HIV Counselling and Testing (HCT) campaign, says Health Minister Aaron Motsoaledi.

Motsoaledi met with members of Busa in Johannesburg this week, giving them an overview on how HIV/Aids is affecting South Africans, and urged them to help the government with resources to fight it.

During his presentation, Motsoaledi focused on the HCT campaign, which was launched in April this year, and aims to test 15-million people by June 2011.

Raising testing awareness

He appealed to Busa members for help “in cash or kind” to raise awareness about HIV testing, and also to help with the distribution of condoms.

“Business could help with funding of gloves, needles and other equipment with an effective advertising campaign that will get the country recommitting to fight the HIV and Aids scourge, which is still on the rise in South Africa,” Motsoaledi said.

He added that in the coming months the department would be re-launching the campaign, where preliminary results on how many people had got tested since the launch of the campaign would be released.

‘Breath of fresh air’

Busa CEO Jerry Vilakazi commended Motsoaledi for getting SA business re-energised on the issue of HIV/Aids, adding that the minister was “a breath of fresh air” and that they were keen on the partnership.

“The business sector found Motsoaledi’s passion for this issue a breath of fresh air and we are very supportive of him and need to find a consolidated approach to take this issue forward and consult amongst ourselves,” Vilakazi said.

He added that there were certain health care companies that have already embarked on assisting with resources to help with the HCT campaign.

Source: BuaNews