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Monday, 12 October 2009

VCT Drive encourages campus community members to know their HIV status

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From 7 to 18 September 2009, the staff and Peer Educators of the HIV/AIDS Unit hosted the year’s second Voluntary Counseling and Testing Campus Drive.

For this VCT Drive, a new site was added to the campaign, namely Athlone Western Cape Nursing College. Other sites participating in the VCT drive included Cape Town, Bellville, Mowbray, Granger Bay and Tygerberg Campuses as well as various student residences.

VCT campus drives are done in collaboration with a service provider (in this case Action Against AIDS) who provides the nursing personnel, lay counselors and test kits.

They are funded by the Provincial Department of Health.

The HIV/AIDS Unit collaborated with the Campus Clinic to whom clients who tested positive were referred and the Student Counseling Service which provides interns and standby psychological services for crises situations.

A total 1,306 clients were counseled for the HIV test of which 1302 were tested for HIV (99.8%).

The recent VCT Drive showed a marked increase in the number of staff members who were tested for HIV. This staff increase for the HIV test can be attributed to the HIV/AIDS Unit’s initiative of introducing the workplace Peer Education Programme where the VCT campus drive was marketed by staff Peer Educators.

Dr Ashraf Mohammed, Director of the HIV/AIDS Unit, said: ""The success of this VCT Campus Drive if we would have received an extra bonus if there would have been an increase in male uptake for VCT.”

By Thando J. Moiloa and the HIV AIDS Unit

Photo: A student is tested, after receiving professional counseling, during the VCT campus drive at the Cape Town campus student centre

Written by CPUT News

Email: news@cput.ac.za