Nationwide HIV campaign on track

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Johannesburg - It's all systems go for the country's first ever HIV and AIDS campaign, which expects millions of South Africans to get tested for the disease.

Outlining measures that have been put in place in preparation for the campaign, Health Minister Dr Aaron Motsoaledi said more than 4000 retired health workers have come forward to offer their services during the launch of the HIV Counselling and Testing (HCT) campaign set to take place on 15 April 2010.

Government ministers, deputy ministers as well as leaders of the South African National Aids Council (SANAC) are expected to take the first test.

"On the day they will offer counselling and testing at the testing sites," Motsoaledi said on Thursday.

He explained that health workers who left the practice many years ago will be sent on a one-day training course.

"The medical council has promised to take a look regarding those who are no longer registered," said Motsoaledi.

The department has also approached all medical universities to release all their final year medical students for at least five days during the first week of the campaign.

"Medunsa and the University of Free State have already obliged and I'm waiting for a response from the other medical universities," he said.

Non Governmental Oragnistions have also pledged to mobilize 9000 lay counselors while the South Africa National Defence Force (SANDF) pledged their medical personnel.