The Anova Health Institute is calling on men living in and around Alexandra and Roodepoort to know their HIV status through the Score4Life campaign. Score4Life will be offering free, safe and totally confidential HIV testing in a semi-permanent pop-up facility.
Knowing your HIV status empowers you to make the right choices to prolong your life, yet as many as 60% of South African men do not know their status. This puts men at risk of serious illness and untimely death, which are entirely preventable with the right treatment and interventions. Score4Life is about more than simply knowing your status. Whether the results of your HIV test are positive or negative, the campaign is about opening and providing ongoing dialogue between the Anova and the men who have been tested.
"Our Score4Life initiative gives men a chance to learn their status in a safe and confidential environment. Testing is, however, just the first step in the HIV prevention and treatment process. In order to keep the channels of communication open and to provide linkages to localised services and care, participants will be issued with airtime in order to give them the means to access these services, regardless of their status,” says Dr. Diana Mokoena of Anova.
In order to participate in Score4Life men need to be 21 years or older, have a cell phone with an active number and a valid proof of identity. These can include a birth certificate, a South African ID document, a drivers’ license or a passport (of any nationality).
The Alexandra pop-up facility opens on 01 July 2016 and will be located in Shop 26 in the Alex Plaza shopping centre, near to Joshua Doore. The Roodepoort facility opens two weeks later on 16 July and is located at Office 26, 1st Floor, Merlin House, 51 Van Wyk Street, opposite Shoprite. Both venues will be open seven days a week for three months (Monday to Friday: 07:00 – 20:00; Saturdays: 09:00 – 17:00 and Sundays: 10:00 – 16:00). The testing and counselling is done in private and should take approximately 20 minutes to complete.
"Knowledge is power," says Dr. Mokoena. "When you know your status you Score4Life."
The campaign is being funded by US President’s Emergency Fund for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR) through the United States Agency for International Development (USAID).