Health4Men has launched a new campaign that aims to drastically increase HIV testing amongst gay, bisexual and other men who have sex with men (MSM) in South Africa.
As part of ‘We’re Braver Together’, MSM will be encouraged to overcome their primal fears and in doing so find the courage to get tested for HIV with a friend or nurse by their side.
The campaign has set a goal of having as many HIV tests being done as possible amongst members of this population between now and December this year. This will enable those who do test positively to get immediate treatment, regardless of their CD4 count.
The initiative was sparked by the recent implementation of the “universal test and treat” (UTT) strategy by the Department of Health. This means that any HIV positive person is now able to start antiretroviral treatment as soon as they are diagnosed.
“We welcome the implementation of UTT as a means of fighting HIV in South Africa,” commented Nina Morris-Lee, Head of Marketing at Anova Health Institute, which is behind Health4Men.
“Research has shown that the HIV epidemic is being driven by people who don’t know that they are positive and those who are positive but not undergoing treatment,” she said. “By enabling people to get treatment as soon as they are tested, it will improve the health of those who have the virus as well as radically reduce the chance of an HIV-positive person passing the virus on to others.”
The We’re Braver Together campaign links to Health4Men’s clinical services in the public sector ensuring that gay, bisexual men and other MSM can access testing as well as medical care within a supportive, non-judgemental environment.
For your nearest gay, bi and MSM friendly clinic, visit the Health4Men site.