South Africans get 100 free condoms after HIV test

Johannesburg, April 26 ( South African citizens who took a test in the country’s largest HIV/AIDS campaign have been given 100 free condoms each, a media report said.

Responding to President Jacob Zuma’s call for everyone to know their HIV status, South African citizens came out in thousands to get tested for HIV at the launch of the HIV, Counselling and Testing (HCT) Campaign Sunday, BuaNews reported.

The campaign will conduct tests on patients at the entry points in all health institutions and hopes to get up to 15 million people tested by June 2011.

The new campaign aims to reduce the rate of infection by 50 percent by 2011 and to provide treatment to up to 80 percent of affected people.

It also emphasises on prevention through information, education, widespread distribution of condoms and mobilisation of millions of South Africans to know their status.

Thenjiwe Vilakazi, 55, who got tested, said she was happy because she now knows her status. “I’ve never done it before and was shaken while waiting for the results, but I’m happy I did it, now the challenge is to encourage my husband to do the same.”