Know your status

Know your Status

Melissa Charlene Douman
A NEW campus campaign aims to get you and five of your best friends to take the test.
Vuvuzela and the Sunday Times have teamed up to launch an HIV/Aids awareness campaign at Wits. The idea is that you and five friends will go for testing at Campus Health. Each of your friends will then get five of their friends to go.
Ideally, this would mean all students and staff would have taken the test by the end of the year.
Up to 22 students can be counseled and tested every day, says head of the nursing staff at Campus Health, Sister Yvonne Matimba. The test is free and Campus Health can be found on the lower level of the Matrix.
Matimba encourages everyone who could be at risk to get tested.
“If you are or have been sexually active or have had anal or oral sex you should get tested. If you have used a needle that somebody else has used, or come into contact with bodily fluids, you should get tested.
“If you have ever helped or been in an accident where there was a lot of blood or had a piercing or tattoo done you should get tested.”
Different tests are used to test for HIV. Campus Health uses rapid testing, which gives results in ten minutes.
“Testing positive does not mean that your life is over,” says Matimba. “Knowing that you are positive, you may be able to prolong your life by taking better care of you health and life.
“If your partner tests negative, you may be able to prevent them from getting infected. If you are pregnant, there are ways that may prevent your baby from getting infected.
“Testing negative may also be a relief and help you to take serious steps at protecting yourself. That is, by making a concerted effort to use a condom every time you have sex.
Your negative result could also suggest to your partner that they are negative too.”
The test involves pre- and post-counseling. Your results will not be revealed to anybody. If you test positive, ongoing counseling will be provided. Campus Health offers a safe environment. Staff have a genuine interest in the wellbeing of students.
 

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