The national launch of the fourth annual First Things First HIV Counselling and Testing campaign will take place on the South Campus of the Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University (NMMU) this Friday 7 March from 10h45. First Things First is a higher education and training sector mobilisation campaign targeting 23 higher education institutions and some 50 Technical and Vocational Education and Training colleges (TVETs).
Among them are 12 institutions which are based in the Eastern Cape, which through this campaign will continue to enhance health service provision within the province.
Dr Aaron Motsoaledi, Minister of Health, will lead the First Things First national launch event, with the programme also featuring NMMU’s Vice Chancellor Professor Derrick Swartz. Health advice and service provision, including HIV counselling and testing, will form part of the launch programme.
First Things First is a public-private initiative led by the Higher Education and Training HIV/ AIDS Programme (HEAIDS) in partnership with a number a number of entities including the South African National AIDS Council (SANAC).
The award-winning campaign is an essential implementation element of the 2012-2016 National Strategic Plan for HIV, STIs and TB, as it provides for the testing of large numbers using HIV rapid finger prick tests, supported by appropriate pre-test and post-test counselling and education. First Things First speaks to the priority of HIV Counselling and Testing (HCT). The campaign unites tens of thousands of students and staff at higher education and training institutions across the country to reject HIV stigma and test to know their status. It is a necessary step to accessing treatment, care and support and preventing new infections.
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Article source: http://mype.co.za/new/2014/03/first-things-first/