Million Capetonians tested for HIV

The Aids ribbon.
Annual HIV tests in Cape Town have reached the million mark. This ahead of World Aids Day tomorrow.

Between October 2017 and September this year, there were 1 065 386 HIV tests recorded, which is the highest ever in a single year.

This year marks the 30th commemoration of World Aids Day and the theme is “Checka Impilo” or “Know your Status”.

Mayco member for safety and security; and social services, JP Smith, said; “There have been many advancements in the fight against HIV/AIDS and it is not the death sentence it once was, but rather a chronic condition that can be effectively managed with medication.”

Statistics, however, show that most men still don’t know their status. 

“The journey begins with testing and knowing your status. Test results are available in a matter of minutes thanks to the finger prick test. Staff who conduct the tests are also trained to provide pre-and post-test counselling and advice. Our statistics do, however, show that testing rates for men are still lagging,” said Mr Smith.

For those who test negative, but are at risk of acquiring HIV, the National Department of Health has launched a pilot project to provide pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP) in the form of a tablet to prevent the acquisition of HIV.