Local time: Monday, 22 April 2019 03:09:00hrs
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National AIDS Coordinating Agency (NACA)
2419 people test for HIV in Maun in 8-hours
14/01/15

At least 2419 people tested for HIV recently in a campaign aimed at mobilizing individuals and their families to know their HIV status and seek HIV prevention and treatment services. This is the highest number of people to ever test for HIV in Botswana or any other Southern African country in 8-hours

The 8-hour campaign which took place in 10 selected sites around Maun last month was an initiative between National AIDS Coordinating Agency (NACA), Ministry of Health, Maun Administrative Authority, UNAIDS, WHO, SIDA and the Ministry of Local Government and Rural Development.

Maun was selected due to its low testing rate of 24%, much lower than the national average of 70%. The overall goal of the campaign was to mobilize individuals and their families to access voluntary testing and counselling services to know their HIV status and access treatment and prevention services. The objectives of the campaign were;

 

1.    Mobilize individuals and communities to participate in the national HTC campaign to know their HIV status and take up necessary treatment and care services.

 

2.    Ensure linkages to prevention, SRHR, treatment and care services

 

3.    The Campaign aimed to break the Guinness World Record under the category of “Most HIV Tests Given in One City in Multiple Venues in One Day” currently held by Argentina’s city of Rosario, where 3, 733 people were tested in one day over eight (8) hours.

 

The strategies employed included Community Mobilization, Community testing and Media reach. Two weeks prior to the event, at least 100 community mobilizers were tasked to do door-to-door campaign to sensitize families about the campaign. In order to encourage people to test in large numbers, the campaign strived to bring services to the people rather than ask them to visit health facilities.  Each of the 10 sites was strategically placed to make it accessible for walk-ins.

The media was utilized to generate publicity for the campaign with a number of media strategies employed to create the hype.  These included a press briefing, issuing of press releases, radio and television interviews, backgrounders, print adverts as well as live reads on various radio stations.

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