"South Africa has made great inroads in terms of treating HIV / AIDs, but unless there is consistent messaging about the importance of knowing your status, sticking to your treatment and practising safe sex, we're not going to be able to change the scary statistics," says TETA's CEO Maphefo Anno-Frempong.
The campaign will focus on speaking to taxi drivers and youth across the nation. According to TETA, taxi drivers are in a unique position in that they interact with hundreds of people on a daily basis. If they are made aware of all the aspects of HIV / AIDS, as well as urged to spread that knowledge, an impact can be made.
Coupled with taxi drivers, the youth are also being targeted. This specifically refers to young women, who are the most vulnerable to HIV infection. Various case studies show that the prevalence of HIV in women is four times greater than in young men, according to TETA. This is because of reasons like poverty, gender-based violence and the low status of women.
The TETA awareness campaign consists of digital activations rolled out in the month of March and April. These will be live-streamed radio talks and roundtable discussions with youth on the TETA Facebook page.
The activations are aimed at encouraging South Africans to test and to change the narrative around the HIV stigma. TETA says that knowledge is power and that knowing your HIV status gives you the power to make decisions that can protect you and all those around you. That knowledge, adds TETA, as well as a reduction in the negative stigma surrounding HIV, will hopefully encourage people to be tested.
"To win the fight against HIV / AIDS, it is vital that people are given the right information and encouragement to know their status," TETA concludes. "Awareness of HIV / AIDS doesn't just benefit those who are infected or vulnerable, but the entire country, and encourages the nation to stand up and join the fight."
For more information, visit www.teta.org.za
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