HIV/AIDS

29 November 2012

Text messages to raise HIV awareness

HIVSA will be sending out two million health related mobile phone messages to the general public, in support of this year’s World Aids Day initiative.

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HIVSA in partnership with the Provincial Department of Health, Gauteng, will be sending out two million health related mobile phone messages to the general public, in support of this year’s World Aids Day initiative.

This number constitutes almost 20% of the total number of people living in Gauteng and is a first for the province in utilising mobile phone technology as a means of delivering important health messages.

The Department of Health’s theme for this year’s World Aids Day is ‘Safe sex with men and high risk groups’. The focus of the messages would be on promoting medical male circumcision (MMC) as a method of reducing the risk of HIV and promoting HIV counselling and testing (HCT), as part of the ‘play it safe for zero infections campaign’. 

How it works

hi4LIFE, HIVSA’s mobile phone application, comprises of trusted health information on your cellphone. It operates through the mxit portal, please call me ads and star menu, which is *120*6336#.

As part of the messaging for this WAD, the hi4LIFE star menu will include a special World Aids Day page which will contain longer and more detailed information on Medical Male Circumcision and the importance of HIV counselling and testing.

Thulani Machere, project coordinator at HIVSA, believes that mobile health is the “new frontier” in communication for all the right reasons – it is cost effective and you can reach large numbers of people with up to date information anywhere at any time.

(Press release, November 2012)

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Dr Sindisiwe van Zyl qualified at the University of Pretoria before working for an HIV/AIDS NPO in Soweto for many years. She was named one of the Mail & Guardian's Top 200 Young South Africans in 2012.

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