Various NGOs, Stakeholders and Diepsloot community members turned out at Diepsloot Youth Centre as Witkoppen Health and Welfare Clinic hosted a research dissemination event on 15 February.
Witkoppen is a non-profit organization providing comprehensive primary health care and social services to mostly impoverished residents informal settlements in the northern parts of Johannesburg. It has been part of the DREAMS Innovation Challenge (DREAMS IC) to bring change in poor societies.
The aim of the event was to engage the Diepsloot community and share with them the results of the research intervention of HIV self test, Linkage to care of their sexual partners, said the Witkoppen Research Data Manager Lilian Ngwako.
“The intervention was successful in delivering the HIV self test kits,” she said. “It was also successful in getting men to test. HIV self test can be a way of reaching men who have not tested and also achieving the 90- 90-90 goals.”
90-90-90 goals is a concept introduced by United Nations’ programme on HIV/AIDS in 2013. The idea is that by 2020, 90% of the people who are HIV positive will be diagnosed, 90% of people who are diagnosed will be on antiretroviral treatment , and 90% of those who receive antiretroviral treatment will be virally suppressed.
“The research has demonstrated that men have poorer health seeking behaviors as compared to their female counterparts,” Ngwako said. “So the aim was to link and retain them through the male-friendly clinic. We also aimed to educate and mentor HIV negative adolescent girls and young women such that they felt determined to stay HIV free.”
Ngwako added that they are still offering HIV testing in the community and people should look out for their gazebos.