Right To Care Launches Me1st Campaign Targeted At MSM

media release me1st

Centurion, South Africa – Right To Care announced Thursday together with selected NGO partners the launch of their “Me1st campaign” which is targeted at men who have sex with other men (MSM) community in South Africa. The campaign, “Me1st”, is aimed at creating awareness and addressing issues that the MSM community face such as discrimination and stigma when seeking help in the healthcare sector. The campaign seeks to also encourage people to go out and get tested as the MSM community is disproportionally affected by HIV and this is because many are not testing due to fear of being stigmatised or discriminated against.

This Me1st movement was launched by Right to Care in partnership with Anova Health Institute, LGBT Health & Community Centre Durban, SHE, Free State Rainbow Seeds and Lifeline Northern Cape. Right to Care, is a non-profit organisation (Section 21) that supports and delivers prevention, care, and treatment services for HIV and associated diseases. Through direct service delivery and technical assistance, Right to Care supports the Departments of Health at national, provincial and district  level.

Right to Care and its NGO partners are committed to supporting MSM and provides access to information and free healthcare that is discreet, confidential, free of discrimination and administered by qualified professionals.

The Me1st campaign is about putting MSMs wellbeing above everything else, about them living their truth and about living life on their terms. To help MSM maintain sexual health, Right to Care has partnered with clinics across the country that provide 100% confidential and discreet HIV & STI screening in an understanding, judgement free environment.  Ian Ralph, Group Chief Operations Officer of Right to Care says “Campaigns like the ME1st campaign are critical in ensuring no one is discriminated against from accessing health care because of how they identify or who they choose to partner with. HIV affects us all and everyone should have access to proper healthcare without any fear of discrimination or stigma. Every day that goes by when somebody is HIV infected is a day that risks the health of their sexual partners. Being on treatment not only ensures your health but also protects the health of your sexual partners.”

This campaign will feature activations in the following cities: Kimberley, East London, Bloemfontein and Durban over the next 4 months and will be targeting MSMs at various locations in these 4 cities with their brand ambassadors and health care professionals. “I am truly excited to be part of this campaign and what it stands for. The MSM community is one that is not understood by the public and I believe this campaign will assist in that, most importantly MSMs will have access to quality health care without judgement.” Says LGBTI+ advocate Phumlani Kango, who is one of the Ambassadors for the Me1st campaign. Venues will be communicated closer to the time of each activation. The first activation takes place on the 29th/30th of November in Bloemfontein.

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