Men Who Have Sex with Men in Kimberley Invited To Test in A Stigma Free Environment
Johannesburg, 30 January 2019– Men who are have sex with men (MSM) in the greater Kimberley area are invited this weekend to test in a stigma free environment. The Me1st campaign, which was launched late last year will start its 2019 roadshow in Kimberley and will have fun filled, stigma free activations at Sol-Plaatjie University, Tata Tavern in Gaaleshwe, Modder-Rivier and the Rose Club in Richie from Thursday, 31 January to Sunday, 2 February. Each activation offers sexual advice and professional counselling, stigma free voluntary testing and a fun booth full of sexual toys.
The Me1st movement was launched by Right to Care in partnership with LifeLine Northern Cape.. The Me1st campaign is about ensuring that men who have sex with men prioritize their health, and especially care related to HIV and other sexually transmitted infections, whilst being supported through healthcare systems that are not judgmental. It enables men who have sex with men to access the care they deserve. To help MSM maintain and improve sexual health, Right to Care has partnered with clinics across the country that provide 100% confidential and discreet HIV and STI screening in an understanding, judgement-free environment.
Cedric Fourie, popular Skeen Saam actor called for the men of Kimberley to visit the activations with their partners to be tested. “There are a lot of people living with HIV who don’t even know it and are going around unconsciously spreading the virus. We all could be one of them. Our partners could be one of them, so I am urging the men of Kimberley to turn out at the Me1st activations and get tested.”
“There are so many men that have sex with men but still have relationships with their female partners. This is one of the major factors driving HIV and AIDS infections in our country. It’s better to know your status earlier than when it’s too late. Treatment and counselling is freely available. Life doesn’t need to be too short guys. I put myself first so this weekend get tested and put yourself first too.”
Brende Harker, Director of LifeLine agreed with Fourie. “LifeLine Northern Cape is very excited to be part of the #Me1st Campaign and fully support the campaign. Stigma and discrimination are the main reason why men who have sex with men are reluctant to test for HIV as many mainstream health care providers are not sensitized and don’t provide HIV target specific messaging for MSM clients. The #Me1st Campaign offers our clients the opportunity to access non-judgmental, safe and quality services and reminds them to put themselves first.”
The Kimberly Me1st activation dates and venues;
Thursday 31 January 2019: Sol-Plaatjie University 10h00 – 16h00
Friday 1 February 2019: Tata Tavern – Galeshewe 18h00 – 23h00
Saturday 2 February 2019: Modder-Rivier 12h00 – 17h00 & Rose Vegas Club – Richie 19h00 – 23h00
About LifeLine Northern Cape
LifeLine Northern Cape is non-profit organisation based in Kimberley and one of Right to Care’s partners on the Transgender and Men who have Sex with Men (MSM) programme. One of LifeLine Northern Cape’s key focus areas is to render services to Key and Vulnerable communities. As an emotional wellness organisation with a passion for human rights we acknowledge that stigma and discrimination is a reality and is most felt by our Lesbian, Gay, Bi-sexual, Transgender, Intersex and gender non-conforming communities.
LifeLine Northern Cape offer services that are professional, free, safe, confidential and non-judgemental. These services include, quality HIV testing services, screening for TB and STI’s, health screening, clinical care and support services, support groups and provision of gender affirming health care education for the transgender community. LifeLine Northern Cape also conducts sensitization training for communities and partner organisations
Landline: 053 832 8533
Cell: 081 3123 748
Facebook: LifeLine Northern Cape
About Right to Care
Right to Care is a non-profit organisation that supports and delivers prevention, care, and treatment services for HIV, TB and other infectious diseases. Through technical assistance, Right to Care supports the private sector, the Department of Health and the Department of Correctional Services. In addition, through direct service delivery, Right to Care treats patients for HIV, TB and sexually transmitted infections. Right to Care International works in countries outside of South Africa, primarily Lesotho, Malawi, Myanmar, Ukraine and Zambia, through EQUIP consortium to provide a broad range of health care interventions.
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