June 17, 2009
Swazi Couples Urged to Take HIV “Love Test”
Population Services International (PSI), a global charity, has implemented a so-called “love test” campaign in Swaziland to encourage couples in the sub-Saharan African country to get tested for HIV, CNN reports.
According to Dominic McNeil, spokesman for PSI Swaziland, the campaign emphasizes that couples should get tested together because, sometimes, partners who are tested separately do not share their results with one another.
“We wanted to turn HIV on its head and move away from the fear-inducing campaigns we’ve seen in the past, which don’t work,” McNeil said. “Instead, we focus on love, saying that it is love that should be contagious and couples should get tested together.” PSI offers free longer-term counseling if one or both partners test positive.
The nationwide initiative is funded by the $3 million that PSI Swaziland received this year from the United States’ President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR). Since the campaign launched in April, couple testing increased by 25 percent, PSI told CNN.
Neighboring countries such as Namibia, Mozambique and Zambia have also shown interest in the “love test” HIV campaign.
Search: Swaziland, testing, couples, Population Services International, United States, PEPFAR, love test
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