The Helping Hands Trust has partnered with Clicks for the delivery of services across the country including baby wellness clinics and more recently HIV testing, which launched late last year.
And partner in the initiative Relate Bracelets has a causal bracelet on sale in selected Clicks stores in support of Helping Hands. The cost of just R35 for one bracelet covers the cost of one free HIV test.
“Going for an HIV test ahead of Valentine’s Day this week might not be exactly what you had in mind to show your love, but in a country where HIV prevalence is still too high, we need to make responsible decisions and accept this helping hand,” says Chief Executive Officer of Relate Bracelets Neil Robinson.
“If you already know your status, you can pay it forward by purchasing a Relate Bracelets Helping Hands bracelet in Clicks stores as the cost of the bracelet covers the cost of a free HIV test for someone else.”
According to Stats SA’s Population Estimates document (2013), the total number of people
living with HIV in South Africa increased from an estimated 4 million in 2002 to 5,26 million in 2013, around 10% of the total population.
The Clicks Helping Hand Trust is a Public Benefit Organisation, founded in February 2011, which aims to lessen the burden on state facilities by extending a Helping Hand. Not only does it offer free HIV testing and TB screening to South Africans from disadvantaged communities, but has long provided free clinical services to mothers and babies.
“We carry a high burden of mortality due to HIV and TB, chronic diseases and maternal, neo-natal and child mortality, amongst others. This imposes a massive strain on an already overburdened public healthcare system struggling to overcome poor administrative management, lack of funding and a shortage of skills,” the trust states.
“With over 330 pharmacies and 140 clinics across the country that provide convenient access to primary healthcare, we believe Clicks Helping Hand Trust can help alleviate the burden on state institutions by donating professional nurse time, managerial experience and clinical space. We offer HIV testing and TB screening and, where possible, medicine and vaccines for babies.”
All Clicks Clinics offer HIV/AIDS testing and counselling, and TB screening for people without access to medical aid. On average, around 400 HIV tests have been performed each Thursday since launching this service at the start of September 2014.
This article was originally published on Tums 2 Tots Online.