Clinic offers no-strings-attached HIV testing

: The Spencer Road Clinic staff ran an HIV awareness drive to mark World Aids Day.

“Know your status, stop stigmatising people who are HIV-positive, go to the facilities and make sure that you get yourself checked,” said Busisiwe Henda, of the Family and Marriage Society of South Africa (FAMSA), which was part of the programme held on Monday, two days after World Aids Day.

The non-profit offers HIV counselling, although its primary focus is building families. “Healthy families are a good foundation for children,” said Ms Henda.

The Spencer Road Clinic does HIV testing and various forms of counselling, including for mothers with HIV-positive babies and partners of those with HIV. People with tuberculosis should also have an HIV test, according to clinic manager Saulegga Patel.

“You don’t need to come in with an appointment card; you don’t need an ID. You just need to bring yourself, your willingness and consent to want to be tested.”

There was no discrimination at the clinic as she and her staff were there to help and would refer those testing positive to the clinic in District Six for antiretroviral treatment, she said.