Convenient, confidential, and free - all of next week!
Yes, its VCT time again. Which, for those who don't speak Acronym fluently, is Voluntary Counselling and Testing. And for those who live in a cave, that's testing for HIV.
Maybe because the first two letters are VC, the VC has sent out a letter (see below) encouraging everyone to make use of the opportunity. And with Registration a distant memory in everyone's minds, the prospect of standing in a queue shouldn't be too scary. Hey, we do it several times a day for coffee, and we don't even gt counselling for that!
The last email that the VC sent out mobilised the masses - as the very successful turnout at the recent strike attested - so let's hope that this one will do the same!
Who knows, it might even mobilise some members of the Senior Leadership Group to show some leadership on HIV/AIDS by testing openly too?
Letter from the VC:
Due to the enthusiastic response to the voluntary HIV counselling and testing drive of 2006, another will be organised by Student Wellness Service for 5 days next week in Jameson Hall on UCT's Upper Campus, as follows:
Monday 5 March, 11h00 to 16h00
Tuesday 6 to Thursday 8 March, 09h00 to 16h00
Friday 9 March, 09h00 to 12h00
While going for an HIV test is a decision only individuals can make for themselves, it is critical that everyone in the UCT community take personal responsibility for knowing their status. HIV can be both prevented and treated. If your status is positive, UCT has the support structures to enable you, as a student, to complete your studies and go on to make a difference in your chosen profession. Parallel support structures are available for members of staff to manage the HI-Virus. So I would encourage all of you to utilize this opportunity to learn of your status.
The extension of the testing drive to one whole week will give greater opportunity to be tested between lectures and other obligations. The walk-in facility will allow you to be counselled, tested and to receive your results in roughly 40 minutes. Complete confidentiality of results is assured.
If you are unable to get tested during the up-and-coming VCT drive, and you are a student, contact Student Wellness Service on 021 650 3000 for a test at your convenience. The address is 28 Rhodes Avenue, Mowbray, just below University House Res. If you are a member of staff, contact HR organisational health for a test on 021 650 3028 (Margie Tainton), 021 650 2154 (Ashley Taylor) or 021 650 4001 (Gina Fraser). Alternatively, you may choose to be tested elsewhere in Cape Town or when you are home for the holidays.
I call on you to make a considered decision to be responsible and to know your status.
Professor Njabulo S. Ndebele
Vice-Chancellor and Principal