It's never been easier to know your HIV status, thanks to easy-access mobile testing units from New Start and Levi?s Red For Life and a brand new SMS search service designed to direct South Africans to their closest testing site, provided by top denim brand Levi Strauss South Africa and powered by Karabo.org.za.
The brand has launched this revolutionary mobile phone service in partnership with the South African HIV Clinicians Society to help responsible citizens anywhere find their nearest HIV testing facility.
To access the service, anyone (on any network) can SMS the word 'HIV' to 31771 followed by their post code or town name. Their two nearest testing locations will be SMS'ed back. SMS's are charged at standard rate. This service will be launched on 01 December 2007.
Six mobile Voluntary Counseling and Testing units, or VCT units, are also traveling around the country. This partnership with well-respected testing experts New Start offers anonymous, confidential and free HIV testing and counseling.
Debbie Gebhardt of Levi Strauss South Africa says, "through our Red for Life campaign, we have already helped to test over 42 000 people. We want to continue to make a tangible impact on the Aids issue through the campaign and the best way people can take control of their lives is to know their status.
"We have been involved in HIV/Aids awareness for the past three years already but this year we're upping the stakes by making it easier to find out about testing facilities with our new mobile phone service.
Levi's Red for Life aims to make it easier for young people to get tested, know their status and take control of their future. Their mobile VCT units are thus located in areas accessible to the youth and are designed to remove the stigma and inconvenience that often prevents individuals from getting tested.
"We know mobile communications is the preferred way of communicating with the youth, which is why we have launched the phone service. It is inexpensive, easy and anonymous," says Gebhardt
The mobile VCT units were created in partnership with independent HIV testing service New Start and are primarily targeted at South Africa's youth.
The campaign will also distribute 250 000 Levi's Red for Life branded condoms and a further 50 000 branded condoms will be handed out at the 46664 concert on 1 December.
For more information on Levi's Red for Life and VCT units visit www.5FM.co.za