With approximately one in every four people living with HIV, Swaziland has the highest rate of HIV infection in the world. Despite continuous efforts from the government, community based organizations and international NGOs to promote HIV prevention, for some people getting tested remains taboo.
At North Star’s Roadside Wellness Centre in Ngwenya, near the border with South Africa, HIV counsellor and peer educator, Thabsile Sithole, is turning the tide.
Being HIV positive herself, Thabsile knows that an important step in increasing knowledge is to break through the stigma associated with testing. In order to celebrate Valentine’s Day, Thabsile initiated the LOVE campaign, in which a couple receives a gift if they get tested together. In this way they can celebrate their relationship through an act of openness and security, whatever the outcome of the test.
For everyone in Ngwenya and beyond, all of us at North Star Alliance would like to wish you a happy and safe Valentine’s Day.