n Southern African Journal of HIV Medicine - Expanding access to HIV counselling and testing at schools - the Manguzi experience : original article

Volume 12, Issue 1
  • ISSN : 1608-9693
  • E-ISSN: 2078-6751



South Africa's HIV epidemic disproportionately affects the youth. The importance of knowing one's status via voluntary counselling and testing (VCT) is recognised as a key strategy in fighting the epidemic and is reflected in the National Strategic Plan (NSP), which has set targets of 70% of all adults knowing their status by 2011 and 25% of all adults having been tested in the past 12 months. The Human Sciences Research Council survey in 20081 showed that 50.8% of all South Africans 15 years and older have had an HIV test, pointing to wider acceptance of VCT. As a further response to reaching the NSP target, the national HIV counselling and testing campaign was launched in April 2010 with a focus on mobilising all South Africans to be tested for HIV and ensuring that every South African knows their HIV status. Both the NSP and the national HIV testing campaign recognise the importance of community mobilisation and community-based models of VCT to achieve these targets. The NSP in particular has a goal to expand successful strategies of testing outside health care facilities to cover 70% of all districts by 2011.

Young people are reluctant to use health care facilities, and several 'youth friendly' strategies have been tried to target adolescents. This case study serves to document the successes of one such community-based VCT strategy, aimed at young people in northern KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa.

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