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‘FOCUS, PARTNER, ACHIEVE : an AIDS free generation’

World AIDS Day is held annually on the 01st December. Recognised globally, the day is an opportunity for people across the world to unite in the fight against HIV to show their support for people living with the virus and, to honour those who have died as a result of it.

The 2014 theme for World Aids Day is, ‘Focus, partner, achieve: an AIDS free generation’. With this theme in mind, Atomo Diagnostics (Atomo) has donated AtomoRapidTM HIV tests to Metropolitan and the Masiphumelele Youth Centre where staff and community members were encouraged to test for HIV infection.

Each event was hosted separately. The Metropolitan outreach, a combined effort between Metropolitan; Masithembele HIV and AIDS Enrichment Centre, Desmond Tutu HIV Foundation’s Testers and the MMI Foundation, was held at Parc Du Cap. This event served as a combined staff outreach and fundraising drive for the Masithembele HIV and AIDS Enrichment Centre. Metropolitan staff members were encouraged to donate non-perishable food items and/or purchase a beaded ribbon from Masithembele crafters who sold these at a cost of R10 per ribbon. The Metropolitan event engaged with approximately 250 staff.
At the Masiphumelele Youth Centre a commemoration message was delivered by Pastor Patrick Diba in memory of the many lives lost due to AIDS. This was followed by the lighting of candles and a minute of silence. The event also educated attendees around HIV prevention and awareness and for those infected with the virus, the importance of adherence to antiretroviral therapy.

Present at both events was the Tutu Tester, a mobile clinic that takes sophisticated testing equipment and trained staff into areas which do not have adequate health facilities. The Tutu Tester uses AtomoRapid™ HIV in the provision of HIV testing services.

“Atomo is committed to supporting this years’ World Aids Day and is pleased to be partnering with Metropolitan, MSAT and the Desmond Tutu HIV Foundation to support the ongoing drive for awareness and reduction in stigma. Diagnosis plays a critical role in this process and AtomoRapid™ HIV makes it even easier to get tested and know your status”, says Byron Darroch, Director, Business Development.

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