Brothers for Life cares about South African men, which is why we have launched a campaign to encourage men to test for HIV. Our message: Negative of Positive, you are the same person. If you are negative, you can stay that way with MMC and condoms. If you are positive, you can control the virus with ARVs and make sure you use condoms to protect your partners. Yes, you should eat healthy food, exercise regularly and drink less. All of us should do that if we want to live long, healthy lives.
10 million South Africans test for HIV every year, and we want to encourage each and every one of us to test. If we know our status, we can take care of ourselves and our partners.
We know that there are many men out there who are afraid of testing because they believe that their lives will change for the worse if they know their status. This may have been the case in the past, but not today. Today, if a person starts ARVs and stays on the treatment, they can lower their viral load and carry on with their lives.
Men also tell us that they are scared that they will lose the love and support of their friends and families if they are positive. Most people find that the opposite is true, and that their relationships are exactly the same. (we will link to the Bongani and Thabo stories here when we have it)
The fact is, negative or positive, you are the same person.
If you want to talk about anything HIV related, call 0800 012 322, or sendus an email on firstname.lastname@example.org