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Eastern Cape Premier Makhenkesi Stofile has endorsed a saliva-based
HIV test kit set to determine one's HIV status in approximately
five seconds, in the privacy of one's home.
Developed over three years by world-acclaimed scientist Edward
Ayensu, the Gaifar Instant Screen Rapid Test is said to have been
approved in many countries in Africa, including the US, China and
Author and researcher Professor Ayensu met with the Premier
yesterday in the province, to introduce the test kit that he said
was '100 percent accurate and relatively cheap compared to existing
HIV testing methods'.
Backing the province's destigmatisation campaign, Prof Ayensu said
millions of people infected with the virus in Africa died quickly
due to the high levels of ignorance and denial that the virus
He advised people not to wait until their immune system had been
broken down but to test as soon as possible, so doctors could offer
medication in time.
He added that resources against HIV/AIDS in the country should be
utilised before the disease ravaged people. 'Because when that
happens, no amount of anti-biotics would work.'
The Eastern Cape will avail the test once discussions with relevant
stakeholders have been undertaken.
The Premier's spokesperson Manelisi Wolela said the matter would be
brought before the province's executive council soon, to consider
policy implications thereof.
Hoping that the council would approve the kits, Mr Wolela said once
that had been done, funds would be made available to procure
Reverend Stofile promised that the starting point would be
identifying the most accessible places, which people could find
easy to reach.
'The use of the tests is something that we cannot compel people to
do. All that we can do as government is to encourage people to test
and find out their status so that if a person were to be tested and
found to be positive, then that people will do everything possible
not to spread the disease.'
He added that spreading the disease would mean liability to
manslaughter or premeditated murder.
'Knowledge of one's HIV status would assist prevent the spread of
it to others and if a person tested negative, one would naturally
work to make sure they remain so forever.'
Praising the kit, he said Prof Ayensu had developed an effective,
efficient and scientific way of finding out one's status in
'This is an important tool that we should use as government so that
people know their status, so that we can work towards fighting the
disease.' - BuaNews