Texting for HIV Testing in South Africa

Posted by CorinneRamey on Dec 06, 2007

A mobile phone service launched in South Africa this past Saturday provides HIV testing station locations through the use of SMS. South Africans can send an SMS to the short code "31771" with the word "HIV" followed by the name of their town or postal code. The service then responds with the location of the two nearest traveling testing units.

iAFrica.com reports,

Six mobile Voluntary Counseling and Testing units, or VCT units, are also traveling around the country. This partnership with well-respected testing experts New Start offers anonymous, confidential and free HIV testing and counseling..."We have been involved in HIV/Aids awareness for the past three years already but this year we're upping the stakes by making it easier to find out about testing facilities with our new mobile phone service." Levi's Red for Life aims to make it easier for young people to get tested, know their status and take control of their future. Their mobile VCT units are thus located in areas accessible to the youth and are designed to remove the stigma and inconvenience that often prevents individuals from getting tested. "We know mobile communications is the preferred way of communicating with the youth, which is why we have launched the phone service. It is inexpensive, easy and anonymous," says Gebhardt.

The service is sponsored by New Start and Levi's Red for Life campaign in partnership with the Southern African HIV Clinicians Society and Karabo.org.za.

Photo credit to Sully Pixel.


I tested last year twice and i was HIV negative i got a new man in my life and we once didnt use a condom we knew it was irresponsible of us and we then used condoms everytime i have a hectic schedule and i want to get tested so my question is that can i be able to buy HIV testing kits at any pharmacy i live in Virginia.

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