Desmond Tutu HIV Foundation will today be launching their Amajita Tutu Truck in Philippi, with men encouraged to get themselves tested and get a complimentary haircut. Picture: Reuters
Cape Town - The Desmond Tutu HIV Foundation will today be launching their Amajita Tutu Truck in Philippi, with men encouraged to get themselves tested and get a complimentary haircut from Legends Barber Shop thereafter.

“We already have the Tutu Tester, Tutu Teen Truck, and the Tutu Kwik Testers that drive around areas in the Klipfontein and Mitchells Plain district, but we noticed that mainly women were getting themselves tested, so in this way, the Amajita Tutu Truck is aimed specifically at men and encouraging them to take that step,” said Ndumiso Madubela, PhD candidate and researcher at the Desmond Tutu HIV Foundation.

Madubela said that he approached Legends Barber Shop after noticing that men were often more comfortable and willing to engage with each other about various issues when getting a haircut.

“The Amajita Tutu Truck will be right next to the pop-up barber shop, creating a safe space for men where they can just be themselves,” he said.

“The aim is basically to get more young men between the ages of 15 and 35 to get themselves tested for HIV and Aids, but we won’t turn anyone away, even if they don’t fall in this age bracket.”

In 2017, the foundation launched the Men’s Dialogue Project, with the purpose of encouraging men to engage about issues around HIV, gender-based violence, toxic masculinity and any other pertinent issues that faced them and their communities.

“At the quarterly men’s dialogues that we held, we would try to create spaces where men would feel comfortable to engage with each other, so we would have braais and things that men typically enjoy, just to get the conversation going,” he said.

“The main purpose of tomorrow’s launch is to attract more men to testing stations and raise awareness around how important it is for them to get tested we’re doing this in a really fun way so that they will be encouraged to do so in future.”

@TheCapeArgus

[email protected]

Cape Argus