Leshan Singh. His company is providing HIV test kits to underprivileged locals.
A KWAZULU-NATAL security group is taking their safety skills to the next level by providing 20000 HIV self-test kits to the underprivileged.

Massiv International has a presence in KwaZulu-Natal and Zambia, supplying and installing security systems.

To mark World Aids Day on December 1, the company plans to provide the HIV self-test kits, worth R120000, to residents of Welbedacht, Chatsworth, KwaMashu and Effingham Heights.

World Aids Day, observed since 1988, is dedicated to raising awareness of the Aids pandemic caused by the spread of HIV infection, and to mourn those who’ve died of the disease.

Each kit is worth about R60 and contains the self-test machine and directions for use. Massiv will also provide counselling to those who have tested positive for the virus.

According to Kajal Sewgobind, the spokeswoman for the initiative, the company’s directors want people to know their status so they can plan their lives.

“We’re going to poverty stricken areas where the stigma attached to HIV testing is pronounced.

“In these areas, people often have to walk to a clinic to get tested. Even if they test negative, they are still stigmatised for being tested. So people are reluctant to check their status.

“That is why we are making the kits available, so that HIV testing can be done in privacy,” said Sewgobind.

Sewgobind said HIV/Aids was generally regarded as a taboo topic, but it was a relevant issue that needed to be discussed.

“We all need to know our status and if people are HIV-positive, they need to know that it is not the end of the world. Treatment is available,” she said.