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World Aids Day every day at Be Part

On Saturday 1 December the world commemorates World Aids Day.

While various institutions focus on awareness campaigns about HIV/Aids only on this day, Be Part Yoluntu Centre deals with this almost everyday.

The centre, situated in Mbekweni, is a dynamic clinical research centre serving the disadvantaged community of Mbekweni, Paarl and Wellington.

Their research focuses on HIV, TB, Infectious Diseases and lifestyle illnesses. Be Part was founded in January 2007 in order to develop HIV-related research capacity in the Drakenstein area. Until June 2011 their research unit focused exclusively on microbicide HIV prevention research trials, which were funded entirely by the International Partnership for Microbicides (IPM). An epidemiological study undertaken between 2007 and 2008 indicated a significant reduction in the incidence of HIV over a period of one year.

During the second half of 2011 Be Part became an independent health and research centre.

The establishment of a youth clinic has been one of their most effective initiatives – it has attracted more than 1 500 visits over the last two years.

The Youth Clinic runs Mondays, Wednesdays and Thursdays from 14:00 to 17:00. A sister is in charge of the clinic. The focus is on pregnancy prevention, reduction of HIV and STI disease transmission and health awareness.

The also have an after hours clinic that offers HIV testing and wellness services to adults. This clinic is held after working hours on Tuesdays until 19:00. The clinic has operated for nearly ten years but, while relatively inexpensive to run, there are modest costs that need to be covered in order to continue to meet this local need.

Be Part also has a Holistic Youth Wellness programme where they empower teenagers to make better choices addressing the physical and emotional health needs of teenagers and young adults. Be Part invests in both to create an environment that encourages personal growth and development.

They also offer the following intervention programmes: Safe sex and relationship counselling, counselling aimed at addressing HIV-related stigma and challenging myths and misconceptions about HIV, academic support for Matrics and Grade 11’s, support with health-related school tasks, leadership development, career counselling, life skills counselling, empowering young people to make the transition from senior secondary school to post-matric employability and further studies and addressing physical health.

The Youth Wellness Programme raises teenagers’ awareness of their health status, offers sexual health assessment and contraceptive advice, HIV testing and counselling, TB risk assessment, dietary education, risk assessment for diabetes and other potentially chronic health problems and a food parcel scheme for students in need who meet certain weight and socio-economic criteria.

. On 30 November they will hand out 200 lunch packs at the Mbekweni train station with an invitation inside to bring their partners to Be Part from 15:00 on 4 December for couples testing. The couples day will have a festive spirit with treats and a lucky draw.

With this initiative they wish to promote and advocate the importance of being open to share such pertinent health results and reach a next level of trust and transparency in a supportive relationship.

For more information or to make an appointment, call them on 021 868 3990/1/02 or email them at reception@bepart.co.za.

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