Independent Online (12.14.11) - Thursday, December 15, 2011
Some critics blasted the effort as "cheap publicity" and a
waste of resources, but early results indicate a cash raffle
helped boost HIV testing in Western Cape province.
"Preliminary indications are the incentive scheme
significantly increased the number of people being tested,
both at our network of clinics and at the special sites set up
for the project," Premier Helen Zille said Wednesday. Between
Nov. 28 and Dec. 10, the "Know Your Status and Win" campaign
gave a raffle entry to everyone who took an HIV test at the
province's 204 screening sites. In addition to the grand prize
of 50,000 rand (US $5,974), the contest awarded five prizes of
10,000 rand (US $ 1,194). Some 10,631 people were screened at
the official testing stations during the promotion. Between
April and November 2011, an average of 65,516 people tested
each month. "We expect the figure for December 2011 to be
higher due to HIV testing sites not part of the campaign
having reported a spike in members of the public presenting
for testing, many of them making enquiries about the draw,"
Zille said. The provincial government maintains the expense
was justified, as it could result in savings if more people
undergo regular HIV testing.