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Men's Health Month: Aurum partners to implement campaigns supporting men living with HIV

Men's Health Month: Aurum partners to implement campaigns supporting men living with HIV

The Aurum Institute is implementing two campaigns to empower and support men to lead healthy lifestyles. The MINA and Coach Mpilo campaigns were created specifically to bring men to healthcare, by providing them with information and support to get tested for HIV and to start and stay on treatment. Aurum is implementing these campaigns in the Ekurhuleni District, where we already support the Department of Health with the HIV and TB programme.

MINA

MINA- which means “I” or “me” in Nguni languages- encourages them to take ownership and of their health. Aurum is implementing

Aurum’s Jackson Morure is a Clinical Nurse Mentor in Alberton and the MINA and Coach Mpilo lead. He said MINA started off as a pilot study which was part of the Aurum Project Last Mile to increase access to medication for all.  Mina was developed and to reconstruct men’s relationship with healthcare by helping them take a deliberate step towards understanding their health and committing to long-term treatment. The pilot phase of the MINA campaign included the Department of Health and private facilities, 11 from Ekurhuleni South District and 9 from Ekurhuleni North District. “A MINA representative comes to the healthcare facility to introduce and tell the staff all about the project. They then share posters and pamphlets with information for the patients and for the nursing staff so that they are equipped to respond to any questions,” said Morure.

Coach Mpilo

While Mina provides the information and encouragement to bring men to healthcare, Coach Mpilo’s goal is to support them when they seek that care. “They are coaches who go out into communities and assist the patient through their journey from newly diagnosed with HIV, getting on treatment, supporting them to stay adherent. Their support and encouragement is also extended to men who are not ready to go on treatment. They provide them with information and offer them emotional and psychological support,” said Morure.

Testimony

Coach Mlungisi Dlamini, 42, from Tembisa found out he was HIV positive 20 years ago. “Back then there were barely any programmess for HIV. You were just told your diagnosis with no real follow-up support,” he said. It was through trying to find information for himself that Dlamini eventually became a coach. As a coach, his goal is to bring those men who were tested and did not start treatment or have defaulted, on treatment. He believes his own experience makes engagement easier as he relates to the men he speaks to.

“We cannot see what HIV does to our bodies, you can only tell by coming into facilities and running tests to know where you are health-wise.”

MINA and Coach Mpilo are being implemented jointly as they work hand in hand to provide information, support and services which enable men to live healthier lives.