FET FTF Activation: Free State (Maluti: Bethlehem)
Initiated in 2011, the First Things First campaign (FTFC) has been undertaken in partnership with Innovative Medicines South Africa (IMSA), up to 2012, and the Foundation for Professional Development (FPD), with support from the United States Agency for International Development (USAID); the U.S. President's Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR); the Department of Higher Education and Training; the Department of Health; and the South African National Aids Council (SANAC).
The campaign contributes to an objective of the 2012-2016 National Strategic Plan for HIV, STIs and TB to maximise opportunities for testing for HIV and provides for the testing of large numbers using HIV rapid finger prick tests. The campaign is rolled out through the course of the year at such calendar times as suits individual institutions. It is supported by an appropriate pre-test and post-test counselling and education programme, and a variety of promotional elements including posters and bunting, pledge walls, and a memory stick with a multi-media presentation and HIV information.
Qualified institutional and partner personnel undertake the counselling and testing and a comprehensive, accredited training programme is also offered to enable facility-based staff (healthcare workers, student counsellors and volunteers) to undertake HIV counselling and finger prick testing in the future so as to enhance the capacity of institutions. The Department of Health provides test kits and consumables, and referral links between institutions and supplementary services are mapped.