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Record numbers of people test for HIV

New Start Johannesburg counselled and tested 834 people during the first two weeks of the Levi's Red for Life campaign - a 200% increase over the normal testing flow. The campaign is a collaboration between the brand and New Start, reportedly representing a global first in combining NGO expertise with one of the world's iconic brands to bringing HIV counselling and testing to young adults in a convenient and compelling way.
Tshedi Mholo of Malaika being tested for HIV
"The number of people we saw during the first two weeks of the Levi' Work It Out For Yourself campaign was more than we had ever seen in any two week period since the opening of New Start," says Scott Billy, technical advisor for New Start. "Our client flow in Gauteng during these first two weeks of the campaign was more than double our average two week client flow for this year."

The Levi's Work It Out For Yourself branded campaign brings New Start mobile HIV counselling and testing services to where young adults are - shopping malls, townships and universities. The campaign rewarded those who tested in the two weeks prior to the Rage for the Revolution concert, held last Saturday, 28 October 2006, with free tickets to the concert.

Billy continues, "The exciting part of this initiative is that this is only the start of the campaign. We're now expanding to include Durban and Cape Town. We are very pleased with the response in Gauteng, and are especially thrilled by the number of under-25 year olds we've seen. We hope to see equally impressive results in KZN and Western Cape."

"The goal of the campaign is to break through the HIV messaging noise and give urban young adults a viable way to 'work it out for themselves' — to personally learn the truths, to test in a convenient, inviting environment and to make their individual plans to live and love wisely in the Age of AIDS" explains Cal Bruns, CEO of Matchboxology, the company responsible for conceiving and managing the initiative for Levi's.

"The Levi's® Red For Life testing is free, it's anonymous, and while the entire process including the pre-and post-counselling sessions takes about 30 minutes, it only takes 10 minutes to get the results of your test. We're finding the whole package makes testing both appealing and relevant to our audience and that's exactly the response that we're looking for," says Bruns.

Go to www.newstart.co.za or www.levi.co.za for the location of New Start or the Levi's/New Start mobile testing stations.
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