The Deputy Mayor of Oshakati, Ms Puyeipawa Elifas, took the bold step of being the first person to be tested for HIV in public on the 1st of December, the International Aids Day.

At the National Aids Day commemorations event that took place in Ondangwa on 1 December, Elifas volunteered to be the first person to be tested in the Ondangwa Annual Trade Expo hall which was packed with more than 500 people.

While the pre-test counselling and the testing process took just about four minutes, it took 15 minutes of pensive waiting before the results were announced.

The results showed that Elifas was negative for HIV – meaning that no HIV virus was detected in her blood.

Only two more people came forth to be tested – whose results were also negative.

The deputy mayor’s results announcement was followed by a performance of the Namibian Correctional Service Brass Band who were called on to spice up the post-testing occasion by Director of Ceremonies Mr Ben Nangombe.

Although the Aids Day commemorations did not attract lots of local people from the community of Ondangwa and surrounding villages, however health workers, Namibia Defence Force, Namibian Police, and Namibian Correctional Service were well represented.

Top officials who gave speeches at the Aids Day event included the Regional Councillor of Ondangwa Urban Mr Leonard Negonga who did the welcoming remarks, Mr Jeremia Shetunyenga who is an HIV activist, Mr Sandi Tjaronda the Executive Director of NANASO, Dr. Alti Zwandor the UNAIDS Country Director, Ms Jessica P. Long the US Charge d’Affaires to Namibia, Mr Elia K. Irimari the Governor of Oshana who made introductory remarks of the keynote speaker, and Dr. Kalumbi Shangula the Minister of Health and Social Services who was the keynote speaker.

In the photo: Oshakati Deputy Mayor Puyeipawa Elifas being tested for HIV.