In partnership with the Department of Health, the Universal Church of the Kingdom of God's Stop Suffering Help Centre (SSHC), has distributed 16 812 000 condoms in the period January October 2011, as part of its on-going commitment to provide education and practical intervention to help prevent the spread of the HIV/Aids pandemic.
Rather than promoting promiscuous behaviour and multiple sexual partners, the Stop Suffering Help Centre volunteers believe in the value of educating people on the problems of unprotected sex and the risks involved in intimacy with people whose backgrounds and lifestyles are unknown.
Distributing almost 17 million condoms supplied by the Department of Health, SSHC volunteers work tirelessly in communities nationally, targeting particularly vulnerable people, including the youth and people in areas where prostitution is rife.
SSHC volunteers educate and encourage people to live safe lifestyles.
Trained volunteers stress that HIV does not discriminate between age, culture or creed anyone who has more than one sexual partner is at high risk of infection. Protection is also an important intervention in preventing unplanned pregnancies, particularly amongst teenagers.
Besides distributing free condoms, the SSHC works with New Start, an NGO offering free HIV testing, encouraging everyone to know their status.
If people are negative, they are advised to maintain a healthy lifestyle to maintain their status, but if they test positive, they are guided to seek counselling and apply for medical assistance and treatment. Increasingly people in communities nationally welcome the opportunity to be tested and safeguard their health.
The Universal Church of the Kingdom of God (UCKG) has also partnered with the South African National Blood Service (SANBS) organising regular blood donation campaigns during 2011 where church members have donated the most precious gift a unit of blood.
SANBS reports that research confirms that regular blood donors are safe donors because their commitment to donate safe blood to others ensures they make wise lifestyle choices and maintain their HIV-free status.