R10 000 baby bonus for HIV test winner
IT WAS not the R10 000 prize money that he won, but his pregnant wife who motivated factory worker Daniel Arries to get tested for HIV.
And when he was tested this week, Arries was unaware that Premier Helen Zille was controversially offering cash rewards to encourage people to be tested for the virus.
“I’m shocked because this is a lot of money. I wasn’t expecting it,” the Ravensmead man said yesterday when Zille visited him and his wife Alide at their workplace.
Zille, whose campaign has been widely criticised, said the couple were “doing what every single South African must do”.
“We are proud of you. You are role models that others should follow,” she said, adding that the cash was “a wonderful bonus” for their baby.
Zille launched the Get Tested to Win competition last Friday. She is now calling it the “Know Your Status & Win” competition. It is intended to encourage people to get tested at public health facilities by offering R50 000 as the first prize in a lucky draw. Five other people will also win R10 000 each.
Zille said despite the public condemnation she had faced for this “behavioural economics” effort, her campaign was “gaining momentum”.
Arries, 32, said he and his wife had HIV tests twice a year.
The couple are expecting their second child at the end of this month.
“I am a family man. To prepare for my future I need to know that I am safe. I want to say to others that they should test and know their HIV status so that they know where they are headed in life,” he said.
Sister Esmare Robson, a nurse at the factory at which they work, said Sactwu had delivered competition forms to the factory. Workers who were tested filled in the forms and Zille drew the winner from a box of about 1 000 names.
Zille also underwent a public HIV test on Thursday.
She said if she won a cash prize she would donate the money to an orphanage.
‘PROUD OF YOU’: Premier Helen Zille congratulates Daniel Arries, the first winner in her controversial Get Tested to Win competition. She visited him and his wife Alida, right, yesterday at the factory where they work.