R10 000 baby bonus for HIV test win­ner

Weekend Argus (Saturday Edition) - - PEOPLE - YAZEED KAMAL­DIEN

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.

PIC­TURE: JEF­FREY ABRA­HAMS

‘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.

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