The HIV testing campaign which runs in November is a build up to the World Aids Day celebrations commemorated worldwide on December 1 each year.
Dubbed #pokellohivtesting, the campaign in which Pokello has led the way by getting tested and sharing her results publicly through a video on her Instagram page, has been held annually for the past three years.
On her video that was shared on Monday, Pokello took people through the various stages of the rapid HIV test sharing the dos and don’ts. Afterwards, she shared her results which were negative and encouraged locals to follow suit.
“This is the third anniversary of our campaign where I’m advocating for young people, especially women to #KnowYourStatus. Regular testing is vital,” Pokello said while informing people that she gets tested for HIV at least three times a year.
Zimbabweans have proved without doubt that they love being rewarded so in order to encourage people to partake in the challenge, Pokello who runs a boutique and owns a shoe line is offering prizes including shoes, clothes, nail polish and spa treatments to those who will test and share their results with her, positive or negative as proof that they indeed were tested.
These results are to be sent to her Instagram inbox for people’s privacy and will not be shared publicly.
“I’ll be giving away two prizes every Friday to the first two people to inbox me their results at midnight as Friday begins.
“It’s important to note that modern HIV tests are able to detect most infections within a month of exposure. They can detect almost all infections within two months. Fourth-generation laboratory tests have shorter window periods than rapid tests and self-tests. So we do recommend you take a test again in two to three months’ time,” said the former Big Brother Africa contestant.
Commenting on her initiative, some said they were against it as they felt that there would be no privacy since people are required to send their results to Pokello.
“What happened to confidentiality and privacy in such matters?” quizzed one follower. Pokello responded saying those who were not comfortable in participating in her campaign were not being forced. “You’re not being forced please. Divert your energy somewhere else,” responded Pokello.
Some however commended Pokello for the initiative saying it is key to have such life-saving conversations on sexual health.
“I just tested myself last week. I do it regularly as I’m a firm believer of knowing my status whatever it is. Great initiative,” commented one.
Pokello seems to have reinvented herself over the years as people are seeing a completely different side of hers. Other than this HIV testing campaign, she has been playing the role of an aunt on social media by giving people a platform to discuss with her issues which affect them through what she termed Sunday confessions.