Andre van Zijl, 63, was diagnosed as HIV positive over 30 years ago, but that hasn’t stopped him from living life to the full. van Zijl currently holds 39 world records, and now plans to claim a 40th by spending 12 days in a jacuzzi.
His feat of endurance, which will end at 2pm on the 24th of June, is to raise funds for several children’s charities, who work with HIV positive babies. Sleeping has proved the most difficult aspect so far, as he is often woken up by his head sliding from his arm into the water. However the previous challenges he has conquered – all in the name of HIV/AIDS awareness – show that he is no quitter. His endeavours include eating 150 sushi pieces with chopsticks in ten minutes and wearing roller skates to scale Table Mountain in Cape Town, South Africa.
Whilst in the jacuzzi, he hands out pamphlets to educate the public about HIV/AIDS, its treatment and prevention. “You don’t have to look for a coffin,” van Zijl says to those with HIV/AIDS, “get busy, do something about it… HIV is not a death sentence.”
Better2Know wishes van Zijl luck with his world record attempt, and implore people to take aboard his message. van Zijl has been able to live such a full life because he got tested regularly, found out his HIV status early and received the appropriate treatment. It is estimated that a quarter of people living with HIV in the UK are not aware of their status, and the only way to know for sure is to get tested.
If you would like to discover more about HIV; its transmission, treatment and prevention, visit Better2Know’s website. Better2Know has a range of HIV tests to suit your needs at private STD testing clinics across the UK.