Research by NACOSA in KwaZulu-Natal illustrates the rationale for simultaneously screening for HIV and GBV in communities plagued by violence. Provincial Programmes Specialist, Sudhindra Naidoo with Provincial Programmes Manager, Nadeem Sheriff conducted a study in Wentworth, a community south of Durban notorious for gang violence and drugs. Working with community organisation the Wentworth AIDS Action Group, the study examined an approach whereby the screening for HIV and GBV was done jointly.
A key finding was that almost half (45.7%) of the people screened had a positive history of past or present GBV and required support.
The study concluded that victims of GBV should be recognised as a key population for HIV testing in South Africa. The study also highlights that the positivity yield (6.1%) when testing this particular cohort was much higher than that of the general population. An additional benefit of the approach was that care workers demonstrated enhanced confidence when addressing GBV issues in the Wentworth community.