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Positive choices

Choice Somagaca found out she was HIV positive a week after giving birth to her first born child when she was tested by medical staff at the hospital. Now the Chairperson of the George Local AIDS Council and an inspiration to her community, Choice has come a long way from the dark day when she was first tested for HIV. “I found out about my HIV status a week after I gave birth to my first born child. I had a high fever that was not going down after giving birth and only on the seventh day I was asked…

Funding still a major challenge

Lack of funding is still the most pressing challenge faced by civil society organisations in the NACOSA network, with 75% of network survey respondents citing lack of funding, compared to 63% in the 2017 survey. However, organisations have put in place a number of measures in response to these challenges and are fully committed to the networking spirit of collaboration and sharing. NACOSA is at heart a network, bringing together civil society organisations working in the HIV, AIDS, TB and related fields. Each year, NACOSA surveys organizations within this network to understand their challenges, needs and capacity gaps. The information…

NACOSA accredited to International AIDS Alliance

As an accredited linking organisation NACOSA has demonstrated strong governance and organisational management. It adheres to the highest quality good practice programming standards. NACOSA has demonstrated specialist expertise in the areas of Integration of HIV and sexual and reproductive health and rights and Family-centred HIV programming for children to target the HIV/AIDS response in South Africa. In October 2015 a peer-review assessment team consisting of three colleagues from Botswana, Tanzania and the UK, spent three days with NACOSA interviewing both internal and external stakeholders in order to rigorously assess their work against the 9 principles and 38 standards in the…

Listeria – what you need to know

What is listeriosis? Listeriosis is a serious bacterial disease caused by Listeria monocytogenes. It is transmitted to people by eating contaminated food. It is a serious illness with high fatalities (deaths) ranging from 20 – 30% in severe cases. It can be treated with antibiotics. Who is at risk? Anyone can get listeriosis but certain groups are at risk of developing complications (the more serious kind) of the disease. These are: Pregnant women and their unborn babies New born babies and small children The elderly (over 65 years) People with conditions such as diabetes, cancer, chronic liver or kidney disease…

A message of hope

Her name is Nombulelo Nolihle Yose. She is the only daughter of seven children from Dimbaza in the Eastern Cape. She married in 2004: “God gave us two handsome boys and we have a happy life in our marriage staying in Port Elizabeth”. “In March 2006 my lovely husband got sick. I was not around that time, I was visiting my mother in King Williams Town then I received a call from my sister in-law and she said I must come back quickly.” When Nombulelo returned the following day she found her husband very sick: “He did not look at…

Youth dreaming big

Nhlanhla Chiliza and Khetha Maphumulo are two young people from Lamontville who were concerned about the rate of teenage pregnancy, school-dropouts, HIV infection, and lack of socio-economic skills, drugs and substance abuse. They started Deprived Youth Service in 2007, which focuses on skills development for youth in eThekwini South. Since then, the organisation has grown and developed and is now part of the DREAMS programme – a global partnership to reduce HIV/AIDS in adolescent girls and young women. We spoke to Nhlanhla and Khetha as well as a parent and young person who was part of the Let’s Talk parenting…

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Good stories for positive living

Thula Mkhize, CEO and Chairperson of Good Stories, found out he was living with HIV on the eighth of January 2009. “Next year will be the ninth anniversary of this amazing journey that has changed my life for the better. I didn’t allow HIV to limit me and steal my dreams – today I’m happily married to an HIV negative woman, and I’m a father of two.” Thula has come a long way since that day in January and the journey has not been without its challenges. “The biggest challenge was thinking I was going to die, but this didn’t…

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Positive parenting can prevent HIV

A parent’s job is to guide their children safely to adulthood yet many parents or caregivers – for multiple reasons – neglect the very real risk to their children of contracting HIV. HIV is the second largest cause of death of adolescents globally and the first in Africa. New HIV infections are concentrated in older adolescents and young people, particularly adolescent girls and young women. South Africa has the highest number of estimated new infections per week – over 2,000 – among women aged 15-24. Parents urgently need to have the difficult conversations with their children about sex, sexuality and…

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Focus for impact

At the heart of the National Strategic Plan for HIV TB and STI’s 2017-2022 is the strategy Focus for Impact that uses detailed information, data and insights to identify populations most at risk in areas most severely affected by HIV and TB. While comprehensive prevention, care and treatment will be provided country-wide, intensified concentrated efforts are needed in regions that have been identified as HIV and TB high-burden areas. The NSP thus introduces this more intensified, more strategic focus at provincial, district and ward level to maximize the impact of its efforts. The purpose of this strategy is to ensure…

Resolution calls on all sectors to End it Now!

The national conference to promote linking, learning and action on the state response to gender based violence (GBV), the interaction between HIV and GBV and the impact of GBV on young people – End it Now! Together in Response to GBV and HIV – issued the following resolution: The assembled delegates, Recognising the extent and severity of GBV and HIV in South Africa, Understanding the links between GBV and HIV and the burden that falls particularly on young women and girls, Acknowledging the importance of a strong collaboration between government actors, local and international donors and civil society organisations, Celebrating…

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