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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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National Strategic Plan for GBV launched

A coalition of civil society organisations are calling for a national strategic plan on gender-based violence (GBV) to include an expanded definition of GBV, filling the gaps in implementing existing laws, improved and expanded psycho-social services, increased investment in prevention and research and robust accountability mechanisms with suitable resources. In a shadow framework document released today, the Stop Gender Violence campaign maintains that if it is developed through broad-based national consultation and engagement, a national strategic plan to end GBV – like the one developed for HIV, AIDS and STIs – could be a powerful lever of change. Gender-based violence…

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Civil society comes together to end GBV

Gender-based violence is a persistent global challenge and one that costs South Africa between R28.4 billion and R42.4 billion per year – or between 0.9% and 1.3% of GDP (KPMG, 2014). Rates of GBV are believed to be extremely high in South African communities, with many civil society organisations reporting increasing levels of violence, particularly against young women. Significantly for South Africa, which has the largest HIV burden in the world, women who experience gender-based violence are at increased risk of HIV infection. End it Now! Together in response to GBV and HIV is a national conference to promote linking,…

Ending the violence at home

Intimate partner violence – particularly sexual violence – is an underreported and hidden problem in South Africa. High levels of gender based violence are highlighted during 16 Days of Activism and Women’s Month but the public perception is that sexual violence and abuse is perpetrated largely by strangers. This couldn’t be further from the truth. Intimate partner violence (IPV), defined as the experience of “physical, sexual or psychological harm by a current or former partner or spouse” is a significant public health and human rights problem across the globe and in South Africa. In a nationally representative study on IPV,…

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End it now! Together in response to GBV & HIV

End it now! Together in response to GBV & HIV is a 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. Organised by the AIDS Foundation of South Africa (AFSA) and NACOSA and funded by The Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria. Venue: Premier Hotel, OR Tambo International Airport, Johannesburg Date: 24-26 October 2017 The Conference will address and link areas of focus and propose and analyse innovative models to improve understanding and approaches within the…

Communities in Prevention

The International HIV/AIDS Alliance is part of the UNAIDS Prevention Focal Point Group, responsible for planning the launch meeting of the UNAIDS Global HIV Prevention Coalition to be held in Nairobi in October. As part of building international momentum around this launch, and getting civil society input and engagement, the Alliance held a thematic meeting on prevention in which key global prevention advocates/champions were in attendance. NACOSA, as the Alliance’s incoming linking organisation for South Africa, hosted this prevention meeting which took place on 28 August – 31 August 2017 at the Lagoon Beach Hotel in Cape Town. The topic…

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What women face

It’s Women’s Month. A time to remember the courage and activism of the Women’s March and to celebrate women’s contribution to our democracy. But it is equally important to reflect on the challenges South African women continue to face and what can be done to combat this. Vulnerability to HIV Women and girls carry the bulk of the HIV burden in South Africa. They are more at risk of infection and more likely to be caring for those affected. HIV incidence is highest in young women aged 15-24 at 2.3%, making up a quarter of all new infections. Adolescent girls…

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Keep calm and bounce back

Determination, grit, growing from failure, the ability to bounce back from a difficult experience. This is resilience. The quality that enables someone to rise above adversity. In children, it is considered an especially important quality in order to develop into well-functioning adults. But organisations need resilience too. Organisational resilience becomes essential in uncertain economic and political times like those we face right now across the globe. The ability to assess, adapt and survive a crisis is a key component of an organisation’s sustainability. Psychologists have identified some of the factors that make someone resilient, among them a positive attitude and…

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