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Connecting and communicating

Nolusindiso is HIV positive and a mother of a 12 year old. Before joining Circles of Support she was a loner. She struggled with the idea of her HIV status and found it incredibly difficult to communicate her past to those around her. She didn’t know her mother and lived with her great grandmother until she passed away, then her grandmother until she passed away and was left to her aunts and uncles who would insult her about her status and eventually chased her away. They told her, “this is not your home”. Her mother owned property and she never…

Supporting each other

Bongeka had a very difficult childhood. Her parents died when she was 3 months old and she lived with her aunt and uncle who abused her. She didn’t have the basic things she needed growing up, like school uniforms and stationery or books. “I had this anger inside me, I hated my parents for dying and leaving me so young. That anger grew inside me for many years”. Through the difficulties Bongeka somehow managed to do well at school and pass her Grade 12. At 22 she moved to East London and had a baby while working as a domestic…

Peer power

By Leora Casey, Sex Work Specialist The Sex Work Programme provides tailored peer-centred support to sex workers across South Africa. This includes providing health and human rights information to sex workers and mobilising sex workers for services. Peer educators are the centre of the Sex Work Programme, developing and maintaining relationships with the sex workers. They are truly the unsung heroes of the programme so we wanted to profile a few very special peer educators that are doing an excellent job. A SHINING STAR Slindile is one of our stars! She works as a peer educator with Lifeline Durban in…

The truth about teen pregnancy

Young people, particularly young women, are often portrayed as irresponsible and feckless – getting pregnant young and having children that they can ill afford. We are frequently warned about rising rates of teen pregnancies and the affect this is having on society. The fact is that overall, the percentage of women age 15-19 who have begun childbearing is unchanged since 1998. But the numbers are still high and there is no doubt that early pregnancy can have a negative effect on a young woman’s life chances. To find ways to stop our children having children, we need to dig deep…

Learning to survive

Sexually and physically abused as a child, singer Jennifer Jones learned how to overcome her trauma and survive. Now an ambassador and volunteer at Lifeline, Jennifer is helping other survivors to find peace and move on with their lives. “I was orphaned at two and adopted five times, during which time I was abused, raped and even burnt. I decided that I had to change my own circumstances. In silence I would cry and the hate would grow so strongly that I couldn’t love. I started hating very hard and left to live on the streets in a park in…

Total shutdown: Ntosh’s Story

By Sydney Davis, Provincial Manager, Eastern Cape On 1 August 2018, while the country woke up to the call for a Total Shutdown against Gender Based Violence, Ntosh started her day reflecting on the way violence shaped her life. At the tender age of ten years she was knocked unconscious by boys and raped. Five years later this young woman was once again cruelly violated by a man. As she reflected on her life that morning, she vividly remembered the pain, the humiliation of her womanhood. “My heart was bitter, no sleep, no joy, no smile…” On this morning she…

Services and screening for victims of violence

Two separate pieces of research published by the Networking HIV and AIDS Community of Southern Africa (NACOSA) highlight the need for services and screening for victims of gender based violence as a critical part of the country’s HIV response. A study by NACOSA in Wentworth, KwaZulu-Natal, looked at simultaneously screening people for HIV and gender based violence (GBV) and found 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 recognized as a key population for HIV testing in South Africa…

Evaluation of TCC Services

An evaluation of NGO services provided at Thuthuzela Care Centres (one-stop sexual assault centres based in state hospitals) as part of our Global Fund GBV Programme found that these services had a profound impact on the lives of survivors and also supported survivors to take post exposure prophylaxis (PEP) to prevent the transmission of HIV post-rape. This process evaluation was conducted between 2017 and 2018 to assess the progress and quality of the implementation of services provided by NGOs in Thuthuzela Care Centres as part of the Global Fund grant, Investing for Impact against Tuberculosis and HIV. The evaluation was conducted by…

Process Evaluation of NGO Services at TCCs

Screening for HIV and GBV

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…

Screening for HIV and GBV

HIV Testing Materials

NACOSA has produced a leaflet to provide information and advice to people who have had an HIV test. The leaflet is specifically aimed at people who are most vulnerable to HIV such as sex workers, survivors of gender based violence and young women and girls. Download now: I tested HIV positive. Now what? I tested HIV negative. Now what?  

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