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Alphabet soup: a guide to HIV and AIDS terms

The HIV and AIDS field is notorious for the use of acronyms and jargon. Here is a handy guide to the most common terms and what they mean. AIDS Acquired Immunodeficiency Syndrome. The clinical syndrome caused by HIV. AIDS is not a virus and person is not ‘infected’ with AIDS. Avoid terms like ‘AIDS infected’ or ‘AIDS test’ – it is HIV that infects people and that is what is tested for. HIV Human Immunodeficiency Virus. The virus that causes AIDS by interfering with the body’s ability to fight off infections. A person who is living with HIV or who…

Success in testing children

Testing children for HIV can be challenging. Find out about NACOSA’s success with Mpilonhle Community Based Organisation using ZoeLife‘s KidzAlive techniques presented by Sudhindra Naidoo, NACOSA’s HIV and Improvement Advisor, at IHI Africa Forum last week.

Reducing unknown HIV status

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End it Now! Conference Report

The End it Now! Together in Response to GBV and HIV Conference, organized by NACOSA and AFSA and funded by the Global Fund, was held in October 2017. This comprehensive report from the proceedings includes the Conference Resolution and evaluation survey report. “The conference was excellent. It was such a massive exposure. It was bringing insight as to what is happening to women throughout our communities.” – Conference participant  

End it Now Conference Report

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Informer December 2017

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. This issue of the Informer is about having the difficult conversations to target HIV, AIDS and TB.


Celebrate the Journey: Annual Report 2017

NACOSA recognises that the next five years presents a unique window of opportunity to ramp up the HIV and TB response. With our 2016-2021 strategy, we renew our commitment to promote dialogue, build capacity, and strategically channel resources to support service delivery on the ground. In particular reaching young women and girls, sex workers, those most affected by gender-based violence, orphans and vulnerable children, and other vulnerable and key populations. Last year we set bold new strategic objectives, consolidated into five focus areas that are transformative and forward-looking. This annual report is a series of essays celebrating the start of our journey towards…


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…

The Health of Educators

Various factors influence the health and wellbeing of educators within the school environment. These include work dissatisfaction and overload, personal health issues – including HIV infection, tuberculosis (TB) and noncommunicable diseases – and exposure to violence. This research study, funded by The Global Fund through NACOSA on behalf of the DBE and SANAC, looks at the health of educators in public schools, particularly relating to HIV prevalence and awareness.  

The Health of Educators in Public Schools

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HIV self-testing guidelines

The Southern African Clinicians Society have issued guidelines on HIV self-testing (HIVST). These guidelines serve as additional guidance for the National HIV Testing Services Policy 2016 with a specific focus on HIVST. There is a global initiative to accelerate universal access to HIV prevention, treatment and care. HIV testing remains the key point of entry in the continuum of care for any individual living with HIV. The HIV testing gap remains significant and HIVST has been recommended as an additional tool to complement traditional HIV-testing services (HTS) in order to reach key and under-tested populations like men, young people and people from…

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Informer May 2017

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. This issue of the Informer is all about rising to the challenges and resilience.  


Funding the biggest challenge for members

NACOSA Network members – some 1,500 organisations across the country – are at the forefront of helping to build healthy communities in Southern Africa. In our latest membership survey, 80% reported lack of funding as one of the biggest challenges they face. This was in stark contrast to the 2015 survey where only 63% reported lack of funding as a challenge. The 2017 survey focused on the challenges facing organisations, the systems they have in place to address these challenges and how NACOSA can actively support their advocacy work.  The valuable insights provided will help NACOSA further improve and develop…