Building healthy communitiesJoin Us


The Networking HIV and AIDS Community of Southern Africa (NACOSA), together with a network of over 1,000 civil society organisations, works to build strong, equal and healthy communities free from the burden of HIV, AIDS, TB and GBV in Southern Africa. We do this by strengthening community systems, mobilising and managing resources, facilitating networking and collaborations, providing and enabling access to services and advocating, learning and sharing collectively.

As a principal recipient of the Global Fund and in partnership with USAID and PEPFAR and other public and private sector partners, NACOSA works at all levels – from international agencies and national government, right though to sub-district services and small, community groups. NACOSA is a Level 1 B-BBEE contributor.

NACOSA acts as a bridge between people and health and social services.

One of NACOSA’s main aims is to build sustainable community systems that are able to respond effectively to public health threats. The NACOSA Training Institute is was formed in 2014 to support this aim. The Training Institute develops and provides quality training and development opportunities to organisations, government, businesses and frontline staff. Accredited by the Health and Welfare Health & Welfare, Services, and Education, Training and Development Practices SETAs and the Quality Council for Trades and Occupations, the Institute offers in-person, online and hybrid learning and coaching services.



Born out of a national conference in 1991, NACOSA played a central role in mobilising an effective, multi-sectoral response to HIV, AIDS and TB in South Africa. Since then, we have learned that when people come together to tackle community challenges, they have a stronger voice and are more effective at finding solutions. By bringing communities together, strengthening systems and mobilising resources to improve access to services, NACOSA aims to ensure that the people most affected by public health issues like HIV, AIDS, TB, GBV, poor sexual and reproductive health and Covid-19 receive the information, testing, care and support they need. NACOSA works to advance the rights of marginalised groups to reduce harm caused by health inequality and ensure no one is left behind.

"NACOSA takes forward the voices of the people on the ground." 

- NACOSA network member



Although we have made great strides in turning the tide on HIV and AIDS, many challenges remain:

  • At 8.2 million, South Africa has the highest number of people living with HIV and AIDS in the world.
  • With 4.4 million people on antiretroviral treatment, it also has the world's largest ART programme.
  • TB is the nation’s leading cause of natural death and over 60% of TB cases are related to HIV.
  • Young women are 4 times more likely to become infected, with over 1,000 adolescent girls and young women acquiring HIV every week.
  • Between 40% and 50% of all new HIV infections among adults occur in people from key populations.
  • Over 3.3 million young people not in employment, education or training.
  • 20-25% of new HIV infections in adolescent girls and young women are attributable to GBV
  • The epidemic of gender based violence is estimated to cost the economy up to R42.4 billion a year.

South Africa faces other significant public health threats like poor sexual and reproductive health, non-communicable diseases (like hypertension and diabetes) and Covid-19. Poverty, unemployment and violence continue to drive unacceptable levels of poor health in communities. Inequality, stigma and discrimination ensure that those most in need face enormous barriers to services.

But we have the end of AIDS in sight. If we adopt a fast-track strategy for testing and treatment, UNAIDS predicts we can end AIDS by 2030.

“One day when my son grows up and hears about South Africa and that it has the highest HIV rate in the world, and he asks me what I did about it, I want to be able tell him that I tried, that I made an effort to do something.” 

– Charlize Theron, visiting a NACOSA Global Fund project


We believe that we are stronger, when we come together to tackle interlinked health and social challenges. NACOSA works to build stronger, more equal and health communities by:

  • Facilitating networking & collaboration with organisations, movements, donors, government, institutions and business at local, national, regional and global levels.
  • Strengthening community systems - capacity building, training, mentoring and coaching, technical skills, leadership development and raising community voices within the national response.
  • Mobilising and managing resources sustainably with fundraising, grant management, performance monitoring, M&E and reporting.
  • Providing and enabling access to services with information, prevention, testing, care, support and linkages for people affected by HIV, AIDS, TB, GBV and other public health threats.
  • Advocating, learning and sharing collectively through consultative forums, local planning and coordination, community-led service monitoring, community dialogues and sharing our learning widely.


“NACOSA’s capacity building programme has a direct, tangible benefit on organisations and their capacity to deliver efficient and sustainable services in communities.”

- Independent evaluation by Development Works



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