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Youth Summit 2023 Report

NACOSA’s Youth Summit provided a platform for addressing the critical issue of gender-based violence. The summit, attended by 86 young leaders and ambassadors, along with NACOSA staff and partners, highlighted the urgency of adopting a multi-sectoral, youth-friendly, and inclusive approach to combat GBV effectively. The event’s theme, Youth rising against GBV and HIV was shaped by the young people we work with and guided by the principles of the National Strategic Plan on Gender-Based Violence and Femicide (GBVF). READ THE REPORT >  

Building an LGBTQI+ friendly community

The South African Constitution was the first in the world to protect the rights of sexual and gender minorities. We have some of the strongest protections globally for LGBTQIA+ people yet because of harmful myths and attitudes, the LGBTQIA+ community can be the victims of gender-based violence, bullying and hate crimes. Our new info leaflet, Stand Proud, provides information about the LGBTQIA+ community, tackles myths and gives some guidance on coming out. Released on International Pride Day, 28 June. You are a unique and special person that deserves to find love and happiness!  

Stand Proud

Red Umbrella GLO Evaluation

The Red Umbrella GLO Programme is an economic empowerment intervention for sex workers that was developed and managed by NACOSA with funding from the Global Fund. The prevention and treatment of HIV among sex workers requires not only a clinical approach, but also strategies to address the structural barriers that increase sex workers’ vulnerability to HIV including legal, social and economic factors.  A process evaluation of the pilot by Impact Consulting for NACOSA looked at implementation, outputs and outcomes to make recommendations for a next phase or possible scale-up. “Providing support for sex workers is the not the same as…

Red Umbrella GLO Evaluation

Microplanning with PWID

Globally, people who inject drugs (PWID) are disproportionately affected by HIV. PWID are 28 times more likely to be living with HIV than the general population. PWID also have higher rates of hepatitis C virus HCV and TB than the general population. Micro-planning is an outreach methodology that decentralises the planning and management of outreach to peer educators who work with PWID at the grassroots level. A process evaluation of micro-planning as a service delivery model on NACOSA’s People Who Use Drugs Programme, funded by the Global Fund, was conducted for NACOSA by the CHAPS and Sediba Hope Medical Centre. The evaluation found…


Grow Learn Own Evaluation

Research shows that HIV affects women disproportionately in South Africa. In 2020, an estimated 4.8 million women aged 15 years and older had HIV, compared to 2.7 million men of the same age, with this phenomenon driven by biological and structural risks, including poverty, gender-based violence (GBV), and gender inequality. Recognising the vulnerability of adolescent girls and young women (AGYW), the Global Fund My Journey programme provides core and layered services to AGYW based on their individual needs. Within this programme, the Economic Strengthening Livelihoods service, or Grow Learn Own (GLO), provided AGYW who are not in employment, education, or…


Sex workers and PrEP

The Global Fund Sex Work Programme aims to prevent new HIV infections among sex workers in South Africa. Between 2019 and 2022, the programme was managed by NACOSA working with implementing organisations in thirteen districts. One of the key components of the programme was to provide pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP), an HIV prevention method newly introduced in South Africa, to HIV negative sex workers to reduce new HIV infections. A process evaluation was conducted by Impact Consulting for NACOSA to assesses the processes that the programme used to support initiation, uptake, cycling and prevention- effective adherence with regards to PrEP, and…


Lessons from Covid-19

NACOSA was happy to work with the SAMRC once again on a research paper published in the Frontiers in Health Services looking at lessons learned from implementing health and education interventions for adolescent girls and young women during the Covid-19 pandemic. The COVID-19 pandemic has been associated with reduced access to health services and worsening health outcomes for HIV and sexual and reproductive health. Through the analysis of data from an evaluation study of a combination intervention for adolescent girls and young women in South Africa, the paper examines the way in which implementation and service provision were impacted by…


Research on Safe Spaces for young women

NACOSA is proud to have co-authored a research paper with South African Medical Research Council, the University of Cape Town and the Sheffield Institute for International Development looking at feasibility and acceptability of Safe Spaces as part of HIV prevention interventions with adolescent girls and young women. The research paper was recently published in the BMC Public Health journal. Safe Spaces are a feature of HIV prevention interventions for adolescent girls and young women that NACOSA implements with funding from the Global Fund, together with two other principal recipient organisations. As part of an evaluation of this programme, researchers investigated…


Vaginal HIV prevention ring approved

South Africa’s medicines regulator, SAHPRA, has approved the new vaginal ring for use by women ages 18 and older to reduce their HIV risk. This is a major milestone, bringing the first long-acting and woman-controlled product a step closer to reaching the women who need it. What is it? The Vaginal Ring is a flexible, silicon band containing the antiretroviral medicine (ARV) dapivirine. How does it work? The ring is put into the vagina every month and slowly releases dapivirine into the body to help prevent HIV infection. It works to prevent HIV in people who are HIV negative in…

Vaginal Ring Infographic

Removing human rights-related barriers

“The axes of poverty, gender, sexual orientation, race, age and class intersect. Some are getting the benefit of science, but others are not. Some are getting quality people-centered services, but others are not. We must therefore focus our efforts on addressing inequality in access and inequality in outcome…” – UNAIDS Executive Director, Winnie Byanyima Despite the significant gains that have been made in the AIDS response over the past 40 years, the most marginalised people continue to be disproportionately impacted: young women, sex workers, transgender people, men who have sex with men, people who use drugs and others like migrants…