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Decriminalisation of sex work under threat

The government has proposed legal amendments that will decriminalise sex work in South Africa. This is the culmination of many years of hard work by human rights activists and civil society organisations who work with sex workers, particularly in the HIV and GBV responses. As an organisation that has worked in this space for many years, NACOSA is in full support of the proposed amendments and is making a submission in support of the bill. However, we learned this week that many of the submissions made so far have been opposed to the bill which places this very important piece…

Let’s end cervical cancer in South Africa

Cervical cancer is the second most common cancer among South African women, and the cancer women die of most in our country. But it is also one of the most preventable and treatable forms of cancer so it is in our hands to end it. The cervix connects the vagina (birth canal) to the womb (uterus). Sometimes the cells of the cervix can become cancerous. While all women are at risk for cervical cancer, it happens most often in women over the age of 30. Almost all cervical cancer is caused by the Human Papillomavirus (HPV) – a sexually transmitted…

NACOSA bids farewell to Board Chair

NACOSA’s Board Chair, Dr Saadiq Kariem, announced his resignation after many years of invaluable service to NACOSA at our Leadership and Networking Summit in November 2022. NACOSA is privileged to have had the leadership and guidance of Dr Kariem since the start of our organisation. A clinician, public health advocate, administrator and leader, Dr Kariem has dedicated his professional life to the struggle against HIV, AIDS and TB and was part of the brave group of people who started South Africa’s first prevention of mother-to-child transmission programme in Khayelitsha in January 1999. Currently working in the demanding role of Chief…

Health products

CFP-06-JPR1-12-2022 AFSA, Beyond Zero and NACOSA (three Principal Recipients of a Global Fund HIV grant in South Africa) seek to appoint a licensed pharmaceutical wholesaler(s) to procure, warehouse and deliver health products to their sub-recipient sites. Full details are in the TERMS OF REFERENCE > The deadline for submission of bids is 17h00 on Monday, 30 January 2023. QUESTIONS & ANSWERS Q1: Are any of the health products being contemplated in this bid cold chain items? It is not anticipated that any products would require storage in a fridge or freezer, with cold chain conditions generally referred to as 2-8ᵒC. Although all…

Community organisations in the AIDS response

 “Just before the Covid pandemic, we were 35 networking organisations working together,” says Colin Van Wyk, the Director of Phambili, a community organisation based in the Strand, Western Cape. “Twenty-nine of these organisations have actually closed down due to lack of funding.” South Africa has come a long way since the early days of the AIDS pandemic. We now have the largest treatment programme in the world with – 5.4 million on treatment – and there are many new convenient prevention and treatment options available. Scientific advances mean that someone living with HIV, who is successfully on treatment, can…

Address to the National Men’s Parliament

Photograph: Parliament of RSA

NACOSA’s Executive Director, Mohamed Motala, was asked to address the National Men’s Parliament held at the National Council of Provinces, Parliament of South Africa on working with adolescent boys and young men. This is what he said. “Thank you for the opportunity to address this house and the nation on building a movement to end gender-based violence, advance socioeconomic development and promote men’s health. I have been asked to speak on adolescent boys and young men’s programmes. Men in our society are expected to be the providers and earners in the family, and this places an immense pressure on men….

What counts is global equity

Twenty years ago, the world came together to create the Global Fund to fight the deadliest pandemics confronting humanity. The 7th Replenishment of the Global Fund held in New York at the end of September saw some countries, including South Africa, increasing their contribution by 30%. The event raised a record amount to combat AIDS, tuberculosis and malaria but fell short of its target of $18 billion needed to save 20 million lives. As a South African implementer of Global Fund grants, NACOSA joined partners Frontline AIDS in expressing some thoughts about what counts for the AIDS response moving forward. “The last few years…

Tackling the crisis of orphaned children

With the success of South Africa’s antiretroviral treatment programme – the world’s largest with an estimated four million people on treatment – the number of children orphaned by AIDS has slowly declined. But new modelling estimates that South Africa now has 150,000 children orphaned due to Covid-19. This number is jumps to over 200,000 when including children who have lost either their primary or secondary caregiver (like a grandparent).[1] NACOSA has run programmes for vulnerable children since 2011 and implements a programme working to prevent HIV, AIDS and gender-based violence (GBV) in orphans and vulnerable children in the Western Cape,…

Networking and collaboration to celebrate Women’s Day

Through NACOSA’s network, the Yes We Can Foundation and the Mpower Menstrual Cup Project collaborated to donate 100 hand-made blankets and menstrual cups to the Saartjie Baartman Centre in celebration of Women’s Month. Saartjie Baartman is one of the largest centres in the country to provide emergency shelter, counselling, mental health support, jobs skills training, legal advice and childcare services to 120 women and children survivors of gender-based violence. The centre recently lost a large amount of its belongings and blankets in a devastating fire and reached out for help. “We lost so much in last year’s fire and it’s taken…

NACOSA at #AIDS2022

NACOSA was privileged to be represented at the International AIDS Conference in Montreal, Canada. Many of our colleagues from other parts of Africa were not able to attend because they were denied visas or refused entry, underscoring once again the unacceptable inequities in global health responses. We were there to share some of our learnings working with key and vulnerable populations in South Africa and also to gain insights from the global AIDS community on how we “re-engage and follow the science”. The Covid-19 pandemic has dealt a blow to the progress we were making on HIV, AIDS and TB –…

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