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Human Rights Programme

South Africa’s constitution and legal framework is rooted in the recognition, protection and promotion of human rights. But there are significant gaps when it comes to realising the human rights of all those who live in South Africa, particularly when it comes to HIV, STIs and TB. Some groups of people are more vulnerable to contracting HIV and TB. These same groups also face enormous barriers when it comes to accessing and staying in health and other support services. South Africa’s AIDS response has largely focused on medical models of prevention, treatment and care but while these interventions are important,…

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…

New laws to combat GBV

As a result of an enormous public outcry, as well as civil society mobilisation, President Ramaphosa announced the Emergency Response Plan in 2019 to address gender-based violence and femicide (GBVF), including strengthening the legislative framework. In January this year, the President signed into law new legislation with a “victim-centred focus”, aimed at addressing the extremely high levels of GBVF in South Africa. For victims of GBV and those working with victims in communities, these new measures are important to understand. The new laws include: Introducing new definitions of controlling behaviour and coercive behaviour The definition of domestic violence has been expanded…

ANNUAL REPORT 2021

It has been 40 years since the first cases of what would become known as AIDS were identified in the United States and 30 years since the National AIDS Convention of South Africa, which would evolve into NACOSA. What have we learned about tackling HIV, AIDS and other public health crises? “Our experience of battling a pandemic like HIV set us on a solid footing when it came to dealing with the arrival of Covid-19.” – Dr Saadiq Kariem, Chairperson “NACOSA’s long history within the AIDS response, its resilience and adaptability over this difficult period has meant that the organisation…

ANNUAL REPORT 2021

NACOSA to boycott Shell

Update: On 28 December 2021, community activists won their court application for an interim interdict blocking any seismic surveys of the ocean until a ruling can be made on whether further environmental authorisation is needed. A week later, the ship contracted by Shell to conduct the surveys left South African waters after Shell announced it had terminated the contract for the survey vessel early due to ongoing legal hearings and a limited weather window. In light of these developments, NACOSA will suspend its boycott of Shell products and service stations. We continue to stand in solidarity with marginalised communities and…

Prevention and treatment advances

Along with the life-saving Covid-19 vaccines that were developed over the past 18 months through unprecedented global scientific collaboration, a number of treatment and prevention advances have provided some much-needed good news to round off 2021. ‘Functional’ cure for HIV moves to human trials American drug company, Excision BioTherapeutics, has announced that their new treatment, called EBT-101, received FDA approval to progress to human trials. The treatment uses The Nobel Prize-winning CRISPR gene-editing technology to cut numerous pieces of the HIV genome in a bid to make it unable to mutate inside the body. This one-off treatment could potentially mean that…

Reporting on sex workers: a guide

Sex workers are often stereotyped, exposed, stigmatised and misrepresented in the media. This can have a negative impact, not only on individual sex workers, but on the sex worker rights movement as a whole. Sex workers are ordinary people working to support themselves and their families and, just like any other person, should be treated with fairness and dignity. NACOSA’s key populations team have pulled together some simple pointers to guide journalists and media houses when reporting on sex work and sex workers. Key facts Sex workers are female, male and transgender adults aged over 18 years who sell consensual…

Empowering young women to grow, learn & own

“It’s quite hard being an unemployed youth, it’s depressing at times and expensive also as job-hunting is a full-time job,” says a young women on the My Journey Programme. As young women are one of the populations most vulnerable to HIV in South Africa, the My Journey Adolescent Girls and Young Women programme, funded by the Global Fund, aims to decrease HIV incidence. Some of the drivers of risk for young women include unemployment, poverty and lack of economic opportunity, so NACOSA implements an economic strengthening intervention as part of the My Journey programme. The programme is aimed at young…

2ND National Sex Worker Plan launched

NACOSA was honoured to join SANAC, the SANAC Civil Society Forum, the Departments of Health and Justice, the Global Fund, the United Nations Population Fund and the Sisonke sex worker movement at the launch of the second National Sex Worker HIV, TB and STI Plan 2019-2022 (NSWP 2019-2022). The plan builds on the strengths of the first Sex Worker HIV Plan (2016-2019), addressing gaps identified over the past three years and supports the call for the decriminalisation of sex work. The NSWP 2019-2022 also introduces several improvements to address the challenges in delivering available, accessible, acceptable and quality HIV, TB,…

NATIONAL SEX WORKER PLAN

NACOSA News October 2021

Taking vaccines to the people, young women as social media Influencers, practical advice for combatting GBV and more in our October email newsletter. OCTOBER 2021    

NACOSA NEWS OCTOBER 2021

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