Saving South African lives from HIV and AIDS epidemic

from Humana People to People
Published on 30 Jan 2018 View Original

The concerted effort in fighting HIV and AIDS in South Africa has seen millions of lives being saved. Humana People to People South Africa continues to commit to reversing the HIV and AIDS’s negative impact among the communities heavily impacted by the epidemic.

Sub-Saharan Africa is the region worst-affected by HIV and AIDS. According to AIDS Foundation of South Africa, South Africa has the highest prevalence of HIV and AIDS compared to any other country in the world with 5,6 million people living with HIV. Additionally, the neighbouring countries of South Africa are comparably affected, making them among the most infected nations globally.

Humana People to People in South Africa is actively involved in the fight to turn around these statistics through its HIV and AIDS prevention, care and support programme known as Total Control of the Epidemic (TCE). TCE was first implemented in Zimbabwe at the beginning of the year 2000.

TCE concept responding to HIV and AIDS crisis

Humana People to People developed the TCE concept as a direct response to the raging threat of HIV and AIDS at the beginning of the new millennium. TCE is a systematic community mobilisation drive against HIV and AIDS and TB. It targets communities with HIV mobilization for prevention messages that trigger individuals into taking control of HIV and TB. Further the programme instigates sexual behavioural change among the key populations.

The TCE Field Officers are trained to promote HIV and TB prevention and to give support to those infected and affected by the epidemics throughout the entire TCE operational area.

Aligning TCE concept to South Africa’s AIDS challenges

The adoption of the UNAIDS 90-90-90 strategy has seen a reform of the TCE strategy. The TCE concept is now streamlined to focus on ensuring that more people get tested and are knowing their HIV status, ensuring that people who are HIV positive receive sustained Anti-Retro Viral Therapy (ART) and lastly to ensure that people who receive ART succeed in suppressing their HIV viral load.

Humana People to People South Africa through the TCE programme conducts community mobilization for HIV Counselling and Testing at designated sites in collaboration with local health authorities or other HIV Counselling and Testing providers, as well as carry out mobile testing actions at TCE sites. The programme shares best practices and creates linkages with key health services. Further specific intervention are carried out around Prevention of Mother to Child Transmission, community based support on ART and TB treatment adherence.

TCE is empowering the adolescent girls (15-19 years) and young women (20-24 years) of South Africa with HIV sexual behaviour change education, economic skills training. Further, the program addresses intergenerational sex challenges which fuel an increase in new HIV infection among the above targeted groups.

Focusing on Humana People to People South Africa’s TCE Communities Forward project

The TCE Communities Forward project is currently active in 4 provinces; Limpopo, Eastern Cape, Mpumalanga, and KwaZulu-Natal reaching over 100 000 South African each year.

In 2014, Humana People to People South Africa introduced TCE Communities Forward (TCE-CF) a systematic intervention aimed at helping communities to take control of the HIV and TB epidemics. It equips individuals with the tools they need to mitigate the consequences of the HIV and TB, break down the stigma that still surrounds the epidemic as well as stop the spread of HIV. The project is providing high quality community-based HIV Counselling and Testing (CBCT) models supported with innovative and effective referral systems. It aims to contribute to reduce HIV incidences by linking high incident communities and key populations to HIV and TB prevention, care and support services.

In 2017 alone the project managed to test 105 951 with 9 683 people tested HIV positive and out of that number, 4 722 were linked to care and treatment. Everyone tested for HIV, whether negative or positive, performed TB screening and 9 276 people were referred for CD4 T-cell count.

In 2017 TCE distributed 3 043 781 male condoms and 307 645 female condoms through door to door visits campaigns, workplaces, taverns and condom outlets. TCE Community Forward in 2017 reached its target through working together with community leaders and other organizations.