Thanks to community-led monitoring in South Africa, we now have the data to back up the stories we have all heard about – early morning queues that last all day long when clinics fail to open on time and then also close early, writes Anele Yawa and Lotti Rutter.
The theme of this year’s World AIDS Day is “Communities make the difference”, an idea that underpins a new model of community-led clinic monitoring in South Africa — “Ritshidze” has been developed by people living with HIV and activists to hold both the South African government and international donors accountable to improve overall HIV and TB service delivery.
Thakane is living with her only son in Welkom, South Africa. One day when she arrived at the clinic, she was told that her usual HIV medicines were out of stock. Instead she was given alternatives that were difficult to take and gave her many side effects. Watch her explain her story in this video.
Last week it was announced that a dramatic cut in U.S. funding to South Africa’s HIV response will likely be reversed, so long as quality of services for people living with HIV is increased. The turnaround is a major victory for people living with HIV in the country, as critical resources will be restored.
Our message is simple: Fix the program, restore the planned funding surge, and intensify consultations with the South African government and HIV activists to identify the root causes behind people disengaging from care and fund meaningful responses to address these, write Anele Yawa and Lotti Rutter
The “People’s COP 2018” is released today by the Treatment Action Campaign (TAC), Positive Women’s Network, SECTION27 and Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF). This report outlines the key gaps in the national HIV and TB response and the community’s priorities for PEPFAR that have been identified after consultation.
“Ritshidze” — meaning “Saving Our Lives” in TshiVenda — has been developed by people living with HIV and activists to hold the South African government and aid agencies accountable to improve overall HIV and TB service delivery.
Partner organisations include the Treatment Action Campaign (TAC), the National Association of People Living with HIV (NAPWA), Positive Action Campaign, Positive Women’s Network (PWN) and the South African Network of Religious Leaders Living with and affected by HIV/AIDS (SANERELA+)—in alliance with Health Global Access Project (Health GAP), the Foundation for AIDS Research (amfAR), and Georgetown University’s O’Neill Institute for National and Global Health Law.CLICK HERE to read more and see where we work.