HIV & TB Response

Media alert: People Living with HIV (PLHIV) Sector to host community accountability meeting ahead of World AIDS Day.

Contact: Ngqabutho Mpofu: 072 225 9675 | ngqabutho.mpofu@ngqabutho-mpofu

Date: Wednesday 30 November 2022

Time: 14h00 – 16h00

Venue: Dr Rantlai Petrus Molemela Stadium, Bloemfontein 

On 30 November 2022 the SANAC National PLHIV sector will hold a community accountability meeting ahead of World AIDS Day 2022 in Bloemfontein, Free State. Deputy President David D. Mabuza is expected to attend in his capacity as Chairperson of the South African National AIDS Council (SANAC). Others expected to attend include community members, PLHIV sector leadership, the Minister of Health, the Free State Premier, the  MEC for Health, the UNAIDS Executive Director in South Africa and SANAC civil society sector leaders. 

The PLHIV Sector has been mobilising in Mangaung district, Free State throughout November as part of efforts to regalvanize the fight against HIV in the country, working with the Department of Health in the Free State and other duty bearers to ensure access to quality healthcare services for all. Areas which had hitherto not had long term access to health facilities had facilities available near to them have been the primary focus areas, with FS Health providing services such as STI & HIV testing, TB screening & testing, sexual and reproductive services and vaccinations. 

This has occurred under the banner of #MakeEverydayWorldAIDSDay. 

Through facility and community monitoring, as well as using secondary data from the Ritshidze project, the sector has identified key areas needed to improve the HIV and TB response, as well as strengthening health systems.

Community members will be speaking to key themes raised, including but not limited to staff attitudes, stockouts and shortages of medicines, struggles faced when attempting to return to care. 

On 29 September 2022 Ritshidze launched a detailed report into the state of the public healthcare system in the Free State. It found that while the province has marginally improved in certain indicators, it has worsened in many others, and too often Free State facilities are among the worst performing sites across all provinces monitored by Ritshidze’s community-led monitoring. The report was presented to the Free State Department of Health and other duty bearers at a community meeting in Batho township. It was based on the results of data collected through Ritshidze’s community-led monitoring of 29 facilities in the province, together with additional data collected through interviews with key populations in the community. 

The PLHIV Sector is made up of the National Association of People Living with HIV (NAPWA), Positive Action Campaign, Positive Women’s Network, the South African Network of Religious Leaders Living with HIV (SANERELA+), and the Treatment Action Campaign (TAC). They form the coalition that fostered the Ritshidze project.