Over the past decade, South Africa’s HIV response has come a long way — from the dark days of AIDS denialism under then President Thabo Mbeki, to the establishment of the world’s largest treatment programme. However, this achievement only reflects half of the story. The full picture of South Africa also reveals that more than 2.7 million people living with HIV are still not on lifesaving HIV treatment — either never having known their HIV status, or more worryingly having started on treatment and then stopped. This can be directly linked back to the crisis in our clinics.

Ritshidze was developed and designed in response to this crisis. It gives communities the tools and techniques to monitor the quality of health services provided at clinics — including HIV and TB services, and services for key populations — and escalate challenges to duty bearers in order to advocate for change. Ritshidze is one of the most extensive community-led monitoring systems in the world. This type of community-led monitoring is an indispensable strategy for improving the health services that people living with HIV and key populations receive.

Ritshidze is being led and implemented by TAC together with 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 GAP, amfAR, and the O’Neill Institute for National and Global Health Law.