Improving the coordination of HIV prevention for Africa’s young people

Programme description

Title: Multi-sector HIV prevention programme (MHIVP)
Commissioned by: German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ)
Country: South Africa
Lead executing agency: National Department of Health (NDoH)
Overall term: 2018 to 2020

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Context

7,100,000 people are living with HIV in South Africa. In 2016 alone, 270,000 people were newly infected with the virus. The HIV epidemic particularly affects young people, especially girls: 1,975 young women are infected with the virus every week. South Africa has the most HIV-positive individuals worldwide and the highest rate of new infections. The young population in particular is increasingly suffering the consequences of this widespread epidemic.

The South African departments of health, education and social development have recognised the urgent need for a multi-sector response to the HIV epidemic. They have developed strategies designed to improve the situation in their respective sectors, agreed on a common integrated school health policy and have been supporting the national She Conquers campaign for young women and girls since 2016. 

The structures for implementing these plans, however, require strengthening. Insufficient coordination between the departments results in measures not reaching young people as needed.

Objective

The structural and institutional conditions for implementing national HIV prevention strategies are improved. Young people (aged ten to 24) have access to improved prevention measures.
 

South Africa. loveLifes psycho-social counselling by phone and internet makes significant contributions to HIV prevention, sexual and reproductive health and general well-being among young people in SA. (Image Molemo Mofokeng, loveLife) © GIZ

Approach  

The programme strengthens partners in the Eastern Cape province and its districts of Buffalo City, Nelson Mandela Bay and Alfred Nzo in the following fields of action:

  • Implementing the integrated school health policy: Together with the departments of health, education and social development, the programme creates task teams to coordinate school health policy. At the same time, civil society organisations help pupils and parents gain an understanding of the content of the school health policy.

  • Improving training for life skills teachers: The HEAIDS organisation receives technical support in developing training materials and formats for training life skills teachers in vocational schools in the area of sexual and reproductive health and rights, and gender diversity.

  • Developing a coordination platform for the She Conquers campaign: The She Conquers campaign brings international and national partners together around one table. Under the guidance of the province’s premier, they coordinate the activities of the campaigns in the Eastern Cape.

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Results

In the preceding phase, the programme supported the provision of youth-friendly services at health facilities in Alfred Nzo district. Thanks to the efforts of subcontractor Health Focus and the Enhancing Care Foundation, 60 clinics can now be considered youth-friendly. This is also reflected in the improved evaluations of services by young patients.

The radio programme Future Beats developed by HEAIDS provides information on topics related to HIV/AIDS. Thanks to the support of GIZ, more than 38,000 young people now tune in to the weekly broadcasts.