Empower women to end HIV/AIDS stigma, South Africa

$15,580 $0
Raised Remaining

Prudence Mabele, founder of Positive Women’s Network was one of several “Core Task Team Members” who recently drafted the National HIV/AIDS and STI Strategic Plan for South Africa 2007-2011. The plan was released in April 2007. The inclusion of civil society’s contribution to this plan was critical as organizations such as Positive Women’s Network have a deep understanding of the issues facing HIV positive communities. The plan includes the context of HIV in southern Africa, the role that poverty plays in high-risk environments, as well as a detailed outline the goals for the National Strategic Plan. Here is an excerpt:

“HIV and AIDS is one of the main challenges facing South Africa today. It is estimated that of the 39.5 million people living with HIV worldwide in 2006, more than 63% were from sub-Saharan Africa. In 2005 about 5.54 million people were estimated to be living with HIV in South Africa, with 18.8% of the adult population (15-49 years) and about 12% of the general population affected. Women are disproportionately affected, accounting for approximately 55% of HIV positive people. Women in the age group 25-29 are the worst affected with prevalence rates of up to 40%. For men, the peak is reached at older ages, with an estimated 10% prevalence among men older than 50 years. HIV prevalence among younger women (<20 years) seems to be stabilizing, at about 16% for the past three years.

The primary aims of the NSP are to: • Reduce the rate of new HIV infections by 50% by 2011. • Reduce the impact of HIV and AIDS on individuals, families, communities and society by expanding access to appropriate treatment, care and support to 80% of all HIV positive people and their families by 2011.

The interventions needed to reach the NSP’s goals are structured under four key priority areas: • Prevention; • Treatment, care and support; • Research, monitoring, and surveillance; • Human rights and access to justice”

This plan cannot be successful without the continued support for civil society organizations including PWN.

In addition to PWN’s work as a key member of the National Strategic Plan, the organization goes about their daily work of maintaining support groups in the urban townships outside Johannesburg. Recently, PWN trained 160 women on treatment literacy and traditional healing medicine. PWN trains the women to understand that Anti-Retrovirals are the most effective treatment and they work to secure treatment for as many women as possible. However, many do not have access to ART’s and therefore need an alternative in the meantime to maintain their health to the best of their ability. This training includes information about alternative medicines and proper nutrition development couched in the understanding that these methods are not curative, nor a replacement for ART.

To read the National HIV/AIDS and STI Strategic Plan for South Africa 2007-2011, download the pdf document.


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Project Leader

Sarah Falicov

IDEX Africa Program Director
San Francisco, CA United States

Where is this project located?

Map of Empower women to end HIV/AIDS stigma, South Africa