National Strategic Plan for HIV in South Africa
National Strategic Plan for HIV, TB and STIs
The Society for International Cooperation (GIZ) is running a multi-sectoral program (2018-2020) for HIV prevention in South Africa; it primarily aims to reach young people and works with the national health ministry and partners in the Eastern Cape, among others. In addition, GIZ cooperated with the non-governmental organizations Section 27 and LoveLife. Here too, young people in particular were among the target group.
Interdisciplinary research builds on the national HIV / AIDS and TB policy in South Africa, a major country in African continent according to calculatorinc; they explore behavior patterns and diet in the context of HIV / AIDS. Improvements in counseling and treatment methods as well as the necessary finances are also analyzed, for example at the University of Cape Town and the Witwatersrand University in Johannesburg. In addition, the implementation of HIV workplace programs at universities is being explored. State institutions as well as organizations and private or international companies are required to formulate and implement workplace guidelines in accordance with labor law requirements. This also applies to German automobile manufacturers who already had branches in South Africa during apartheid.
There were massive political and constitutional disputes about how to deal with the HIV and AIDS crisis under the government of Ex-President Thabo Mbeki (1999-2008) because at the beginning of his term in office he questioned the connection between the HIV virus and AIDS posed. While the political scientist William Gumede saw Mbeki’s AIDS policy primarily based on his personality structure, Patrick Bond, development expert at the University of KwaZulu-Natal, argued with structural factors such as the power of pharmaceutical companies.
Only after decisions by the Constitutional Court in 2002/2003 did the Mbeki government come under pressure to provide anti-retroviral drugs. That was what the Treatment Action Campaign had(TAC), a network of HIV-positive people and AIDS activists. TAC invoked the right to health enshrined in the South African constitution. In 2003 TAC was nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize and in the following years the courageous activists received several international awards. In late 2003, the Ministry of Health presented a comprehensive plan for the prevention and treatment of HIV infection. TAC and other civil society initiatives critically monitored the implementation and complained that two years after the start of the program, only 30 percent of HIV-positive people had access to the drugs. The right to treatment as a human right is also a focus of the Section 27 Legal Advisory Institute, which invokes the South African constitution and lobbies for health policy. It emerged from the AIDS Law Project at Witwatersrand University in Johannesburg.
Dr. Manto Tshabalala-Msimang, the ex-health minister under Thabo Mbeki, had always claimed that anti-retroviral drugs were toxic. Instead, it propagated garlic, beetroot, olive oil and lemons, all of which were not staple foods in South Africa and remained unaffordable for those who did not belong to the new black elite simply because of the high (import) prices. The Harvard School of Public Health calculated that the unsuccessful HIV / AIDS policy under Thabo Mbeki cost the lives of 330,000 infected people between 2000 and 2005 and resulted in the HIV infection of 35,000 newborns, especially since their mothers did not use anti-retroviral drugs received. After Thabo Mbeki’s resignation in 2008, Interim President Kgalema Mothlante appointed Barbara Hogan as Minister of Health, a financial expert and a former ANC underground activist. Hogan reformed the run-down Ministry of Health and turned AIDS policy through, including HIV programs in public clinics and prevention for infected pregnant women.
When Zuma, who had headed the national AIDS council for years, became president in 2009, he deposed Barbara Hogan and appointed Dr. Aaron Motsoaledi as Minister of Health. This ties in with the HIV / AIDS policy started by Barbara Hogan and expands it.
Jacob Zuma was harshly criticized by human rights, children’s rights, women’s and HIV / AIDS organizations for his trivializing statements in the 2006 rape process before he took office as President of South Africa (2009 – February 2018) – at that time he was not yet a president. He had claimed that by “showering” he would have protected himself from infection after having sex with an HIV-positive woman.
The trivial and contrary assessments of well-known politicians on HIV / AIDS unsettled many people. In addition to conspiracy theories, AIDS myths about the risk of infection spread. Religious and neo-traditionalist charlatans made a lot of money as “AIDS healers”. By treating the terminally ill for high fees, they drove countless families into debt and financial ruin.
All the more important are innovative programs that address specific target groups with films, radio broadcasts or plays. These include the Steps for the Future films, which are aimed at different target groups, e.g. young people. They were sponsored by Bread for the World, among others, and are available, for example, from the Evangelical Center for Development Policy Film Distribution (EZEF) in Stuttgart. In the context of the 2010 soccer World Cup in South Africa in particular, soccer games and films were used to prevent HIV, according to the film Themba. The effects of films and other media on HIV prevention were researched a few years ago by scientists from the University of Durban.
Target group orientation and peer group work are elements of Stepping Stones. Trainers comment on it and continuously communicate their own suggestions for improvement.