South Africa Partners Awarded $17.5 Million Grant from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control & Prevention
Award Will Support Development and Implementation of HIV/AIDS Care and Support Services in South Africa
- Contact (U.S.):
- Contact (South Africa):
BOSTON, MA (April 29, 2015) — South Africa Partners, Inc., has received a $17.5 million grant over five years from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The grant, of $3.5 million each year from 2015 through 2019, will fund technical assistance and support for the development and implementation of key aspects of HIV/AIDS care and support services in South Africa.
Through this new program, known as LinkCARE, South Africa Partners will improve the comprehensive package of routine HIV care and support services and interventions, including early linkage to services and retention in care. It builds on South Africa Partners’ work with Integrated Access to Care and Treatment (I ACT).
“We are enormously proud of the partnerships our staff have built to effect this systemic change for people living with HIV,” says Mary Tiseo, co-founder and Executive Director of South Africa Partners. “We’re humbled to be given this opportunity to improve the lives of millions of South Africans who will be reached in the years ahead because of this work.”
There continues to be need for technical assistance and support to assist South Africa’s National Department of Health as it builds a comprehensive response to HIV. The total number of people living with HIV in South Africa is more than 6.4 million, and has increased by 1.2 million since 2008.
South Africa has begun making progress in meeting the prevention, treatment, care, and support needs of South Africans at risk for and living with HIV. Access to anti?retroviral treatment for PLHIV almost doubled from 16.6% in 2008 to 31.2% in 2012, with 2,002,000 people exposed to anti?retroviral treatment. I ACT alone has directly reached 256,000 people. The retention of children and adults who receive anti?retroviral treatment has been identified by the South African government as a priority, and that will be part of the focus of South Africa Partners’ work.
I ACT (www.iactsupport.org) was initially developed in partnership with people living with HIV and the Eastern Cape Department of Health and now operates in all nine of South Africa’s provinces. It has been adopted as a national care and support strategy, with South Africa Partners serving as technical advisor. I ACT empowers people living with HIV to confidently lead healthy lives. Services include facilitated group meetings that provide advice on self-care and acceptance, as well as broader information about HIV and sexual health. In 2014, the I ACT curriculum was adapted by Wits Reproductive Health Institute to support adolescents, and a “Kidz” I ACT pediatric curriculum has been developed by ZoeLife.
South Africa Partners, together with its sub grantees (National Alliance of State and Territorial AIDS Directors, Zoe-Life, Masibumbane Development Organization) will provide technical support to the National and Provincial Departments of Health as they strengthen the continuum of care for PLHIV. Specifically, they will help support the implementation of the National Linkage, Retention in Care and Support of Adherence Plan, and a national monitoring and evaluation system. LinkCARE will also work with government and affiliated agencies such as South Africa’s Department of Social Development, the South African National AIDS Councils and their provincial affiliates, and the U.S. Peace Corps, amongst others.
South Africa Partners currently manages three major programs in South Africa that receive support from the U.S. President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR), the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, US Agency for International Development (USAID), and private foundations, including Atlantic Philanthropies and the ELMA South Africa Foundation.
“Translating policy documents into programs that function in rural areas, in under-resourced communities, townships, areas where there has been conflict — that challenge is enormous,” says Tiseo. “It requires a great deal of skill on the part of frontline managers, who are responsible for that implementation in their communities to take the aspirations of the new South Africa and make them real.”
About South Africa Partners
With the big-picture goal of unlocking South Africa’s potential, South Africa Partners works to build and strengthen the country’s health and education infrastructure. Based in Boston, Massachusetts, and with offices in the South African cities of East London, Port Elizabeth, and Johannesburg, South Africa Partners has worked in South Africa since 1998.
South Africa Partners brings together individuals, organizations, universities, government officials, and funding resources from both countries to develop high-impact strategies for change. South Africa Partners provides technical assistance to the South African government and community partners as they scale up tested strategies.
For more information, visit www.sapartners.org.
The U.S. President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR) is the U.S. Government initiative to help save the lives of those suffering from HIV/AIDS around the world. This historic commitment is the largest by any nation to combat a single disease internationally, and PEPFAR investments also help alleviate suffering from other diseases across the global health spectrum.
PEPFAR works to build upon its successes with a focus on transitioning from an emergency response to promoting sustainable country programs — meaning that programs must be country-owned and country-driven, and must address HIV/AIDS within a broader health and development context.