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BREAKING DOWN HUMAN RIGHTS BARRIERS: Implementing and scaling up programmes to remove Human Rights related barriers to HIV, TB and STI services in South Africa
South African has great milestones against the HIV, AIDS and TB epidemics. The achievements of the first National Strategic Plan (NSP) 2000 – 2005. Some of the success are as follows: Sexual Transmission for HIV among those aged 15 – 49 has declined from 410 000 per annum in 2011 to an estimated 270 000 in 2016, denoting a decline of 34% 10 million people voluntarily test annually for HIV 3.7 million people are on antiretroviral treatment (ART), making South Africa the largest such programme in the world GneXpert technology was introduced for faster diagnosis of TB The TB treatment success rate rose to 83% in 2016 The National Sex Workers Plan for HIV and draft Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender and Intersex (LGBTI) Strategy were developed and implementation of the Guidelines for the Management of TB in Correctional Services Facilities commenced Looking at the above list we can say that as a nation we had made huge strides to turn the HIV, AIDS, and TB epidemics around. We have more people more people linked to HIV, STI and TB treatment and link to care. We can not get to a desirable no stigma and discrimination if we are not deliberate about ongoing vigilance on the human rights agenda in the context of the NSP to ensure that the rights and safety of all vulnerable people, including the LGBTI community, are protected. This is why we have the inception of the Human Rights Implementing Partner Organisations Programme who will assist in the deepening and accelerating human rights in health with a focus on addressing barriers to access human rights by key populations in South Africa. These organisations, drawn from 25 districts / metros out of the 52 districts / metros in South Africa map a path towards removing the barriers identified as part of the implementation of South Africa’s Goal 5 of the National Strategic Plan on HIV, TB and STIs 2017 – 2022 (NSP 2017 – 2022). South African Human Rights Communications Campaign The funding to support this work is through the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, TB and Malaria (Global Fund) which is coordinated by the South African National AIDS Council (SANAC). SANAC appointed the AIDS Foundation of South Africa (AFSA) as the Primary Recipient with overall management of the funds and the programme being implemented. In the Global Fund 2017-2022 strategy, the organization has committed to introduce and scale up programmes that remove human rights barriers to accessing HIV and TB services in 20 countries, including South Africa. A three year communication strategy is developed by Show Me Your Number in support the four sub-recipients NAPWA, ProBono, SWEAT and TBHIV CARE. The communications strategy will focus on addressing barriers to access human rights by key populations in South Africa. These key populations included but are not limited to people living with HIV and AIDS, people with TB, sex workers, men who have sex with men, trans-gender people, people who inject drugs, people with disabilities and adolescent girls and young women. These key populations have been defined in the NSP 2017 – 2022 as the most vulnerable people most likely to face various human rights abuses, especially stigma and discrimination in accessing HIV and TB services. Objective Reduce stigma and discrimination Sensitize and train health and community workers Sensitize law makers and law enforcers Legal literacy (Know Your Rights campaigns) Strengthen legal support services Monitoring, reviewing laws and policies Reducing gender inequality and Gender Based Violence
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