HIV

The 9th SA AIDS Conference (10 – 14 June 2019)

TB HIV Care hosted an exhibition stand at the 9th SA AIDS Conference in Durban last week.  It was an unforgettable experience, a whirlwind of networking, workshops, track sessions, plenaries, social media and more.

The concept for TB HIV Care’s stand was simple, we wanted a space where people could meet, discuss different programmes and projects (#ChangeTheConversation), as well as take part in live Facebook and Twitter chats. All of this to showcase areas where TB HIV Care had expertise to share. Our topics were reflected on the back panel of the stand – as well through advocacy messages on button badges. We were fortunate to be able to distribute interesting and engaging materials (e.g. information around harm reduction, OST and a sex work study) as well as our 2018 Annual Report.

In terms of the concept, the stand was very successful. It was gratifying to see the number of people who wanted to engage at our stand, including people from the National Department of Health, District Departments of Health, the Department of Correctional Services, the Department of Social Development, SAPS, other NGOs and civil society. We took the opportunity to celebrate TB HIV Care’s 90th birthday (what a milestone!) at the stand – and grabbed some great videos and photographs of people wishing TB HIV Care a happy birthday.

Thanks so much to Luzuko Tosh (HIV Prevention Regional Manager), Tricia Sterling (Training Manager) and Alison Best (Communications Manager) who assisted us so ably in our first foray into Facebook Live videos. Thanks to Malibongwe Daweti (Provincial Community Coordinator) who provided valuable insights on men-friendly services and working with traditional healers.

A real highlight was TB HIV Care’s three Twitter chats:

  • Can data save lives? Exploring how data can help reach epidemic control
  • Men Matter. How can we better involve men in the HIV response?
  • What keeps stigma alive, and can innovation help to end it?

The ‘tweetchats’ were moderated by Vanessa Carter from Healthcare Social Media South Africa (#HCSMSA) and we got great stats – positioning TB HIV Care as one of the top social media influencers at the conference.

In addition to the expo stand, TB HIV Care was well-represented during the  conference, including:

  1. Skills Building Workshop: Disruptions and change

The time to ignore intersections between HIV, viral hepatitis and drug use is over – understanding integrated HIV responses for
people who inject drugs with Dr Andrew Scheibe, Ms Andrea Schneider, Prof Monique Marks, Ms Angela McBride and Dr Kgomotso Vilakazi Nhlapo

2. Skills Building Workshop: Pushing PrEP beyond Implementation Possibility

Exploring experiences gained in providing PrEP to the sex worker, MSM and Transgender populations with TB HIV Care, Wits RHI, Engage Men and PHRU.

3.  Panel Discussion: Decriminalisation of HIV and AIDS (with Shaun Shelly discussing PWID)

Thanks so much to all involved.

The TB HIV Care conference stand was still a popular ‘photo booth’ even on the last day just before being dismantled.

Bustling with activity, the conference booth was a meeting place for staff, partners and stakeholders.

The Twitter chat in full swing and being broadcast at the TB HIV Care booth.

Red Lace Race 2019

TB HIV Care’s inaugural ‘Red Lace Race’ took place in Khayelitsha on Saturday, 01 December last year to mark World AIDS Day 2018.

The event saw a relatively small turn-out, but ran smoothly (with wonderful support from the City of Cape Town) and great fun was had by all.

TB HIV Care has big plans for the Red Lace Race and the organisation is now working closely with staff, stakeholders and community groups (incl. the Khayelitsha Athletics Club and the City of Cape Town) to plan the Red Lace Race for 2019.

This year’s event will take place on Saturday, 30 November. Watch this space!

New filing system has massive impact on clinic waiting times, reporting and retention in care

The ‘Siyenza Sprint’ campaign (building on the momentum of February Frenzy and March Madness) in Amathole, aimed to increase testing (‘Know Your Status’), strengthen linkage to care (universal test and treat) and support retention in care (to ensure viral suppression).

There was unprecedented support for the Siyenza Sprint (including a provincial road show across all Siyenza districts) and TB HIV Care’s Care and Treatment and HTS teams worked extended hours to ensure that we reached more people with health  care services.

A notable success from the campaign was the complete overhaul of the clinical records filing system at facilities across the Eastern Cape.

Poor records management and inadequate filing infrastructure has negatively impacted on accurately accounting for clinical interventions, as well as on patient waiting times –  given the administrative bottleneck at the start of each clinic visit. Many instances of patient file duplication, missing files and pronounced delays in retrieving records have been noted, especially in high volume facilities.

TB HIV Care undertook an overhaul  of the system and since February 2019 has implemented this key intervention at 35 facilities across three districts over a period of three months.

Waiting times experienced by clients have reduced significantly and the standardised approach has led to more accurate reporting interventions, improving the TX_CURR indicator (number of adults and children currently receiving antiretroviral therapy) by up to 40% in some cases.

The aim is to rapidly scale the intervention to a further 70 facilities in due course as the new system has had a significant impact on clinic waiting times, accurate reporting and, ultimately, retention in care.