TB HIV Care

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.

TB HIV Care appointed to serve as a sub-recipient for NDOH Global Fund TB activities

On Sunday, 27 January, Katherine Brittin (CSP Programme Manager) flew up to Pretoria to hand deliver TB HIV Care’s NDOH (Global Fund) Notice of Funding Opportunity application – the deadline for application was 28 January 2019.

TB HIV Care was successful in the application and has been appointed to serve as a sub-recipient for the NDOH Global Fund supported TB programmes for the period April 2019 to March 2022.

This is a wonderful acknowledgement by the NDOH of the strength of TB HIV Care as a technical assistance and implementing partner for TB.

Thank you to everyone who contributed to the application process and congratulations! A special thanks to Katherine Brittin, who worked tirelessly to coordinate the application, we greatly appreciate the support she provided.

Pollsmoor bids farewell to CSP team

On Wednesday, 27 March 2019, TB HIV Care’s  Correctional Services Programme (CSP) team was invited to attend the annual Pollsmoor boxing tournament. The boxing tournament, which was held at the Remand Detention Facility, marked World TB Day (24 March) – and formed the backdrop for an appreciation ceremony for TB HIV Care’s HAST Counsellors (who left Pollsmoor at the conclusion of the current grant).

The boxing tournament is an exciting event on Pollsmoor’s calendar. It brings together members of the official Pollsmoor boxing club as well as boxing clubs from the Drakenstein Management Area and the Bonnytoun Child and Youth Care Centre.

The tournament is supported by official referees, enjoys corporate sponsorship and was covered by Zibonele FM and Open News. The boxers, who were enthusiastically supported (and loudly cheered), gave it their all in the boxing ring! The eventual winners were the team from Bonnytoun.

Before concluding the boxing activity for the day, Sister Nomawabo Notshe called all HAST Counsellors into the boxing ring and presented them with an appreciation certificate to express, on behalf of the Department of Correctional Services, their thanks for the Counsellors’ services, and the value and support they have shown to the Management Area over the past few years.

It was such a fun day. Thanks so much to everyone involved!