2019 News

Mandela Day 2019: Bring educare to children hospitalised with TB

This Mandela Day, TB HIV Care is running a fundraising campaign to bring early childhood learning to kids hospitalised with TB.

Why it’s important:

Children hospitalised with TB may spend 6 months in hospital, sometimes a year. Without an on-site educare centre, kids under five will spend every day of those months in a cot, missing out on critical mental and physical stimulation. It is a difficult time because families are often not able to visit (due to work and family commitments, distances to travel etc.) and hospital staff are fully occupied caring for the medical needs of the children. You can help change this! This Mandela Day, TB HIV Care is asking for your support to keep our educare service at Brooklyn Chest Hospital going.

What we are raising money for:

For years, TB HIV Care has employed educare teachers to provide much needed stimulation to the kids at Brooklyn Chest Hospital. However, in order to sustain the programme, we need to secure government and corporate funding. And in order to do that, we need to register the educare centre, a process that requires that the centre meets certain criteria. By increasing the space available through installing a prefab building next to the existing space, we can make the educare programme sustainable, and ensure that no kids have to miss out on critical developmental stages because they have TB.

How you can help:

To ensure the programme keeps going, we really need a cash injection.

1. Please donate what you can. You can make a safe, quick donation using the Givengain platform via credit card or EFT.

2. Please share the campaign on social media and ask your friends and family to donate what they can

3. If you would prefer to donate goods, we are also looking for materials for the educare centre which can be dropped off at 11 Adderley Street, including: scooters, balls, buckets & spades, hoola hoops, skipping ropes, sand and water play toys, story books for 0-5 years old, playdough, cookie cutters, rolling pins, chalk, wax crayons, powder paint, paint brushes, puzzles up to 100 pieces.

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.

Tweetchat 3: What keeps stigma alive, and can innovation help to end it?

SA AIDS Conference 2019:  Tweetchat 3

What keeps stigma alive, and can innovation help to end it?

Moderator:                         Vanessa Carter (Health Care Social Media and Communications South Africa)

Date:                                     Thursday, 13 June 2019

Time:                                     13:30 – 14:30 (SAST)

Hashtags:                            #TBHIVCare #StopStigma

How to participate:

Start your answers with T1, T2, T3, T4 or CT for transcript purposes. Answer only after the moderator prompts. Questions will be prompted every 10 minutes, but keep answers coming using the relevant T and number. Anyone can participate! Use the #TBHIVCare or #StopStigma hashtag in all your tweets so that you are visible to others in the chat and on the transcript.

Chat Overview

Join us for a 60-minute Twitter with TB HIV Care – live from the 2019 SA AIDS Conference in Durban. Everyone is welcome to join the chat, including those at the conference and those not, doctors, nurses, entrepreneurs, policymakers, advocates, academics, pharma, educators, students, IT developers, journalists, data scientists, civil society, NPOs, researchers, etc. both locally and internationally.

Our topic for the session focuses on stigma – what keeps it alive, how it can be addressed and if innovation can play a role in ending stigma.

The transcript will be recorded by Symplur Analytics (https://www.symplur.com).

 

Questions

T1: How does stigma affect people, especially those affected by HIV and/or TB? (e.g. reluctance to seek treatment and follow-up care)

T2: What drives stigma?

T3: How do we address stigma and what do you think are the greatest challenges of doing so?

T4: How do you think digital technologies and other innovative ideas could help address stigma in South Africa?

Closing: What other thoughts would you like to add?

 

Blog: 3. What keeps stigma alive, and can innovation help to end it?

Stigma refers to the process of devaluing or discrediting individuals – often because of perceptions related to culture, gender, race and health. People with HIV and TB (and other illnesses) often face stigma. Discrimination follows stigma, and is the unfair and unjust treatment of an individual based on their real or perceived HIV and/or TB status. Stigma has a profound effect on individuals, communities and society. It results in a range of excluding behaviours, it isolates, divides and breaks down communities; it undermines human rights and results in the internalisation of blame and shame. (Source: Southern African HIV Clinicians Society).

This internalisation of shame is referred to as self-stigma and it, in turn, has an impact on a person’s mental health, but it also impacts on the uptake of HIV testing, prevention and treatment services. Crucially, for people living with HIV, self-stigma often means that they don’t access life-saving antiretroviral treatment. (Source: http://frontlineaids.org/wp-content/uploads/2019/05/FrontlineAIDS-SelfStigma-Report-A5-AW_Web.pdf)

There is a strong relationship between stigma and HIV. People who experience stigma and discrimination are often marginalised (socially, economically and legally) and made more vulnerable to HIV (such as sex workers and people who inject drugs), while those living with HIV are more vulnerable to experiencing stigma and discrimination.

South Africa’s national People Living with HIV Stigma Index (2014) showed evidence of some positive strides being made in terms of combatting stigma and discrimination as experienced by PLHIV – especially in the healthcare sector as only a small proportion of individuals in the study reported having experienced discrimination because of their HIV-positive status. Nevertheless, there is still some evidence of stigma and discrimination of PLHIV experienced in the health care sector. Moderate levels of HIV-related external and internalized stigma and discrimination were found. Moderately high TB-related stigma was also found. Of concern is the level of internalized stigma found in this study, which is probably a consequence of the lack of adequate psychosocial support that is currently available for PLHIV to address the psychological consequences of receiving an HIV-positive diagnosis including associated mental health issues. As the report concludes, ‘stigma mitigation campaigns are greatly needed in the South African context’. (Source: www.stigmaindex.org)

How do we address stigma in 2019? Myths and misinformation around HIV persist; can we adopt a new approach to tackling stigma and discrimination? Can e-health play a role? During this 60-minute session, we explore why stigma remains so difficult to overcome and what we can do differently. This session is hosted by TB HIV Care as part of their SA AIDS Conference 2019 conversations.