Scoring big with Grassroot Soccer at SA AIDS 2019

Aubrey Weber, Johanna Theunissen and Danya-Zee Pedra
The biennial South African AIDS Conference (SA AIDS 2019), which took place earlier this month in Durban, South Africa, was an opportunity to meet a diverse range of players in the field of HIV and AIDS -- and one of the most innovative and inspiring of these is definitely Grassroot Soccer (GRS), so the SHARE team was really excited to get the chance to chat with some of the organization’s coaches, or young adult mentors, and master trainers about the work they are doing and what brought them to the conference.

Breaking the cycle of transmission: Finding new ways to reach young men with HIV services in South Africa

Johanna Theunissen, Communications Officer, Technical Support to PEPFAR Programs, Baylor College of Medicine Children’s Foundation Malawi

South Africa’s health data demonstrate that young men are less likely to test for HIV and less likely to start treatment when diagnosed as HIV-positive. Young men living with HIV often transmit the virus to younger female partners, contributing to an inter-generational cycle of transmission.

Our key takeaways from SA AIDS 2019

The SHARE team
Reflecting on this year’s South African AIDS Conference, the SHARE team identified six key messages.

Battling the perfect storm

Leora Casey, Key Populations Manager, NACOSA
At the 9th South African AIDS Conference (SA AIDS 2019), I can only reflect on the work we have done over the years in the fight against HIV. So many inspiring scientists, community representatives and activists in the room working to turn the tide on this virus. ‘Unprecedented innovation and technologies’ was a fitting theme for this year’s biennial conference: 19 years on from the first SA AIDS Conference, South Africa has become a world leader in the work to end AIDS.

SHARE-ing social media strategies for success: What’s worked for us

Aubrey Weber, Technical Officer, FHI 360
The Southern Africa HIV and AIDS Regional Exchange (SHARE) was first developed in 2011 to address the need for a free, user-friendly space for online knowledge sharing of locally-relevant HIV and AIDS information. Since its inception, SHARE has connected thousands of people to resources, peers, organizations, online learning, and tools for collaboration. Almost daily, SHARE posts new content to its social media profiles on Facebook and Twitter to further amplify what the platform has to offer. SHARE’s experiences have led to a new wealth of knowledge on what it takes to lead a successful social media strategy. Presented here are a few tips based on what has worked for us.

Participants’ expectations for the South African AIDS Conference

SHARE team
The SHARE team chatted with a range of delegates to find out their expectations for this week’s conference, including academics, clinicians, and representatives from civil society organizations.

Living on the frontline: How community health workers can help plug service delivery gaps in rural communities

Danya-Zee Pedra
Rural communities in low- and middle-income countries face specific challenges in accessing health care. And yet, these communities are often the most vulnerable and most in need. So how can we overcome these barriers to provide everyone with the health care they have a right to? How do we maximize the available healthcare resources to effectively address inequalities and ensure sustainable service delivery?

Empowering transgender communities in South Africa – lessons from Thailand

Erica Penfold, Project Manager - Learning & Dissemination, Key Pops, Wits RHI Key Populations Project
Thailand is one of the primary global centres for gender affirming healthcare practices. Before launching the first four dedicated transgender clinics in this country, the Wits Reproductive Health and HIV Institute (Wits RHI) Key Populations project sent a team to Bangkok, Thailand, in November 2018 in order to learn from experts in the field.

Anatomy of Effective Stakeholder Consultation: A look at best practices from a consultation for MTN 042

Jeanne Baron, Manju Chatani-Gada

Incorporating stakeholder engagement early and deeply in the development of a clinical trial for HIV prevention research is for us a clarion call.

Physicians cured a man of HIV. But that’s not our best shot at fighting AIDS.

Anthony S. Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases at the National Institutes of Health

When I began caring for people with HIV in the early 1980s, the disease was usually a death sentence. We had no drugs to fight the virus, and most of our patients died within months to a year.