The Disseminating Avahan Lessons to South Africa (DALSA) project (2011-2015) is a a four-year project funded by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation (BMGF). The project strengthens the capacity of South African Government to scale up HIV prevention, care and treatment interventions for key populations, primarily sex workers, men who have sex with men, long-distance truck drivers and other groups in high-transmission areas.
DALSA builds on the Gates-funded India AIDS Initiative, known as the Avahan project, a large-scale HIV prevention program for female sex workers (FSWs) and their clients, truckers, as well as men-who-have-sex-with-men (MSM), and injecting drug users.
FHI 360 is an implementing partner for the Avahan project in Mumbai & Thane districts of India, where the project provides services for the prevention and treatment of sexually transmitted infections (STIs), as well as condoms and behaviour change communication through community peers.
Through exchange visits, the DALSA project has identified key lessons from the Avahan experience in designing, implementation and execution of activities, adapted to the South African national and provincial context. The aim of the dissemination of lessons from Avahan is to improve prevention programming for key populations through a technical collaboration model.
To this end, the DALSA project assists the South Africa National AIDS Council (SANAC), the National department of Health (NDOH), and KwaZulu-Natal Department of Health (KZN DOH) to refine their efforts and focus on proven approaches to prevent HIV transmission among high risk groups.