This is a report of the KP-REACH learning conversations that were held in Johannesburg South Africa in 2017. The conversations were implemented throughout the year as a component of the implementation by CAL of the KPRL program that is funded by the Global Fund. The conversations were intended for people from organizations representing sex workers, young women, HIV/AIDS, health, LGBTI, transgendered and people living with HIV/AIDS. The conversations were arranged into five themes that included (one) self-care as a political act; (two) self-care in our work; (three) the politics of money in organising and its influence on access to health; (four) the body as a site of oppression; and (five) the body as a site of resistance, bodily autonomy and access to sexual reproductive health and rights. Each theme is presented under section six of the report. The report further provides a brief context of the country and background to the why and how the conversations were created and held. It ends by looking at implication for action that emerge from the conversations held.
South Africa has the biggest and most high profile HIV epidemic in the world, with an estimated 7.1 million people living with HIV in 2016. One third of all new infections in the region in 2016 were in one country, South Africa. In the same year, there were 270,000 new infections while 110,000 South Africans died from AIDS-related illnesses. South Africa has the largest antiretroviral treatment (ART) programme globally and these efforts have been largely financed from its own domestic resources. The country now invests more than $1.5 billion annually to run its HIV and AIDS programmes. However, HIV prevalence remains high (18.9%) among the general population, although it varies markedly between regions. For example, HIV prevalence is almost 40% in KwaZulu Natal compared with 18% in Northern Cape and Western Cape.
Key affected populations in South Africa
South Africa’s National Strategic Plan 2012-2016 identifies a number of key affected populations that are at risk of HIV transmission.