Anova supports the department of health in over 400 public health facilities throughout South Africa in many areas of expertise, namely: PMTCT, MSM, prevention, TB, research, innovation and training.
As South Africa’s epidemic matures the national HIV response is moving away from crisis management towards ensuring healthcare in HIV is efficient and of the highest possible quality. Anova’s initial focus on the provision of basic HIV care has gradually shifted to better align with PEPFAR’s long-term plan for supporting the South African government in its response to the epidemic. Anova has successfully moved away from direct support in many of the districts in which it works and now focuses on health systems strengthening (HSS).
The sexual health needs of men who have sex with men (MSM) are notoriously neglected, making them a key population in the HIV epidemic. Anova’s Health4Men initiative is one of the first projects on the continent to draw considerable attention to and address the sexual health needs of men who have sex with men in the context of HIV. Read more about MSM services at Anova by following the link above or go straight to Health4Men or the Empowerment Programme’s pages.
Preventing the transmission of HIV from mothers to their children is a key intervention in curbing the spread of HIV. Because HIV transmission can happen during pregnancy, during labour and delivery and through unsafe breastfeeding, prevention of mother-to-child transmission (PMTCT) of HIV must begin early in pregnancy and continue until the child stops breastfeeding.
HIV and eye disease
South Africa has the biggest human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) epidemic in the world with more than 6.3 million individuals living with HIV. Many HIV-positive individuals (50 – 75%) will develop an eye disease at some point during the course of their illness, which can lead to visual impairment and blindness. On top of that, HIV-positive individuals tend to have a more severe eye disease that recurs more often compared to HIV-negative individuals.
Research forms the foundation for Anova’s programmatic work. Reliable data are an invaluable source of direction for project teams, helping them identify needs and shortfalls and ensuring that their responses are targeted and comprehensive. Anova has become increasingly involved in the production of research and is making significant contributions to the existing body of knowledge around HIV.
Nurses are in many ways at the frontline of the epidemic, making it critically important for them to be thoroughly equipped with the knowledge and skills to identify HIV risk or infection and to take the appropriate responses. Anova is actively engaged in a number of intiatives in which nurses are trained and mentored to fulfil this vitally important role in HIV treatment and prevention.
With innovative projects and clever reconceptualisation, Anova is changing how people access heathcare. Whilst it is not a programme area per se, it is a trait that distringuishes all of Anova’s projects and their activties. This section gives an overview of the latest in innovations conceptualised by Anova’s teams.
HIV conselling and testing is a critically important first step in reaching out to people who are living with HIV. Early diagnosis enables patients to make more informed decisions about their health and allows them to manage their illness more effectively. Anova offers HCT at all of its projects. The project teams also frequently initiate HCT drives in their communities and are often invited to offer their services at other community events.