Anova’s Health4men project and Johannesburg District Region E launched men’s health services at Riverpark Clinic in Alexandra on Friday, 30 August 2019.  The Anova Health Institute has developed extensive expertise in all areas of men sexual health over the years including HIV combination prevention and both sexually transmitted infections (STI) and HIV treatment.

City of Johannesburg MMC for Health and Social Development: Cllr Mpho Phalatse opened the service, “Since the establishment of Riverpark Clinic in 2016 continued turning it into centre of excellence primary health care.  According to research, men are a hard to reach population, not accessing healthcare as compared to women.  The Men’s Forum in Alexandra is another strategic platform to reach men of all ages to talk about health-related issues.  A big round of applause to Anova Health Institute for making it possible to develop this custom designed health care facility for men.”

“Men use health care services to a lesser extent than women, Anova Health and the Johannesburg Health District are collaborating to bridge the gap by providing health care for men by male health care providers who are skilled, trained and competent in providing care and attends to men’s health”, said Charlotte Modibedi: Programme Manager, Health4Men.

The launch was a great success as community members came out in large numbers to support and be informed about the services offered at the clinic.  The team officially launched the Health4men services at Riverpark Clinic by cutting the cake and viewing the clinic. The men’s health service has been in full operation for more than 2 weeks and more than 150 man have visited the facility to receive health care.  All men are welcome to visit the custom-made facility at Riverpark Clinic to keep healthy and strong, by simply following the purple footprints on the floor leading to the door with the purple man to get to men’s health area.

The Health4men campaign forms part of the Anova APACE (Accelerating Program Achievements to Control the Epidemic) project which is funded by PEPFAR (President's Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief).  This will contribute to HIV epidemic control in South Africa and empower Anova scale-up programs that alleviate the burden of HIV and TB.

 

90-90-90 AIDS strategy update by Anova Health Institute in partnership with the Department of Health - Sedibeng District

The HIV/AIDS epidemic is not just a health issue, it is a community and social issue that affects us all. It requires everyone to take action in order to meet the target set by President Cyril Ramaphosa.  This message was shared during the 90-90-90 AIDS strategy partners update meeting by Anova Health Institute and the Department of Health at Emfuleni Local Municipality on Tuesday, 13 August 2019.

In 2018, President Cyril Ramaphosa called on all South Africans to participate in the campaign to eliminate the HIV/AIDS epidemic “This year, we will take the next critical steps to eliminate HIV from our midst. By scaling up our testing and treating campaign, we will initiate an additional two million people on antiretroviral treatment by December 2020.”

The Anova Health Institute is responding to that call by implementing the Accelerating Program Achievements to Control Epidemic (APACE) project funded by the United States Agency for International Development (USAID).  The 5-year program has been rolled out across South Africa, including Gauteng (Johannesburg Health District, Sedibeng District), Limpopo (Mopani District and Capricorn District) and in Cape Metro, Western Cape.

At the meeting, Mr. Thobela Mhlubulwana: National HIV/TB Senior Advisor at Anova Health Institute shared very insightful information about the objectives of the project.  The 90-90-90 is our national campaign and core of this strategy. The first 90 is to increase the proportion of people living with HIV who know their status. In other words, to encourage more people to get tested and know their status. The second 90 is to increase the proportion of people living with HIV who are on treatment.  The National Department of Health estimates that about 60% — or 4.2-million of the country’s 7 million HIV-infected people — are on lifelong antiretroviral treatment. The second 90 aims to close this gap by getting two million more people onto treatment. The third and final 90 is to increase the proportion of people living with HIV who are virally suppressed.

This successful meeting was an opportunity for dialogue and action planning. There was open discussion between the speakers and audience comprising ward councillors, ward committee members and NGO’s focusing on HIV/AIDS in the Sedibeng area. The Anova Health Institute provided information on harm reduction for people who inject drugs and the district’s performance towards meeting the target for 2020.

Mrs Susan Kekana: Executive Director – Government Relations at the Anova Health Institute noted “This was a great success, especially meeting with the ward councillors to inform them about the APACE program and the support that ANOVA is offering in Sedibeng District. This is to support the President as part of “Thuma Mina – Khawuleza” campaign.”

The ward councillors agreed to support the initiative at the community level and to mobilise people to come for HIV testing and treatment. Everybody needs to be welcomed at the clinic as requested by the Minister of Health.  Anova is a strategic partner to communities to meet the 90-90-90 targets.

Kekana added “Working hand in hand as partners with councillors at the ground level is critical for the success of the program.”

DISCLAIMER:  These are views from Anova Health Institute and not those of the funder.

 

Dr K, as she is affectionately known by her patients, is an HIV Specialist that can be found on the Yellow Dot Doctor Directory:  www.yellowdotdoctor.co.za

She is an animated and passionate practitioner that has helped hundreds of people over the years gain access to medication that both treats and prevents HIV.

“I’m a professional”, she says, adamantly. “I am not here to judge my patients, I am here to help them and treat them. Anyone is welcome to come and see me about HIV prevention or treatment and other sexually transmitted infections and co-infections for treatment.”

Dr K. is passionate about helping HIV-negative individuals who are at high-risk of HIV transmission to gain access to treatment as prevention solutions (TasP) like PrEP (Pre-Exposure Prophylaxis).   She is just as driven to get HIV-positive people on ARV treatment so that their viral load can become undetectable and they cannot pass it on.

“Some couples come in here to see me and are discordant, meaning one is HIV-negative and the other is HIV-positive.  I can provide them with medication that can keep them both strong and healthy and also prevent the HIV-negative person from becoming HIV-positive.”

Dr K believes that a directory like Yellow Dot Doctor is very important as there are still general practitioners who know very little about the strides that have been made in HIV treatment and prevention.

“It’s so important to see a specialist.  You want to come and see someone who is an expert in the field of HIV and not someone who isn’t sure what they are talking about.  Come and see me!”

Dr K provides guidance on how men who have sex with men can save costs and make the most of their medical aid to gain access to HIV prevention or treatment medication, and for those who have no medical aid she offers an affordable once-off R300 fee and provides PrEP to these patients at cost.

Yellow Dot Doctor is proud to be associated with Dr K. Mahomed.

Dr K. Mahomed can be reached at Netcare Garden City Hospital in Johannesburg on 011 495 5000.  House 10C 35 Bartlett Road, Mayfair West.

The Anova Health Institute is proud to announce that it has received a five-year PEPFAR grant through USAID’s APACE activity (Accelerating Program Achievements to Control the Epidemic). This work will contribute to HIV epidemic control in South Africa and empower Anova to rapidly scale-up programs that alleviate the burden of HIV and TB.

Anova launched this ambitious, achievable and target-driven program on the 1st of October 2018, aligning with PEPFAR’s aim to support South Africa’s National Strategic Plan for HIV and TB and the UNAIDS 90-90-90 goals to end AIDS. The ANOVA\APACE Program aims to accelerate and sustain epidemic control in the target districts through a data-driven, people-centred and evidence-informed approach.

The ANOVA\APACE Program will work in partnership with the Departments of Health in the City of Johannesburg and Sedibeng in Gauteng, and Mopani and Capricorn districts in Limpopo. Anova is already a trusted partner of the Department of Health (DoH), strengthening health systems through direct service delivery and technical assistance. Anova’s innovative response has enabled increased access to quality services.

By rolling out this collaborative effort, the program will contribute to South Africa’s vision of an additional two million people being started on HIV treatment by 2020. The ANOVA\APACE Program will identify over 400 000 people living with HIV, who are HIV-positive and not in care, through HIV testing services and community mobilisation and initiate them on antiretroviral treatment.

The ANOVA\APACE Program will be centrally led by Anova COO Dr Helen Struthers, supported by a strong team of program managers who will take the complex and multifaceted operations forward.

Dr Moyahabo Mabitsi, Executive Manager of Public Health Programs at Anova, is excited by this generous new grant, adding: “This will enable Anova to work with government to provide appropriate and targeted treatment and care services that are responsive to the needs of communities and clients. I’m grateful for the opportunity that PEPFAR and USAID have given Anova to accelerate efforts towards reaching HIV epidemic control.”

Being able to rapidly expand these interventions builds on Anova's strengths and experience in this field, capitalising on the success of the comprehensive HIV support that dedicated Anova staff has provided in South Africa since 2001.

The United States Agency for International Development (USAID) administers the U.S. foreign assistance program providing economic and humanitarian assistance in more than 80 countries worldwide.

The Anova Health Institute NPC is a South African non-profit organisation aiming to empower people and change lives by identifying opportunities and innovative solutions for HIV services and public health challenges.

For more information:
Sibu Mazaiwana
Marketing Coordinator, Anova Health Institute
mazaiwana@anovahealth.co.za
+27 11 581 5000

 

Supported by the United States Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), with funding from the President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR), The Aurum Institute, in collaboration with Anova Health Institute, are leading the second South African Health Monitoring Survey (SAHMS), a biological and behavioural survey with female sex workers (FSW) in South Africa.

This study is a significant collaboration between South African civil society and academic partners, and the international community. These include National Institute of Communicable Diseases (NICD), Sex Workers’ Advocacy and Education Taskforce (SWEAT), Sisonke, TB/HIV Care Association, Wits Reproductive Health Institute (WRHI), Perinatal Health Research Unit (PHRU), and Oasis. The University of California, San Francisco (UCSF) will provide technical assistance to the South African partners.

This study, which started in June 2018, is conducting in the same three metropolitan areas as the first SAHMS of 2013-14; Cape Town in the Western Cape; Johannesburg in Gauteng; and the eThekwini in KwaZulu-Natal. Repeating the survey in the same metropolitan areas provides an opportunity to measure progress in the national response to the HIV epidemic among FSW. In addition to HIV prevalence and risk behaviour indicators, SAHMS 2 will track progress in FSW uptake of important HIV programming initiatives begun in 2016 under the National Sex Worker Plan, including expanded HIV testing services, linkage and retention in HIV treatment, viral suppression among HIV-positive FSW, and uptake of pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP) among HIV-negative FSW.

Additionally, the study will refine previous estimates of the size of each metro’s female sex worker population. These population size estimates are critical to securing appropriate funding for FSW programming, and measuring progress sizes that will be produced from the study, are important for informing decision making to ensure adequate resourcing for female sex worker programmes.

Reflecting upon the significance of the study, The Aurum Institute CEO Dr Dave Clark said: “Conducting the second round of surveillance on female sex workers in South Africa is a landmark achievement for the generation of strategic information to guide policy and programme implementation in South Africa. The information we will get from this study will help various partners to advocate for services required by female sex workers, develop appropriate prevention and care interventions, guide future research, and assess the impact of the response to the HIV epidemic over time. As the technical capacity of local organisations to conduct these studies continues to grow, we can do more for other Key Populations as well and meet our shared goal of ending HIV as a public health threat in South Africa”

Prof Tim Lane of UCSF, principal investigator of SAHMS 1, echoed Dr Clark’s comments: “It has been a pleasure to work with our South African partners on launching SAHMS 2. This survey is an example of how South Africa is leading the region in understanding and addressing Key Populations HIV epidemics, and especially with FSW. UCSF Is proud to support this team of outstanding partners.”

Anova’s Albert Manyuchi, National Surveillance Coordinator, who is managing the survey, said: “This second biological and behavioural survey (BBS) will greatly help fill the information gap on FSW in South Africa, especially providing some new and invaluable insights for policy, programmes and advocacy. Since this is the second BBS amongst FSW, my hope is that this survey will empirically demonstrate that overall the various interventions by various stakeholders are helping in controlling the epidemic amongst population group.”

Findings of the survey will be shared with the Department of Health and released early next year.

The Western Cape Department of Health and the Anova Health Institute are pleased to announce their continued partnership to maintain the Ivan Toms Centre for Men’s Health at the Green Point Community Health Centre.

The Ivan Toms Centre is a critical resource for the Western Cape, which will continue to serve the population of men who have sex with men (MSM) and improve healthcare for MSM more broadly. Additional support from the Elton John AIDS Foundation will help ensure the continuity of this service. The Centre will continue to provide comprehensive services, including HIV screening and treatment, provision of pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP) and STI screening and treatment.

The Centre started as a partnership between the Department of Health and Anova in 2009, is also a key training institution for service providers in South Africa and the African region on MSM health. Approaches developed at the Centre have formed the basis for training health services in ten other African countries to date, in addition to training across all provinces of South Africa.

 

Ivan Toms Centre for Men’s Health

Block B, Green Point Community Health Centre, Old City Hospital Complex

1 Portswood Road, Green Point, Cape Town

Tel: (021) 447 2844

Over half of Anova's workforce is made up of strong, dynamic and driven women. In celebration of Women's Month this August, we want to thank all the women for their invaluable contribution in helping us empower people and change lives. Good health and quality of life are what motivates us to provide healthcare solutions and support for those who need it most.

In honour of all our women, we are highlighting three individuals who are taking us to the next level. Dr Moyahabo Mabitsi, Dr Diane Mokoene and Dr Lucy Ranoto.

Dr Moyahabo Mabitsi is currently the Executive Manager in Public Health. Moyahabo is passionate about public health and is currently pursuing her studies in MSc in Epidemiology of Infectious diseases at WITS University.

Moyahabo wanted to be a doctor since primary school, her cousin who was a doctor inspired her. Moya always knew she wanted to help the community and make an impact in people’s lives who cannot afford and access private care.

"I am happy and excited to be part of an organisation where through our HIV programme in SA we are moving closer towards reaching HIV epidemic control."

Dr Diana Mokoena is currently the Programme Manager for Anova in the City of Johannesburg, responsible for Health System Strengthening activities in Anova supported public healthcare facilities. She is passionate about better health outcomes for people living with HIV and TB.

“I never saw myself as anything other than a doctor! I am passionate about people being healthy enough to live out their full potential and reach their dreams. Outside of HIV care & treatment, no other health programme has had continued advancements to improve health outcomes in such a short space of time. It’s exciting to be a part of this journey. Hoping to see the elimination of mother-to-child transmission of HIV and an AIDS-free generation in my lifetime.”

Dr Lucy Ranoto is the Programme Manager of the Anova team in Mopani, Limpopo.  With a wide clinical and health systems strengthening experience, her main focus is to support and strengthen the health system in Mopani District and all its supported sites, to improve HIV/eMTCT/TB (Paediatrics and Adults), STI management especially the quality of care of all people living with HIV.

"I followed my passion for making a difference in people’s lives."

Thank you to all the women of Anova for sharing your passion and skills in helping us to make a positive difference in people's lives.

Gender identity is a crucial factor affecting HIV risk among men who have sex with men (MSM) in South Africa, and this area of study urgently needs more attention in order to effectively address the HIV epidemic in the MSM population.

This finding is reported in an article recently published by Anova Health Institute authors in the international scientific journal AIDS Care. The article discusses the findings from a study conducted with MSM in Cape Town where it was found that MSM who identified themselves as being female or transgender had a higher level of HIV infection than other MSM, were more likely to have engaged in activities that placed them at high risk of contracting HIV, and were more likely to be unemployed and living in poverty.

These findings are important because they show that within a population that already has a high risk of HIV, individuals’ gender identities may place MSM at an even greater risk of contracting HIV. The article concludes by noting that it is critical for HIV prevention, treatment, and care interventions for MSM to be sensitive to the specific needs of gender non-conforming individuals in order to provide them with effective services.

The article is available here

Queries can be directed to Researcher Geoffrey Jobson - jobson@anovahealth.co.za

2017 marked a turning point in South Africa’s response to the HIV epidemic, with over half of the 7 million people living with HIV now receiving antiretroviral treatment. While this is welcome progress, we are still a long way from reaching the global 90-90-90 targets. Anova continues to partner with government health services and communities to reach these targets – with over 750 000 people tested for HIV in supported facilities and over 60 000 people starting antiretroviral treatment in the last year. Click the download button below to read our 2017 Integrated Report to find out more about the work we did this past year.

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The Anova Health Institute is sad to announce that funding from USAID for sections of our Health4Men programme will be coming to an end, effective the 30th of September 2018.  This funding allowed us to establish Centres of Excellence with dedicated clinical services for the men who have sex with men (MSM) community in Cape Town and Johannesburg.

Health4Men is funded by multiple donors, so the loss of USAID funding will primarily affect clinical services in Johannesburg and Cape Town, however, national Health4Men activities, supported by our other funders, will continue. Our most immediate concern is for the many MSM clients that are utilising these services.

The Health4Men programme started with USAID funding in 2008, at a time when there were limited services and little attention to the needs of MSM in South Africa. As a testament to the close collaboration between the programme and the MSM community, it has achieved remarkable results and global influence, which will be the ongoing legacy of the programme.

- Prof James McIntyre, CEO of Anova Health Institute.

Anova’s national Health4Men programme has put MSM healthcare on the public health agenda. High-level clinical expertise developed within the programme has been central to the development of national and international evidence-based policies and guidelines.

Since its inception, Health4Men has had many landmark achievements. Over the last 10 years, around 26 000 MSM have accessed and benefited from Health4Men Centres of Excellence. With support from multiple donors, Health4Men also sensitized and trained over 16 000 health workers in over 400 clinics nationwide and contributed to setting up similar services in many other countries.

As Health4Men services are embedded within public health clinics in the public sector, we are working closely with the Departments of Health and other stakeholders in these cities. We are also exploring other funding opportunities and service options. Our priority is to ensure continued services for our MSM clients and community.

As a governing organisation overseeing numerous projects and programmes, Anova Health Institute will continue to pioneer sexual health awareness within the MSM community with our successful We The Brave and Yellow Dot Doctor campaigns.

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