Friday, June 3, 2016

We Are The Generation That Will End HIV

I can't believe I've let a month go by with no posts. Well, it's all because I've been busy being involved in this awesome South African initiative!

Since October of last year I've been working with an amazing team at the Wits Reproductive Health and HIV Institute and the South African National Department of Health to help develop the national guidelines for the introduction of oral pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP) as a new, and extremely effective, HIV prevention option.

All of this work culminated on June 1, during which we marked the launch of PrEP and universal test and treat for sex workers in South Africa! It's an extremely exciting time and the start of a new era of treating those with HIV, preventing new infections, and empowering those at risk. I'm so proud to be a part of this amazing work and working with some of the most hard working and wonderful people around!  


 Materials we developed on PrEP

 Best people to work with! Elmari, Sarah, and Robin

We started the morning off in Durban at the TB/HIV Care site where they held a launch party complete with singing, speeches, and cake! Everyone was so excited that PrEP has finally arrived!

 How awesome is the PrEP cake???

 What the party is all about!

 The TB/HIV Care Durban Team

 Hasina - The driving force behind this amazing achievement for SA! 

After we visited the Durban launch, we traveled back up to Joburg and visited the North Star Alliance Pomona Truck Stop, which provides health services to truckers and sex workers.

 Best Team Ever!

 A happy trucker

 The materials and meds all ready to go!

The NSA team was out at a local tavern/brothel, providing HIV testing services and counseling. For obvious reasons, I have no pictures of the brothel or the women, but from talking to them, they were all very excited that PrEP was now available and they were eager to find out their HIV status so they could either initiate PrEP or begin immediate treatment.

 The outside of the tavern/brothel

 Sarah doing some recruiting! 

 A woman getting her HIV test, counseling, and information on next steps for PrEP

The best team ever! Including Hasina (who's taking the picture)

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