We continue to enable people to own their tomorrow,
through taking action today.
Knowing one’s status remains the first step in managing the HIV pandemic. Only once clients know their status can they take ownership of their health, either through a renewed commitment to taking precautions to maintain a negative status, or to treat their HIV.
Our hi-tech, mobile and scaleable solutions which include state-of-the-art vehicles, biometrics and medical algorithms have evolved even further to offer testing in locations and at times that are convenient for our clients. Our commitment to offering Fast, Free and Friendly service remains a cornerstone of our business model. At our mobile clinics clients receive rapid testing and linkage to care at a convenient local government clinic should they test HIV+.
For many adolescent girls and young women aged 15 – 24, HIV presents a particularly high risk, with 1,350 new infections occurring every week in South Africa. We recognise that condom negotiation is difficult territory to navigate, especially in situations where women are younger and less free to make themselves heard. While we strongly advocate the use of condoms to prevent other STI’s, PrEP places the control firmly in the hands of these women to protect themselves from the HIV virus. Our mobile clinics are able to test, screen, educate and where appropriate, initiate high-risk young women onto PrEP treatment, as well as issuing their monthly medication at locations and times that are convenient.
Whereas the PrEP medication is similar to ART, it does not need to be taken for life, but is useful for periods when our clients may be at high risk. Examples may be:
- Having multiple sexual partners
- Having a partner who you suspect of or know is being unfaithful
- Starting a new sexual relationship with someone whose HIV status is not known
- Having a partner who is HIV+
- Not using a condom
PrEP must be taken correctly in order for it to be effective – this means taking it at the same time every day, and not skipping any doses. It must be taken for 20 days before it becomes effective, so during this window period clients must still use a condom. If a client experiences a change in their circumstances that means they are no longer at high risk of contracting HIV, they may stop taking PrEP, but only 28 days after their last potential exposure to the HIV virus.
Shout-it-Now has contracted with Community Media Trust (CMT) to directly provide multi-session behavioral and structural interventions to a mix of AGYW, boys, men and families in Ekurhuleni, Tshwane and Bojanala. These programs are designed to improve sexual health literacy and behaviour, and include the following:
- Man2Man – intended for young men
- Healthy Choices – an in-school program for young males and females
- Families Matter – aimed at supporting parents in guiding their children in the areas of sexual health and wellbeing
- Stepping Stones – a co-educational program for young men and women
- Safe Spaces / Girls Clubs – for vulnerable young women and adolescent girls
- SASA! – A program for community leaders to enable them to pass on their learnings within their communities.
We provide referral services to clients who self-identify as having been abused or are currently experiencing gender-based violence. While our grant target stipulates female clients only, we will provide referral services to men as well should they self-identify as a victim of GBV. Our staff are trained to handle various forms of GBV reported by our clients, including sexual, physical, emotional, economic or a combination of any of these. In order to effectively triage our referral process, our staff will be trained to ascertain the nature of the client’s GBV:
- Acute (occurred within the past 24 hours)
- Historical (occurred at some time in the past but has since ceased)
- Chronic (started at some point in the past and has continued till the present).
Our role will be to help clients to disclose GBV victimization and to access appropriate care and support. They will counsel the client about available services, and work proactively to link victims of GBV to service providers that can deliver PEPFAR’s minimum package of post GBV care. Referral services are delivered in person and via a 24/7 Call Centre and include immediate crisis intervention, assessment of appropriate support referrals and navigation including warm hand-offs to ensure the best likelihood that GBV victims identified in the community will ultimately receive needed care and support. Our GBV referral service works cooperatively within the network of health, psychosocial and medico-legal services in each of the areas/districts where we work. In all instances the client’s right to accept or reject services will be honored.