Global HIV/AIDS & Tuberculosis
Division of Global HIV/AIDS & TB - South Africa
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) started work in South Africa in 1989, assisting non-governmental and community-based organizations working with HIV. In 1994 at the onset of democracy in South Africa, CDC began to collaborate with the South African National Department of Health (NDoH) to conduct public health epidemiology training; develop national health goals and objectives; develop national HIV clinical, ethical, and research guidelines; and support HIV and tuberculosis (TB) programs. CDC plays an essential role in implementing the U.S. President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR).
HIV and AIDS
In December 2010, US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and the South African Minister of International Relations and Cooperation Maite Nkoana-Mashabane signed a Partnership Framework to codify PEPFAR’s continued support. Under the Framework and working with more than 55 partners, CDC focuses on the following areas in South Africa:
CDC aims to maximize the health impact and host country system efficiencies on the ground. Public health experts from CDC help to identify challenges and support the implementation and documentation of coordinated high-impact solutions that save lives and money. Support is also rendered to Regulatory Councils and the NDoH on developing policy and in the development of human resources for health. CDC supports the delivery of effective laboratory services to all South Africans. CDC also supports partners to design and implement surveillance systems and surveys and to develop systems to monitor and evaluate HIV and TB prevention, care, and treatment programs. Health management information systems staff works with the host government to develop, implement, and maintain unified health information systems. The African Centre for Integrated Lab Training develops and presents hands-on training courses for front-line laboratory staff from several countries in sub-Saharan Africa, Asia, and the Caribbean.
CDC supports HIV prevention with a comprehensive approach including biomedical and behavior change strategies. Pillars of the program are rapid expansion of medical male circumcision, preventing mother-to-child transmission of HIV (PMTCT), and integrating HIV and sexually transmitted infections programs. Evidence-based strategies ensure favorable health outcomes with sustainable effects on policy and health systems. The counseling and testing program supports a national campaign that aims to test 15 million people.
CDC supports the government in providing HIV care and treatment services. CDC supported 356,711 people on antiretroviral treatment (ART), contributing to increased life expectancy and improvements in the quality of life for people living with and affected by HIV. The care and treatment branch underscores the work of the South African government by scaling-up services for ART and by expanding and improving care and support programs for those infected and affected by HIV.
With one of the world’s highest TB infection and drug-resistant rates and more than 70% of TB patients co-infected with HIV, intensifying TB case finding and integrating TB and HIV services has been a critical component of the HIV/AIDS program. The program works closely with national and provincial health departments and partners to implement Directly Observed Therapy (DOTS) strategy, to integrate TB and HIV, and to strengthen infection control. Surveillance for TB and drug-resistant TB has been enhanced by CDC-supported electronic software.