Friday, June 10, 2016 — Dear Colleague in the Media,
In the lead up to AIDS2016, the International AIDS Society conference taking place in Durban 18 – 22 July, Doctors Without Borders / Medecins Sans Frontieres (MSF) hereby invites you to visit our “Bending the Curves” project in Eshowe, KwaZulu-Natal to learn more about our partnerships with civil society and traditional leadership that are aimed at reducing the incidence of HIV and TB.
Visits are scheduled to take place on 14 and 19 July only and we will provide you with transport to and from Durban, as well as refreshments.
In April 2011, Doctors Without Borders (MSF) began the “Bending the Curves” project in the Eshowe and Mbongolwane areas of uMlalazi Municipality, uThungulu District, in
partnership with the provincial department of health.
The area has a catchment population of 183,000 and was selected on the basis of the high HIV and TB prevalence in the community: 56% of women age 30-34 years and more than 45% of men age 35-39 are HIV-positive.
Since opening, the project has piloted several interventions aimed at reducing the incidence of HIV and TB
and demonstrated innovative community-based strategies for improved access to HIV and TB prevention,
testing, treatment and adherence services.
It is hoped these models of care will help South Africa to achieve international targets by the year 2020: that
90% of all citizens know their HIV status, 90% diagnosed HIV+ receive sustained antiretroviral therapy and 90% of all people receiving antiretroviral therapy have a suppressed viral load.
Journalists will get the chance to join Community Health Agents for door-to-door testing, visit a fixed or mobile HIV testing site or a health centre.
Health centre activities could include a community HIV support group, adherence club or male medical circumcision camp.
There will also be opportunities to interview MSF project staff, local Health Department officials, patients and traditional leaders.
NB: Space is limited, so make sure to RSVP your attendance as soon as possible.
Ryan & Angela