Integrating HIV and SRHR in Southern Africa: A Toolkit 2015
For more than thirty years the Southern African region has been one of the worst affected regions with regards to HIV and AIDS. Due to the enormous impact of HIV on healthand wellbeing of individuals, families and communities and the recognition of the epidemic as a national and global emergency, the response to HIV was initially implemented through vertical programs parallel to other health sector efforts. This has led to the development of a large portion of health activists being trained on HIV and AIDS issues, and as a result there are many HIV civil society staff that bring decades of work experience as well as formal training to the health sector. These HIV experts in civil society have also managed to evolve and adapt over time to the changing needs within the HIV sector as the disease and its management have evolved. In recent years HIV has begun to be mainstreamed into the rest of the healthcare system, and under the umbrella of sexual and reproductive health and rights especially. Within this area of health, the same can be said of many of the sexual and reproductive health and rights activists in civil society: that their area of speciality does not overlap into HIV, and that their core skills and experience lies within the ambit of the area of health in which they specialise, but not beyond it. Integration of HIV and SRHR is thus forcing civil society to work in areas in which they have little or no formal training and experience, and this is potentially problematic.
Thus, this project is based on the findings of AAI that civil society in the Southern African that work on these two health issues, SRHR and HIV and AIDS, require capacity building on each other’s area of work, especially given the context on integration. This capacity building needs to be done within a framework of rights, and address the gaps of both groups, as well as uncover and discuss new emerging issues.
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