South Africa

Pamela and her son Phawulothando outside their home © Frontline AIDS

We’re on the frontline of the HIV epidemic in South Africa, supporting the communities who continue to face the greatest risk from HIV.

South Africa has the largest HIV epidemic anywhere in the world, with around 7.2 million people living with the virus. A disproportionate number of people affected are from marginalised groups, such as sex workers and men who have sex with men (MSM).

Our work here continues to be as important as ever, advocating for the rights of people living with HIV and helping marginalised communities protect themselves from the virus.


  • 19% of the global number of people living with HIV are South African.
  • 57.7% of sex workers are living with HIV.
  • 26.8% of MSM are living with HIV.


AIDS Legal Network (ALN)

Our work with ALN helps them protect the rights and freedoms of people living with, and affected by, HIV and AIDS.

Founded in 1994, ALN responds to the legal and ethical challenges that HIV presents. It provides human rights and legal literary training, documents human rights abuses and uses its influence to push for national and international changes in the law.

ALN has also worked extensively with women living with HIV and lesbians through a programme aimed at improving access to health services for key populations.


We work with NACOSA, supporting this network of civil society organisations as they work to turn the tide on HIV, AIDS and tuberculosis across southern Africa.

Formed in 1991, NACOSA believes in the power of collaboration to tackle community challenges and that a united community creates a stronger voice. They provide a range of services, including accredited training, mentoring and technical assistance, as well as resources to help support HIV health services, particularly among marginalised communities, women and girls.

NACOSA has also been very vocal in pushing for the decriminalisation of sex work in South Africa and the strengthening of public awareness and political action to prevent gender-based violence.

Positive Vibes

We’re working with Positive Vibes to share vital HIV prevention information and help those living with HIV get the treatment and care they need. This is part of the regional programming they operate from within South Africa.

Positive Vibes supports other community-based self-help groups who work with people who live with HIV and tackle ongoing discrimination against marginalised groups. They also help other non-governmental organisations and government offices create supportive working environments for staff living with HIV and provide technical support to 25 community-based organisations.

Their support for marginalised groups includes a project that helps MSM and transgender people access health services and reconnect with their community. They are also part of a programme to strengthen links between government and community health systems to reduce the rate of new HIV infections.


In 2017, ALN reached:

  • 2,870 people with stigma and discrimination reduction activities.

NACOSA reached:

  • 240,000 people with HIV prevention activities.
  • 174,000 people with integrated HIV and sexual and reproductive health services.
  • 56,000 sex workers with HIV prevention information and 7,000 with treatment care and support. This represents more than 10% of the national coverage of HIV prevention programmes for this key population.

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