South Africa

Pamela and her son Phawulothando outside their home © Frontline AIDS

In South Africa, we're supporting the communities who continue to face the greatest risk from HIV.

South Africa has the largest HIV epidemic anywhere in the world. In fact, around 7.5 million people are living with HIV here and the country also has the highest number of people living with HIV on treatment.

A disproportionate number of people affected by HIV 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 human rights of people living with HIV and helping marginalised communities protect themselves from HIV.


  • 70% of people living with HIV are on treatment.
  • 26–38% of people living with HIV are estimated to have a mental health condition compared with 13% of the overall population.
  • 57.7% of sex workers are living with HIV.

Meet some of OUR PARTNERS


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 2019, NACOSA:

  • Reached 142,000 marginalised and vulnerable people with HIV prevention activities.
  • Reached 152,000 marginalised and vulnerable people with sexual and reproductive health (SRH) interventions.
  • Distributed over 839,000 clean needles and syringes to people who use drugs.

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