Original blog published on the Ritshidze website here.
Community priorities for PEPFAR funding
Today South Africa continues to face major HIV and TB epidemics. 7.1 million people have HIV, and TB remains our leading cause of death in the country. Even at current levels around three million people in South Africa who could benefit from HIV treatment do not have it. At the same time, the South African public healthcare system is in crisis – a crisis characterised by widespread shortages of health workers, stockouts of medicines, poor TB infection control, and long waiting times.
The “People’s COP 2018” is released today by the Treatment Action Campaign (TAC), Positive Women’s Network, SECTION27 and Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF). This report outlines the key gaps in the national HIV and TB response and the community’s priorities for PEPFAR that have been identified after consultation.
PEPFAR funding constitutes roughly a quarter of all financing for HIV in South Africa and increased investment is planned for 2018. It is critical for people living with HIV and communities affected by HIV that this funding is used optimally and with the most possible impact. As such, PEPFAR must critically re-think and re-prioritise where this funding is spent in order to ensure the greatest impact.