The Society for Family Health offers a range of services to prevent the spread of HIV and TB and engages in substantial research, communication and training to inform and enhance our services.
The concept of "combination prevention" of HIV is central to the programmes we offer. This approach acknowledges that no single method of preventing HIV is 100% effective, but there are many measures that can be combined to provide a strong shield of protection against the virus. Some of these methods involve medical procedures and medicines, while others rely on changes in sexual behaviour and social and behaviour change in society.
SFH has not only expanded the range of HIV prevention options it offers to the communities it serves, but has a way of working which helps individuals explore what mixture of HIV prevention tools would work best in their particular circumstances. Whatever the individual's point of entry to our services, we always endeavour to offer him or her access to a range of services.
New Start Programme
The New Start programme, was launched in 2004 and operates in areas of Free State, Gauteng, KwaZulu-Natal and Mpumalanga. It offers quality HIV counselling and testing (HCT) services as well as medical male circumcision (MMC) services. Our approach to HCT is innovative and includes pro-active population-based testing for entire neighbourhoods. New Start services are continually marketed in the areas where they operate through teams of community workers.
SFH focuses on the distribution of condoms supplied by the Department of Health to a wide variety of non-traditional outlets, such as taverns, neighbourhood (spaza) shops and places of entertainment. These condoms are available free of charge and complement the Lovers+ and Trust condoms supplied by SFH's sister organisation, PSI South Africa.
Families Matter! program
The Families Matter! Program was developed by the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to promote positive parenting and effective parent-child communication with a view to reducing the exposure of young people to HIV and other sexually transmitted infections. SFH has specially trained facilitators who are able to offer this programme in South Africa.
SFH produces and distributes a range of materials on HIV prevention for the information of communities it serves. It periodically engages in creative multi-media campaigns to market its services and increase public understanding of HIV prevention. These campaigns leverage community media, social mobilisation teams and other below-the-line tactics to focus specifically on SFH's priority communities.
As an affiliate of PSI and a social marketing organization, SFH is committed to an evidence-based approach to its HIV prevention programmes. It has undertaken a wide range of research in relation to the condom market, products and services for HIV testing, and the contraceptive market. In addition to conducting research to inform its own programmes, SFH has been commissioned by government departments and other organisations to undertake research.
SFH has developed substantial in-house training capacity in order to support its social franchising model and ensure all program staff follows SFH's service guidelines. SFH's counsellor training program is accredited through HWSETA and ETDP SETA. We are in a position to offer similar training to other organisations in the HIV prevention field for a reasonable fee.