Public health and human rights issues
Deaths due to AIDS
240,000 [220,000 ‐ 270,000]
Orphans due to AIDS aged 0 to 17
2,500,000 [2,300,000 ‐ 2,700,000]
HIV prevalence rate has stabilised over the past six years, according to the
government's latest survey of pregnant women, while the rate of new infections has
continued to drop, indicating that the country's prevention efforts are beginning to
national HIV testing campaign reveal that men made up only 30% of the nearly 13
million people who got tested. Men also access HIV treatment later than women
and often eventually access services with severely compromised immune systems.
In South Africa, about 55% of those living with HIV are women but more than two‐
thirds of patients receiving public sector ART are female. Once on treatment men
are more likely than women to interrupt treatment; to be lost to follow‐up; and to
die while on treatment. When men do access clinic and hospital services, it is often
with advanced AIDS related illnesses and very low CD4 counts. This makes it difficult
and expensive to treat them—and people who start treatment with low CD4 counts
have worse outcomes, including higher mortality levels.
“treatment as prevention”, research findings show that if people access treatment
early, it improves their long‐term health outcomes and radically decreases the
likelihood that they will pass on the virus. However, “treatment as prevention”, as it is
now being called,
While women’s rights were on the agenda during the anti‐apartheid struggle, not
front and centre, as the first priority was national liberation.
Federation of South African Women (FEDSAW)
Freedom cannot be won for any one section or for the people as a whole as long as
women are kept in bondage.
End of apartheid in 1994 marked the beginning of a political transition for SA,
which started to focus heavily on advancing human rights. Constitution’s founding
principles and commitments to non‐sexism and gender equality. Several
institutions created to address women’s rights and promote gender equality.
Many of those who struggle against apartheid, women and men, turned to gender
equality, joined leadership of these institutions.
DVA, TOP Act, Maintenance Act, SOA, Harassment Act
Protection from Harassment Act 2013 – non‐domestic relationships, anyone.
Internet, don’t have to know identity, “reasonably believe that harm may be
The Protection from Harassment Act allows for a special process where an initial
court order is made without the immediate knowledge of the person who is
harassing the complainant, based only on the complainant’s side of the story, as
long as the court is satisfied that there is prima facie evidence that the complainant
is being or may be harassed and that harm is or may be suffered if the protection
order isn’t granted immediately. At the same time that the protection order is
granted, a warrant of arrest may be issued. If the person contravenes the protection
order by continuing to harass the complainant, the police may immediately arrest
During Mbeki’s rule, South Africa’s health minister urged patients to avoid drug
therapies from the West and to rely instead on unsupported remedies including
garlic and beetroot to help treat AIDS. Such policies may have cost 365,000 South
African lives, according to a study by Harvard researchers.
"Knowing one’s HIV or TB status is critical for access to effective prevention
interventions for those testing negative. Data from the 2010‐2011 national HCT
campaign indicates that men represented only 30% of those who tested. Efforts
must be made to increase men’s health‐seeking behaviour, including participation in
HCT… Loss to follow‐up of people living with HIV with high CD4 counts and not in
immediate need of ART is high. This results in many patients returning late to care,
when they are ill and past the point when they should have started ART for maximum
benefit. This is especially true of men who under‐utilise health services.”
“Gender Roles and Norms – Challenge the gender roles, norms and inequalities that
increase women’s vulnerability to HIV and compromise men’s and women’s health;
address the position of women in society, particularly their economic standing; and
engage with men on changing socialisation practices."
We are even more glad that language which outlines concrete solutions was included
“Strategies should address male gender norms that equate alcohol use with
“Education for learners and parents on gender norms and transformation.”
“A comprehensive national social and behavioural change communication (SBCC)
strategy must serve to increase demand and uptake of services, to promote positive
norms and behaviours and to challenge those that place people at risk (including
norms that discourage men from accessing HIV, STI and TB services, contribute to
violence against women, multiple partnerships and those that encourage alcohol
DWCPD – mandate overlaps with CGE. Stacked with political appointees, mired in
corruption. 1/3 employees earn top salary band. Minister spent R2.1 million on decorating
her office. Massive overtime payments, little product
Fewer men enroll in ART programmes in Africa than women. Men also experience an
increased risk of death.
South Africa has some of the highest rates of violence in the world, even though
there has been a steady fall in the per capita murder rate2 in the country since the
advent of democracy.
the homicide rate for South African males is nearly six‐fold that for South African
This form of violence is shown to be concentrated amongst young men, that is,
males in their late teens to mid‐40s.10 More pertinently, urban young black men
are at disproportionately higher risk of homicidal victimisation than other groups in
While men are often situated as the most frequent perpetrators of violence, at the
same time it is men’s work for gender change that has also begun to allow social
spaces to emerge for men and boys to reconstitute the roles, attitudes and choices
that they can make and thereby choose less damaging forms of social interaction
and ways of living.
More precisely, not all things all males do to assert or confirm their masculinity will
put them at risk of being murdered, or of murdering another young person.
Wanting to be gainfully employed so as to support a family, for instance, is an
important element in the construction of certain forms of black, Indian, white, and
coloured South African manhood, however, it is not in itself supportive of risky
masculinity. Rather, it is specifically those practices that some men engage in within
particular social, economic and neighbourhood contexts to express their manhood
and demonstrate fearlessness – 'badness', carrying weapons, and behaviours around
alcohol usage – that heighten vulnerability to, or perpetration of, violence.
Masculinities are not monolithic, there is a diversity of masculinities, and they are not