Gender-based violence

Thuthuzela Care Centres



© UNICEF SA Photo by G Pirozzi
The large numbers of children raising themselves is the greatest challenge of the HIV and AIDS epidemic.

HIV and AIDS continues to be one of the biggest challenges faced by South Africa today. Based on the Department of Health antenatal survey from October 2002, an estimated 5.3million South Africans, including 189,000 babies, were living with HIV and AIDS. The incidence rate reported is 2% of the total population, 6% of births, 3.8% for infection acquired via breastfeeding.

The fight against the rising numbers, however, must include not just the infected but also those affected by the epidemic. Today, this means all South Africans. The National Integrated Plan for Children Infected and Affected by HIV and AIDS, spearheaded by the Departments of Health, Education and Social Development and guided by the broader HIV and AIDS National Strategic plan 2000-2005 is the framework within which the UNICEF multi-sectoral interventions work.

Among the challenges posed by HIV and AIDS, perhaps the gravest is that of the children hardest hit by the epidemic.  It is estimated that by 2005, some 1 million children under the age of 15 will be orphaned.  By 2010, orphans as the result of HIV and AIDS and other causes, will comprise 9 - 12% of South African children.  The recent Consultation on Orphaned and Vulnerable Children (OVC), has brought intensified focus on how to increase integrated services for these children.

© UNICEF SA Photo by G Pirozzi
The corrosive social environment in which many young people live is linked to and heightens their risk of contracting the HI virus.

How UNICEF adds value

UNICEF's work focuses on involving young people themselves in the design and implementation of strategies to curb the spread of the disease among the young, and to stop gender-based violence. UNICEF is active in advocacy initiatives to boost birth registration levels for all children and for the development of a national OVC policy on the protection of orphans and vulnerable children, as well as on the development of a national anti-rape and domestic violence strategy. UNICEF also supports initiatives for community-based care of OVC including their increased access to basic social services and psychosocial support. Scaling up interventions to prevent mother to child transmission are another key focus area.


National Department of Health 

National Prosecuting Authority

Centre for AIDS Development, Research and Evaluation (CADRE)

Childline South Africa                                        

Pinetown Highway Welfare Society

Prince Mshiyeni Memorial Hospital

Women’s Health Project – Wits University

Umtata Child Abuse Resource Centre

Children’s Rights Centre


Gender, Law and Development Project - University of Cape Town- Institute of Criminology

Stop Women’s Abuse Helpline

iThembaLethu Breastmilk Bank 

Thuthuzela care centres





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Saving Children, Enhancing Lives

Combating HIV and AIDS in South Africa, Second Edition, 2006

Read more about at the strategies proposed by UNICEF SA to assist the Government in the fight against HIV and AIDS.

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