June 13, 2017

South Africa: Has South Africa’s New HIV Plan Been Captured?

This post originally appeared on allAfrica.

The new strategy is the first in a decade that does not advocate for the decriminalisation of sex work.

South Africa’s recently released HIV plan will help to guide the country’s response to everything from sex work, drug use and treatment for the next five years. But the document has been met with fierce civil society opposition amid allegations of high-level political meddling.

The South African National Aids Council (Sanac) was meant to launch its latest five-year national strategic plan on HIV and tuberculosis (TB) publicly in March but because the document was not finished, Sanac launched a summary instead.

The body quietly debuted the document earlier this month. The release prompted many civil society groups to begin sifting through the more than 100-page plan to see what had made it in after months of consultations and several drafts for public comment.

But now some organisations are saying the plan has some glaring omissions. Notably absent is any call for the decriminalisation of sex work – already an official Sanac policy position – to increase access to health services for sex workers and their clients. This plan is the first in a decade to exclude a proposal to decriminalise sex work.

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