As South Africa commemorates World Aids Day on 1 December and 16 Days of Activism against Gender-Based Violence (GBV), from 25 November to 10 December, Vuk’uzenzele explores the relationship between GBV and HIV/AIDS.
The Gender-Based Violence and Femicide (GBVF) Response Fund strives to ensure that South Africa is free from GBVF against women; children; and the lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, intersex, queer/ questioning, asexual and more (LGBTQIA+) community.
The fund was launched by President Cyril Ramaphosa in February 2021, to support the implementation of the National Strategic Plan on GBVF. According to the fund’s website, it plays a critical role in making change happen, based on research, awareness and practical support to organisations actively engaged in the fight against GBVF.
One of the organisations supported by the fund is the KwaZulu-Natal-based Gugu Dlamini Foundation, which received R250 000 from the GBVF in 2022.
Executive Director of the Gugu Dlamini Foundation, Mandisa Mabaso, established the foundation in 2010 after her mother – the late Gugu Dlamini – was stoned to death in 1998 in Durban for disclosing her HIV- positive status. “The foundation aims to strengthen local governance to improve the GBVF response, which is essential to achieving HIV epidemic control in South Africa,” says Mabaso.
“It also aims to reduce HIV/AIDS infections, increase access to care and improve health outcomes for females and males infected and affected by HIV/ AIDS,” she adds. The funding that the foundation receives assists 522 255 women and girls and 900 men and boys from families affected by GBV and domestic violence; abused persons living with disabilities; and the LGBT- QIA+ community, says Mabaso. According to UNAIDS, in areas of high HIV burden, women who are victims of GBV face up to a 50% higher chance of acquiring HIV. Some of the reasons for this are rape and the refusal by men to use a condom.
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