HIV/AIDS programme
  Lobby, advocacy
  In the workplace
HIV/AIDS and Democratisation Programme

New NiZA programme

30% of all the HIV-positive people in the world live in Southern Africa, a region that houses less than 3% of the world’s population. Women and girls are infected and affected most. In South Africa, a girl is more likely to have been raped than to go to school.
This translates into a devastating impact on the economic, political, administrative and social conditions in the countries in the region. The pandemic also has a huge impact on NiZA’s partner organisations and their staff.
In short: it threatens the potential of a democratic southern Africa.

The HIV/AIDS policy instituted by NiZA in 2005 relies on two components.

First, HIV/AIDS will become part of the mainstream policy both within NiZA and externally, in the NIZA organisation and in activities it undertakes. That means that a NiZA workplace policy will be ready by the end of 2006 and that money will be made available for HIV/AIDS projects in the other three programmes. The mainstreaming process is expected to start in 2007.

Second, a new programme will be set up on the theme of HIV and Democratisation. The HIV/AIDS and Democratisation Programme does not focus on the medical and social consequences of the pandemic, but on the connection between the virus and democratic processes. NiZA does this by providing local organisations with various forms of support on two themes:

The HIV/AIDS and Democratisation Programme started in 2006. The first stage of the programme involves working to find partner organisations and formulate the programme more specifically. The first activities are expected to take place during the course of 2007.

About HIV/AIDS and Democratisation
The countries in the Southern Africa region are all relatively young democracies. A great deal of work is still being done to construct government organisations, inform the electorate and consolidate procedures. HIV/AIDS is a threat to all this. The pandemic is taking away huge numbers of people, primarily people who are in the most productive phase of their lives. The virus does not discriminate: it infects government ministers, bank officials, police officers, doctors and miners.

HIV/AIDS disrupts relations with the electorate, frustrates the consolidation of democratic institutions and paralyses the government. Ministries and other government bodies are facing employee turnover and declining tax revenues. The service capacity is diminishing, jeopardising the status of health care, education and economic development. In short: democracy is at risk, beset on all sides.

To fight the virus effectively, it is also important to maintain an open approach to HIV/AIDS in the political arena. Some countries still insist on political denial of the causes and extent of the epidemic. This is an obstacle to dealing with the problem adequately.