Does the 2011 budget address HIV and AIDS

Idasa’s Governance and AID Programme looks at the HIV and AIDS-Poverty causal relationship and asks: Does employment creation provide the answer? This paper attempts an answer by examining the 2011/12 budget

The national budget largely caters for HIV and AIDS interventions through direct and indirect budgetary interventions. The significant increase in the direct interventions will go a long way in mitigating the effects of the pandemic, knowing one’s status and universal access to treatment and preventing new infections. The indirect interventions will also be supportive and will create a conducive environment for an HIV and AIDS response. Read the full analysis here.

What’s 2011 going to bring for Zimbabwe? Idasa outlines four possible scenarios.

Zimbabwe’s Constitutional Parliamentary Committee (Copac) will complete the drafting of the new foundation law for Zimbabwe in mid-2011. A referendum on the new law will be conducted in September and a YES response will be attained. Presidential elections will then be called for early December 2011. Likely? Nope, according to SITO’s current Zimbabwe fellow, Dr John Makumbe, who has drawn up four possible scenarios in a paper entitled “Zimbabwe in 2011/2012: Political Scenario Mapping”. In the end all he can say with certainty is that “2010 ended on a rather sour note for most politicians in Zimbabwe” and “Zimbabwe’s current political arrangement is increasingly untenable”. But he also says a lot more besides – click here for this fascinating analysis.

AIDS Leadership and Service Delivery in South Africa: What the People Thin

Will people vote for an HIV positive candidate? Read a new study by Godknow Giya of African democracy institute Idasa here. Its called “AIDS Leadership and Service Delivery in South Africa: What the People Think “and  it found more than eight out of ten people in provinces hardest hit by HIV and AIDS in South Africa will vote for a candidate who is HIV positive. According to an opinion survey conducted in municipalities in four provinces by African democracy institute Idasa, 86% of respondents in urban areas and just over 78% of South African in rural areas are likely to vote for an HIV positive representative. But lots more work has to be done in areas that aren’t so open.

Criminalisation of wilful transmission of HIV: sitting on the fence?

By Christele Diwouta, a researcher with Idasa’s Governance and AIDS Programme

In August this year the eyes of the world were upon an HIV-positive German pop star found guilty of having unprotected sex with her ex-partner and infecting him with HIV. Nadja Benaissa, 28, was found guilty and given a two-year suspended sentence as well as 300 hours of community service.

Nadja’s trial stirred up controversy and her story is not an isolated one. In the recent history of HIV and AIDS, there have been reported cases of wilful transmission of HIV. Some countries view the act of infecting a person with HIV as first-degree murder, as in the case of Ugandan-born Johnson Aziga under Canadian law.  Or it can be defined as serious bodily harm, as in the case or R. v. Cuerrier  where the supreme court of Canada ruled that a partner cannot truly give informed consent if the other fails to disclose their HIV status. In the American state of Florida, a person with a sexually transmitted disease other than HIV who knowingly passes on the disease through sexual activity is guilty of a misdemeanour.  But it is a felony  for any person who is knowingly infected with HIV to intentionally or recklessly pass it on to another person .

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Teaching journalists to cover HIV and AIDS in a way that focuses on the broader question of their role in democracy-building

Marietjie Oelofsen of Idasa-GAP says the curriculum development project with UNESCO is a continuation of Idasa-GAP’s consideration of the role of journalists in unlocking resources across communities to deal with the challenges of HIV and AIDS. “It will look at the potential of journalism education to prepare journalists to generate a public conversation about citizens’ common concerns around HIV and AIDS and how the media can become a catalytic force to enable citizens to become co-creators in developing solutions to address HIV and AIDS and other developmental concerns.” Click here for more information.

Analysing budgets and tracking resources for HIV & AIDS in East Africa

The AIDS Budget Unit (ABU) of Idasa’s Governance and AIDS Programme (GAP), in partnership with The Eastern Africa National Networks of AIDS Service Organisations (EANNASO), held a capacity-building workshop on HIV & AIDS budget analysis and resource tracking from 13 to 17 September 2010 in Nairobi, Kenya. The training was attended by EANNASO staff and members from Burundi, Kenya, Rwanda, South Africa, Tanzania, Uganda and Zanzibar. The main facilitators from Idasa were Vailet Mukotsanjera-Kowayi, Kisimba Mwenge and Godknows Giya, and the facilitators from EANNASO were Olive Mumba and Julius Sabuni.

ABU focuses on budget analysis and resource tracking of HIV and AIDS resources – tracking where the money comes from, who are the main service providers and who are the beneficiaries, as well as the effective, efficient utilisation and equitable distribution of resources. Conventional budget analysis tools are used, including the National AIDS Spending Assessment tool, which is UNAIDS’s brainchild.

See full report here.

Idasa warns of new needs of HIV-affected children

The latest study by Idasa’s Governance and AIDS Programme (GAP) warns that improved access to antiretroviral therapy has created a whole new dilemma for Africa. As the life expectancy of children living with HIV increases, where do AIDS orphans who have been cared for in institutions all their lives go for help after they turn 18? Caregivers and counsellors now have to deal with issues of dating, sex and health education at a different level and provide for post-matric life skills, including accommodation and tertiary education. Download the press release here.

For more information on this research and Idasa’s Governance and AIDS Programme, contact Marietjie Oelofsen, GAP Programme Manager, on 082 7730879 or 012 392 0575 or

Commentary on AIDS 2010 Conference in Vienna

The AIDS 2010 conference took place in Vienna this month. Idasa was in Vienna to discuss the state of leadership, government budgets and the challenges people living with AIDS face when they take part in political, social and economic life. Listen to Marietjie Oelofsen (Programme Manager) about their time in Vienna here –

Or listen here:

Models of Hope in Ghana

The Community of Practice for African media practitioners working on HIV/AIDS was recently launched in Livingstone, Zambia by Idasa’s Governance and AIDS Programme.  Two of the participants speak in this video clip, about an initiative in Ghana called “Models of Hope” which provides positive role models for people living with HIV.  See more here.

Media and HIV – getting together

It was hot, humid and sweaty and the airline had lost my luggage.  After filling out a few bureaucratic forms with a smiling Zambian face, I joined the bus of strangers – new recruits to Idasa’s Community of Practice for African communications practitioners who write about HIV/AIDS.  We were to spend two days together, at the start of a 4 year relationship.  The bus journey to the hotel was peppered with polite, get-to-know-you conversations…

Two days later, many hours of sharing stories and exploring how to build citizen action through media and communication work, we were no longer strangers.  The group sessions promoted discussion and deliberation about the role of citizens, and the role of journalists – and how these two overlapped for people in the room.  Questions shot around the room about how to wear two different hats, how to manage conflicts of interest, how to avoid being used for personal agendas, and make sure your journalistic skills are not exploited.

The discussions were thought provoking and relationships formed in a way that will encourage deeper engagement over the next four years.  The workshop included a session on how we should keep talking to each other, especially in between meetings, and for the duration of the 4 years.  Following their suggestions, a social networking hub was set up for participants to keep talking – and a googlemap was also used to plot participants work and partnerships across the continent.  See some of the interviews on video here.


– Samantha Fleming was an Idasa participant at the launch of Idasa’s Community of Practice –