Sonke is pleased to share details of the publication of amazing resources to be used in our second Bushbuckridge-based impact evaluation focused on whether community mobilisation increases the use of HIV treatment as prevention.
The materials developed include Public Service Announcements in English and Shangaan, a set of powerful testimony videos by people living with HIV, and a whole new set of community mobilisation manuals and toolkits.
The project is described in full below and represents an exciting next step in our efforts to measure the impact of our community education and mobilisation work.
ABOUT TSIMA – Treatment as Prevention
Tsima is a three-year community mobilisation intervention and research trial that Sonke is implementing in eight villages of the Bushbuckridge area in the Mpumalanga province.
Tsima traditionally means working together to plough a field. We use it here to signify working together for the community good. Tsima ra rihanyu means working together for health.
As the implementing agent, Sonke has partnered with the University of the Witwatersrand, the University of California – San Francisco, the University of North Carolina – Chapel Hill and Right to Care to complete the research component of the project.
The main goal of the project is to mobilise communities to learn and understand that HIV treatment is also a form of HIV prevention. Scientific research has shown that in partners who are sero-discordant, that is, where one is HIV-positive and the other does not have HIV, it is very unlikely that the infected partner can transmit infection to the uninfected one. This is because if the infected partner is on antiretroviral treatment and adheres to it, the medicines can suppress the HI-Virus to very low or undetectable levels, thus reducing or eliminating the risk of transmission.