Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton announced a public-private partnership to combat gender based violence and further the fight against HIV/AIDS in South Africa. The partnership will seek to expand care for survivors of rape and sexual assault in South Africa by providing greater access to needed medical, legal and psychosocial services through the expansion of the Thuthuzela Care Centres (TCCs) network.
The founding partners in this public-private initiative are the Office of Global Women’s Issues at the Department of State, the M•A•C AIDS Fund, the USAID Regional Mission in South Africa, and the South African Government’s National Prosecuting Agency/Sexual Offensives and community Affairs Unit(NPA/SOCA).
At the June 2 event, the M•A•C AIDS Fund announced a commitment of $2 million over the next two years to expand the TCC network through the launch of new TCC centers and the extension of operating hours at existing clinics.
Because of South Africa’s high HIV prevalence, survivors of sexual violence are at high risk of becoming infected with HIV/AIDS. Evidence has also shown that women living with HIV/AIDS are at higher risk of experiencing violence. Rape and other forms of gender-based violence are significant problems in South Africa that impeded gender equality adn democratic development.
The M•A•C AIDS Fund’s contribution will leverage the $18.9 million that the U.S. government has committed to the program to date.
In addition to Secretary Clinton, the launch announcement event was attended by John Demsey, Group President Estée Lauder Companies/Chairman M•A•C AIDS Fund; Karen Buglisi, Global Brand President M•A•C Cosmetics/ M•A•C AIDS Fund Board Member; and Nancy Mahon, Global Executive Director of the M•A•C AIDS Fund and Senior Vice President of M•A•C Cosmetics.
The TCC Network was launched by the South African government in 1999 with the support of the US Government to ensure that survivors of sexual violence, including women and children, have access to services, including HIV/AIDS testing, prevention, and treatment programs. The program is also supported by the President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief in South Africa.