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 union plans to expand care for rape and sexual assault victims by providing greater access to needed medical, legal and psychosocial care through the development of the Thuthuzela Care Centres (TCCs) network.
Launched by the South African government in 1999, with the support of the US Government, the TCC network was set in place to ensure that survivors of sexual violence, including women and children, have access to services, including HIV/AIDS testing, prevention, and treatment programs.
Because of the high HIV prevalence in South Africa, survivors of sexual violence are at high risk of being infected with HIV/AIDS, and women living with HIV/Aids are at higher risk of experiencing violence. It is crimes like rape and other forms of gender-based violence that are noteworthy problems in South Africa that impeded not only gender equality, but democratic development as well.
The M•A•C AIDS Fund, one of the organizations involved in the union, has committed to a contribution 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. 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.
The Office of Global Women's Issues at the Department of State, the USAID Regional Mission in South Africa, and the South African Government's National Prosecuting Agency/Sexual Offensives and community Affairs Unit(NPA/SOCA) are the other organizations involved in the partnership.
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