Men's Health and empowerment programme

Get educated, covered and cut

About the programme

Men's Health and empowerment programme is a national campaign that seeks to address the risks associated with having multiple and concurrent partnerships, sex and alcohol ,Gender based Violence and promotes HIV testing , Male involvement in PMTCT and health seeking behaviours in general.

The campaign is a collaborative effort led by South African National AIDS Council (SANAC), the Department of Health, Department of Higher Education and Training, USAID/PEPFAR, CDC, Johns Hopkins Health and Education in South Africa (JHHESA), Sonke Gender Justice, UNICEF , IDMT , the United Nations System in South Africa and more than forty other civil society partners working in the field of HIV prevention and Health. The campaign uses Interpersonal communication , Mass Media and Advocacy to reach its audiences.

The campaign uses a wide range of advocacy initiatives to influence and engage the various audiences. These include Media advocacy in print media, Television and radio. Other activities include advocacy initiatives targeting all levels of government, traditional leaders, civil society, faith based and opinion leaders within communities around social constructions of men, male responsibilities.

The Tshwane University of Technology (TUT) in Pretoria hosted the launch of a medical male circumcision (MMC) promotion campaign at universities on 30 May 2013.

The MMC campaign is an important element of an increasingly comprehensive HIV/AIDS programme in the higher education and training sector that is being driven by the Higher Education HIV/AIDS Programme (HEAIDS), which also champions HIV counselling and testing and other prevention, treatment and support services.

Medical male circumcision is now firmly considered an effective HIV prevention measure, which reduces the risk of acquiring HIV by about 60%. Evidence shows that the inner skin of the foreskin is more likely to absorb HIV than any other skin, as it is more prone to small tears during sex. There are also cells within the foreskin that attract the HI virus.

Dr Ramneek Ahluwalia, Director of HEAIDS, explained that where university clinics are fully equipped, students and staff may book in for the procedure by a trained health professional under safe conditions and will receive pre-counselling and proper follow up care. “Where universities do not have the facilities, they will be referred off campus to nearby government health facilities that are offering high volume services, supported by PEPFAR MMC delivery partners” he said.

Higher Education Institutions that would like to implement the Men's Health and empowerment programme on their campus, should fill in the activation request form below and send it to (universities only) or (FETs only).

Programme Managers

Alex Semba - University Support

Mr Alex Semba has extensive experience in project management. He holds a Master's Degree in Philosophy in HIV and AIDS Management from Stellenbosch University. Alex joined HEAIDS from the University of the Western Cape's HIV and AIDS programme where he was the Peer Education Coordinator. Prior to that Alex was a Peer Education Officer, Project Officer and Acting Head of Department at the Cape Peninsula University of Technology's HIV/AIDS Unit.

E-Mail:      Phone: 012 481 2802


 Brenda White -  FET Colleges Support

Brenda White has been appointed HEAIDS: Project Manager for the First Things First HCT campaign in January 2013 to manage the FTF campus activations. Brenda joined HEAIDS from FPD with strong Project Management skills. She holds B Sc Ed and B Com Honours degrees from the University of Johannesburg (previously RAU) and certificates in Pastoral Narrative Therapy (UNISA) and Advanced Health Management Programme (2011, Yale University). She has written and presented on HIV/AIDS services, the role of traditional healers in HIV/AIDS referral, and early detection of HIV/AIDS in children.       Phone: 012 484 1137