New Start is a health programme run by the Society for Family Health (SFH) that focuses on providing no-cost, high quality services to prevent HIV and TB. Our aim is to ensure that people who cannot afford to pay for private healthcare receive excellent care.
The New Start programme was launched in 2004 and operates in areas of the Free State, Gauteng, KwaZulu-Natal and Mpumalanga. We offer HIV counselling and testing (HCT) services as well as medical male circumcision (MMC) services.
We try to make it easy for people to learn about our services and to make use of them.We have special staff whose full-time work is to inform and educate members of communities about the services we offer. We also conduct community campaigns, using local radio stations, billboards and other forms of advertising.
We provide HIV counselling to vulnerable communities. We go door-to-door in many areas and ask people if they would like us to do an HIV test in their own homes. From time-to-time we also set up HIV testing stations near shopping centres, taxi ranks and other busy places.
Our circumcision services are provided in special clinics by qualified doctors. The service is free, quick and performed with local anaesthetic, so that there is no pain during the surgery (although there can be some discomfort later as the wound heals). Men who choose New Start circumcision receive counselling and a health check before the circumcision is performed. They are back at home within a few hours and receive regular check-ups afterwards to make sure they are healing properly.
New Start believes that we need to add value for the people we serve. For example, when somebody tests HIV-positive we don’t stop there. We offer the person a CD4 count to check how seriously HIV is affecting them and whether they need treatment immediately or later. We also offer to check them for TB and help them get ARVs, if they need them.
The New Start programme is strengthened by SFH’s other activities. These include:
- Distributing Choice condoms to taverns, neighbourhood (spaza) shops and places of entertainment.
- Running the Families Matter! programme, which was developed by the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, to promote positive parenting and effective parent-child communication.
- Doing research to understand what communities want when it comes to HIV and sexual health services.
New Start clinics report to SFH’s head office managers and the whole organisation is overseen by a management board.
For more information, contact:
Tel: 011 484 5320
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