TB HIV Care hosted an exhibition stand at the 9th SA AIDS Conference in Durban last week. It was an unforgettable experience, a whirlwind of networking, workshops, track sessions, plenaries, social media and more.
The concept for TB HIV Care’s stand was simple, we wanted a space where people could meet, discuss different programmes and projects (#ChangeTheConversation), as well as take part in live Facebook and Twitter chats. All of this to showcase areas where TB HIV Care had expertise to share. Our topics were reflected on the back panel of the stand – as well through advocacy messages on button badges. We were fortunate to be able to distribute interesting and engaging materials (e.g. information around harm reduction, OST and a sex work study) as well as our 2018 Annual Report.
In terms of the concept, the stand was very successful. It was gratifying to see the number of people who wanted to engage at our stand, including people from the National Department of Health, District Departments of Health, the Department of Correctional Services, the Department of Social Development, SAPS, other NGOs and civil society. We took the opportunity to celebrate TB HIV Care’s 90th birthday (what a milestone!) at the stand – and grabbed some great videos and photographs of people wishing TB HIV Care a happy birthday.
Thanks so much to Luzuko Tosh (HIV Prevention Regional Manager), Tricia Sterling (Training Manager) and Alison Best (Communications Manager) who assisted us so ably in our first foray into Facebook Live videos. Thanks to Malibongwe Daweti (Provincial Community Coordinator) who provided valuable insights on men-friendly services and working with traditional healers.
A real highlight was TB HIV Care’s three Twitter chats:
- Can data save lives? Exploring how data can help reach epidemic control
- Men Matter. How can we better involve men in the HIV response?
- What keeps stigma alive, and can innovation help to end it?
The ‘tweetchats’ were moderated by Vanessa Carter from Healthcare Social Media South Africa (#HCSMSA) and we got great stats – positioning TB HIV Care as one of the top social media influencers at the conference.
In addition to the expo stand, TB HIV Care was well-represented during the conference, including:
- Skills Building Workshop: Disruptions and change
The time to ignore intersections between HIV, viral hepatitis and drug use is over – understanding integrated HIV responses for
people who inject drugs with Dr Andrew Scheibe, Ms Andrea Schneider, Prof Monique Marks, Ms Angela McBride and Dr Kgomotso Vilakazi Nhlapo
2. Skills Building Workshop: Pushing PrEP beyond Implementation Possibility
Exploring experiences gained in providing PrEP to the sex worker, MSM and Transgender populations with TB HIV Care, Wits RHI, Engage Men and PHRU.
3. Panel Discussion: Decriminalisation of HIV and AIDS (with Shaun Shelly discussing PWID)
Thanks so much to all involved.
The TB HIV Care conference stand was still a popular ‘photo booth’ even on the last day just before being dismantled.
Bustling with activity, the conference booth was a meeting place for staff, partners and stakeholders.
The Twitter chat in full swing and being broadcast at the TB HIV Care booth.