Publication Details

Williams, B., Gouws, E., Frohlich, J., Campbell, C. & MacPhail, C. (2001). Lessons from the front: NGOs and the fight against HIV/AIDS in South Africa. Voices from Africa, 10 33-40.


More than a decade after HIV became established in South Africa's general population, the unity of purpose and commitment needed to limit and reverse the spread of infection is still lacking. Social leaders and "celebrities" are, with some notable exceptions such as Judge Edwin Cameron, unwilling to admit they are infected with HIV. The government argues for the importance of taking a broad view of the social contexts of the epidemic by embracing poverty, inequality and the legacy of Apartheid. Some large corporations are considering the consequences of the epidemic, but their attitude to it remains ambivalent. Echoing the history of the struggle against Apartheid, responsibility for dealing with HIV/AIDS is falling increasingly on society's NGO sector.