Society for Family Health (SFH) is a non-governmental provider of health products, services and communications and one of South Africa’s leading social marketing organizations. Its expansive portfolio includes lubricant, HIV testing services, CD4 count testing, TB screening, voluntary medical male circumcision, and schools based sexuality and HIV prevention program. All of these programs are supported by behavior change communications, marketing and training.
SFH was founded in 1993 as a condom social marketing organization and since then has distributed more than a billion condoms.
SFH estimates that in 2015, its products and services helped avert 4,797,954 DALYs, including, by health area:
- 4,612,257 HIV DALYs
- 185,697 FP DALYs
SFH’s family planning programs also provided 1,704,666 couple-years of protection.
These statistics include the impact of sales and distribution of condoms by PSI/South Africa, PSI’s regional commercial entity in Southern Africa.
SFH’s health services fall under the New Start brand, offered through directly-owned sites and a franchise network. This brings SFH and other local NGOs together to provide high-quality HIV testing services, voluntary medical male circumcision and health communications services.
New Start services are offered to individuals, communities, partner organizations, and in workplaces across various provinces in South Africa. We provide these services through two main models: mobile testing services from tents set up in spots that are easily accessible to the community, and door-to-door testing provided in people’s homes or workplaces.
New Start Voluntary Medical Male Circumcision Services
SFH seeks to provide high-quality, cost-effective voluntary medical male circumcision (VMMC) services to South African men. SFH and its partners are creating informed demand for and access to VMMC. Our communication also targets women, parents and community leaders, in order to create a supportive environment for the men who want to get circumcised. Services are provided from fixed and mobile clinics as a way of increasing access to services.
New Start Health Communication
SFH is dedicated to achieving positive health changes by disseminating tailored messages to its target audiences. Health communication combines commercial marketing techniques to position products and services with messages that improve knowledge and reinforce healthy behaviors.
SFH uses both branded and non-branded health communication campaigns. Branded campaigns focus on promoting and creating demand for products, such as male and female condoms, or services such as HIV testing services and VMMC. Generic campaigns address risk perception, stigma and discrimination, and unhealthy social norms.
SFH’s Condom Brands
SFH distributes the South African Government’s Max condoms as part of its Public Sector Distribution program. Public Sector Distribution is an initiative between SFH and the National Department of Health (NDoH). SFH is also the NDoH’s strategic condom communication partner. SFH worked closely with the department to rebrand the public sector condom brand previously known as Choice to Max condoms.
This close partnership is designed to ensure the successful distribution and accessibility of the NDoH’s Max condom brand, in order to achieve a positive health impact. SFH assists the NDoH and its provincial coordinators to improve the quality of its distribution, by building the capacity of local NGOs. SFH focuses on distributing to non-traditional outlets like spaza (convenience) shops, phone shops and shebeens (taverns). These are open late on a daily basis thus making it easy for people to pass through and get condoms. SFH has also gone into other partnerships that allow for distribution in toilets at colleges, and shebeen taverns in areas that SFH teams would not be able to reach.
- TB/HIV Care Association
- The Aurum Institute
- Foundation for Professional Development (FPD)
- U.S. Department of Defense (DOD)
- U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID)
- Education Development Center (EDC)
- United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA)
- South African National Department of Health
- South African National Defence Force
- South African companies (SABCOHA, South African Breweries, Amalgamated Beverage Industries, MTN, UTI)
- Implementing franchise partners: Mosamaria AIDS Ministry, Perinatal HIV Research Unit (PHRU Wits Health Consortium), South African National Defence Force (SANDF), Thathenda Health Care, Training Institute for Public Health Care (TIPHC), Boithuto Lesedi Project, Centre for Positive Care, SAMAG, and Senako
- Expanding Access to HIV Self-Testing: A Market Development Approach
PSI envisions a healthy market for HIVST to be one that is supported by multiple buyers and suppliers and that delivers on the 5As (Availability, Assured Quality, Appropriate Design, Awareness, and Affordability) to achieve public health goals. Realizing this vision for the HIVST market will require consideration of two key markets- public and private sectors. While HIV testing has traditionally been driven by the public sector, HIVST opens up the possibility of utilizing private sector pharmacies to expand and extend the reach of testing.
- HIV Testing as a Critical Entry Point to a Range of Services: Results From New Start Sites in Four Sub-Districts in South Africa
125,531 New Start HTS client referral records from October 2014 to April 2016 from four sub districts were analyzed to determine rates of completed referrals. Overall, 5 % (5793/ 125531) of all HTS clients were diagnosed HIV-positive with 62% (3589) of these being female. Of the positives, 87% (5054) accepted referrals for treatment and care services and 59% (2971) of the acceptors completed referrals.
- Safety and Efficacy of the PrePex Male Circumcision Device: Results From Pilot Implementation Studies in Mozambique, South Africa, and Zambia
This paper describes the results of pilot implementation studies conducted in Mozambique, South Africa, and Zambia to assess the safety of male circumcision procedures conducted by nurses and clinical officers using the PrePex device.
- Using Research to Inform the Development of Social Marketing Campaigns for HIV Self-Testing in Kenya and South Africa
The aim of this abstract is to describe how recent research in Kenya and South Africa may inform the design of social marketing campaigns to introduce oral HIV self-testing in these countries and elsewhere in sub-Saharan Africa. An HIV self-test kit allows individuals to test themselves using an oral swab, at a time and location convenient to them, and provides the results with in minutes.
- The Greatest Gift: Improving Couple HIV Testing Rates in South Africa
In South Africa, only 41% of the estimated 6.4 million people living with HIV know their status. In support of the National Counselling and Testing strategy, PSI’s affiliate, Society for Family Health, launched a campaign to encourage couples to get tested together.
- AEA 2014: Serving the Poor and Sustaining Condom Markets – An Evaluation of Six African Countries
The Total Market Approach is a system in which all sectors – public, social marketing, and commercial – work together to deliver health choices for all population segments. The goal is to ensure that the poorest communities receive free products, those with slightly greater resources benefit from partially subsidized products, and those with a greater ability to pay purchase products from the commercial sector. The objective of this evaluation is to determine if actions taken by all three market sectors over the last five to seven years have increased condom use in an equitable and sustainable way in six African countries.
- How to Use the Inner Condom
Animated video on how to use the female condom or inner condom. Brought to you by Lovers+ and PSI/South Africa.
- Total Market Approach: South Africa
This case study describes the market for male condoms in South Africa, and the roles of the public, social marketing, and commercial sectors in the market.
- Total Market Approach in Six African countries
The Total Market Approach (TMA) is a system in which all sectors – public, subsidized and commercial – work together to deliver health choices for all population segments. In 2013, PSI completed six TMA case studies describing the condom markets in Botswana, Lesotho, Mali, South Africa, Swaziland and Uganda. These case studies also propose a set of recommendations for improving the effectiveness, efficiency and sustainability of condom markets.
- Lovers Plus Condoms Radio Ad – Aussie Open
In January 2014 when this radio spot ran. news headlines were full of the Australian heat-wave and how it is affecting the players' ability on the court during the Australian Open. This provided the perfect platform to create a tactical radio advertisement that aired on South African radio during the Australian Open--starting you on the tennis court, then taking you to the bedroom.