SFH is South Africa’s leading non-profit, non-governmental provider of health products, services and communications and the country’s leading social marketing organization. SFH was founded in 1992 as a condom social marketing organization and since then has distributed more than a billion condoms.
Also since that time, SFH has greatly expanded the portfolio of products and services it provides to include male condoms, female condoms, lubricant, HIV counseling and testing, CD4 counts, tuberculosis diagnosis and voluntary medical male circumcision. All of these programs are supported by behavior change communications, marketing and training.
SFH estimates that in 2012, its products and services helped avert 2,181,950 DALYs.
SFH’s health services fall under the New Start franchise network, which brings SFH and other local NGOs together to provide high-quality HIV counseling and testing, voluntary medical male circumcision and health communications services.
New Start services are offered to individuals, communities, partner organizations and in workplaces across South Africa. We do this at fixed sites and mobile facilities that are easily accessible around the country.
New Start Voluntary Medical Male Circumcision
SFH seeks to provide high-quality, cost-effective voluntary medical male circumcision services to South African men. SFH and its partners are creating informed demand for medical male circumcision and increasing access to safe medical male circumcision services for adolescents and men. Our communication also targets women, parents and community leaders, in order to create a supportive environment for the men who want to get circumcised.
New Start Health Communications
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 HCT. Generic campaigns address risk perception, stigma and discrimination, and unhealthy social norms.
SFH’s condom brands
SFH is a distributor of the Government of South Africa’s Choice condoms as part of its Public Sector Distribution program. Public Sector Distribution is an initiative between SFH and the National Department of Health (NDOH). This close partnership is designed to ensure the successful distribution and accessibility of the NDOH’s Choice condom brand in order to achieve a positive health impact. SFH assists the NDOH and its provincial Sexually Transmitted Infections Coordinators to improve the quality of its distribution by building the capacity of local NGOs.
The Lovers Plus brand has attained consistent growth since its launch in 1993, primarily as a result of the application of successful marketing and advertising strategies. Lovers Plus is positioned as a fun, affordable, high-quality condom for adults who have high self-esteem, are ambitious and stylish. The price point has also assisted in positioning the brand as a quality product in the consumers’ mind. Lovers Plus is available in three variants: smooth; colored and flavored; and ribbed and studded. The extended Lovers Plus range provides diversity for consumers and greater brand exposure at retail purchase points.
The successful Trust brand was launched in 2001 to reach sexually active young adults in the lower income groups who want maximum protection. Trust products are made to the same high-quality specifications as Lovers Plus. The lower price increases affordability and encourages use among consumers who are unable to pay for more expensive alternatives. The Trust range is available in a smooth and studded for enhanced sexual pleasure.
- South African Government: National Department of Health
- South African companies (SABCOHA, South African Breweries, Amalgamated Beverage Industries, MTN, UTI)
- Local NGOs: CHAPS, Careworks, AIDS Foundation, Brother’s for Life, Soul City
- Franchise Partners: Thathenda, PHRU, Mosamaria, TIPHC
- 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.
- HIV-related conspiracy beliefs and its relationships with HIV testing and unprotected sex among men who have sex with men in Tshwane (Pretoria), South Africa
The objective of this study was to determine extent of HIV conspiracy belief endorsement among men who have sex with men (MSM) in Pretoria, and assess whether endorsement of HIV conspiracy beliefs are associated with inconsistent condom use and never testing for HIV.
- 2010 ANNUAL RESEARCH PLAN – SOUTH AFRICA
- A Model for the Roll-Out of Comprehensive Adult Male Circumcision Services in African Low-Income Settings of High HIV Incidence: The ANRS 12126 Bophelo Pele Project
The objective of this study was to investigate the feasibility of the roll-out of medicalized adult male circumcision according to UNAIDS/WHO operational guidelines in a targeted African setting. The success of the project showed that it could it be tailored for other rural and urban communities to achieve scale-up of the procedure in Eastern and Southern Africa.
- The effectiveness of targeted social marketing to promote adolescent reproductive health: the case of Soweto, South Africa
This study analyzes the impact of the Society for Family Health’s adolescent reproductive health program in Soweto on adolescents’ perceptions regarding sexual risks and preventive action, and on their sexual behavior and use of protective measures.
- An evaluation of adolescent sexual health programs in Cameroon, Botswana, South Africa, and Guinea
This study assesses the impact of four social marketing interventions that were implemented in Cameroon, Botswana, South Africa and Guinea between 1994 and 1998 with the objective of improving adolescent reproductive health.