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.
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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
- Segmentation and Design, Breaking the Cycle of Transmission: Increasing the Uptake of HIV Testing, Prevention and Linkage to Treatment among Young Men in South Africa
Segmentation and intervention design from a project funded by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and the Maverick Collective to understand and reach young men in South Africa with HIV testing, prevention and linkage to treatment
- Quantitative Research Findings and Segmentation, Breaking the Cycle of Transmission: Increasing the Uptake of HIV Testing, Prevention and Linkage to Treatment among Young Men in South Africa
Quantitative research findings and segmentation from a study funded by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and the Maverick Collective on understanding and reaching young men in South Africa with HIV testing, prevention and linkage to treatment.
- Findings and segmentation from quantitative research on increasing uptake of HIV testing and linkage among high-risk men in South Africa
A quantitative study aiming to understand individual, social and structural factors influencing HIV testing and linkage to treatment or prevention and identifying segments in order to inform tailored and targeted approaches.
- Qualitative Research Findings, Breaking the Cycle of Transmission: Increasing uptake of HIV testing, prevention and linkage to treatment among young men in South Africa
Qualitative research findings from a study funded by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and the Maverick Collective aiming to understand and reach young men in South Africa with HIV testing, prevention and linkage to treatment.
- HIVST Landscape in South Africa
- Qualitative findings on barriers to HIV testing and linkage for men in South Africa
Findings from the qualitative research phase of a PSI/Ipsos project in South Africa, in which we aimed to understand why high-risk young men do not test for HIV or initiate treatment upon testing positive.
- 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.