Partners in Sexual Health
Leaders in Sexual and Reproductive Health and Rights (SRHR)
of Empowering Communities on SRHR, especially Adolescents and Youth
projects and campaigns
The Sexual and Reproductive Health and Rights (SRHR) of adolescents and youth is strongly influenced by a range of social, cultural, political, and economic factors and inequalities. These factors increase adolescents and youth’s vulnerability to SRHR risks (e.g. unsafe sex, early pregnancy, substance abuse) and pose barriers to their access to SRHR information and services. Addressing these underlying causes by working with various stakeholders such as parents, teachers, community members and policy makers, are essential for adolescents and youth to realise their sexual and reproductive health and human rights.
Partners in Sexual Health provides a variety of SRHR and HIV/AIDS services to communities through various projects and campaigns to address these underlying causes to improve the health and lifestyle outcomes of communities national and regionally.
Teen Parenting and Teenage Pregnancy Project
Teenage pregnancy is increasing at an alarming rate in South Africa and regionally therefore PSH puts a strong focus on prevention of teenage pregnancy by providing education on sexuality, contracep-tives, gender-based violence, life-skills and alcohol and drug abuse. We also empower teenage parents (young mothers and fathers) and pregnant teenagers with parenting skills and support.
In School Youth Project
The project focuses on learners, targeting them with well structured facilitation on SRHR, Substance Use & Abuse Prevention, HIV/AIDS Preven-tion and life-skills training. We also recruit and train learners as Health Promoters who in turn impart valuable information to their peers since learners relate better to peer driven interventions. Since 2009 we have trained more than 3 000 Health Promoters and reached more than 200 000 learners.
Out of School Youth Project
Out of school youth are at a higher risk of contracting HIV/AIDS and are most vulnerable to early and unwanted pregnancies since they are often excluded from the social and health interventions that are delivered through our In School Youth Project, nor do they have access to accurate information about their sexual and reproductive health and rights. As a response to their vulnerability, PSH’s Out of School Youth Project focusses on building the capacity of youth who are not in school by imparting valuable and accurate SRHR information and education to them to ensure a better informed transition into adulthood.
Contributing to positive changes in SRHR and CSE policies and laws and defending progressive policies and laws from attacks at AU, SADC and national levels in 8 Southern African countries
Youth Friendly Clinics
PSH’s Youth Friendly Clinics provides quick access to SRH and HIV/AIDS services. The clinics provide SRH education, information and counselling on (but not limited to) family planning, diagnosis and treatment of sexually transmitted infections (STIs), pregnancy testing, termination of pregnancy and provision of male and female condoms. We ensure that the attitude of our clinical staff is responsive to the needs and sensitivities of young people in order to make them feel welcome and comfortable to discuss any challenging social and health matter they are facing.
HIV Counselling and Testing (HCT) Project
One of the primary ways of shaping the behavioural lifestyle of young people during this era of HIV/AIDS is to establish their HIV status. PSH’s HCT sites provides of range of wellness screening and prevention services. The HIV test is one of a set of wellness tests intended to raise awareness about lifestyle diseases and encourages people to take responsibility for their own health and wellness. Our HCT sites are available in selected public spaces or we partner with other private and public stakeholders to offer services. Our wellness screening and prevention services are also coupled with proper referral for treatment, care and support at public health facilities.
The purpose of this project is to create awareness around HIV/AIDS and sexually transmitted infections (STIs) amongst long-distance truck drivers, commercial sex workers and those at risk such as driver spouses and partners. PSH’s HIV Counselling and Testing (HCT) teams visit truck stops to provide free and confidential HCT services to truck drivers and their helpers.
Breaking the Silence: Providing access to Comprehensive Sexuality Education and Sexual and Reproductive Health and Rights to
Young People with Disabilities in Africa
The project Leaving No One Behind: Breaking the Silence seeks to fill the lack of comprehensive sexuality education (CSE) for young people living with disabilities. This project aims to do so by linking schools to sexual and reproductive health (SRH) support to provide inclusive CSE for learners. In doing so, learners living with disabilities can access CSE that is sensitive, accessible and affordable and is of quality. Young learners living with a disability share the same rights and aspirations as non-disabled learners, this extends to sexuality.
With a vision that seeks to develop an empowered society on SRHR, PSH is conducting training with educators to address young learners’ with disabilities poor and lack of access to SRH support and services in South Africa. The SRHR needs of such learners are influenced by a range of cultural, social, political and economic factors. Such factors increase learners’ vulnerability to unsafe sex, pregnancy, sexual abuse and other SRHR risks alike. Equally, these factors present barriers to accessing SRHR support, information and services, barriers that are exacerbated when individuals are of the youth and disabled population. The increased risk of sexual abuse, exploitation and low education levels highlights the need for accessible, affordable and scientific CSE for learners. A lack of inclusive SRH education, services and support underpins such vulnerabilities; this is compounded by poor linkages between SRHR and policies and strategies. Misconceptions of young people with disabilities and sexuality mean society fails to recognise that young persons of this community do in fact, experiment sexually and are sexually active. It is our contention that combatting poor and lack of access to SRH support and services requires educator training in the Breaking the Silence approach.
Sexual and Reproductive Health and Rights and Disability Policy Analysis
The South African Case Report
updated March 2021
Young Women's SRHR Leadership and Advocacy Project
Young women remain vulnerable, unduly affected and at risk of HIV, Gender-based Violence, Sexual Violence, harmful traditional practices and unwanted pregnancies because they are young and women. All these factors have an adverse effect on the growth and future of young women. PSH has been conducting training to young women on leadership and advocacy skills to capacitate them to express their voices and to ensure they, together with young men, are able to offer credible and progressive leadership.
Everything Starts at Home Project
Evidence shows that youth who engage in ongoing dialogue with their parents about sexual issues are more likely to postpone early sexual debut, practice safer sex and develop into sexually healthy and responsible adults. This project educate and capacitate parents with communi-cation skills to interact with their children and teenagers about abstinence, sexual and repro-ductive health and HIV prevention.
Victim Empowerment Project
The Victim Empowerment Project (VEP) provides psychosocial support services to victims of crime and gender-based violence (GBV), and their family members. The project offers a continuum of care, support and protection activities that are aimed at ensuring the social, emotional and psychological well-being of individuals, families and communities.
The Siyakwazi Youth Network is South Africa’s first ever SRHR Network that brings the Sexual and Reproductive Health and Rights (SRHR) issues of our Youth to the fore with sustainable support and tangible interventions. The Network is improving the SRHR outcomes of young people, particularly in decision-making about their lives. The focus is on creating a generation of youth leaders nationally and regionally to have a collective voice and become architects of positive change.
Adolescent Girls and Young Women (AGYW) Programme
The AGYW Programme offers a comprehensive package of services that improve Adolescent Girls & Young Women’s health, psychosocial and socio-economic well-being.
The AGYW programme aim to:
Decrease HIV incidence
Decrease teenage pregnancy
Increase retention in school
Increase economic opportunities
Reduce gender-based violence (GBV)
Gender-based violence (GBV) is another pandemic next to the COVID-19 pandemic and the AGYW programme seeks to reduce and prevent GBV through our layered intervention namely the IMPOWER programme, which is a rape prevention programme.
The school-based modality involves a whole school management approach, managed by our School Development Managers. This approach enables our managers to give support to the school in terms of their health promotion policies and technical support for the Comprehensive Sexuality Education (CSE) curriculum in schools.