We are excited to announce that we are changing the name of our organisation to the Desmond Tutu Health Foundation.
This move represents the widening scope of our work in public health research and community-driven health responses. Our name change acknowledges our expanding expertise that, directly or indirectly, contribute to our fight against HIV.
“There was a time when we needed to have an intense focus on HIV, but that has changed over the years. The 2018 IAS-Lancet Commission Report speaks to a change in the HIV field; a need to look to the long-term sustainability of our HIV response,” says DTHF Chief Operating Officer Linda-Gail Bekker.
This need has been further highlighted during the Coronavirus pandemic as we adjust our research sites to incorporate COVID-19 research into our work.
Our core values remain the same – striving to improve the health and wellbeing of the communities that we serve. HIV continues to be one of the biggest public health challenges that South African communities face and will continue to form a significant focus of our Foundation. Our name change represents the widening scope of our projects within public health.
Bekker adds that “Huge progress has been made – we now have successful treatment and options for [HIV] prevention. But we still have a very long road ahead of us. We need sustainable long-term strategies that find common ground with global health more broadly. This embraces HIV and other communicable diseases, as well as sexual and reproductive health and improving health
outcomes for key populations such as adolescents and young women and girls.” We will continue to work under the recognisable and trusted DTHF rainbow and name of our patron, Archbishop Emeritus Desmond Tutu, who serves as a constant reminder that our work is in the service of our beneficiaries.
The Desmond Tutu HIV Foundation has for the past two decades focused on improving upon the best practices to prevent, treat and ultimately control diseases such as TB, HIV, sexually transmitted infections, and other related diseases, while contributing to local and national health policy. The original HIV Research Unit was the first public clinic in South Africa to offer antiretroviral therapy to those living with HIV.
The threat of the HIV epidemic is far from over. As our expertise have grown, so have our approaches to treatment and prevention. Now, our work has expanded to help communities with a wider variety of their most pressing health concerns. Our name change, approved after in-depth consultations with our beneficiaries, marks this milestone.
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