Engagement Tours at AIDS 2016

The Engagement Tours will provide delegates with unique learning experiences through interactive site visits to local community based organizations throughout Durban and KwaZulu-Natal. The goal is to exchange knowledge, best practices, successes, challenges, and innovative solutions through dialogue and hands-on activities.

Tours are available to conference delegates at no cost. To register, please send an email with your name, conference registration number and the tour you want to attend to [email protected].

Registration will be processed on a first-come, first-serve basis. As demand for the tours is high, we cannot guarantee space for all interested delegates. Tours have different capacity and duration; please check the descriptions below for more details. Tours are limited to one per delegate.

Meeting point: this will be at the Shuttle Pick-up/Drop-off point next to the Global Village. A volunteer will be waiting for you with a sign indicating the tour name and will guide you to the bus.

Delegates who are registered to participate should assemble at the given location immediately following the morning Plenary Session for the 11am tour, and following the Special Sessions & Poster Discussions for the 2pm tour. Volunteers will guide the delegates to participating organizations via shuttle buses.

Details of the tour schedule and participating organizations are listed below.

Engagement Tours Schedule

Date & Time Tour Reference & Organization
Monday, 18 July
11:15 – 13:15

Tour A: The Denis Hurley Centre (incl. volunteering opportunity)

11:15 – 12:45

Tour B: Blue Roof Wellness Centre

14:15 – 16:00

Tour C: Gugu Dlamini Foundation

13:30 – 16:30

Tour D: Hillcrest AIDS Centre

Tuesday, 19 July
11:15 – 14:15

Tour E: Hillcrest AIDS Centre

14:15 – 15:15


14:15 – 16:30

Tour G: North Star Alliance

14:15 – 16:00

Tour H: Malvern Child and Youth Care Centre

Wednesday, 20 July
11:15 – 13:00

Tour I: Malvern Child and Youth Care Centre

11:15 – 12:15


14:15 – 16:30

Tour K: North Star Alliance

14:15 – 16:00

Tour L: Gugu Dlamini Foundation

Thursday, 21 July
11:15 – 13:15

Tour M: The Denis Hurley Centre (incl. visit of mosque & cathedral)

11:15 – 12:45

Tour N: Blue Roof Wellness Centre

14:15 – 16:30

Tour O: North Star Alliance

14:15 – 16:15

Tour P: Khaya Art Centre

Participating Organisations

Blue Roof Wellness Centre/Keep a Child Alive

The Blue Roof Wellness Centre was designed and built by Keep a Child Alive (KCA), an organization founded in 2003 by AIDS activist Leigh Blake and 15-time Grammy Award-winner Alicia Keys, as an emergency push to get life-saving HIV medication to children needlessly dying of AIDS in Africa.  

The centre currently provides comprehensive HIV services to 2,319 adults, adolescents, and children living with HIV. It offers a variety of services, including: HIV counseling and testing (HCT), HIV care and antiretroviral therapy (ART), psychosocial and adherence support (including specialized psychosocial support for children and their caregivers, as well as a youth support group), nutritional support such as hot, nutritious meals, tuberculosis (TB) screening, cervical cancer screening, and linkages to substance abuse counseling. 

With the new Zoe-life management and input the center is moving towards a vision of a child- and adolescent-focused wellness center. It has been introducing new elements, events, services, and activities to draw children and youth into the Blue Roof, where they not only receive a wide range of services, but where some of the critical drivers of the HIV epidemic can be addressed in their lives, within a safe environment which is equipped to best meet their holistic needs.

Max. visitors: 15-20 | Tour duration: 1hrs30mins | Schedule: B, N 


CAPRISA is the UNAIDS Collaborating Centre for HIV Research and Policy and hosts a DST-NRF Centre of Excellence in HIV Prevention and a MRC HIV-TB Pathogenesis and Treatment Research Unit. The primary goal of this award-winning research organisation is to undertake globally relevant and locally responsive research that contributes to understanding HIV Pathogenesis, Prevention and Epidemiology, and the link between Tuberculosis and AIDS care.

Established in 2002, CAPRISA’s five major partner institutions are the: Universities of KwaZulu-Natal, Cape Town, Western Cape, National Institute for Communicable Diseases and Columbia University in the US. CAPRISA has diverse scientific expertise in basic and molecular epidemiology, virology, immunology, infectious disease medicine, bioinformatics, statistics, ethics and health policy.

CAPRISA’s high impact studies have influenced the microbicide and vaccine fields as well as international TB-HIV treatment guidelines. In 2010, the landmark CAPRISA 004 study, involving 889 urban and rural women in South Africa, provided the first evidence that antiretroviral drugs can prevent sexually acquired HIV infection. The study was ranked among the top 10 scientific breakthroughs in 2010 by the journal Science.

With this tour delegates will have the opportunity to visit CAPRISA's offices and laboratory, and learn more about the trainee programmes.

Max. visitors: 12 | Tour duration: 1 hour | Schedule: F, J 

The Denis Hurley Centre

The multi-faith Denis Hurley Centre cares for the most marginalized people of Durban.

Within it, the Usizo Lwethu clinic provides primary healthcare free of charge to over 2,000 clients per month. 40%+ are refugees; many are living on the streets or are drug users. The clinic receives no Government funding.

HIV prevalence rates are over 25% with poverty exacerbating the effects of HIV and MDR TB. We do not dispense ARVs but do provide a DOT programme for drug users.  Street-side VCTs and healthcare are also provided to patients living on the streets.

The centre work with a local university to offer health education for patients and local residents and traders.  For AIDS 2016, it is hosting the Butterfly project – an artistic vision of an AIDS-free generation. 

The tour includes a visit and a Q&A session. Tour A gives delegates the opportunity to volunteer at the kitchen to feed homeless people (for 1 hour). Tour M ends with a visit to the nearby Grey Street Mosque and the Cathedral; the DHC works closely with both these organizations.

Max. visitors: 20 | Tour duration: 2 hours | Schedule: A (incl. volunteering opportunity), M (incl. visit of mosque & cathedral)

Gugu Dlamini Foundation

Gugu Dlamini was an HIV-positive woman, who volunteered to be involved in community outreach campaigns to raise awareness and give HIV a face. She decided to dedicate her life to educating, motivating and encouraging others to reveal their HIV status, and talk about the disease as a social issue. She was violently murdered by members of her community in front of her 12-year-old daughter, Mandisa, after publicly disclosing her status. Since then, her name has been used to further the fight against HIV stigma and denialism, and her daughter has now returned to the same community to work with those infected and affected by the disease.

Delegates will be taken to the Memorial house to see and hear Gugu Dlamini's story. They will also have a chance to speak to young women in the organization and engage to programmes such as the afterschool programme, or support groups for young women living with HIV by hearing their story and how stigma and discrimination affected their lives. Delegates will also have the opportunity to meet Mandisa Dlamini, Gugu Dlamini's daughter, who witnessed her mother's murder.  They will also visit the memorial site where Gugu Dlamini was stoned and left to die, and get a chance to see the Gugu Dlamini memorial AIDS museum. Mandisa will also  be talking about the work she is doing with the same community that killed her mother, and  what gave her the courage to go back.

Max. visitors: 40 | Tour duration: 1hrs40mins | Schedule: C, L

Hillcrest AIDS Centre

Hillcrest AIDS Centre Trust (HACT) is a registered South African non-profit organization based in Hillcrest approximately 30 minutes outside of Durban. Founded in 1990 as a ministry of the Hillcrest Methodist Church, HACT’s mission is to provide unconditional love and hope to HIV/AIDS impacted communities in the Valley of 1000 Hills region of KwaZulu-Natal.

The organization’s work is multi-faceted and responds to the HIV/AIDS pandemic from four primary angles: prevention, care, community outreach and income generation. Its current activities include; a 24-bed Respite Unit for end stage AIDS patients, a home-based care programme for over 600 HIV positive adults, Life Skills and Peer Education programmes in local schools, support groups for over 2000 grannies who care for their orphaned grandchildren and numerous income-generating projects such as its Woza Moya Craft Shop.

HACT was awarded the 2015 Dira Sengwe Leadership in AIDS Award in recognition of its 25 years of service to tackling the HIV/AIDS pandemic through its unique, holistic approach.

Delegates will get an overview of the HIV pandemic in the region, of the organization and its activities, and will go for a walking tour of the centre. They will also have some time to browse the craft shop and plant nursery at the end.

Max. visitors: 20 | Tour duration: 3 hours | Schedule: D, E

Khaya Art Centre/K-CAP

“ITHEMBA TATTU”, an Edmund Mhlongo’s production, possesses a punchy and powerful awareness message against the stigma associated with HIV/AIDS and related women abuse. The award-winning actresses of Ithemba-Tattu bring a message of tolerance to the future AIDS-free generation. Ithemba is hope against the tattoo (thathu/tattu) – the stigma of AIDS.

This is probably the most robust, poignant, humorous and memorable production dealing with the AIDS pandemic that I have seen over many years. Judging from the gasps and audible responses from those around me in the capacity audience, it seems the impact of the production reached us all.

(Latoya, Daily News)

Compelling performances from highly talented young actresses.

(Caroline Smart)

What a lovely performance by two young women with lovely tunes and a red and white stage. Their encouraging message about the scourge of HIV and Aids gives hope. The audience is taken through the ups and downs of living positively. Seeing it makes your tears roll uncontrollably.

ZM (Cue Online, Friday, 29 June 2012, Grahamstown’s National Arts Festival (NAF) 2012 raving reviews)


Playwright/Director: Edmund Mhlongo
Featuring: Bongeka Mkhize and Philisiwe Ntintili
National Arts Festival 2012 Standing Ovation Award.

Max. visitors: 200 | Tour duration: 2 hours | Schedule: P


Malvern Children’s Home

Malvern Child and Youth Care Centre is a place of safety and, for many of the children, the only real home they will ever know. But like most children’s homes across the country, this one is also under threat because of growing needs and lack of funding.

At Malvern Child and Youth Care Centre the children live in 10 houses, each catering for 12 children and run by a house parent/child care worker. They share bedrooms and bathrooms, and the kitchen and lounge area. The children get to enjoy a communal playground and a swimming pool. The Home also has its own Early Childhood Development programme (crèche on the premises) and a dedicated Therapeutic Centre, which is home to children who are more severely traumatised while they undergo specialised therapy. The children are transported to 17 local schools as part of the Home’s Educational Support Programme. 

The tour includes a presentation on the Home and how it manages its HIV-Aids child development programmes. This will be followed by a tour of the home and its facilities, where delegates will have the opportunity to meet some of the children. The tour will be concluded back in the Hall with a Q&A session.

Max. visitors: 30 | Tour duration: 1hrs45mins | Schedule: H, I


North Star Alliance

This session will include a guided tour of North Star Alliance’s Cato Ridge Roadside Wellness Centre located just outside of Durban on the busy N3 route to Johannesburg. It is estimated that roughly 3,500 trucks travel on this corridor every day. Since 2007, North Star has brought high quality healthcare to hard-to-reach populations across Africa in a “Blue Box” - a converted shipping container painted blue. North Star clinics deliver HIV counselling and testing & primary health care services for populations with increased health risks like truck drivers and sex workers, as well as for communities with limited or no access to medical services. Tour delegates will gain an understanding of North Star Alliance’s comprehensive treatment services and educational sessions, which totaled more than 250,000 in 11 countries across Africa last year.

This tour is kindly sponsored by Chevron.

Max. visitors: 15 | Tour duration: 2hrs15mins | Schedule: G, K, O  



Contact the Engagement Tours Team

[email protected]