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South Africa: Alexandra Men's Clinic Wins Innovation Accolade

February 11, 2013

Alexandra Men's Clinic -- a men's sexual health facility in Johannesburg, South Africa -- was runner-up for the Centre for Public Service Innovations Award for Innovative Service Delivery Institutions. The city's Region E Health Department and the Centre for HIV and STIs in the National Health and Laboratory Service partnered to open the men's clinic after a 2005 survey indicated women used sexual health facilities more than men, who were reluctant to be treated by female nurses for STDs and HIV.

Prior to the switch to male nurses and support staff, the clinic's patients were mostly female. When a woman was treated for STDs, clinic staff also asked her to bring in her partner for treatment. At first men refused, but they began to come as they realized the clinic was staffed by male nurses and support staff. Clients report they are more likely to visit the men-only clinic because the male nurses understand their problems.

The clinic's director, Professor David Lewis, reported that the clinic has made "significant progress" in cutting the prevalence of STDs among the township's men in the last eight years. The clinic first targeted youth, but is now reaching out to married men because of the ever present risk of infidelity, according to Vusi Mazibuko, deputy director of health for Region E.

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