The Plettenberg Bay HIV & Aids Forum is a non-government, not for profit organization that was created in response to the then mayor calling on communities to respond to the crisis caused by HIV&AIDS. It has formed partnerships with local and provincial government to extend service provision and has a broader base of private sector funding. It is driven by priority needs of all affected by HIV&AIDS, which is everyone. It is non-political and non-denominational and has a large representative committee of members. Management is by a very committed board of trustees and directed by a coordinator. It currently has 30 staff members with growth anticipated for 2006/2007.
Plett HIV & Aids Forum gives service and support to government by acting as employers for the lay-counsellors employed in the Voluntary Counselling and Testing programmes in Knysna and Plettenberg Bay. Forum assisted government in speeding up the roll out of treatment to Plett and supports and extends public health services.
The Forum initiated and implemented a Home-based Care programme serving all the diverse communities of Plett and linking with the six public health care clinics. TB is being specially targeted, by offering treatment support and AIDS patients have access to holistic care through HBC.
Forum manages a Social Service budget through the Joint Venture committee to provide nutritional supplements, baby milk, school clothes and other needs to those infected and affected by HIV&AIDS.
Quarterly, well attended committee meetings are held as well as all members of Forum engaging in ongoing networking and coordination of welfare and health interventions.
With Isisombululu and Bitou Municipality as partners, Forum has opened and is operating a shelter for women and their children affected by domestic violence or gender based abuse. This can shelter and provide for up to 9 beneficiaries and will run continuous programmes that focus on woman empowerment. Situated on land provided by Bitou Municipality, the shelter has linked with Department of Agriculture and a support group to begin an income generating food garden.
Plans are well advanced to build a Support Centre, being a 12 bed, 24 hour nursing facility to extend the care offered through Home Based Care.