General questions

Q. What is ACHAP?

  • ACHAP is a country-led, public-private development partnership between the Government of Botswana, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, and Merck Company Foundation which has provided strategic support to Botswana’s national HIV/AIDS response

Q. When was ACHAP established?

  • It was established in 2000

Q. What role does ACHAP play in the country?

  • ACHAP is currently implementing its Phase II programme of support (2010 – 2014)

Q. What are ACHAP’s Phase II programmes?

  • To support the scale up of safe male circumcision among HIV negative males aged 15-29 years.
  • To position ACHAP as a successful country led Public Private development Partnership in the national response to HIV/AIDS.
  • To systematically transition the support of ART treatment programme to the Government of Botswana by December 2011 and enable the national programme to sustain quality and maintain treatment converge.
  • To strengthen the National TB Programme in order to improve the access to and utilization of integrated HIV and TB services on a national scale by 2014.
  • To improve generation, utilization and sharing of strategic information and knowledge from HIV/AIDS and TB programmes in Botswana in order to inform and improve programmes in Botswana and the region by 2014.

Employment with ACHAP

Q. Do you have volunteer opportunities within ACHAP?

  • Currently we do not have any provision for that however we engage interns through the department of Internship.

Q. Can I submit my application for a vacancy without any advert?

  • We encourage people to apply when there is an ADVERT.

Q. When are we likely to get feedback after interviews?

  • In two week’s time

HIV Prevention

Q. What is safe male circumcision (SMC)?

  • Safe male circumcision is the surgical removal of the fore skin covering the end of the male so that the glands (or knob) are permanently exposed.

Q. What are benefits of safe male circumcision?

  • Circumcised men have lower risks of getting sexually transmitted infections, urinary tract infections, penile cancer and they find it easier to maintain penile hygiene. Removing the foreskin also prevents inflammation of the glands and avoids health problems such as inability to retract the foreskin due to swelling. Circumcised men are also less likely to infect women with human papilloma virus that causes cervical cancer.

Q. Why is SMC good for me?

  • Improves penile hygiene among men
  • Reduces chances of sexually transmitted infections including HIV
  • Reduces chances of women getting HPV from men hence reducing cancer of the cervix among women

Q. Who should circumcise?

  • All males can be circumcised. However current programme in Botswana is focusing on males aged 13 years and above. HIV positive men should consult with their doctors before going for circumcision

Q. Why are chances of HIV infection lower in a circumcised male?

  • The inner part of the foreskin contains more cells that are more likely to be infected by HIV than the rest of the penis. These are the cells with a receptor that allows HIV to enter the body, like a lock with a key. When an uncircumcised man has sex, the receptor cells are exposed, thus putting him at risk of HIV infection if his female partner is positive. By removing the foreskin you reduce the number of these cells on the penis and lower the risk of a man acquiring HIV during sexual intercourse

Q. Are there any risks associated with male circumcision?

  • As long as male circumcision is carried out by a qualified doctor in a sterile health facility, the risks are extremely low.

Q. How long should I wait before I presume my sexual activities after 6 weeks?

  • It takes 6 weeks for the wound to completely heal.

Q. What impact does SMC have on the Client’s sexual life?

  • There is no scientific evidence that SMC either increases or decreases sexual pleasure for either partner. Clients who may experience challenges in their sexual life after circumcision should seek assistance from the health facilities. Depending on the nature of the problem the client will be referred to appropriate specialist intervention.

Q. What should a client do before the procedure?

The client goes through the following steps;

  • HIV counseling and testing

The client can visit the nearest Voluntary Counseling and Testing centre in their area or the local clinic e.g. Tebelopele VCTC, Botswana Christian AIDS intervention Programme (BOCAIP) centers, Botswana Family Welfare Association (BOFWA) centers and other community based organizations

  • SMC counseling before the procedure.
  • Physical assessment to rule out any illness and contraindications
  • The procedure
  • Post circumcision supportive counseling which will be done at each and every visit

Q. Where can I get circumcised?

  • Area W Clinic
  • Bontleng Clinic
  • Block 8
  • Nkoyaphiri clinic
  • E & M Dada Clinic
  • Mahalapye Hospital
  • Maun Old Hospital
  • Boseja II
  • Scottish Livingstone Hospital
  • Boswelakoko Clinic
  • Palapye Primary Hospital
  • Sekgoma Memorial Hospital
  • Thamaga Primary Hospital
  • Emmanuel Centre

Q. Once circumcised, what is going to happen should I need my foreskin back?

  • Circumcision is a permanent surgical removal of the foreskin, so one can’t get back the foreskin once removed.

Q. What are IEC materials?

  • These are Information, Education and Communication materials. These are materials that provide information and facilitate learning in a way that appeals to those specifically targeted.  

Q.  In what language are IEC materials?

  • Most IEC materials in Botswana are in English and Setswana

The Masa Program

Q. What is Masa program?

  • Masa, a Setswana word meaning "new dawn," heralds the rising of a dawn over Botswana's struggle against the HIV/AIDS epidemic and promises Batswana the opportunity to live longer and healthier lives by giving people living with HIV/AIDS more time to nurture their families and to help build a better future for Botswana.

Q. When was Masa program implemented?

  • In January 2002, the Government of Botswana took the bold step of launching Africa's first national anti-retroviral (ARV) Program – “Masa”.

Q. How has the program faired?

  • The program has been fully rolled-out to 35 ARV sites across Botswana.

KITSO Program

What is the Kitso Program?

  • Known as KITSO ‘knowledge’ - has provided critical training in HIV/AIDS care and ARV therapy to Botswana’s health care workers through classroom training.

How did it come to be?

  • ACHAP partnered with Harvard AIDS Institute and The Ministry of Health to develop curriculum on HIV/AIDS clinical care.

What is the role of the Program?

  • One of the key achievements from ACHAP support to the KITSO training program continues to be the creation of human capacity to roll out the ARV program to clinics across the country.

Treatment Optimization pilot project

Q. What is the Treatment Optimization project?

  • It is a two year pilot aimed at catalyzing optimal access to ARV treatment services in Botswana

Q. What are the specific objectives of the project?

  • To provide catalytic support for the expansion of HIV counselling and testing services and strengthen linkages with post- test services

  • To facilitate creation of demand and expansion of access to quality HIV/AIDS treatment services and through catalytic support for reduction of treatment initiation delays by the use of point of care CD4 count testing services in 6 facilities sites

  • To build on existing treatment investments and achievements

  • To generate and share innovations on the programme with national and international audiences


Q.  Q1.What are the major signs and symptoms of TB?

  • Persistent cough for more than 2 weeks, night sweats, fever and weight loss.

 NB: In children the symptoms are enlarged lymph nodes and reduced playfulness.

Q. Where can I access TB services?

  • All public health facilities countrywide (some private practitioners also offer such services)

Q. Q3. How can TB infection be controlled in households and congregate settings like public transport, schools and churches?

  • Improving ventilation by keeping doors and windows open
  • Having people who are coughing spending most of their time outdoors
  • Having coughers spend minimal time with young children and the elderly
  • Minimizing the number of people who share a room with a cougher i.e. for sleeping purposes
  • Educating the public on good cough hygiene

Q. When should a person who is co-infected with TB and HIV start ARVs?

  • As soon as the individual tolerates TB treatment (should not exceed 2 months after the patient is initiated on TB treatment), in this regard the level of CD4 count is not a determining factor

Q. When should frequency of intensified TB case finding among people living with HIV be done?

  • It has to be done at every encounter of such a person with a health care worker.


Q. Can ACHAP provide funding for projects?

  • Currently ACHAP is not accepting requests for funding.  Instead we have very focused activities, for which we occasional request organizations to submit proposals.  If you have a project which you think would support ACHAP in reaching ACHAP’s current objectives you can email grants@achap.org or leave a document at reception. 
  • Because of the number of requests we get we are unable to provide personalized responses to all of the requests, but if it is a project we believe we can partner on we will contact you directly.