Desmond Tutu HIV Centre: Postgraduate Diploma in TB-HIV Medicine



The Desmond Tutu HIV Centre and the University of Cape Town are proud to present the first online postgraduate qualification from the Faculty of Health Sciences: the Postgraduate Diploma in TB-HIV Management.

Healthcare practitioners at primary care health facilities, are faced with complex TB/HIV cases on a daily basis. Thus comprehensive knowledge of TB/HIV is essential to effectively manage the large case-burden attributed to these diseases.

The online postgraduate diploma (PGDip) aims to provide doctors and nurse practitioners with the comprehensive knowledge needed to manage HIV and TB infected patients at primary care health facilities. The two year qualification is in line with the latest South African national guidelines and best practices.

In response to the unique needs of an adult health-care practitioner working in a busy clinic outside of urban areas – this diploma is designed for online learning in the comfort of one’s home after the busy work day is done.  With no need to travel far distances for physical lectures, the student can access the engaging and interactive course content from their laptop, mobile phone or table over the internet, at a time that suits them.

The diploma consists of four online training courses (details below):

Year 1

     Clinical Management of HIV (Semester 1)

     Clinical Management of TB ( Semester 2)

Year 2

     TB/HIV Co-infection (Semester 1)

     Operational Research (Semester 2)

There is also a Biostatistics component at the end of year 2.


Should you require any further information, please contact the Operations and Support Manager – Melissa May.


For updates, follow us on Twitter @PGDipTBHIV

Online training team

Programme Director: Dr Rozeena Nordien (

Operations and Support Manager: Ms Melissa May

Lecturer: Dr Funeka Bango

Assistant lecturers: Mr Annibale Cois, Dr Sabine Verkuijl

General Information (Overview)

The Postgraduate Diploma is comprised of five individual courses, each of which can be completed in a stand-alone capacity and as occasional studies.  Occasional students are only permitted to complete one course at a time which will run over one semester (approximately five months).  After successful completion of the course, students are eligible to receive a maximum of 30 CPD points and will also receive an academic certificate of completion.  If you would like to find out more information or how to submit an online application, please see the Contact section below.


Faculty Handbook (Refer to pp. 66-67 and 280)

These courses are also open to be taken as stand-alone courses for those students not wanting to complete an entire diploma:


Topics covered: Epidemiology of HIV; Overview of HIV diagnostic tests; HIV testing & counselling in adults & children; Common opportunistic infections; ARV drugs & lifecycle of HIV; Initiating and monitoring ART in routine patients & patients with co-morbid conditions; Recognising & managing ART resistance/failure & treatment interruptions; Drug toxicity & management; Immune Reconstitution Inflammatory Syndrome.


Topics covered: TB/HIV Integration; Isoniazid Preventive Therapy (IPT); Initiation of TB Treatment; Initiating ART in Patients Already on TB Treatment; Drug Interactions between Rifampicin and ARVs; Treatment of Drug-resistant TB/HIV co-infection; Considerations for Combined TB Treatment / ART Use in Special Populations; Monitoring the Co-infected Patient; Management of Common Adverse Drug Reactions; TB-IRIS; Clinical Deterioration of HIV-positive Patients on TB Treatment; Management of Non-tuberculosis Mycobacteria / NTM.


Topics covered: TB diagnosis in adults & children, TB contact management, Signs & symptoms of TB in adults & children (including extra-pulmonary TB), Treatment & management of drug-sensitive & drug-resistant TB in adults & children, Treatment of extra-pulmonary TB, Treatment of Non-Tuberculosis Mycobacteria, and Monitoring of TB therapy.


Topics covered: Introduction to Operational research; Study designs; Error, Bias and Confounding; Data collection & Data Management; Research Ethics; Framing a research question; Writing a protocol; Choosing populations and sampling; Practical Implementation; and Writing Skills.


Fees (2018)

Occasional studies 2018

PG Dip Fee Breakdown 2018

Applicants can anticipate a 10% annual fee increase.  Please note that different fees for international students apply – refer to attachments for more information.

Please note that additional fees for international students outside of the SADC regions will apply.

Faculty Handbook



Since its inception, approximately 150 doctors and nurses have received training through this programme. This is what some of them had to say about their online learning experience:

“I am able to learn more while at home, despite my busy work.”

“The clinical topics covered were the most enjoyable and beneficial. I found them to be very stimulating as I was able to readily apply what I was leaning to my everyday working experiences with patients.”

“I found the notes to be excellent and very easy to read and understand which made the need for direct contact not necessary at all.”

“One, the flexibility to study while working. Two, the luxury of time for the course. Three, the ease of learning through the online interaction both audio and visual was very good.”

“The course helped me better understand infection control measures and as a result to implement them on the working place.”

“I found the course very organised. I liked the way TB information was unpacked. The most daunting subjects like MDR and XDR-TB were presented in a simplified manner that was easy to understand.”

The Tutu Tester


HIV and TB are managed successfully in many countries around the world. Yet, millions of people are still missing care.

The mobile services were introduced to bring healthcare to these ‘missing millions’.

It is estimated that only 60% of people worldwide with HIV know their status. The remaining 14 million people still need access to tests and treatment.

The Tutu Tester and Tutu Teen Truck mobile units provide a free, comprehensive health service to underserved communities. Since the unit’s inception in May 2008, over 50 000 individuals have been seen by the dedicated Tutu Tester team; 30 – 50 people are seen each day. The Tutu Teen Truck has seen nearly 7 000 people.

The Tutu fleet are in the field daily offering nutrition and healthy lifestyle education, HIV counselling and testing, point of care CD4 testing, screening for tuberculosis, and a range of general health screening tests. The aim is to improve the health of individuals in vulnerable communities and to normalise HIV testing.

Current Projects

  • Tutu Tester

The Tutu tester, the first in the Tutu fleet, is committed to going into underserved communities to provide free and confidential healthcare.

The primary focus of the project is to reduce the risk of HIV acquisition and transmission in all tested clients irrespective of a positive or negative HIV status. The unit has covered many areas servicing the public at transport hubs, farms, factories, hotels, gay bars, and sporting events to name a few. The team plays an important role in linking patients who need care to public health services and following up with cell phone calls where necessary.

You can contact the Tutu Tester on 021 659 6961

You can message them on Facebook.

You can email the Tutu Tester using

  • Tutu Teen Truck

The second vehicle in the Tutu fleet. The Tutu Teen Truck provides the services of the Tutu truck but for adolescents and young adults between the ages of 12 and 24.  Adolescents can receive HIV, TB, Diabetes, STI, and Pregnancy Tests and can also come for advice and information about their sexual and reproductive health.

The truck will usually arrive at its destination between noon and 1pm. It closes around 6pm everyday, but tries not to turn anyone away. You can find the next location here.

Medical results will remain between the Teen Truck Staff and the patient. By law, beginning at the age of 12 South African children can seek out their own medical attention including testing and treatment without parental consent.

You can contact the Tutu Teen Truck on 021 650 1959

You can message the Tutu Teen Truck on Facebook.

You can email the Tutu Teen Truck with

Tutu Kwik!

Historical Involvement

Currently, there are two mobile units in the Tutu Truck fleet: the Tutu Tester, which provides testing and screening services to the general public; and the Tutu Teen Truck, which aims specifically to provide an adolescent-friendly mobile service and only caters to those aged 12-24 years.

The Tutu tester was introduced in 2008 to bring healthcare to communities where there was HIV but patients weren’t seeking treatment.

Soon after, a second truck, the Tutu Treater was introduced as a roaming pharmacy so that people who were diagnosed with HIV or another illness they could get treatment straightaway. The treater ended its funding cycle in 2012, however, that isn’t the end of its story.

There was seen to be a need for an adolescent-exclusive Tutu Tester and thus the retired Tutu Treater was re-branded as the Tutu Teen Truck. The newly christened Tutu Teen Truck continues to provide medical services to young people.


The President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR) and Agénce Francaise Development provided the funds to build the unit and Metropolitan Health assisted with running costs for the first years.

We are proud that the service is now South African funded through a new partnership with Metropolitan and Discovery Health. We are most grateful to both companies for their commitment to public health enabling this vital service to continue.

We are actively seeking additional partners for the on-going support of this project.

Adult HIV Educational Programme


Order a Manual

Free Online Manual

The aim of the HIV education programme is to improve the care of men and women who are infected with HIV in all communities of South Africa. The manual for this distance-learning course for doctors and nurses was updated in July 2015 to reflect the latest policies and guidelines on ARV treatment.

The training manual consists of six modules covering all aspects of patient care and antiretroviral management:

  • HIV testing and staging
  • The management of HIV-infected adults at primary-care clinics
  • Preparing patients for antiretroviral treatment
  • ARV drugs, side-effects and drug interactions
  • Starting and maintaining patients on ARV treatment
  • Adherence, resistance and treatment failure
  • An overview of important opportunistic infections.

It includes case studies and has a multiple choice question and answer self-assessment component. It is a practical guide that is intended to provide primary health care workers with the knowledge they need to manage patients infected with HIV efficiently and effectively.

The course can be studied alone or in small groups managed by a course convener. The training manual costs R294.00 incl vat and can be ordered from Bettercare at It is also freely available online at the Bettercare Learning Station.

Who Can Benefit From The Programme?

The programme was written as a distance learning course for both doctors and nurses, but it may also be useful in the training of medical and nursing students as well as counsellors who educate and mentor patients commencing antiretroviral treatment.

The authors of the Adult HIV Education Programme consist of doctors and nurses who have an active interest in the management of adults with HIV. This ensures a balanced, practical and up-to-date approach to clinical problems.

Many colleagues at other South African universities and health services were consulted with a view to reaching consensus on the management of most adult HIV problems. Every attempt has been made to comply with current national management protocols.


Sizophila Counselling Programme

SizophilaThe Hannan Crusaid Treatment Centre is situated at the Gugulethu CHC.  It is a primary health care ART programme which was established in 2002 by the Desmond Tutu HIV Foundation and the Western Cape Provincial Department of Health with the assistance of a UK charity, Crusaid through a donation bequeathed by Katy Hannan.

From the start of the ART programme, the DTHF initiated an innovative adherence strategy called the Sizophila Project.  Sizophila which means “We shall Survive” in Xhosa, was started to provide education and support for patients on TB and ART through the provision of individual counselling, group training sessions and home visits.

This programme employs counsellors and community care workers most of whom are undergoing HIV treatment themselves. These lay workers are able to empathize with the fears and concerns of their patients and are living proof that the HIV and TB drugs do work.  The Sizophila counsellors were recruited and initially trained by the DTHF Training Department to provide the following services: treatment readiness assessments, treatment preparedness education and treatment support though conducting home visits.

The Sizophila model formed the basis of the adherence support system for the TB/ART integration project which was piloted at the Nyanga CHC. In 2011, this model was incorporated in the Western Cape policy document on Integrated TB/HIV Community Adherence Support.

In 2008 the Sizophila Counsellors were recognised for their outstanding work and received the Plantinum Impumelelo Award for their exceptional commitment and contribution to the community of Gugulethu.

Family Planning Integration


Improving family planning services for people living with HIV in the Western Cape Province

The Family Planning Integration into HIV Care and Treatment Services (FPI) project aims to increase the uptake of effective family planning (FP) services and improve contraceptive coverage to reduce unmet FP needs, and reduce the number of unintended pregnancies among people living with HIV in the Western Cape.

Through intensive workshops, onsite mentoring and support, and distribution of educational materials, the FPI project is enabling doctors, nurses and NGO counsellors at HIV treatment and wellness clinics to address clients’ FP needs during routine HIV consultations, thereby ensuring integration of the two services for the benefit of the client.

The FPI project emphasises the need for healthcare providers to:

  • Create a space for clients to make their own informed family planning choices.
  • Promote long-acting reversible contraceptive (LARC) methods such as Implants, Intrauterine Devices (IUDs) and injectables which are prioritized by the Department of Health.
  • Stress the importance of consistent, dual protection (using condoms in addition to a non-barrier method) for all clients as a way to prevent unintended pregnancy and Sexually Transmitted Infections (STIs), including HIV.
  • Prioritise the promotion and use of emergency contraception.

Key FPI project achievements

  • 682 health care providers have been trained to implement family planning during HIV care and treatment consultations.
  • 58 clinics are now offering family planning service along with HIV care.
  • Approximately 100,000 clients have been reached through educational FP talks, posters and pamphlets.
  • At a provincial level, the FPI project has been incorporated into the 2013 / 2015 Western Cape Department of Health Contraception and Fertility Planning Programme.
  • The contraceptive prevalence rate among couples seeking services in the FPI project target areas increased from 48% in the period between March 2012 to April 2013 to 62% in the period April 2013 to January 2014.

Find out more about this project:


Sensitivity Training

Key Populations Integrated Sensitivity Training ProgrammeFree Sensitisation Training Manuals

The sensitisation training manual and programme focuses on supporting health care workers in providing better services to men who have sex with men (MSM), sex workers (SW), and people who use drugs (PWUD). The manual was developed to support the sensitisation of health care-workers who are providing services to key populations.

These people are often stigmatised, excluded from society, and some of their behaviours may be illegal. These factors contribute to their vulnerability to HIV.

The manual was designed as part of a full sensitisation training programme, but can also be used as a stand-alone resource.

To download pdfs of the manuals, click on the links below:

This programme is now being implemented by the Department of Health in South Africa nationally.