The HIV/AIDS Prevention Group (HAPG) is the embodiment of the possibility of providing appropriate HIV and AIDS services in difficult conditions. It has proved that, even in a context of poverty and social exclusion, community residents can access a well-administered health and antiretroviral programme, staffed and run successfully by a cohort of laypeople. It has led the way in Limpopo in pioneering layperson-managed clinics supervised by an HIV and AIDS specialist administering antiretroviral treatment, and all this in a province where the government is still struggling to provide an effective primary health care system.
HAPG has allowed a network, composed mainly of volunteers, to see that, through the power of their own deeds, they can turn around a situation of death, despair, fear and shame, and allow people to come forward and claim the right to stay alive. It has revealed that the “art of the possible” is very powerful and that through collective agency an effective health care system can be created.