Desmond Tutu HIV Foundation

Desmond Tutu HIV Foundation – Organisation


South Africa


Western Cape


Cape Town


Level One, Wernher Beit North,
UCT Faculty of Health Sciences, Anzio Rd,
Observatory, 7925
Cape Town, South Africa


About Us

The Desmond Tutu HIV Foundation (DTHF) is a registered non-profit company established in association with the Desmond Tutu HIV Centre, an accredited research centre within the Faculty of Health Sciences, University of Cape Town (UCT).

Bridging rigorous academic research with community development programmes, the DTHF collaborates with those most at risk to find innovative solutions in the prevention and treatment of HIV and related infections.

From small beginnings in the 1990s as the HIV Research Unit at Somerset Hospital under the directorship of Professor Robin Wood, the DTHF was subsequently established at its present headquarters at UCT in 2004. The HIV Research Unit was the first public clinic in South Africa to offer antiretroviral therapy to those living with HIV.

Well-connected to international research networks, the DTHF is an influential stakeholder in the global HIV arena.

We have a robust policy in support of equity, diversity and inclusion. The DTHF is also conscious of the Environmental impact of our operations and we aim to run our business in a manner that respects the environment.

Our Patron

Bearing the name of Archbishop Emeritus Desmond Tutu is a constant reminder that our work is in the service of our beneficiaries. We thank him for his support and commitment to the people of our country.

Our Vision

To lessen the impact of the HIV epidemic on individuals, families and communities through our commitment to excellence, innovation and our passion for humanity.

Our Mission

The pursuit of excellence in research, treatment and prevention of HIV and related infections in South Africa.

What We Do

Pairing internationally acclaimed research with community-driven development programmes, the Desmond Tutu HIV Foundation strives to improve the health and wellbeing of the communities we serve while contributing to local and national health policy.

DTHF has established clinical research sites in under-resourced areas where people are at high risk of HIV infection. With the cooperation of community leaders we provide opportunities for residents to assist us in research studies and programmes. Our research includes a range of HIV prevention modalities, vaccine candidates, treatment delivery and adherence, clinical trials, groundbreaking new drugs, and innovative technologies to address tuberculosis transmission. In addition to biomedical research, a socio-behavioural division seeks to understand the complex drivers affecting individual health-seeking behaviour.

Adolescents are of particular concern, as well as key populations – lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, intersex, queer (LGBTIQ), sex workers and men who have sex with men. A fleet of five mobile units assist in taking a wellness package, including HIV testing, to these hard-to-reach groups who tend to avoid conventional clinics. The DTHF Youth Centre in Masiphumelele also provides sexual and reproductive health services alongside educational and recreational activities.

The DTHF research, clinical and community outreach staff share a common purpose to lessen the impact of the HIV epidemic on individuals, families and communities through innovation and collaboration.