The geographical focus area for the work of the Hillcrest AIDS Centre Trust is the semi-rural communities of the Valley of a Thousand Hills – about 50 km northwest of Durban, bordering on the town of Hillcrest in the province of KwaZulu-Natal. Many of these communities have high levels of poverty.
Unemployment in the area is high, approximately 48-50%. In some areas this can be as higher. This contributes to the general under nourishment, poor health and emotional and physical insecurity of the area. Many children have only one meal a day, at school, and this will consist of beans and possibly cabbage.
The Valley of 1000 Hills is considered one of the epicentres of the HIV/AIDS pandemic with HIV infection rates as high as 40% or more in some communities. The majority of the homes are dwellings, without adequate basic services (water, sanitation, refuse removal) though a number now have electricity and piped water.