Across the globe, women's rights defenders have been campaigning for an end to violence against women. South Africa is no exception. Workshops, launches, exhibitions, training events and celebrations take place across the country and the region, intensifying during national and global campaigns, such as the 16 Days of Activism to end Violence Against Women, an event taking place every December.
HIV and AIDS
Independent political analyst, Somadoda Fikeni, says poverty and the high rate of unemployment in the country still poses a huge challenge to South African citizens, 16-years into the country's democracy.
Fikeni points out that while some work has been achieved, unemployment, HIV and education are still the biggest problems the government must work hard to improve.
President Jacob Zuma has received the loudest applause when he told a gathering in Ekurhuleni that he is HIV negative.
Zuma pointed out that, “After careful consideration, I have decided to share my test results with South Africans. The purpose is to promote openness and to eradicate the silence and stigma that accompanies this epidemic.”
9 April 2010
Joint Press Statement from the National Department of Health (NDoH) and the South African National AIDS Council (SANAC)
The Gauteng Department of Health and Social Development has announced that the new HIV and AIDS treatments will be available in all the province’s hospitals and clinics from this month.
The department spokesperson, Mandla Sidu, points out that, "The new guidelines ensure that all HIV-positive pregnant women and patients on TB treatment with a CD4 count of 350 or less will now receive antiretrovirals (ARVs) from government clinics and hospitals."
The Republic of Uganda implemented the Penal Code Act which defines homosexuality as an offence punishable by law on 15 June 1950 (2). The Ugandan Constitution furthermore forbids same-sex marriages(3), a decree that impinges on citizens’ human rights on the grounds of traditional family norms.
The Treatment Action Campaign (TAC) has condemned homophobia in all its forms.
TAC is concerned about the inhuman and homophobic legislation being proposed in Uganda and a wider crackdown against gays and lesbians in other African countries.
The organisation says as a continent, Africa is failing to uphold the human rights of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transsexual and intersex (LGBTI) individuals.
The Treatment Action Campaign's (TAC) general secretary, Vuyiseka Dubula-Majola and chairperson, Nonkosi Khumalo, have received the John M Lloyd Foundation Leadership Award in Los Angeles.
Dubula-Majola and Khumalo shared the award which endeavours to recognise, develop and empower AIDS advocacy leaders that have not been extensively acknowledged.
AIDS and Rights Alliance for Southern Africa (ARASA), an alliance of NGOs engaged in work on HIV and human rights in the Southern African Development Community region, says that the world is less than halfway to achieving universal access to treatment.
ARASA advocacy coordinator, Paula Akugizibwe, points out that about four million HIV patients are getting AIDS drugs worldwide, but 10 million are not getting treatment.
The Joint United Nations Programme on HIV/AIDS (UNAIDS) says cellphones may become a key weapon in the war against HIV/Aids in Africa, allowing counsellors to reach greater numbers of people.
UNAIDS executive director, Michel Sidibe, argues that, Africa, which despite widespread poverty has a relatively large numbers of mobile phone users, should take advantage of the digital revolution to reach out widely.”
"It is time to reinforce our capacity to use the modern technology differently," explains Sidibe.