AIDS Halves Swazi Life Expectancy – MSF

Medecins Sans Frontieres (MSF), warning of a health emergency in Swaziland, says the twin epidemics of AIDS and tuberculosis are ravaging that country, helping to halve life expectancy to 31 years.

The Geneva-headquartered medical charity points out that, "The co-epidemic has contributed substantially to a halving of life expectancy within two decades - from 60 years in the 1990s to 31 in 2007."

Abandoned Children on the Increase in SA

More than 2 000 children are abandoned annually in South Africa because of AIDS, poverty, drug abuse and teenage pregnancies, according to Child Welfare South Africa (CWSA).

The organisation has also revealed that mothers, particularly economic migrants and asylum seekers from neighbouring countries, are abandoning their children in big numbers at hospitals after birth.

HIV Infections Rate Down – HSRC Study

The Human Sciences Research Council (HSRC) study found a 35 percent decline in the rate of new HIV infections between 2002 and 2008.

The study found that 1.3 percent of South Africans aged 15 to 49 were infected annually between 2005 and 2008, compared to 2 percent in the years 2002-2005.

The decline was mostly due to a 60 percent reduction in incidence among young women, aged 15-24.

NGOs, COSATU, Criticise AIDS Funding Cuts

Now is not the time to cut funding for HIV/AIDS. This is the message from the Treatment Action Campaign (TAC), Médecins sans Frontières (MSF), the Congress of South African Trade Unions (COSATU), and the World Aids Campaign.

These organisations, together with Section27 and the Children's Rights Centre, among others, will be holding a march in Sandton on 17 June to the United States consulate, where they will hand over a memorandum calling on the US to reverse cuts on funding for HIV treatment.

Male Circumcision for KwaZulu-Natal

More than 200 men and boys had themselves circumcised in the first government-supported circumcision camp at Eshowe, northern KwaZulu-Natal.

The circumcision camp at Eshowe’s FET College follows the government’s announcement that it will scale up medical male circumcision as part of the comprehensive HIV prevention strategy.

The plan is aimed at circumcising two million men in the next five years. Women are also encouraged to have their newborn babies circumcised immediately after birth.

ARV Donor Money Running Out, Says MSF

Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) has warned that donors are disengaging from the fight against HIV/AIDS leaving behind millions who are still in dire need of lifesaving treatment in South Africa and other hard-hit Sub-Saharan African countries.

The organisation, which supports the care and treatment of more than 160 000 people in 27 countries, states that continued donor support will enable people living with HIV/AIDS to continue receiving treatment, warning that a reversal will lead to excessive loss of life.

Legal Grounds: Reproductive and Sexual Rights in African Commonwealth Courts, Volume II

‘Legal Grounds: Reproductive and Sexual Rights in African Commonwealth Courts, Volume II’ is a compilation of case summaries and analytical highlights that draws attention to the interpretation and application of human rights norms by courts in African Commonwealth countries. It focuses on issues pertaining to reproductive and sexual health and rights, including gender-based violence, marriage-related gender discrimination, validity of customary and religious marriages, property inheritance and distribution, abortion and claims of fetal interests, and HIV discrimination.

Escorted Activists Arrive in JHB

A group of AIDS activists which have been detained by Tanzanian authorities and escorted to the airport, have arrived in Johannesburg after attending meetings related to the World Economic Forum (WEF) in Dar es Salam.

AIDS and Rights Alliance for Southern Africa (ARASA) advocate coordinator, Paula Akugizibwe, points out that, "I feel disappointed. It was quite clear that our intentions were non-threatening."

Little Progress in Achieving Gender Equality

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.

SA Urged to Tackle Poverty and Unemployment

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.


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