HIV and AIDS

NGOs Warn Against Criminalising HIV Transmission

Ugandan civil society organisations have warned against criminalising the transmission of HIV/AIDS.

Action Aid Uganda’s Stella Mukasa, notes that, “Criminalising the transmission of the disease invokes stigma, discrimination and deters voluntary testing and access to treatment.”

Mukasa argues that applying criminal law to HIV transmission could result in women being disproportionately prosecuted and increase domestic violence.

UNAIDS Praises SA Response to AIDS

The United Nations AIDS Programme (UNAIDS) says South Africa has more people living with AIDS than any other country, but it also has a new government determined to end the crisis.

UNAIDS executive, Michel Sidibe, "If I am not in South Africa for World AIDS Day, I don't know where I should be."

Sidibe maintains that President Jacob Zuma is committed to making change happen, praising the Department of Health for moving quickly to distribute more AIDS drugs and for working with the UN to improve ways of using scarce resources.

Call for Compulsory HIV Testing for Alleged Rapists

Rape victims should be encouraged to apply for compulsory HIV testing of alleged rapists. This is the view of Minister of Women, Children and Persons with Disabilities, Noluthando Mayende-Sibiya.

Mayende-Sibiya argues that rape survivors should fully utilise the provisions of the Sexual Offences Amendment Act, adding that they [survivors] have a right to request compulsory HIV testing of an alleged offender.

New Recommendations for HIV Patients

The World Health Organisation (WHO) has urged countries to phase out the use of Stavudine, the most widespread anti-retroviral, because of what it calls long-term, irreversible side-effects in HIV patients,  including wasting and a nerve disorder.

In sweeping changes to its guidelines, the WHO also recommends that people with HIV, including pregnant women, should start taking antiretroviral drugs earlier to live a longer and healthier life.

SA Faces Major Crisis Over Orphans, says SAIRR

The South African Institute for Race Relations (SAIRR) has warned that South Africa’s slow response to the HIV/AIDS pandemic has triggered a time bomb that may leave one in three children orphaned.

SAIRR researcher, Gail Eddy, points out that while the country’s HIV-infection rate may have stabilised, “Estimates show that by 2015, some 5 700 000 or 32 percent of all children in South Africa would have lost one or both parents due to HIV/AIDS.

N36 Million for NGOs to Fight HIV

Delta State Action Committee on AIDS (DELSACA) will disburse N36 million to 12 NGOs in Delta as grant for fight against HIV.

DELSACA project coordinator, John Osuyali, says that more than 140 NGOs applied for the second trench of the grant to carry out HIV related activities in the state.

"We have about N36 million for NGOs to carry out HIV related activities and only 12 NGOs will be eligible for the funding," explains Osuyali. 

SA Life Expectancy Drops – SAIRR

The South African Institute of Race Relations (SAIRR) says South Africans are dying younger and in greater numbers due to HIV/AIDS.

In its annual South Africa Survey, the SAIRR notes that, the average life expectancy, which declined from 62 years in 1990 to 50 years in 2007, is projected to fall even further by 2011, to 48 years for men and 51 for women.

The survey found that among 37 developed and developing countries, South Africa is one of only six where life expectancy fell between 1990 and 2007, with only Zimbabwe showing a steeper decline.

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