HIV and AIDS

TAC Urges Zuma to Set an Example

The Treatment Action Campaign (TAC) has urged President Jacob Zuma to take leadership and responsibility for himself, those around him and South Africa in fighting HIV/AIDS.

In its latest newsletter, the TAC says that Zuma's leadership on AIDS need some constructive scrutiny.
The organisation says that it does not want to impose moral judgements on people, especially on their private matters, adding that, "In a country without a serious HIV epidemic, it might be arguable that his extra-marital affairs are for him and his family alone to resolve."

South Africa's First UNAIDS Goodwill Ambassador Wants to Use His Role to Make a Difference

Press Release

South Africa’s first Joint United Nations Programme on HIV/AIDS’ (UNAIDS) Goodwill Ambassador has called on organisations involved in the fight against the pandemic to join hands to increase the impact of the work being done to reduce new infections. Professor Perry was appointed as the Goodwill Ambassador by the Executive Director of UNAIDS, Mr. Michel Sidibe, at the Africa Centre for HIV/AIDS Management’s fifth annual World AIDS Day gala concert last year.

loveLife Comments on the 2010/11 Budget

The pessimist in us all waited with baited breath to criticise the Finance Minister and point fingers at the lack of response towards social and economic drivers stifling the growth of South Africa and its future aka our young people. However, the 2010 budget speech by Finance Minister, Pravin Gordhan, presented what seems like a good balance between economic development imperatives and social services. This not only made the pessimist take a backseat as we listened in anticipation, but caught the attention of at least every NGO, NPO and company striving to uplift the country.

OUT Launches ‘Know Your Status Day’

OUT LGBT Well-being, a gay health rights organisation, has initiated a campaign ‘Know your status Day’, which it hopes will effectively respond to the HIV/AIDS pandemic.

Prism HIV and STI nurse at OUT LGBT Well-being’s Elmie Munday points out that the aim of ‘Know Your Status Day’ is to increase the need for people to go for regular HIV testing.

Call to Include Circumcision in AIDS Fight

Scientists are calling for the speedy inclusion of male circumcision in the comprehensive HIV prevention package. This despite questions raised about human rights and the confusing message it might send to people.

Studies have shown that male circumcision reduces the risk of contracting HIV in heterosexual men by more than 50 percent if done correctly. Work is being done on the policy to include circumcision in the HIV National Strategic Plan (NSP), but there are ethical issues around it.

Nkosi’s Haven Village Launched on World AIDS Day

The feisty red-head and dedicated HIV and AIDS activist, Gail Johnson, marked World AIDS Day with the launch of a new HIV/AIDS haven.

Johnson says that, “When purchasing this village, the board of directors were adamant that we create a new lifestyle community where our residents will benefit from complete holistic care and contribute to the sustainability of the project.”

She says mothers require capacity-building in order for them to be reintegrated into society.

Zuma Unveils New Push to Fight HIV/AIDS

President Jacob Zuma has announced a raft of policy changes to provide HIV treatment to some groups of patients earlier in the course of their disease, taking South Africa a step closer to new guidelines issued by the World Health Organisation.

The development is significant as it will oblige the government to extend treatment to many more people than it is at the moment, increasing the pressure to manage scarce resources more effectively.

“Let the politicisation and endless debates about HIV and AIDS stop,” says Zuma.

Effects of the Global Economic Crisis: Examining the Impact on HIV and AIDS Funding

The global response to the HIV/AIDS epidemic has been unparalleled. Between 2007 and 2008, funding increased from US$11.3 billion to US$ 13.7 billion globally (UNAIDS, Fact Sheet AIDS Funding 2008-09). However, the global economic crisis is having dire consequences for HIV and AIDS funding. These effects are felt particularly in sub-Saharan Africa, which has the highest levels of HIV and AIDS infection in the world, with approximately 25 million people infected.

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.

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