HIV and AIDS

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.

Reduced AIDS Funding Will Hurt the Poor

Lives of AIDS patients in poor countries could be severely compromised if donors and rich nations continue reducing their funding commitments to AIDS programmes. This is according to an independent humanitarian agency, Medicins Sans Frontieres (MSF).

MSF urges major donors not to ‘wipe out gains’ made by the roll out of anti-retrovirals (ARVs) by ‘retreating from their international funding commitments’.

Push for Routine Offers of HIV Tests

Health Minister, Aaron Motsoaledi, is pushing for a radical change in South Africa’s approach to HIV testing, proposing that doctors and nurses routinely offer screening to all their patients instead of waiting for them to volunteer or get AIDS-related illnesses.

Motsoaledi says that he expects the Cabinet and other leaders to be at the forefront of a huge public HIV testing campaign, possibly on World AIDS Day on 1 December.

Mbeki Blamed for AIDS Deaths

Health Minister, Aaron Motsoaledi has unveiled shocking figures showing a huge AIDS-related leap in South Africa's death rate.

Motsoaledi points out that, "In 11 years [from 1997 to 2008], the rate of death has doubled in South Africa. That is obviously something that cannot but worry a person."

Motsoaledi pins the blame for the current scale of the pandemic squarely on what he called the ‘denialist health policies’ pursued by former president Thabo Mbeki's government.

loveLife Launches HIV Prevention Gauge 2009

As a former loveLife GroundBreaker I felt it was important to attend the launch of the HIV Prevention Gauge 2009 which took place on 2 November 2009 in Johannesburg. Written by the former loveLife CEO David Harrison and Ruth Scott, HIV Prevention Gauge 2009 is a unique book that brings together all published information about the current state of the HIV epidemic in South Africa.

TAC Gives Zuma’s AIDS Speech Thumbs Up

President Jacob Zuma's speech on AIDS in Parliament has marked the demise of state-supported denialism. This is the view of the Treatment Action Campaign (TAC).

In a press statement, TAC has described Zuma speech as one of the most important speeches in the history of AIDS in South Africa.

The organisation further says it welcomes the ushering of this new era, adding that almost exactly 10 years since former president Thabo Mbeki made a speech that began what it calls “the era of state-supported denial”.

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