The quest for the elusive HIV vaccine has generated some encouraging progress over the past year, despite growing despondence and stuttering support in this important field of HIV research. This recent progress culminated in September with the first ‘successful’ vaccine trial, conducted in Thailand, which reduced HIV infection by 30 percent ('HIV breakthrough as scientists discover new vaccine to prevent infection', The Guardian, 24 September 2009).
Zimbabwe's adult HIV prevalence rate is continuing its downward trend, showing a drop from 14.1 percent in 2008 to 13.7 percent in 2009, according to new estimates released by the Ministry of Health and Child Welfare.
The 2009 Antenatal Clinic (ANC) Surveillance Survey, based on blood specimens collected from 7,363 pregnant women anonymously screened at 19 clinic sites throughout the country, estimated that 1.1 million Zimbabweans in a probable population of around 11 million were living with HIV.
The United Nations Joint Programme on HIV/AIDS (UNAIDS) has signed a partnership deal at the United Nations with several NGOs to work to eliminate HIV mother-to-child transmission in Africa.
UNAIDS executive director, Michel Sidibe, says that the deal, signed as world leaders gather for this week's UN General Assembly session, aims to accelerate action on HIV/AIDS and correct the glaring inequality faced by children in the face of the scourge.
The Department of Health in the Western Cape plans to have all people who visit public health institutions automatically tested for HIV/AIDS, unless they categorically refuse.
MEC Theuns Botha says that at the St Luke's Hospice's annual review in Kenilworth that his department is looking at doing away with voluntary testing and counselling for HIV/AIDS (VTC testing).
He made it clear that nothing was on paper yet, and that this was only an option being discussed to lessen the load on health services in the provinces.
NGOs have raised concern over the lack of female condoms, claiming that it undermines efforts to curb new infections.
Chairperson of the South African National AIDS Council’s women’s sector, Nomfundo Eland, says: “In South Africa more than 1 000 people are newly infected (with HIV) every day. The majority of those are women.”
Health Minister, Aaron Motsoaledi, says that South Africa is lagging behind the rest of Africa with its HIV/AIDS campaigns because it talks too much and acts too slowly.
Speaking during the South African National AIDS Council meeting in Johannesburg, Motsoaledi says that, “It’s not a secret that we didn’t do well.”
Scientists have found two powerful new antibodies that disarm HIV, offering fresh clues in the hunt for a vaccine. The antibodies were found in blood samples of volunteers in regions hit hardest by HIV, including South Africa.
Director of the Desmond Tutu HIV/AIDS Centre at the University of Cape Town, Linda-Gail Bekker, describes the discovery as one small step towards developing a vaccine against HIV infection as scientists still needed to discover how the antibodies work and turn these properties into an effective jab.
Enrol today for the most comprehensive training programmes on HIV/AIDS management and the only qualifications if this kind in the world, presented by the Africa Centre for HIV/AIDS Management at Stellenbosch University.
The Postgraduate Diploma in the Management of HIV/AIDS is designed for people who need to develop and manage HIV/AIDS programmes.
- The problem of HIV/AIDS
- Socio-cultural Aspects of HIV/AIDS
- Policy Development and Advocacy
'Moving Beyond Gender As Usual' concentrates on Mozambique, Uganda and Zambia, finds that whilst national policies contain an understanding of gender and HIV/AIDS issues, they are lacking strategic action. For example whilst Mozambique acknowledge the connection between gender inequality and HIV and AIDS and they promote knowledge of, and access to, legal instruments for fighting domestic violence, they have not put in place any indicators or targets to measure progress.
A new scorecard from the Catch network shows that South Africa is making tentative headway in its efforts to protect children from HIV, but much more needs to be done to save lives. The Catch network is an alliance of organisations that work with children and HIV.
The scorecard measures progress towards the government’s targets for preventing infections and caring for children affected by HIV, which are detailed in its HIV/AIDS National Strategic Plan.