prevention

Public Lecture: Should we be giving antiretroviral drugs to HIV negative people?

The WITS Faculty of Health Sciences Research Office invites you to the fourth lecture in the Prestigious Research Lecture Series on 25 November 2010 (17h30 for 18h00) in Parktown.

The topic for discussion is ‘Should we be giving antiretroviral drugs to HIV negative people?’

Speakers:

  • Professor Helen Rees, Director of the Wits Institute for Sexual & Reproductive Health, HIV and Related Diseases;

HIV Rate Stabilises in Pregnant Women

Health Minister, Aaron Motsoaledi, says although the HIV prevalence rate for pregnant women has been virtually the same over the past four years at 29.2 percent, this is still at ‘high and unacceptable’ level.

Motsoaledi, who released the country's 20th antenatal HIV survey, says it is encouraging to note the renewed commitment of the government and political will to face the epidemic.

He further says an additional R5.4 billion has been committed to support scale up of the antiretroviral treatment programme in the 2010-11 financial year.

NSP Targets Will Not Be Met – Bloom

The Democratic Alliance (DA) in Gauteng says that the goal of the National HIV/AIDS Strategic Plan, to halve HIV infections by 2011, is not going to be met.

The party’s provincial spokesperson, Jack Bloom, points out that, "My impression is that we are failing to effect real behaviour change. Awareness is high, but fundamental changes in behaviour are not happening."

Bloom says he is ‘distressed’ that HIV prevalence among pregnant women in Gauteng has not declined, despite all the massive spending and effort.

Groups Moving Forward to Develop AIDS Gel

Groups developing a gel to protect women from HIV/AIDS say they are moving ahead to develop the product that was hailed as ‘groundbreaking’ after a study on its effectiveness was released in July.

The developers, who met have already met with the United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA), say the FDA informed them it would only require a limited amount of new information about the gel's safety and efficacy before considering licensing the product.

Male Circumcision: A Possible Silver Bullet to Reduce the Spread of HIV?

Male circumcision is the surgical removal of all or part of the foreskin of the penis. It is a practise that has existed for more than a thousand years throughout the world, mainly for religious and cultural reasons. In 2006, the World Health Organisation (WHO) estimated that 30 percent of men in the world had been circumcised.

HIV Vaccine Trial for SA in 2011

Scientists are planning to run an improved version of the successful Thai HIV vaccine trial in South Africa next year, to intensify their search for a vaccine to prevent HIV infection.

The University of the Witwatersrand researcher for the National Institutes of Communicable Diseases, Professor Lynn Morris, points out that, "There was a clinical trial that was done in Thailand and the results were reported in October last year that, for the first time, showed a hint that we'll be able to protect people from HIV by vaccination.”

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