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Thursday, 1 December, 2016
Quote of the week
"Many people suffering from AIDS and not killed by the disease itself are killed by the stigma surrounding everybody who has HIV and AIDS"
- Former President Nelson Mandela
Comment of the week
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AIDS, Violence, Castro…
1 December is World AIDS Day; a red ribbon is worn to commemorate this day as we remember those whom have been infected, affected and passed on because of AIDS and AIDS related illnesses.
Over the years the world has made an improvement in educating people about AIDS, treatments, living with the disease and helping those affected and infected by it.
In recent news, a new clinical trial is underway in South Africa on an experimental vaccine that could safely prevent HIV, the virus that causes AIDS. According to a statement from the National Institutes of Health (NIH), the HVTN 702 is the largest and most advanced HIV vaccine clinical trial to be undertaken in South Africa, where some seven million people are living with the virus.
In this week’s edition of NGO Pulse, we look at World AIDS Day celebrated annually on 1 December. This year, South Africa will focus on ‘Zero Discrimination’, without losing sight of the other ‘zeroes’; zero new HIV infections and zero AIDS related deaths. The aim of this campaign is to ensure that the rights of people living with HIV and AIDS are not violated, and that discrimination on the basis of HIV, AIDS and TB is reduced, and ultimately eliminated.
There have been many scientific advances in HIV treatment and we now have a much better understanding of the virus.
More people are receiving antiretroviral treatment, which means HIV infection rates are decreasing. There is also a scientific optimism around the benefits of treatment as prevention, and progress towards a cure and vaccine.
South Africa has come a long way in the fight against HIV and AIDS. In 2012 government implemented the National Strategic Plan on HIV, Sexually Transmitted Infections and Tuberculosis 2012 – 2016.
Despite our many advances we still struggle to eliminate the stigma associated with HIV infection and the resultant discrimination. There are still people with limited knowledge of the facts about how to protect themselves and others.
As we continue with the 16 Days of Activism against gender violence campaign, we look at a study that shows that one in three women around the world experience violence in their lifetime, often in the hands of someone they know, love and trust. Of all women who were victims of homicide globally, almost half were killed by intimate partners or family members.
Violence against women and girls, a gross human rights violation, devastates lives, causes untold pain, suffering and illness. It also incurs high economic costs. A recent study estimated that the cost of intimate-partner accounted for 5.2 per cent of the global economy.
Deep-rooted inequality in the roles, rights and opportunities of men and women, and attitudes and social norms that condone or normalise such violence, have made the problem tenacious, but not inevitable.
When world leaders adopted the Sustainable Development Goals in 2015, they recognised that ending violence against women and girls is a pre-requisite for the achievement of the development agenda. Goal 5 on gender equality includes a specific target to end all forms of violence against women, including trafficking, other forms of sexual violence and harmful practices. Yet, the resources dedicated to addressing the issue do not match the scale of the challenge.
Click here to read the full article.
Fidel Castro died at age 90 on November 25, 2016. Presidents of Mexico, Ecuador, South Africa and Zimbabwe, but not those of America, Canada or Britain, joined Cubans to say goodbye to revolutionary.
With sombre speeches and a thunder of cannon, Havana held a mass eulogy for Fidel Castro on Tuesday night in a ceremony that underscored the polarising influence of the dead Cuban revolutionary.
President Raul Castro, dressed in his military uniform, led the memorial for his brother, who seized power in 1959 and turned the Caribbean island into a bastion of anti-imperialism and a focus of Cold War tensions with the United States.
Inside the memorial thousands walked through three rooms with near-identical displays featuring the 1962 Alberto Korda photograph of the young Castro in the Sierra Maestra mountains, bouquets of white flowers and an array of Castro’s medals against a black backdrop, framed by honour guards of soldiers and children in school uniforms.
Click here to read the full blog.
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