Access to ARVs is improving, but poor attitudes to patients are aggravating maternal mortality rates.
Although almost half of all maternal deaths in South Africa are caused by HIV-related complications, there is no evidence yet that the government's antiretroviral drug programme has led to a lower chance of pregnant women infected with the virus dying during pregnancy, childbirth or within 42 days thereafter.
This is according to gynaecologist Eddie Mhlanga, the erstwhile director of maternal health at the department of health and former head of obstetrics and gynaecology at the University of KwaZulu-Natal.
A new Global Action Plan launched today by the WHO and UNICEF has the potential to save up to 2 million children every year from deaths caused by pneumonia and diarrhoea, some of the leading killers of children under five globally.
The Integrated Global Action Plan for the Prevention and Control of Pneumonia and Diarrhoea calls for closer integration of efforts to prevent and treat these two diseases and sets ambitious targets to reduce mortality rates and raise levels of children’s access to life-saving interventions.
The Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria announced a goal of raising US$15 billion so that it can effectively support countries in fighting these three infectious diseases in the 2014-2016 period.
The Global Fund is determined to accelerate the gains achieved in recent years against AIDS, TB and malaria through strategic investment in programs that can save millions of lives and tens of billions of dollars in future costs. While acknowledging the challenging fiscal environment in many countries, the Global Fund and its partners point to the remarkable value for money that investing in health provides.
UNAIDS reports a more than 50% drop in new HIV infections across 25 countries as countries approach the 1000 day deadline to achieve global AIDS targets
In addition, the number of people with access to antiretroviral therapy increased by 63% in the last 24 months—AIDS-related deaths fell by more than 25% between 2005 and 2011 globally.
The Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis (TB) and Malaria has announced that it has approved almost US$420 million to support essential services as part of its stop-gap Transitional Funding Mechanism (TFM), which was introduced late last year.
In November 2011, due to a lack of donations, the Global Fund was forced to cancel its Round 11 of funding. The TFM was introduced to prevent interruptions in essential prevention, treatment and care services.
New United Nations data shows great gains in AIDS treatment coverage, but countries most affected by the AIDS epidemic continue to struggle to place enough people on treatment, mainly due to cuts in donor funding.
In a groundbreaking study, a Cape Town-based NGO – International Partnership for Microbicides (IPM) – is testing whether a microbicide vaginal ring which slowly releases the ARV drug dapivirine can prevent HIV infection.
The ring study, which has just started in South Africa, will see the technology tested on more than 1 600 women in SA, Malawi and Rwanda.
The ring, which is designed to stay in a woman’s body for a month, will be tested on women between the ages of 18 and 45.
The International Partnership for Microbicides (IPM) today announced that a clinical trial called The Ring Study has been launched in Africa to determine whether a monthly vaginal ring containing the antiretroviral (ARV) drug dapivirine helps prevent HIV infection in women and is safe for long-term use. The Ring Study is the first Phase III efficacy trial of a microbicide ring for HIV prevention and will enroll a total of 1,650 women. The study is enrolling participants at four sites in South Africa and is expected to start at additional sites in Rwanda and Malawi in the coming months, pending regulatory and ethics approvals.
Cataract surgery can improve the care of children orphaned by Aids dramatically and rapidly, a Swaziland study published in last month's South African Medical Journal has found.
At 26.3%, Swaziland has the highest percentage of adults infected with HIV in the world, which has resulted in thousands of orphans. In 2010, Swaziland health authorities estimated that almost a quarter of all children in the country had lost one or both parents to HIV.