Weekly HIV/AIDS News briefs
Plus News has launched a new radio page delivering high-quality audio feature programmes that give a voice to people and communities on the frontline of the AIDS pandemic. The ready-to-broadcast MP3 audio files are free to download. They bear witness to the impact of HIV in southern Africa, particularly on the region's most vulnerable people: its children and women.
JOHANNESBURG, 1 Aug 2006 (PLUSNEWS) - Young people in developing countries are in growing danger of HIV infection because of forces beyond their control, an NGO said on Monday.
International food and beverage company Nestl is to provide a full report to the South African government on how it is addressing the erratic supply of infant formula to public health facilities.
A local Tanzania pharmaceutical company will begin producing generic antiretroviral drugs (ARVs) in mid-2006 from a factory in the northern town of Arusha, an official with the firm announced on Monday.
Botswana has started providing antiretroviral drugs to soldiers in an effort to mitigate the impact of HIV/AIDS on its armed forces.
As a result of falling antiretroviral (ARV) prices, new sources of international funding and growing political commitment, providing treatment for Africa's HIV-positive citizens is, for the first time, an achievable goal.
Bangui, - Fifty radio and television reporters are receiving training on HIV/AIDS and the techniques of educating the population in the Central African Republic (CAR). They are members of a journalists' network - Reseau des Communicateurs de Lutte contre le Sida - which campaigns against the disease. As a network of journalists, we feel it is our duty to take action against HIV/AIDS both in urban and rural areas, Rene Madeka, a reporter for Radio Notre Dame and secretary general of the journalists' network, told PlusNews. Madeka said the seminar aims at informing the journalists about HIV/AIDS so that they can better educate the population using their media. According to a UNAIDS report produced in June 2002, 12 percent of the CAR population are HIV positive, making it the most affected nation in the sub-region and the 10th most affected in the world. (PLUSNEWS 6 September )
Central and Eastern African countries, whose education systems are already threatened by HIV/AIDS, need to take concrete steps to minimise the impact of the pandemic, a regional forum in Yaounde, Cameroon, has concluded. The sub-regional forum on UNESCO's 'Education For All' (EFA) programme, held on 22-25 April, highlighted the alarming death rate among teachers who the 100 participants said, constitute high-risk groups in several countries. The high mortality rate among educators, the forum noted, could be an obstacle to achieving the objectives of EFA. World Bank documents presented showed that 14,460 teachers in Tanzania could die of AIDS by 2010, and up to 27,000 by 2020. In Kenya, the death toll among teachers rose from 450 in 1995 to 1,400 in 1999. Cote d'Ivoire and Malawi lose at least one teacher per day while in South Africa, as many as 133,000 could die by the end of this decade. The forum noted that 10 percent of teachers and 20 percent of students could be infected with HIV in the next five years. Describing the situation as catastrophic, UNESCO's AIDS focal point, Foussenou Sissoko, called for vigorous actions such as peer education and medical. He told PlusNews these measures should target teachers and students. He also called on countries to establish mechanisms to track the progression of HIV by, among other things, pushing for voluntary testing. Participants said HIV/AIDS education needed to be introduced in schools, despite the existing taboos and cultural obstacles. Education experts and other officials themselves had to stop believing that parents would be shocked to know that HIV/AIDS and safe sexual behaviour were being taught at schools, they said. They called for greater use of the media to spread the word. Participating countries pledged to continue existing anti-AIDS initiatives and to increase collaborative efforts, nationally and internationally, to combat HIV/AIDS among teachers. African ministers of education are scheduled to meet in December in Mauritius to discuss further steps that need to be taken. (Source: This Item is Delivered to the English Service of the UN's IRIN humanitarian information unit, but may not necessarily reflect the views of the United Nations. http://www.irinnews.org )
In a move that could reduce the price of AIDS drugs for poor countries, the World Health Organisation (WHO) released its first list of safe HIV-related medicines on Wednesday. The list released this week includes 11 antiretroviral drugs and five drugs for opportunistic infections. Of the total, 26 came from major manufacturers and 10 were from leading Indian generic drug producer, Cipla. The company was one of the first generic manufacturers to offer cheaper AIDS drugs to African governments. The decision means that there will be price competition among manufacturers of important antiretroviral treatments. Cipla products include nevirapine, zidovudine (AZT), and lamivudine (3TC), which make up a common AIDS cocktail. International humanitarian organisation, Medecines sans frontieres (MSF), welcomed the involvement of generic manufacturers but expressed concerns about the process used. MSF regrets that the WHO prequalification process was started too late and that it has been so slow, considering that the first expressions of interest from producers were received in December 2000, the organisation said in a statement. WHO was still reviewing other products and suppliers and would add them to the list once they had met the set standards, they added. The absence of essential drugs such as fluconazole - used for treating thrush and cryptococal meningitis - was also a concern, as this would give users a false impression about their quality, the MSF statement added. To access the list: http://www.who.int/medicines/organization/qsm/activities/pilotproc/suppl... (Source: IRIN - Plus News, 22 March 2002)