Latest News

Public health suffers if vaccines are not accessible
Mail&Guardian | 24 July 2015
A Western Cape project is looking to make free vaccines available in private clinics, but the Eastern Cape has stopped the practice.   Every month for 20 years, Sister Patricia Watts* vaccinated up to 500 babies at her private clinic in the Eastern Cape city of Port Elizabeth.   Her clientele, however, more closely resemble those of a public health centre.   Most of the mothers who came to her clinic didn’t drive there in their own cars or push their babies...
TAC wants free treatment for all HIV infected
Mail&Guardian | 23 July 2015
The Treatment Action Campaign believes antiretroviral treatment should be offered to all HIV-positive citizens, not just those with low CD4 counts. South Africa's largest HIV lobby group, the Treatment Action Campaign (TAC), is demanding that everyone infected with HIV in the country is offered antiretroviral therapy (ART) immediately after their diagnosis. Currently, less than half (3.1-million) of the country's estimated 6.4-million HIV-infected citizens receive anti-HIV...
Medical aid change to benefit funders
BDlive | 20 July 2015
Health Minister Aaron Motsoaledi has moved to end a long-running industry row over the extent to which medical schemes are liable for their members’ bills, flighting a set of proposals that appears to appease funders at the expense of patients.   Critics say the minister’s proposed amendments to Regulation 8 of the Medical Schemes Act, published for comment last Tuesday, effectively roll back consumers’ rights and leave them vulnerable to potentially catastrophic...
Fact sheet: South Africa’s HIV programme by numbers
Health-e News | 16 July 2015
A new fact sheet details the achievements of South Africa’s HIV programme, which initiated more than 600,000 people on antiretroviral treatment in 2014/15.   Distributed at the SA AIDS Conference, this one-page fact sheet summarises South Africa’s HIV programme as of 1 June 2015.   In the 2014/15 financial year: 6.3 million people in South Africa were living with HIV; About 9.6 million HIV tests were conducted; About 680,000 people were started on...
South Africa: Women of lower socio-economic status have greater needs for services to prevent mother-to-child HIV transmission
aidsmap | 15 July 2015
Pregnant women of lower socio-economic status are more likely to take up early HIV testing and to have HIV-exposed infants, according to findings of a study presented by Nobubelo Ngandu at the 7th South African AIDS conference last month in Durban.   There was a significant difference in the proportion of infants that were HIV-exposed (infants born to HIV-positive women), according to socio-economic status.
Global health leaders call for harnessing power of innovation to end diseases
UNITAID | 15 July 2015
Global health leaders this week discussed how best to harness the power of innovation to launch better and less costly medicines and diagnostic tools  that can help end AIDS, tuberculosis and malaria as major public health challenges.   Speaking at a side event on Tuesday hosted at the Finance for Development conference, Ethiopia’s Minister of Health, Kesetebirhan Admasu, said that long term collaboration with both UNITAID and the Global Fund had enabled Ethiopia to...
Digital evolution for ground-breaking Yellow Card Scheme
GOV.UK | 14 July 2015
A Yellow Card smartphone app has been launched today for people to report problems with medicines.   It’s a system borne from one of the biggest healthcare scandals of our time to protect public health.   Fifty years on from its inception, the Yellow Card Scheme is moving into the digital age through a free-access mobile app that was launched today (14 July) by Life Sciences Minister, Mr George Freeman MP.   The Yellow Card Scheme was introduced by Sir Derrick...
WHO lays out plans for financing new global health goal: To ensure healthy lives and promote well-being for all at all ages
WHO | 10 July 2015
WHO is urging countries to move towards universal health coverage and to scale up international investment in catalytic development funding. The call comes as world leaders travel to the Third UN Financing for Development Conference in Addis Ababa to discuss ways to pay for the new Sustainable Development Goals, to be launched in New York in September 2015.   “The best way to assure meaningful progress towards the new global health goal is for countries to move closer to...
UNFPA, WHO and UNAIDS: Position statement on condoms and the prevention of HIV, other sexually transmitted infections and unintended pregnancy
UNAIDS | 7 July 2015
Condoms are a critical component in a comprehensive and sustainable approach to the prevention of HIV and other sexually transmitted infections (STIs) and are effective for preventing unintended pregnancies.
SA has UN’s HIV testing goal in sight
BDlive | 3 July 2015
SA will meet the United Nations (UN) goal of diagnosing 90% of HIV-positive adults by 2020 if it continues to test 10-million people a year, concludes research published in the journal, AIDS.   By 2012, fewer than a quarter of HIV-positive adults were unaware they were infected.   This was an improvement on the situation in the early 2000s, when the figure had been closer to 80%, the study, published last week, found.   Last year the UN joint agency on HIV/AIDS (...
Managing contacts in the MERS-CoV outbreak in the Republic of Korea
WHO | 1 July 2015
Briefing notes on MERS-CoV  1 July 2015   Background   In June 2015, WHO and the Republic of Korea’s Ministry of Public Health and Welfare presented the results of their joint assessment of the MERS outbreak.
South Africa: Lower coverage of maternal HIV testing among adolescents leading to higher mother-to-child transmission
aidsmap | 1 July 2015
Adolescents have lower coverage of HIV testing and subsequent prevention of mother-to-child (PMTCT) services and significantly higher early vertical transmission rates compared with adults, according to findings from three South African national surveys, presented by Trisha Ramraj at the 7th South African AIDS conference last month in Durban.   The surveys also found that there was a significant reduction in early MTCT in pregnant women who were 20 years and older, but not in...