Latest News

More must be done to cut unnecessary antibiotic prescriptions, say experts
The Guardian | 5 August 2014
Worst-performing GP surgeries hand out twice as many drugs for coughs and colds, finds Public Health England and UCL   More must be done to curb unnecessary prescribing of antibiotics, experts said after a study published on Tuesday found that the number of patients given the drugs for minor ailments has soared in recent years.   Researchers found that, in 2011, 51% of patients were given antibiotics for coughs and colds, up from 36% in 1999.   This is despite the...
Controversial policy to regulate doctors on hold
Health-e News | 31 July 2014
The Department of Health has decided to shelve plans to regulate where doctors could practice – at least temporarily.   In late May, President Jacob Zuma signed into law long-dormant sections of the National Health Act that would give the Director General of Health the power to deny doctors operating licenses depending on where in the country the medical professional wished to operate, or open or expand a practice.   Following Zuma’s promulgation, doctors would...
Better health for KwaNokuthula residents
Press Release | Western Cape Government Health and Health Systems Trust | 29 July 2014
Western Cape Government Health, in partnership with Health Systems Trust (HST), held a successful HIV Counselling and Testing(HCT) event in KwaNokuthula, Plettenberg Bay on Friday 25 July 2014. HST, through funding received from the National Lotteries Board, supports the Western Cape Department of Health’s HCT campaign that encourages people to know their HIV status. The key components of the campaign prioritise actions to prevent the transmission of HIV and the treatment and care of...
SA’s Shisana will co-chair AIDS summit
Independent Online | 25 July 2014
Johannesburg - South Africa's port city of Durban will host the 21st International AIDS Conference in 2016, marking the forum's return to Africa after 16 years, organisers said on Friday.   Gathering scientists, policymakers and grassroots workers, the biennial conference is the biggest single get-together on the global HIV and AIDS pandemic.   The 20th conference in Melbourne drew around 20 000 people, of whom 13 600 were delegates and the rest were members of the...
Lifelong ARVs for pregnant women, says Health Minister
Health-e News | 24 July 2014
All pregnant, HIV positive women will go onto lifelong antiretroviral treatment from January, Health Minister Dr Aaron Motsoaledi announced in his health budget vote yesterday.   In addition, people with HIV will start treatment when their CD4 count, which measures immunity, drops to 500 not 350 as at present.   Currently, pregnant HIV-positive women with a CD4 count over 350 only receive ARVs during pregnancy and breastfeeding to prevent mother-to-child HIV transmission...
HIV/AIDS pills at early stage ‘unwise’
BDlive | 24 July 2014
Health activists and top doctors have questioned the wisdom of Health Minister Aaron Motsoaledi’s announcement on Wednesday that the government plans to start treating HIV/AIDS patients earlier, saying it will further strain already overstretched clinics and hospitals.   Current guidelines say treatment with antiretroviral medicines should begin when an HIV/AIDS patient’s CD4 count falls below 350. From January 1, that threshold would rise to 500, said the minister, as he...
SA to treat HIV patients earlier, says Motsoaledi
BDlive | 23 July 2014
South Africa is to start treating HIV patients earlier in their illness from January 1, Health Minister Aaron Motsoaledi announced on Wednesday as he delivered his budget speech to Parliament.   The development is likely to please patient advocates but places fresh strain on the public health system, which is already battling to maintain drug supplies to clinics and hospitals.   South Africa has the world’s biggest HIV-treatment programme in the world, with more than 2...
Speech: Health Budget Vote 2014/15
Health-e News | 23 July 2014
Speech delivered by South African Health Minister Dr Aaron Motsoaledi in parliament on 23 July in which he announces the country will move to early HIV treatment and lifelong antiretrovirals for pregnant, HIV-positive women.   During his speech, Motsoaledi summarised progress on several major health issues in the country including maternal and mental health as well as HIV.   Motsoaledi acknowledged that there were “leakages” in the HIV treatment programme.
Better, shorter TB treatment - thanks to SA scientists
Health-e News | 22 July 2014
Researchers from the universities of Cape Town, Stellenbosch and the Free State were part of the international team that recently discovered that a new combination of drugs was able to kill more TB bacteria more quickly than standard treatment.   The results come after an eight-week trial involving about 200 TB patients from South Africa and Tanzania.
Cash transfers plus care halve HIV risk behaviours in South African adolescents
aidsmap | 22 July 2014
Combining unconditional economic support in the form of government cash transfers, school feeding and food gardens, and psychosocial support (positive parenting and teacher social support) reduced incidence of HIV risk behaviour by around half for both female and male adolescents in South Africa, Dr Lucie Cluver of the University of Oxford told participants at the 20th International AIDS Conference (AIDS 2014) in Melbourne on Monday.   Social protection in the form of cash transfers...
HIV infections in children under five down by over three quarters
Mail&Guardian | 22 July 2014
A study has found that child-focused interventions have significantly reduced HIV-infection rates in children under the age of five.   New HIV infections in South African children under five years old have dropped by more than three quarters between 2003 and 2013, from  56 000 to 7 600.
Adolescent deaths from AIDS rising, especially among boys
aidsmap | 22 July 2014
    Image courtesy of UNICEF   While new HIV infections have declined among children, adolescents and adults since 2000, HIV-related deaths have risen sharply among adolescents, especially 15- to 19-year-old males, Tyler Porth of UNICEF told delegates at the 20th International AIDS Conference (AIDS 2014) in Melbourne on Monday.    Analysis of UNAIDS 2012 HIV and AIDS Spectrum estimates showed a 32% decrease in AIDS-related deaths between 2005 and 2012...