Latest News

Poor knowledge of partner HIV status among South African women with recent pregnancy
aidsmap | 29 August 2014
Over 40% of women with recent pregnancy and a third of men with recent partner pregnancy do not know the HIV infection status of their partner, research conducted in Durban, South Africa, published in BMC Public Health shows. Moreover, only 4% of women and 13% of men knew they were in a serodiscordant relationship (one partner living with HIV, the other HIV negative) prior to pregnancy.   “HIV prevalence for adults aged 15-49 years in KwaZulu-Natal is estimated at 28% and the...
Clinics run out of drugs
Times LIVE | 13 August 2014
Private hospitals have over the past six months been hit by stockouts of anaesthetic drugs.
Study in South African township shows HIV-negative individuals often source of new TB cases in patients with HIV
aidsmap | 11 August 2014
HIV-negative individuals are an important source of new tuberculosis (TB) cases in HIV-positive patients, according to a study conducted in a South African township published in the online edition of the Journal of Infectious Diseases.   The authors examined TB isolates obtained from sputum samples to see if cases were reactivation of latent disease, unique cases, index cases within clusters, or secondary transmissions within clusters.
Civil society groups threaten to sue Eastern Cape Department of Health
Health-e News | 8 August 2014
Activists from more than 30 civil society organisations have again threatened to take the Eastern Cape Department of Health to court over alleged failure to fix the provincial health services.   The organisations – which are part of the Eastern Cape Health Crisis Action Coalition (ECHCAC) – also plan a mass mobilisation of communities behind their demand for a health service delivery plan.   This follows the failure of the new health MEC, Dr Phumza Dyantyi, to...
Southern African states to collaborate on Ebola
BDlive | 7 August 2014
Health ministers in the Southern African Development Community (Sadc) have agreed to collaborate in the event of an outbreak of Ebola in the region.   The ministers held an extra ordinary meeting in Johannesburg on Wednesday to plan a coherent response should the Ebola outbreak in West Africa spread to other regions of the continent as feared.   Malawi Health Minister and Sadc chairman Dr Jean Kalilani said the outbreak was the deadliest in history, and urged her...
New breast-feeding policy for HIV moms pays off
Mail&Guardian | 7 August 2014
Exclusive breast-feeding, introduced in line with WHO guidelines, has proven safe for babies if the mother is on antiretroviral treatment.   Government’s decision in 2011 to introduce a policy of exclusive breast-feeding for babies born to HIV-positive mothers, is paying off.   Yogan Pillay, the deputy director general of the national health department, said the exclusive breast-feeding policy, which saw the government phasing out the provision of infant formula milk...
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...