Latest News

US health policy weighs on SA's HIV patients
Mail&Guardian | 18 December 2013
Hundreds of thousands of HIV patients could be affected by Pepfar's shift in funding policy, according to a new report. A forthcoming report, written by the US advocacy group Health Global Access Project (Health Gap) and the University of Pennsylvania, suggests that potentially tens or even hundreds of thousands of HIV patients may experience treatment interruptions as a result of a key change in policy for one of the world's largest HIV funders. The report suggests that anywhere...
Firm warns on state role in private health
BDLive | 17 December 2013
A month before the Competition Commission begins its inquiry into South Africa’s private healthcare industry, research firm Econex has become the latest to warn that while some regulatory intervention may be required, direct government intervention in private health delivery is not necessarily a good thing. "It may be preferable to leave the shaping of a future private health sector to market forces that respond to the suggested (argued for) regulatory changes," said Econex...
Madiba: The belated rise of an Aids activist
Mail&Guardian | 13 December 2013
Mandela regretted not acting on HIV during his presidency, but he made up for it in spades. On a balmy autumn afternoon in April 1999, at about half past three, the then 10-year-old HIV activist Nkosi Johnson was becoming increasingly restless.  "How long are they still going to be?" he asked his adoptive mother, Gail Johnson, while rubbing his hands together and staring at the pictures of state leaders on the big white walls around him.  
Finding new ways to make viral load testing cheaper
IRIN | 13 December 2013
Are you taking antiretroviral (ARV) drugs and want to know how well you're doing? If you live in a wealthy country, chances are that your progress is regularly checked using the "gold standard" - a viral load test. If you're in a developing country, where more people are on ARV medication and the need is greater, the expensive and complex test is hard to find, making it even more difficult to monitor whether your treatment is failing and you need to change your medication.
Brazil and Thailand got it right – can SA really make NHI work?
Mail&Guardian | 13 December 2013
In 1988, less than half of Brazil's population had health coverage, according to the World Health Organisation (WHO). But by 2008, it estimated that 75% were covered.  By the early 2000s, nearly a decade ahead of schedule, Thailand had beaten or was on track to meet all of its millennium development goals, according to the United Nations Development Programme. The millennium development goals are eight international targets supported by United Nations member states to be achieved...
How master of political theatre put AIDS in spotlight
BDLive | 12 December 2013
ON JULY 9 2000, hundreds of delegates walked out of the 13th International AIDS conference in Durban in protest as then president Thabo Mbeki gave a speech confirming his controversial opinions on the disease. Five days later Nelson Mandela closed the gathering. The icon dissociated himself from Mr Mbeki’s denialism, calling AIDS "a tragedy of unprecedented proportions" that was wiping out development gains and sabotaging Africa’s future. He spoke eloquently of the...
Global health initiatives HIV treatment in South Africa has had "astounding" benefits
Aidsmap | 12 December 2013
The roll-out of antiretroviral therapy (ART) in South Africa has achieved “astounding” results, a mathematical model published in the online edition of the Journal of Infectious Diseases shows. Each person who started HIV therapy between 2004 and 2011 had an individual gain in life expectancy of 11 to 13 years. The estimated population lifetime survival benefit for all people initiating ART in this period was 21.7 million life-years. Increasing the number of people linked...
Shift in mood towards HIV
Mail&Guardian | 11 December 2013
A recent Cape Town AIDS conference showed a shift in the global mood on HIV.
Very far from end of AIDS
Health-e News | 10 December 2013
UNAIDS talk about the end of AIDS is “misleading and potentially irresponsible,” said Section27 director Mark Heywood. “We need to dispose of this notion of ‘the end of AIDS,’” said Heywood, speaking at the International Conference on AIDS and STIs in Africa (ICASA) yesterday. “We are nowhere near the end of AIDS.” “We might be halfway there and there are dark clouds ahead,” he told Health-e. “Sex workers are still...
Nelson Mandela's activism remembered at AIDS and STIs conference
IRIN | 9 December 2013
AIDS conference opening ceremonies are usually a buzzing cacophony of noise, protest and activity. But the 17th International Conference on AIDS and sexually transmitted infections (STIs) in Africa, held in Cape Town, South Africa, has kicked off on a more sombre note. The death of Nelson Mandela, former President of South Africa and noted AIDS activist, had speakers at the opening ceremony reflecting on his contribution to the global AIDS response.
Health care community reacts to Mandela’s death
Health-e News | 6 December 2013
One of South Africa’s first politicians to openly speak about HIV, Nelson Mandela has died at the age of 95. Health-e takes a look at how local activists and global health leaders are remembering the father of the nation. In 2005, Mandela announced that his son Makgatho had died of AIDS-related illnesses and many applauded his openness at a time when the country remained steeped in AIDS denialism. However, Madiba’s role in HIV activism started years earlier with a monumental...
News from day one of the 3rd Structural Drivers of HIV Conference
Southern Africa HIV and AIDS Regional Exchange (SHARE) | 6 December 2013
The first day of the 3rd Structural Drivers of HIV Conference in Cape Town, South Africa, was a great success, with a wealth of  interesting and thought-provoking topics and ideas coming out of the various sessions. The sessions focused on how structural factors contribute to HIV vulnerability and risk, as well as innovative practices to address these factors in prevention and treatment programs for children, adolescents, youth and communities.