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01 Dec 2010 description
report PlusNews

Johannesburg, 1 December 2010 (PlusNews) - With just a month to go before the deadline for achieving the targets of universal access to HIV prevention, treatment and care expires, it is clear very few countries will reach them.

What is less certain is whether such ambitious goals have positively affected global HIV/AIDS efforts.

The dream of universal access emerged in 2005 when G8 leaders committed to achieving "as close as possible to universal access to treatment for all those who need it by 2010". At the 2006 UN General Assembly High-Level Meeting on AIDS, world …

21 Oct 2010 description
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NAIROBI, 21 octobre 2010 (PLUSNEWS) - Une récente étude sur l'impact des viols de masse sur l'incidence du VIH dans les pays touchés par des conflits a souligné le besoin d'offrir de meilleurs soins de santé aux victimes de viols.

Publiée dans AIDS, la revue officielle de l'International AIDS Society, l'étude, intitulée « Assessing the Impact of Mass Rape on the Incidence of HIV in Conflict-affected Countries » [

19 Oct 2010 description
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NAIROBI, 19 October 2010 (PLUSNEWS) - Recent research into the effect of mass rape on HIV in conflict situations has highlighted the need for better post-rape care services for affected women and girls.

Published in AIDS, the official journal of the International AIDS Society, the study, entitled Assessing the Impact of Mass Rape on the Incidence of HIV in Conflict-affected Countries, found that mass rape could cause about five new HIV infections per 100,000 females per year in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), Sudan, Somalia and Sierra Leone, double that number in Burundi and …

13 Oct 2010 description
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NYALA, 13 October 2010 (PLUSNEWS) - There are nine voluntary counselling and testing centres in the Sudanese state of South Darfur, but rather than risk being recognized at one of them, many people travel to a different state to seek HIV testing or treatment.

"My best friend is HIV-positive and every month travels to El-Fasher [capital of North Darfur] to get ARVs," a young tea seller living in Kalma camp for internally dispaced people (IDPs), South Darfur, told IRIN.

04 Feb 2010 description
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JUBA, 4 February 2010 (PLUSNEWS) - Networks of people living with HIV in southern Sudan are trying to overcome deficiencies in the limping health system and broken infrastructure by spreading information about the pandemic and reducing stigma and denial.

"We have come to rely on these networks to do much of the education around HIV," Bellario Ahoy Ngong, chairman of the South Sudan AIDS Commission (SSAC), told IRIN/PlusNews.

03 Feb 2010 description
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JUBA, 3 February 2010 (PLUSNEWS) - Southern Sudan's poor infrastructure, largely illiterate population and dearth of health facilities and workers mean that despite five years of peace, HIV programmes are still in their infancy.

There are no national-level statistics on HIV prevalence or incidence, further hampering the fight against the pandemic, but a 2007 site-specific antenatal surveillance by the US Centres for Disease control found prevalence levels ranging from as low as 0.8 percent in Leer, Unity State, to as high as 11.5 percent in Tambura, Western Equatoria …

29 Jan 2010 description
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JUBA, 29 January 2010 (PLUSNEWS) - The evidence of five years of peace is everywhere in Juba, regional capital of Southern Sudan - in the brisk trade in the city's markets, its packed bars and nightclubs, and in the relaxed gait of the soldiers of the former rebel Sudan People's Liberation Army (SPLA).

For the soldiers, the contrast with life in the bush could not be greater - they wear new uniforms, receive a monthly salary and are revered as freedom fighters by the local population.

28 Jan 2010 description
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JUBA, 28 January 2010 (PLUSNEWS) - In a large market in Juba, the regional capital of Southern Sudan, young women spend long afternoons lounging on beds in sweltering iron sheet rooms, waiting for men.

One girl, no more than 17, wearing a tight tee-shirt with the words "I love beer" emblazoned on it, points us in the direction of a different set of rooms, with the really young girls.

30 Nov 2009 description
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JOHANNESBURG, 30 November 2009 (PlusNews) - The theme for World AIDS Day 2009 is 'Universal Access and Human Rights', and the efforts of the continent's developing countries to reach some of the key indicators of universal access are under closer scrutiny than ever. Will they do it?

In December 2005 the United Nations General Assembly Special Session on HIV/AIDS (UNGASS) adopted a resolution to assist governments, civil society and NGOs in "scaling up HIV prevention, treatment, care and support, with the aim of coming as close as possible to the goal of universal access …

17 Jun 2009 description
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YAMBIO, 17 June 2009 (PLUSNEWS) - Healthcare workers in Yambio, capital of Sudan's Western Equatoria State, have warned that the number of HIV-positive people receiving treatment has risen, and they cannot keep up with the demand for medication.

About 700 HIV-positive people are being treated by a local faith-based group, the Christian Brothers.

29 Apr 2009 description
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JOHANNESBURG, 29 April 2009 (PlusNews) - After months of speculation about how the global economic downturn might affect HIV/AIDS programmes, a new World Bank report details the projected aftermath of the crisis and how it could place the treatment of more than 1.7 million at risk by year's end.

Drug shortages, treatment interruptions and higher burdens of AIDS-related diseases are just some of the grim predictions for developing countries, laid out in a recently released report, Averting a Human Crisis During …

20 Feb 2009 description
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LUI, 20 February 2009 (PLUSNEWS) - Southern Sudan's healthcare system is almost non-existent in many areas after a 21-year war with the north, and health workers are regularly forced to work with minimal medical supplies. Alice Tabu, 24, a midwife at a hospital in Lui in Western Equatoria State, talked to IRIN/PlusNews about the challenges of working in such conditions.

"I have worked as a midwife since 2004. My duties include counselling pregnant mothers coming for antenatal clinic visits, treatment, or to deliver [their babies].

12 May 2008 description
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JUBA, 12 May 2008 (PLUSNEWS) - For years, Lole Laila Lole had to drink, cook with, and bathe in the dirty, contaminated water he fetched from the River Nile.

26 Mar 2008 description
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N'DJAMENA, 26 March 2008 (PLUSNEWS) - Wracked by decades of political insecurity, HIV/AIDS simply wasn't a priority in Chad for many years. A chronic lack of health workers and uncertain funding delayed efforts further, but the government of Chad is finally starting to take action.

Chad covers around 1.3 million square kilometres and has a population of less than 10 million.

12 Feb 2008 description
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EL FASHER, DARFUR, 12 February 2008 (PLUSNEWS) - People working in the vast humanitarian operation in Sudan's western region of Darfur are more than willing to talk about rebel attacks and the need for civilian protection, but when asked specifically about sexual violence against girls and women - reported to be rife - they fall silent.

On condition of anonymity, the employees of many non-governmental organisations (NGOs) in El Fasher, capital of North Darfur State, said sexual and gender-based violence was extremely common; one humanitarian worker said it was possibly "the …

18 Jan 2008 description
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KASSALA, 18 January 2008 (PLUSNEWS) - Fadia Awad offers us sweets, a traditional Sudanese gesture of hospitality, and then asks if we are going to refuse them, as all her neighbours do.

She belongs to the Rashaida tribe, a traditionally nomadic people who migrated to eastern Sudan from the Arabian Peninsula in the nineteenth century. She and her son, Hamid, 8, live alone in a spotless, one-room hut in a desert settlement outside Kassala, in eastern Sudan.

"Three years ago this house was full of women cooking, talking and laughing," Awad says.

09 Jan 2008 description
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KASSALA, 9 January 2008 (PLUSNEWS) - In a market square just outside the town of Kassala, near the border with Eritrea in eastern Sudan, every plastic chair is filled and there is standing room only when the two men come on stage to perform their songs and skits about HIV and AIDS.

In much of the African continent such events have become commonplace, but they are still a novelty in this region of Sudan, where people have only really begun to talk about AIDS in the last few years.

The event was a first for audience member Yassir Musa, 29, who also inspected the informational display …

08 Jan 2008 description
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PORT SUDAN, 8 January 2008 (PLUSNEWS) - It takes 36 hours to drive a heavily laden truck from Port Sudan, a major transportation hub on Sudan's eastern Red Sea coast, to the capital city of Khartoum.

07 Jan 2008 description
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KASSALA, 7 January 2008 (PLUSNEWS) - Fadia Awad lives with her son, Hamid, 8, in a small settlement outside Kassala in eastern Sudan. She belongs to the Rashaida tribe, a traditionally nomadic people who emigrated from the Arabian Peninsula in the nineteenth century.

29 Aug 2007 description
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UGANDA: Lack of rural health services keeps HIV-positive IDPs in camps

After attacks by the rebel Lord's Resistance Army in northern Uganda tailed off last year, the government said it would begin closing the camps housing more than one million people displaced by the 21-year conflict.