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31 Oct 2012 description
report PlusNews

JOHANNESBURG, 31 October 2012 (PLUSNEWS) - Cervical cancer is the leading cause of cancer death among women in southern Africa, but new research reveals that governments' attempts to address the disease have been inadequate. Access to cervical cancer screening services is minimal, few countries in the region have policies on the disease, and treatment remains a major challenge.

25 Jul 2012 description
report PlusNews

WASHINGTON DC, 25 July 2012 (PLUSNEWS) - While global HIV funding has stayed flat in recent years, poorer countries have quietly been putting more of their own money into financing the HIV response. "Something very interesting has been happening" in Africa, Bernhard Schwartländer, director of strategy at UNAIDS told a plenary session at the 19th International AIDS Conference in Washington DC.

19 Jul 2012 description
report PlusNews

NAIROBI, 19 July 2012 (PLUSNEWS) - Many sub-Saharan African nations - traditionally the beneficiaries of international HIV funding - are gradually increasing their financial contributions to the fight against the virus, boosting the number of people on treatment to record highs according to a new UNAIDS report, Together We Will End AIDS [ http://www.unaids.org/en/resources/campaigns/togetherwewillendaids/ ], released on 18 July.

23 Mar 2012 description
report PlusNews

JOHANNESBURG, 23 March 2012 (PLUSNEWS) - Tuberculosis (TB) is the leading killer of HIV-positive people globally. Almost 15 years ago the World Health Organization (WHO) and UNAIDS recommended that people living with HIV be given isoniazid preventative TB therapy (IPT), to prevent active TB, but national implementation of IPT has been slow.

IPT, intensified TB case finding, and infection control are now the World Health Organization's three strategies for reducing TB among people living with HIV, also known as the "Three I's for HIV-TB."

18 Jan 2012 description
report PlusNews

JOHANNESBURG, 18 January 2012 (PLUSNEWS) - Botswana has marked many "firsts" in Africa's fight against the HI virus. IRIN/PlusNews details the most important events in its battle:

1984 - Botswana diagnoses its first patient with HIV;

1987 - The country develops the first of many national plans to tackle HIV and AIDS;

1995 - As HIV cases mount, it introduces a national community home-based care programme to complement the over-stretched health system and medical staff shortage compounded by the lack of a national medical school;

18 Jan 2012 description
report PlusNews

JOHANNESBURG, 18 January 2012 (PLUSNEWS) - One part novella and two parts textbook, Saturday is for Funerals* [ http://www.hup.harvard.edu/catalog.php?isbn=9780674050778 ] pairs the recollections of Unity Dow, five-times author and Botswana's first female high-court judge, with the analysis of Harvard health sciences professor, virologist and chair of the Botswana-Harvard AIDS Institute, Max Essex.

19 Jul 2011 description
report PlusNews

ROME, 18 July 2011 (PlusNews) - Countries that have been quick to incorporate medical male circumcision into their HIV prevention programmes are already seeing good results compared with those that have been slower to embrace the procedure, say experts.

14 Jul 2011 description
report PlusNews

NAIROBI, 14 July 2011 (PLUSNEWS) - A new study has added to growing evidence that a daily dose of antiretroviral treatment taken by the HIV-negative partner in a heterosexual, HIV-discordant relationship can significantly reduce the risk of HIV transmission.

20 Jun 2011 description
report PlusNews

JOHANNESBURG, 20 June 2011 (PLUSNEWS) - Commercial sex work, dominated by a focus on women, could be redefined as new research launched today in Nairobi, Kenya, sheds light on the complicated HIV prevention needs of what may be Africa's most deeply underground group at high risk of HIV - male sex workers.

29 Dec 2010 description
report PlusNews

NAIROBI, 29 December 2010 (PLUSNEWS) - This has been an exciting year for the fight against HIV, with dramatic developments in biomedical HIV prevention and a record five million people receiving life-prolonging treatment. It has also been a year fraught with funding difficulties and the continued discrimination against people living with HIV/AIDS and other marginalized groups.

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 …

29 Nov 2010 description
report PlusNews

JOHANNESBURG, 29 November 2010 (PlusNews) - Sheila Tlou, former Minister of Health in Botswana, took over as UNAIDS director for East and southern Africa in November, just a month before the deadline for achieving universal access to treatment, prevention, care and support expires.

With only two countries in the region having met the target for treatment, Tlou talked to IRIN/PlusNews about the value of setting goals and what countries should aim for next.

08 Oct 2010 description
report PlusNews

JOHANNESBURG, 8 October 2010 (PLUSNEWS) - New modelling has offered governments and donors a glimpse into the future of HIV epidemics - and what it will cost to prevent and treat them. Researchers warn of hard choices ahead and a need for some countries to take more responsibility for their national programmes.

Published in the 9 October edition of The Lancet medical journal, the study predicts that by 2031 - about 50 years into the HIV epidemic - annual new HIV infections will be roughly halved to about 1.2 million.

09 Sep 2010 description
report PlusNews

GABORONE, 9 September 2010 (PlusNews) - The Botswana government has passed an amendment to its Employment Act that will bring an end to dismissal based on an individual's sexual orientation or HIV status, but rights groups believe the legislation needs to go further.

Civil society organizations in Botswana welcomed the move but said legislation to protect the rights of people living with HIV in the workplace was necessary.

In a 30 August statement, the Botswana Network on Ethics, Law and HIV/AIDS (BONELA) said that it had evidence that some employers had been using HIV status as …

07 Jul 2010 description
report PlusNews

JOHANNESBURG, 7 July 2010 (PLUSNEWS) - Until just over a year ago, people living in Dukwi, a remote refugee camp about 200km from Francistown, Botswana's second city, were burying other residents who had died from AIDS-related illnesses at the rate of about five a month.

Botswana was the first country in southern Africa to roll out an antiretroviral (ARV) treatment programme, which now has almost universal coverage, but is among the last to include its relatively small refugee population.

After years of lobbying by the UN Refugee Agency (UNHCR), and local AIDS and human rights …

06 Jul 2010 description
report PlusNews

JOHANNESBURG, 6 July 2010 (PLUSNEWS) - A new study has challenged widely held assumptions about income level in relation to HIV, finding that neither wealth nor poverty are reliable predictors of HIV infection in Africa.

Previously, the argument that poverty drove HIV epidemics was supported by the World Bank and UNAIDS, as well as less reliable authorities like former South African President Thabo Mbeki, who told the International AIDS Conference in Durban in 2000 that the disease was a partner with "poverty, suffering, social disadvantage and inequity".

More recent …

02 Mar 2010 description
report PlusNews

NAIROBI, 2 March 2010 (PLUSNEWS) - Medical male circumcision is now widely recognized as an important HIV prevention tool, and several African countries have included it in their national HIV strategies.

IRIN/PlusNews lists the progress of 13 nations in eastern and southern Africa identified as priority countries for male circumcision scale-up by the UN World Health Organization.

Kenya: An estimated 85 percent of men are circumcised, but just 40 percent of those in Nyanza province, which has the country's highest prevalence, have had the procedure.

30 Nov 2009 description
report PlusNews

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 …

30 Oct 2009 description
report PlusNews

JOHANNESBOURG, 30 octobre 2009 (PLUSNEWS) - La disponibilité de traitements antirétroviraux (ARV) et la loi contre la discrimination ont aidé à classer le VIH/SIDA dans la catégorie des maladies chroniques. Mais un statut sérologique peut continuer de constituer un obstacle à l'obtention d'un prêt ou à la souscription d'une assurance.

En Afrique australe, la plupart des compagnies d'assurance vie continuent de demander à leurs potentiels clients de se soumettre à un test de dépistage du VIH et refusent de couvrir les personnes dont les résultats se révèlent positifs.

23 Jun 2009 description
report PlusNews

JOHANNESBURG, 23 June 2009 (PlusNews) - It has been two years since the World Health Organization recommended male circumcision (MC) as an HIV prevention measure, and countries in Southern Africa - the region hardest-hit by AIDS - have been slowly gearing up to provide widespread access to the procedure.

IRIN/PlusNews has compiled a list of the progress made so far in eight southern African countries.

Botswana: Botswana's Ministry of Health has set a target to circumcise 80 percent of eligible men, or about 460,000, by 2012.