A group of organisations working in HIV have written an open letter to the World Health Organisation (WHO), expressing concern over the organisation's scrapping of the release of technical guidelines on HIV testing and treatment for discordant couples. Follow the link to see the letter.
New evidence presented this week at the International AIDS Society Conference in Rome confirms that by expanding eligibility for antiretroviral therapy (ART) we could massively reduce new HIV infections.
People with HIV on antiretroviral treatment or at the point where antiretroviral treatment is recommended need not be alarmed by a study that received wide media coverage this week. Antiretrovirals save lives. Their benefits far outweigh their risks.
There is a shortage of the life-saving drug amphotericin B across the country. Amphotericin B is on the Essential Drug List and is used to treat cryptococcal meningitis (CM), an AIDS-defining illness with an extremely high mortality rate. Over 7,000 cases of CM are reported annually in South Africa though the actual number of cases is likely much higher. Bristol-Myers Squibb (BMS) is the only company that has registered the drug in South Africa. It is branded as Fungizone.
SECTION27 and TAC mourn the death on 22 June 2011 of lawyer, human rights activist and ANC leader Kader Asmal. Our condolences go out to his family, friends and close comrades. In a time when our country faces a growing decline of leaders with integrity, courage and bravery, Asmal stood out as a fearless fighter for justice.
During a recent door to door campaign, TAC Khayelitsha found that most men are not keen to test for TB or HIV because of long waiting periods associated with overcrowding at the local clinics.
On Friday, 3 June 2011, the Treatment Action Campaign (TAC) Khayelitsha, (MSF), City of Cape Town and the Western Cape Provincial Government Department of Health celebrated the 10 year anniversary of the first public sector Antiretroviral Treatment program in South Africa. Today, approximately 20,000 people in Khayelitsha are on ARV treatment.
The learners of Katlehong and Thuto Pele High Schools in the southern region of Ekurhuleni are benefitting from much more than the normal school curriculum. Nthabiseng Maretlane a TAC Community Health Advocate and Dikeledi Senong, Prevention and Treatment Literacy Practitioner in the area are giving the learners life skills by educating them on Teenage Pregnancy, Sexually Transmitted Infections (STIs), HIV and Behavioural Change strategies.
In negotiations for the final declaration of the UN High Level meeting on the Zero Draft, the European Union is blocking language which promotes a global treatment target; access to generic medicines; and financial commitments which could fuel the HIV response. Gravely concerned about this, the Treatment Action Campaign, MSF, SECTION27 incorporating the AIDS Law Project, and the AIDS and Rights Alliance for Southern Africa have sent this letter (see below) to the embassies of the United Kingdom, France, Germany and Switzerland in South Africa urging EU countries to cease pushing regressive language which could hinder the AIDS response.