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Tuesday 21 February 2006
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IRIN PlusNews Weekly Issue 255, 14 October 2005


[This report does not necessarily reflect the views of the United Nations]


NEWS:

AFRICA: HRW highlights impact of AIDS on schooling
AFRICA: Cheaper female condom will increase accessibility
NIGERIA: HIV testing campaign draws poor response
SWAZILAND: New anti-AIDS campaign targets young people
ZIMBABWE: HIV/AIDS drop - behavioural change or skewed statistics?

CONFERENCES/ EVENTS/ RESEARCH/ RESOURCES:

JOB OPPORTUNITIES:



AFRICA: HRW highlights impact of AIDS on schooling

The impact of HIV/AIDS on school-aged children in three African countries has been highlighted in a report released by Human Rights Watch (HRW) on Monday.

In 'Letting Them Fail: Government Neglect and the Right to Education for Children Affected by AIDS', HRW charged that government disregard of millions of orphans and vulnerable children (OVCs) was fuelling school dropout levels across East and Southern Africa.

Research showed that while overall school enrolment rates had risen to approximately 66 percent on the continent, children affected by AIDS were being left behind.

More details



AFRICA: Cheaper female condom will increase accessibility

Women in sub-Saharan Africa will soon benefit from a cheaper version of the female condom, enabling them to negotiate safer sex with their male partners.

The prohibitive cost of the female condom has prevented many women in developing countries from accessing the prevention device, but a new second-generation female condom made of synthetic latex could change this, experts told PlusNews.

Many HIV/AIDS advocacy groups see the female-controlled barrier method as a significant alternative available to women for empowering themselves against infection.

More details



NIGERIA: HIV testing campaign draws poor response

Motivating people in Lagos, Nigeria's economic capital, to be tested for HIV/AIDS has been an uphill battle, despite widespread campaigns.

In Ifako-Ijaye, a heavily populated suburb, the local voluntary testing and counselling (VCT) centre has clients waiting for their tests, but the response has been nowhere near what the officials implementing the 'Know Your HIV Status' project were hoping for.

"Despite all the strategies we have adopted, the number of people that have come forward for testing so far is disappointingly low," said Wunmi Sina-Falana, project team coordinator of Centre for Health, Education and Development Communication (CHEDCOM), a Lagos-based NGO.

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SWAZILAND: New anti-AIDS campaign targets young people

Swazi health authorities on Wednesday launched an ambitious anti-AIDS campaign targeting people between the ages of 20 and 30 years - the group most affected by the virus.

The R3 million (US $458,000) programme, supported by private-sector health and social welfare NGOs, was underpinned by a strong abstinence message.

"We are promoting delaying sexual activity but in this age group there are already many young people who have had sexual experiences, so we are primarily stressing the need for self-protection," said Nana Mdluli, communications officer for the National Emergency Response Council on HIV/AIDS (NERCHA).

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ZIMBABWE: HIV/AIDS drop - behavioural change or skewed statistics?

A recent national survey shows that Zimbabwe's HIV prevalence rate has dropped dramatically in the past two years, but the cause of this welcome change is not clear.

According to the study - carried out by UNAIDS, the US Centres for Disease Control and several universities - the percentage of Zimbabweans between the ages of 15 and 49 infected with HIV dropped from 24.6 percent to 20.1 percent in the last two years.

Health and Child Welfare Minister Dr David Parirenyatwa was quick to attribute the lower infection rates to behavioural change, saying that "everyone now seems to know the importance of preventing HIV and, to an extent, are trying their best to avoid getting infected", the Herald reported.

More details

[ENDS]




 
Recent AFRICA Reports
Govt adopts more focused approach to help orphans,  21/Feb/06
IRIN PlusNews Weekly Issue 271, 17 February 2006,  17/Feb/06
Armed forces to tackle impact of HIV/AIDS,  13/Feb/06
IRIN PlusNews Weekly Issue 270, 10 February 2006,  10/Feb/06
Year in Review 2005 - Uneven progress in treatment provision,  3/Feb/06
Links
· AIDS Media Center
· The Global Fund to fight AIDS, Tuberculosis & Malaria
· International Community of Women Living with HIV/AIDS
· AEGIS
· International HIV/AIDS Alliance


PlusNews does not take responsibility for info in links supplied.


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