IRIN PlusNews HIV/AIDS News and information service | Africa | AFRICA: IRIN PlusNews Weekly Issue 269, 3 February 2006 | Other | Weekly
Tuesday 21 February 2006
Home About PlusNews Country Profiles News Briefs Special Reports Subscribe Archive IRINnews


East Africa
Great Lakes
Horn of Africa
Southern Africa
West Africa
RSS - News Briefs


PlusNews E-mail Subscription

IRIN PlusNews Weekly Issue 269, 3 February 2006

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


BOTSWANA: Routine HIV testing not as straightforward as it sounds
MOZAMBIQUE: Newspapers in hot seat over AIDS cure ads
TANZANIA: Condom taboo in Zanzibar hampers fight against HIV/AIDS
WEST AFRICA: Uneven progress in treatment provision



BOTSWANA: Routine HIV testing not as straightforward as it sounds

Botswana's decision to introduce routine HIV testing in all its health facilities was driven by the growing realisation that plans to provide anti-AIDS medication were likely to fail unless more people were tested.

Two years down the line, health officials estimate that up to 35 percent of the 1.7 million Batswana now know their status.

But activists have expressed concern that the policy could be eroding the patient's right to confidentiality, with the risk of informed consent being compromised.

The landlocked Southern African country has all the ingredients for turning the epidemic around: political leadership, optimal use of existing resources and an established treatment plan. But fear of stigma has proved an even bigger hurdle, causing people to wait until they are very ill before seeking treatment.

More details

MOZAMBIQUE: Newspapers in hot seat over AIDS cure ads

The poorly regulated traditional medicine industry is attracting ever larger numbers of clients with newspaper advertisements that make extravagant claims.

"Traditional doctor, with experience in Africa and Europe, now with African antiretrovirals for cure of AIDS, tuberculosis, asthma, haemorrhage, fungus, anaemia, gonorrhoea, syphilis, paralysis, and for solutions of problems, such as bad luck, divorce, jobs, luck and career advancement" reads one.

Some newspapers, like the independent weekly 'Savana', are refusing to carry these adverts. "We do not publish such statements without the appropriate scientific qualifications. As part of the movement to fight HIV/AIDS, we cannot accept publicity that deceives people," Savana's editor, Fernando Gonçalves, told PlusNews.

More details

TANZANIA: Condom taboo in Zanzibar hampers fight against HIV/AIDS

Campaigns to fight HIV/AIDS often focus on the "ABC" strategy - or Abstinence, Be faithful and use Condoms. However, on the ultra-conservative, predominantly Muslim island of Zanzibar, the condom remains taboo and is rarely incorporated into public awareness messages.

"We believe that advocating the use of condoms is promoting illegal sex, mainly among the youth," said Fadhil Soraga, secretary at the office of Zanzibar’s mufti, or senior Muslim scholar. "The proper campaign is A and B."

While public talks or advertising campaigns about HIV/AIDS in Zanzibar may advise people to "Abstain, Be faithful," these messages carefully omit condom use as a prevention method.

More details

WEST AFRICA: Uneven progress in treatment provision

For many West and Central African countries, 2005 was the year of implementation and the reinforcement of their HIV/AIDS treatment programmes.

It was also when the World Health Organisation's (WHO) campaign to put three million people in the developing world on anti-AIDS drugs by the end of 2005 came to an end, having failed to reach its target.

The failure has been partly attributed to the fact that the campaign did not pay enough attention to national constraints. To address these shortcomings, UNAIDS and the UK government's Department for International Development (DFID) have launched a global steering committee that includes 40 senior representatives of donor countries, developing countries, donor agencies, the United Nations and people living with HIV/AIDS.

HIV/AIDS stakeholders in West Africa have welcomed the move, hoping their concerns will be taken into account after spending the past few months grappling with issues such as whether antiretrovirals (ARVs) should be provided free of charge, the cost of laboratory tests should be subsidised, and how to link public treatment initiatives with those in the private sector.

More details


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
· AIDS Media Center
· The Global Fund to fight AIDS, Tuberculosis & Malaria
· International Community of Women Living with HIV/AIDS
· International HIV/AIDS Alliance

PlusNews does not take responsibility for info in links supplied.

[Back] [Home Page]

Click here to send any feedback, comments or questions you have about PlusNews Website or if you prefer you can send an Email to Webmaster

Copyright © IRIN 2006
The material contained on comes to you via IRIN, a UN humanitarian news and information service, but may not necessarily reflect the views of the United Nations or its agencies.
All PlusNews material may be reposted or reprinted free-of-charge; refer to the IRIN copyright page for conditions of use. IRIN is a project of the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs.