IRIN PlusNews Weekly Issue 160, 19 December 2003
Wednesday 10 March 2004


East Africa
Great Lakes
Horn of Africa
Southern Africa
·South Africa
West Africa


Country Profiles
Conferences / Research
Job opportunities

News Briefs

SOUTH AFRICA: Health department allays HIV infection fears
SOUTH AFRICA: AIDS activists threaten court action
LESOTHO: Prime Minister publicly tested for HIV
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IRIN PlusNews Weekly Issue 160, 19 December 2003


ZIMBABWE: Agriculture badly affected by HIV/AIDS
COTE D IVOIRE-SENEGAL: Activists warn against complacency over HIV/AIDS
WEST AFRICA: African conference looks at living with AIDS at home
CENTRAL AFRICAN REPUBLIC: UN agency identifies sites for HIV/AIDS centres


1. Horizons
2. iThemba Lethu
3. Strategies For Hope


ZIMBABWE: Agriculture badly affected by HIV/AIDS

Zimbabwe's struggling agricultural sector, already hard hit by drought, shortages of inputs and the fast-track land reform programme, has also been badly affected by HIV/AIDS.

In its latest report the UN Relief and Recovery Unit (RRU) noted that "productivity has been severely affected in the agricultural sector as a direct result of the HIV/AIDS pandemic in the country".

Research indicates a 43 percent HIV/AIDS prevalence rate on farms, compared to a national infection level of 24.6 percent, with the highest number of HIV-positive people in the 15 to 23 age range - "the core of the agricultural labour force".

The research, conducted for the UN Development Programme and soon to be published in the "Zimbabwe Human Development Report 2003", found that 23 percent of labour losses among farming communities were due to HIV/AIDS.

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COTE D IVOIRE-SENEGAL: Activists warn against complacency over HIV/AIDS

West Africa’s HIV-AIDS pandemic has often been overshadowed by the higher infection rates in southern Africa. But the World Health Organisation's (WHO) latest global HIV-AIDS update warns strongly against complacency.

WHO points out that while infection rates have remained broadly stable in Sahelian countries like Mali, The Gambia and Niger, which all with have prevalence rates of less than two per cent, the figures are markedly less optimistic in Cote d’Ivoire, where adult prevalence rates have been estimated at between 10 and 12 percent.

For years the country has been identified as the HIV/AIDS centre of West Africa. While reliable data has been difficult to obtain since the outbreak of a civil war in September 2002, medical experts say there were already over one million people living with HIV/AIDS in Cote d’Ivoire by the year 2000.

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WEST AFRICA: African conference looks at living with AIDS at home

Taking as its theme "More Care for Better Living", the 6th Home and Community Care Conference in Dakar, Senegal, last week highlighted the need for a far stronger, more well-rounded approach to the needs and problems of People Living with HIV/AIDS.

While conference organisers made it clear that that prevention remained the mainstay of the global response to HIV/AIDS, delegates stressed repeatedly that those affected by the virus needed access to proper care and medication.

The message from the Senegalese capital was clear: "Better Living" meant governments providing affordable antiretroviral therapy to those who needed it, while families and communities needed to do a lot more to end the stigmatisation and marginalisation of people living with AIDS.

It was made evident that those most affected by HIV/AIDS should be at the centre of treatment and prevention campaigns.

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CENTRAL AFRICAN REPUBLIC: UN agency identifies sites for HIV/AIDS centres

The UN Development Programme (UNDP) has begun identification of 16 sites for construction of HIV/AIDS detection-prevention-treatment centres across the Central African Republic, an official told IRIN on Friday.

Funding for the programme would come from the HIV/AIDS Global Fund, the UNDP resident representative, Stan Nkwain, said. "This is a legitimate ambition given the extent to which HIV/AIDS is ravaging the population," he said.

Nkwain added that the first phase of the two-year project, covering eight centres, would cost US $8 million. The centres include two centres in the capital, Bangui, one in Bossangoa, 305 km north of Bangui; one each in Boura, Bambari and Bria, 454, 385 and 597 km northeast of Bangui respectively; and one each in Bangassou and Mobaye, 742 and 608 km east of Bangui respectively.

Nkwain headed a UNDP mission to Bossangoa and Bouar from 8-11 December, which was aimed at assessing the needs of the local populations. Another UNDP mission to the other four towns left Bangui on Saturday and is due to assess the infrastructure and identify partners for the project. This mission ends on Friday.

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1. Horizons

This site is run by a team of US-based and international organisations working to prevent the spread of HIV/AIDS and mitigate its impact on individuals and communities. Directed by the Population Council and funded by the United States Agency for International Development (USAID), Horizons' major goal is to identify and develop successful HIV/AIDS projects that can be replicated and scaled up, where relevant.

2. iThemba Lethu

Operating in the Durban Metropolitan area in South Africa, iThemba Lethu is a voluntary association, established in November 2000, that seeks to impact the lives of children and young people whose futures are threatened by HIV/AIDS.

3. Strategies For Hope

This site aims to promote informed, positive thinking and practical action by all sections of society, in dealing with HIV and AIDS. It also make available a range of books, videos and a training package designed to disseminate information about practical strategies of HIV/AIDS care, support and prevention in developing countries.


This site provides publications on HIV/AIDS and Tuberculosis (TB) as it affects business, economics, labour, law and security. It also brings you news and updates on TB and HIV/AIDS.



Recent AFRICA Reports

Global Fund calls for bold proposals,  5/Mar/04
PlusNews Web Special - Gender and HIV/AIDS,  5/Mar/04
IRIN PlusNews Weekly Issue 171, 5 March 2004,  5/Mar/04
Anti-HIV programme fails rape victims,  4/Mar/04
Mobile clinic provide sex workers with health care,  4/Mar/04


PlusNews is produced under the banner of RHAIN, the Southern African Regional HIV/AIDS Information Network. RHAIN's members currently include:


  • IRIN

  • Inter Press Service (IPS)



  • Health Systems Trust

  • Health & Development

  • GTZ/Afronets

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