IRIN PlusNews Weekly Issue 178, 23 April 2004
Wednesday 23 June 2004
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IRIN PlusNews Weekly Issue 178, 23 April 2004

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


ETHIOPIA: New project launched to help HIV/AIDS-affected families
SOUTH AFRICA: Risking HIV to access grant
SOUTH AFRICA: ARV rollout set to begin in Eastern Cape
ZAMBIA: Pregnant adolescent refugees go back to school
NAMIBIA: Namibia rolls out third National AIDS plan


1. Red Ribbon
2. AIDS Analysis Africa Online
3. Women, Children and HIV



ETHIOPIA: New project launched to help HIV/AIDS-affected families

A US $6.3 million community care campaign for families affected by HIV/AIDS has been launched in Ethiopia.

The UN World Food Programme (WFP) and the government's HIV/AIDS Prevention and Control Office (HAPCO) jointly set up the project to support HIV/AIDS affected households, women and children.

"WFP is providing food to thousands of chronically ill, orphans and home-base caretakers in Addis Ababa's poorest neighbourhoods," Georgia Shaver, WFP country representative said in a statement released on Thursday.

According to recent studies in Ethiopia, almost two-thirds of deaths in the capital among people aged between 20 and 54 are AIDS-related. The HAPCO coordinates the fight against the virus in the country, where an estimated three million people are infected.

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SOUTH AFRICA: Risking HIV to access grant

IRIN reported on Friday that the South African government expressed concern this week after a news report highlighted the story of a young woman who admitted she was thinking of contracting the HI virus to access a disability grant.

The young woman, Thato, said she had ten 'boyfriends' with whom she slept for money. She was supporting two nieces, her own child and a grandmother suffering from diabetes on the money she made, by being what she described as a "prostitute in disguise".

The national spokesman for the department of social development, Vulelo Musi, expressed his shock and sadness, and acknowledged that the government had substantial work to do. "This is an incredibly serious matter, with far-reaching social and economic consequences," Musi told PlusNews.

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SOUTH AFRICA: ARV rollout set to begin in Eastern Cape

The rollout of antiretroviral (ARV) treatment is set to begin early next month in the Eastern Cape province of South Africa.

According to Sizwe Kupelo, media liaison officer for the Eastern Cape department of health, seven hospitals across the province will be able to administer ARV treatment by the second week in May.

The provincial HIV/AIDS Programme Director, Nomalanga Makwedini, said candidates were already being screened and tested.

Existing voluntary counselling and testing, prevention of mother-to-child transmission and post-exposure prophylaxis services will serve as entry points to the treatment programme, while health care clinics will provide screening services, follow-up, and monitoring of clients.

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ZAMBIA: Pregnant adolescent refugees go back to school

Thirty pregnant teenage girls in a Zambian refugee camp were given an opportunity to go back to school last July in a pilot project initiated by the Office for the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR). As the project nears completion, UN agencies are likely to extend it for a further year.

The initiative is being implemented by the Young Men's Christian Association as part of a UN Population Fund (UNFPA) programme to address the reproductive health of adolescent refugees.

UNFPA holds classes for the teenagers on reproductive health and HIV/AIDS awareness. "We try to help the girls by providing them with extra lessons initially, and child-minding skills," Mushinge explained.

The UNHCR senior regional community services officer in Zambia, Marie Lobo, was quoted in a press statement as saying that the project had two tracks. "The first is to assist the girls [to get] back to school, to put their lives in order, and to empower themselves through the process of education to learn how to take care of themselves and their babies, and to be able to say 'no' to further offers of sex for money," she explained.

"The second track is a preventive one that offers peer support to other girls who are seen going down the path of 'sugar daddies', money, sex and eventual ruination. The danger of HIV/AIDS is also brought to the attention of these young girls," she added.

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NAMIBIA: Namibia rolls out third National AIDS plan

Namibia plans to reduce its current HIV/AIDS prevalence rate of 22 percent by more than half over the next five years.

The ministry of health is hoping to achieve this national goal through the recently launched Third Medium Term Plan (MTP III), a multisectoral response to the epidemic.

"The objective of the MTP III is to reduce the incidence of HIV infection to below epidemic threshold. In epidemiological terms this implies less than one new infection for every existing person living with HIV/AIDS," Dr Norbert Forster, Under Secretary Health and Social Welfare Policy of the Namibian Ministry of Health, explained to PlusNews.

The MTP III will run until 2009 and cost over Namibian $3.7 billion (US $575 million), of which The Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria has committed about N $800 million (US $124 million), or just less than a quarter of the resources required for the five-year effort.

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1. Red Ribbon

A wide range of useful news and information, thorough analysis, legal issues, unsung heroes, reader polls, sound bytes and all you need to know. Brought to you by Metropolitan Life.

2. AIDS Analysis Africa Online

AIDS Analysis Africa, since 1987, has been a bi-monthly journal focusing on the socio-economic and political impacts and responses to HIV/AIDS in sub-Saharan Africa.

With its reputation for accurate, reliable and exclusive data, research and studies on the various themes relating to HIV, AIDS Analysis Africa has become the definitive AIDS journal for business leaders, academics, economists, human resource directors and researchers.

In keeping with the demands of a fast-paced electronic age, subscribers can now access AIDS Analysis Africa Online (AAAOnline), a new electronic, journal that will be hosted and archived on, the HIV/AIDS portal on AIDS in sub-Saharan Africa.

3. Women, Children and HIV

This site contains a library of practically applicable materials on mother and child HIV infection including preventing mother-to-child HIV transmission (PMTCT), infant feeding, clinical care of women and children living with HIV infection, and the support of orphans.

The goal of this site is to contribute to an improvement in the scale and quality of international HIV/AIDS prevention, care, and treatment programmes for women and children by increasing access to authoritative HIV/AIDS information.


Recent AFRICA Reports
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IRIN PlusNews Weekly Issue 186, 18 June 2004, 18/Jun/04
UN welcomes G8 endorsement of HIV vaccine initiative, 14/Jun/04
Church leaders to get more involved in fighting HIV/AIDS, 14/Jun/04
NGO in HIV/AIDS sensitisation efforts, 14/Jun/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 Networks
  • GTZ/Afronets

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