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IRIN PlusNews Weekly Issue 197, 3 September 2004
Monday 11 October 2004
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IRIN PlusNews Weekly Issue 197, 3 September 2004

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


SOUTH AFRICA: Support and strength from The Tree
ANGOLA: HIV/AIDS plan moving "too slowly"
TANZANIA: Free drugs for HIV/AIDS patients
COTE D IVOIRE: Nurses run checkpoint gauntlet to get medicines for north


1. Mirror HIV/AIDS Web Sites in South Africa



SOUTH AFRICA: Support and strength from The Tree

About 300 women and their children gather every Wednesday beneath a large tree just outside Illovo on South Africa's KwaZulu-Natal south coast to support and encourage one another in the fight against HIV/AIDS.

The tree has witnessed uncountable stories by women who were once victims, but are today empowered and knowledgeable about the epidemic.

It all started in 1996 when Jackie Branfield, an HIV/AIDS counsellor and social worker from neighbouring Amanzimtoti, decided to do something about the large numbers of women in the Illovo district who were being beaten up because they were suspected of being HIV-positive.

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ANGOLA: HIV/AIDS plan moving "too slowly"

Eight months after its launch, people living with HIV/AIDS say Angola's programme to fight the epidemic is inadequate and moving too slowly.

The US $160 million national strategic plan, a five-year collaboration between the government and the United Nations, is focused on prevention, building institutional capacity and helping HIV-positive people.

Yet those living with HIV/AIDS in the capital, Luanda, which is supposed to have some of the better treatment facilities in the country, say the benefits so far are slim.

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TANZANIA: Free drugs for HIV/AIDS patients

Tanzanian President Benjamin Mkapa announced on Tuesday that the government would start distributing antiretroviral drugs (ARVs) free to HIV/AIDS patients from October.

"There is no cure for AIDS yet; these drugs can only prolong lives," Mkapa said in the commercial capital, Dar es Salaam, during the signing of an US $87.9-million grant from the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria.

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COTE D IVOIRE: Nurses run checkpoint gauntlet to get medicines for north

Battling your way past rebel and government soldiers to buy medical supplies is not usually part of a nurse's job description, but for Sister Rosalia, who is trying to treat the sick in the northern half of Cote d'Ivoire, it is an unavoidable chore.

The world's top cocoa producer has been split in two since an uprising in September 2002, and aid workers and residents say the humanitarian situation is deteriorating in the rebel-held north of the country.

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1. Mirror HIV/AIDS Web Sites in South Africa

The University of California San Francisco Centre for HIV Information, the University of KwaZulu-Natal, and the National Library of Medicine recently announced the launch of mirror versions of the HIV InSite and 'Women, Children, and HIV' websites in South Africa. The sites, which can be accessed at http://hivinsite.org.za and http://womenchildrenhiv.org.za, will provide healthcare workers in Southern Africa with faster access to reliable information about HIV/AIDS and its treatment.

Both sites provide information geared to physicians, researchers, policymakers, educators, project managers and others needing timely, reliable, and unbiased information about HIV/AIDS. The sites are continually updated and edited by internationally recognised HIV experts. The creation and maintenance of the mirror sites is the result of close collaboration between the Centre for HIV Information, the University of KwaZulu-Natal and the Nelson R. Mandela School of Medicine.


Recent AFRICA Reports
HIV/AIDS remains a big child killer,  8/Oct/04
IRIN PlusNews Weekly Issue 202, 8 October 2004,  8/Oct/04
HIV/AIDS care centre not being fully utilised,  8/Oct/04
Using theatre to encourage HIV testing,  6/Oct/04
Vaccine research struggles to find trial participants,  5/Oct/04
Sida Info Services
Le Fonds mondial de lutte contre le SIDA, la tuberculose et le paludisme
Le Réseau Afrique 2000

PlusNews does not take responsibility for info in links supplied.


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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