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IRIN PlusNews Weekly Issue 199, 17 September 2004
Monday 11 October 2004
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IRIN PlusNews Weekly Issue 199, 17 September 2004


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


NEWS:

COTE D IVOIRE: Nationwide HIV/AIDS prevalence survey to be launched in November
GAMBIA: Condom campaign angers Catholic cleric
SOUTH AFRICA: Gays neglected in HIV/AIDS campaigns
SOUTH AFRICA: Using beaded crafts to talk about HIV/AIDS
SOUTH AFRICA: Migrant women at much higher risk of HIV/AIDS - new report
SOUTH AFRICA: NGOs to monitor ARV rollout
SOUTH AFRICA: Antiretroviral therapy is cost-effective, says report
ZAMBIA: Manufacture of anti-AIDS drugs set to begin
SOUTHERN AFRICA: Humanitarian crisis crippling public health sector
AFRICA: HIV/AIDS taking its toll on population

CONFERENCES/ EVENTS/ RESEARCH/ RESOURCES:

JOB OPPORTUNITIES:



COTE D IVOIRE: Nationwide HIV/AIDS prevalence survey to be launched in November

Cote d'Ivoire is preparing to launch its first nationwide HIV prevalence survey in fifteen years, covering 10,000 homes in both government and rebel-held areas of the divided country, Mamadou Diallo, the head of UNAIDS in Cote d'Ivoire, said on Tuesday.

The six-month survey would be launched by Cote d'Ivoire's Ministry to Fight AIDS in November and its findings would be used to formulate a more appropriate strategy to help people living with HIV/AIDS in the divided country, he told PlusNews.

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GAMBIA: Condom campaign angers Catholic cleric

The Roman Catholic Church has voiced its opposition to the use of condoms to prevent the spread of HIV/AIDS in Gambia, challenging a government-backed prevention campaign based on the distribution of cheap contraceptives to the country's youth.

Father Edward Gomez, a well-known Catholic priest who regularly presents discussion programmes on local television, made the church's position clear at a workshop on Advocacy and Effective Behaviour Change Techniques, sponsored by a Catholic youth organisation called Gambia AIDS Service (GAS), in Banjul last week.

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SOUTH AFRICA: Gays neglected in HIV/AIDS campaigns

South Africa's homosexuals are finding themselves excluded from safe sex campaigns, despite evidence of rising prevalence rates in the gay community.

"The South African government has done absolutely nothing around safer sex education specifically for gay and lesbian people. The entire onus has been shifted to NGOs, and that sector is not capable of coping with such an unfair burden," Evert Knoesen, director of the Lesbian and Gay Equality Project, told PlusNews.

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SOUTH AFRICA: Using beaded crafts to talk about HIV/AIDS

Gender inequalities in rural South Africa have traditionally left women with no voice, but a group of female Zulu doll makers in the KwaZulu-Natal province are now speaking about HIV/AIDS through their craftwork.

The women are part of the Siyazama Project ('We are trying' in Zulu), an initiative that uses the Zulu craft of making beaded dolls to disseminate vital information about HIV/AIDS among rural women.

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SOUTH AFRICA: Migrant women at much higher risk of HIV/AIDS - new report

Rural women seeking work in South Africa's urban centres are as much at risk of contracting HIV as a their male counterparts, a new study has found.

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SOUTH AFRICA: NGOs to monitor ARV rollout

Close to 8,000 South Africans are now receiving anti-AIDS drugs, but several provinces are still not doing enough to rapidly roll out the treatment programme, an NGO coalition has said in a new report.

According to a joint civil society forum - which includes the AIDS Law Project (ALP), the Southern African HIV Clinicians Society (SAHCS) and the Treatment Action Campaign (TAC) - the demand for antiretroviral (ARV) treatment in all provinces was being "frustrated by long waiting lists" to access ARVs and receive care.

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SOUTH AFRICA: Antiretroviral therapy is cost-effective, says report

A new study says the benefits of a public sector rollout of antiretroviral therapy (ART) to people living with HIV/AIDS outweigh the costs of not doing so.

The report, 'Cost-effectiveness of Antiretroviral Treatment for HIV-Positive Adults in a South African Township', is based on research conducted at three HIV-dedicated clinics in Khayelitsha township on the outskirts of Cape Town.

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ZAMBIA: Manufacture of anti-AIDS drugs set to begin

A Zambian government initiative to begin the local manufacture of cheap generic antiretroviral (ARV) drugs has been welcomed by AIDS activists.

"We have been lobbying for affordable drugs for 10 years. This is a dream come true," said coordinator of the Network of Zambian People Living with HIV/AIDS (NZP+), Clement Mfuzi. "As NZP+, our hope has not only been accessibility, but also affordable drugs. We also hope the supply will be sustainable, because once you take these drugs, it is for life."

Health minister Brian Chituwo announced recently that the domestic production of ARVs, with Cuban assistance, would begin after rehabilitation of a pharmaceutical factory in the capital, Lusaka, and licensing by the Ministry of Commerce and Industry.

Clinical trials of the triple-combination pill are due to start in two weeks' time, with production expected to begin by the end of the year. At a treatment cost of US $150 per year, the generic drug - a copy of Trioumune, which combines Stavudine, Lamivudine and Nevirapine - is set to be among the cheapest in the world.

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SOUTHERN AFRICA: Humanitarian crisis crippling public health sector

As a rising number of HIV/AIDS patients turn to already over-stretched public sector facilities, the ongoing humanitarian crisis is undermining the quality of care in Southern Africa's health system.

Two years after committing themselves to respond to the humanitarian emergency, health ministers from the Southern Africa Development Community (SADC) are now faced with "vicious and destructive spirals" of rising HIV/AIDS deaths and deepening poverty, the World Health Organisation (WHO) Regional Office for Africa said in a statement.

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AFRICA: HIV/AIDS taking its toll on population

The HIV/AIDS pandemic will reduce life expectancy in the worst affected African countries to an average of 29 years, a new UN Population Fund (UNFPA) report has said.

Although the UNFPA's 'State of the World Population 2004' report predicts that the population in the world's 50 poorest countries will triple in size by 2050, the 38 African countries hardest hit by HIV/AIDS are projected to have 823 million people in 2015 - 91 million less than if no AIDS-related deaths occurred.

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[ENDS]


 
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
Links
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.

PARTNERS

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

  • UNAIDS
  • IRIN
  • Inter Press Service (IPS)
  • SAfAIDS
  • PANOS
  • Health Systems Trust
  • Health & Development Networks
  • GTZ/Afronets

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