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Thursday 9 February 2006
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SOUTH AFRICA: More VCT harm than good in KwaZulu-Natal


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


JOHANNESBURG, 25 January (PLUSNEWS) - HIV voluntary counselling and testing (VCT) services in South Africa's KwaZulu-Natal province might be doing more harm than good, AIDS caregivers and activists have charged.

Patience Mavata, a nurse in the province's Ikhaya Lobomi AIDS Hospice, has accused VCT counsellors of telling patients that HIV was a death sentence.

"People lose hope because counsellors are so negative ... as a result, people die earlier than they should due to emotional stress," the local Mail and Guardian newspaper quoted Mavata as saying.

Mavata's concerns about the quality of the service were shared by AIDS lobby group Treatment Action Campaign, who noted that poor counselling not only discouraged people but also promoted isolation and stigma.

KwaZulu-Natal has the country's highest HIV-infection rate, estimated at around 36 percent.

[ENDS]

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


PlusNews does not take responsibility for info in links supplied.


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