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IRIN PlusNews Weekly Issue 282, 5 May 2006

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


AFRICA: African leaders prepare AIDS battle plan
SOUTH AFRICA: Small clinic at centre of debate over traditional medicine
SOUTHERN AFRICA: AIDS voices least heard - study


2. Johns Hopkins AIDS Service


AFRICA: African leaders prepare AIDS battle plan

African heads of state meeting in the Nigerian capital Abuja on Thursday were expected to draw up a joint plan to tackle the AIDS pandemic, tuberculosis and malaria - the continent's three biggest killers.

"We must take up the challenge of working as a group with the international community to find a lasting solution to the disease which is a major concern to mankind," said Republic of Congo President Denis Saso Nguesso.

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SOUTH AFRICA: Small clinic at centre of debate over traditional medicine

Over the past few months, hundreds of people have been streaming into an office building in Pinetown, on the outskirts of South Africa's east coast city of Durban, looking for the clinic that sells 'ubhejane' - a herbal mixture they believe can treat HIV/AIDS.

The controversial traditional medicine has received vast media coverage, mainly due to the backing it has received from influential political figures such as the country's health minister, Dr Manto Tshabalala-Msimang, and provincial health officials in KwaZulu-Natal.

Tshabalala-Msimang and KwaZulu-Natal's health minister, Peggy Nkonyeni, reportedly recommended to the mother of the deputy president, who runs a hospice in Durban, that she should give ubhejane to her patients. The city's mayor, Obed Mlaba, is also supporting the herbal remedy, and is sponsoring its supply to patients at a hospice in Inchanga, a rural village about 40km from Durban.

But ubhejane, a dark brown liquid sold in old plastic milk bottles, has yet to undergo clinical trials to test its efficacy. All that has so far been confirmed, according to tests by the University of KwaZulu Natal's (UKZN) medical school, is that it is not toxic.

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SOUTHERN AFRICA: AIDS voices least heard - study

The voices and gender dimensions of HIV/AIDS in Southern Africa are not well reflected by the media, according to a study released on Wednesday, World Press Freedom Day.

For a month during 2005, the 'HIV and AIDS and Gender Baseline Study' by Gender Links and the Media Monitoring Project (MMP) covered 118 media houses and monitored 37,000 news items in 11 Southern African Development Community (SADC) countries.

MMP director William Bird, who presented the findings in Johannesburg, South Africa, told PlusNews that only three percent of all items actually focused on or mentioned the epidemic.

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The website of 'AIDS', the official journal of the International AIDS Society, which publishes the latest research on the pandemic.

Of all AIDS-related journals, 'AIDS' has the highest impact and is read by top international clinicians and researchers.

Access the site:

2. Johns Hopkins AIDS Service

This website serves as a resource for physicians and other healthcare professionals providing care and treatment to patients living with HIV/AIDS.

Access the site:


Recent AFRICA Reports
More proof that a snip in time could save men from HIV,  13/Dec/06
IRIN PlusNews Weekly Issue 313, 8 December 2006,  8/Dec/06
Positive prevention,  7/Dec/06
AIDS 'paradigm shift' in life insurance,  5/Dec/06
Hitting the target? New study explores HIV/AIDS information needs,  1/Dec/06
· AIDS Media Center
· The Global Fund to fight AIDS, Tuberculosis & Malaria
· International Community of Women Living with HIV/AIDS
· International HIV/AIDS Alliance

PlusNews does not take responsibility for info in links supplied.

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