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IRIN PlusNews Weekly Issue 319, 19 January 2007


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


NEWS:

ZAMBIA: Kids slip through the ARV net
LIBERIA: Government, women's groups decry post-war sexual violence
SOUTH AFRICA: Closing the gap on gender-based violence
MOZAMBIQUE: HIV/AIDS carers to be taught ARV management
SUDAN: HIV/AIDS education comes to classrooms in the south
CENTRAL AFRICAN REPUBLIC: No refuge from HIV

EVENTS:

JOBS:



ZAMBIA: Kids slip through the ARV net

A shortage of paediatric testing kits and specialised medical staff in Zambia is causing delays in rolling out antiretroviral (ARV) drugs for children infected with HIV/AIDS.

Despite the National AIDS Council (NAC) having enough ARV medication to treat about 19,000 children, only about 5,000 are able to access the drugs.

An estimated 1.6 million Zambians are living with HIV - about 17 percent of the adult population - but only about 75,000 have access to ARVs, and even with the low penetration of the rollout so far, analysts say the programme provides adults living with AIDS a better deal than children infected with the virus.

More details



LIBERIA: Government, women's groups decry post-war sexual violence

Rising levels of reported rape and sexual exploitation of women and teenage girls in Liberia have sparked concern by both the government and women's rights groups.

Despite a peace agreement in 2003 that ended the particularly brutal 14-year civil war, during which fighters sexually assaulted girls and women and sometimes used them as "sex slaves", these types of violent abuse were still common, according to Lois Bruthus, head of the Association of Female Lawyers of Liberia (AFELL), a leading advocacy group.

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SOUTH AFRICA: Closing the gap on gender-based violence

In a country long sickened by the frighteningly high level of sexual violence, one of the greatest challenges facing South Africa is closing the gap between the rhetoric of gender equality and the reality on the ground.

The prevalence of gender-based violence is reflected in stark statistics: between April 2004 and March 2005, 55,114 cases of rape were reported to the police. The number of actual cases was likely much higher, considering only an estimated one in nine women report cases of sexual assault, according to the Medical Research Council (MRC). The MRC also estimates that a woman is killed by her intimate partner every six hours.

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MOZAMBIQUE: HIV/AIDS carers to be taught ARV management

The Mozambican Red Cross will begin training hundreds of volunteer workers to manage antiretroviral therapy (ART) for people in their care living with HIV/AIDS.

"This training is extremely important and will improve the work of our carers," Paula Macava, the Red Cross Mozambique coordinator of the HIV/AIDS programme, told IRIN. "We have now finalised an eight-module training package on antiretroviral therapy management, specifically designed for carers."

More details



SUDAN: HIV/AIDS education comes to classrooms in the south

The classroom has become a front line in the fight against AIDS in southern Sudan, where many teenagers are attending school for the first time now that the 21-year civil war has ended.

HIV/AIDS programmes are few and far between, and ignorance about the pandemic is widespread. Southern Sudan's HIV prevalence is estimated at 2.6 percent, a figure some health workers feel is too conservative.

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CENTRAL AFRICAN REPUBLIC: No refuge from HIV

After the traumas of war and forced exile, HIV is an additional hardship for many refugees living in the small huts of clay and straw in a camp at Molangue, Central African Republic (CAR), near the border with the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC).

According to the United Nations High Commission for Refugees (UNHCR), almost 20,000 refugees, mainly from Sudan, the DRC and Chad, fled war and violence in their countries and settled in camps and urban areas in the CAR. The camp at Molangue, about 150km east of the capital, Bangui, accommodates over 700 Congolese refugees.

More details


[ENDS]




 
Recent AFRICA Reports
Women's rights groups push for more AIDS funding,  8/Mar/07
Report bashes one-sided AIDS policies,  5/Mar/07
AFRICA: IRIN PlusNews Weekly Issue 324, 02 March 2007,  2/Mar/07
IRIN PlusNews Weekly Issue 323, 23 February 2007,  23/Feb/07
Donors call the shots in HIV/AIDS sector ,  21/Feb/07
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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