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SOUTH AFRICA: Activists urge change to patent laws
21 November 2011 (PlusNews ), Ten years ago, the Doha Declaration allowed countries to circumvent patent rights to access life-saving medicines, particularly those used to treat HIV/AIDS, tuberculosis and malaria. However, the South African government has failed to take advantage of these provisions, and increasingly important TB medication and second- and third-line antiretrovirals (ARVs) remain out of reach, activists warn.
SOUTHERN AFRICA: Door-to-door outreach cuts TB prevalence
1 November 2011 (PlusNews ), Home-based tuberculosis (TB) education and testing reduced community TB prevalence by about 20 percent, according to findings of a large, two-country study released at the International Lung Health Conference in Lille, France.
SOUTH AFRICA: Sexual violence among men neglected
18 October 2011 (PlusNews ), Almost 10 percent of South African men have experienced sexual violence by another man, according to new research that probes the complex relationships between male victimisation and HIV risk.
SOUTH AFRICA: Twelve years of the TAC fight
4 October 2011 (PlusNews ), A new book looks back on more than a decade of the life of South African lobby group, the Treatment Action Campaign (TAC), whose brand of activism came to define the world’s fight for HIV treatment and care.
SOUTH AFRICA: A timeline of HIV/AIDS activism
4 October 2011 (PlusNews ), In a new book, Fighting for our Lives, the Treatment Action Campaign (TAC), an HIV/AIDS lobby group, looks back on more than a decade of activism. IRIN/PlusNews presents a timeline of 12 years of highlights as the group translated action into wider access to HIV treatment:
SOUTH AFRICA: Policy turnaround on breastfeeding
26 August 2011 (PlusNews ), South Africa’s high child mortality rates have forced the government to rethink its policy on infant feeding and move to discontinue the free provision of formula milk at hospitals and clinics, as well as promote an exclusive breastfeeding strategy for all mothers, including those living with HIV.
SOUTH AFRICA: Shortage of drug-resistant TB treatment looms
16 August 2011 (PlusNews ), While countries are rolling out new tests that will enable them to diagnose more patients with drug-resistant tuberculosis (DR-TB), a worldwide shortage of the drugs to treat these patients is likely, Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) warns.
SOUTH AFRICA: Lihle Dlamini, “People who have TB still face the same challenges I faced in 2002”
16 August 2011 (PlusNews ), Lihle Dlamini is the deputy general-secretary of South Africa’s AIDS lobby group, the Treatment Action Campaign. As the country moves to include a strong emphasis on tuberculosis (TB) for the first time in its latest national strategic plan on HIV, Dlamini recounted her experience with TB treatment almost 10 years ago:
SOUTH AFRICA: Govt moves to earlier HIV treatment
15 August 2011 (PlusNews ), HIV-positive people in South Africa will be able to access antiretrovirals (ARVs) sooner after the government raised the CD4 count necessary to access treatment. But some warn the victory is only half the battle.
SOUTH AFRICA: Prisons expand HIV services
26 July 2011 (PlusNews ), Obtaining HIV treatment in jail is becoming easier as about 9 percent of South African prisons now offer antiretroviral (ARV) drugs in-house.
SOUTH AFRICA: Reproductive services could open door to HIV prevention
27 June 2011 (PlusNews ), In theory, it should go something like this: pregnant woman tests HIV-positive as part of prevention of mother-to-child HIV transmission (PMTCT) services at her antenatal clinic, and tells dad-to-be; dad tests for HIV and they support each other, start treatment if need be, and prevent HIV transmission to baby or dad.
SOUTH AFRICA: AIDS conspiracy believers less likely to condomise
22 June 2011 (PlusNews ), Thirty years after the discovery of AIDS, conspiracy theories that posit the virus as man-made continue to enjoy support among a segment of South African youth - and these beliefs may be putting them at greater risk of HIV infection.
SOUTH AFRICA: Promise and peril in ARV-based prevention
10 June 2011 (PlusNews ), The road to prevention methods based on antiretroviral (ARV) drugs is still fraught with challenges, but recent groundbreaking trial results from this promising new field offer greater hope than previous efforts.
SOUTH AFRICA: Mother-to-child HIV transmission plummets
9 June 2011 (PlusNews ), The rate of mother-to-child HIV transmission has fallen to 3.5 percent according to a national survey by the South African Medical Research Council (MRC) and researchers say the virtual elimination of vertical HIV transmission may now be possible by 2015.
SOUTH AFRICA: Mandisa Dlamini, “You don’t know the real Gugu Dlamini”
8 June 2011 (PlusNews ), In 1998, HIV/AIDS activist Gugu Dlamini was beaten to death near KwaMashu township outside Durban after publicly disclosing her HIV-positive status. Her death, an example of the depth of HIV stigma, shook South Africa. Dlamini’s death almost destroyed her daughter, Mandisa, who was just 13 years old when her mother died. Now 25, Mandisa spoke about her experience as part of this year’s Nkosi Johnson memorial lecture, named for South Africa’s youngest HIV activist who died in 2001, at the SA AIDS 2011 Conference.
SOUTH AFRICA: Top five recent successes in HIV
8 June 2011 (PlusNews ), South Africa's HIV/AIDS programme has come a long way from the dark days of denialism and deadly treatment delays. Francois Venter, chairman of the country's bi-annual HIV conference, SA AIDS 2011, gave IRIN/PlusNews five reasons to be happy about the country’s progress:
SOUTH AFRICA: Nonqaba Jacobs, "She says it's from Satan that you are positive"
31 May 2011 (PlusNews ), Nonqaba Jacobs, 28, comes from a rural community outside East London; both parents were HIV-positive and she tested positive in 2004. In 2005 she moved to Khayelitsha, near Cape Town, where she found treatment and attitudes towards HIV to be a world away from what she experienced in the Eastern Cape. These days she is doing well, but is worried about her mother, who has gone off her antiretrovirals in favour of "faith healing" at the Christ Embassy church.
SOUTH AFRICA: MSM still sidelined in HIV programming
27 May 2011 (PlusNews ), South African men who have sex with men are twice as likely to be HIV-positive as heterosexual men, but spending on research, prevention and treatment for this group remains low, delegates at a conference on MSM and HIV in Cape Town heard.
SOUTH AFRICA: Monde Kenneth Hobongwana, "The information is there, treatment is there, but still people default"
19 May 2011 (PlusNews ), In 2008, Monde Kenneth Hobongwana, 37, tested HIV-positive. A student of business management at the time, he had been tested before, and blames risky behaviour for his status. He says that having a support structure is key to accepting one's status, but acknowledges that among men, it is still a difficult subject to discuss openly.
SOUTH AFRICA: Ten years of HIV treatment - a look back
17 May 2011 (PlusNews ), Ten years ago, Khayelitsha, in Cape Town, was the first place to make antiretroviral drugs available to the public sector, marking a milestone in the beginning of the end of AIDS denialism and the fight for treatment in South Africa.

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