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SOUTH AFRICA: Two women unlock possible key to HIV vaccine
23 October 2012 (PlusNews ), Two South African women may have helped unlock the key to a vaccine to rid the world of one its deadliest epidemics, according to new research released by South African HIV experts.
HIV/AIDS: Breaking science “silos” to find a vaccine
19 October 2012 (PlusNews ), A chemical engineer, a polymer physicist and a chemist gather for coffee - and not much happens. “We could have all the greatest ideas in the world to discuss over coffee, but without funding, it is not possible do to more than napkin sketches,” said Darrell Irvine, a material scientist at the US-based Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) who, along with dozens of scientists, have received funding to break down silos of scientific disciplines to create an AIDS vaccine.
EAST AFRICA: Sex workers need help too
19 October 2012 (PlusNews ), In humanitarian emergencies impoverished women may turn to sex work as a way of feeding themselves and their families; without the usual health services and given the often low education of those involved, sex is frequently unprotected, exposing them and their clients to sexually transmitted infections (STIs), including HIV.
HEALTH: Uneven progress in global TB fight
17 October 2012 (PlusNews ), The UN Millennium Development Goal (MDG) target of halting and reversing the tuberculosis (TB) epidemic by 2015 has been achieved, and the world is on track to meet the target of reducing global TB prevalence by 50 percent by 2015. But the progress has been irregular, with Africa and Europe lagging behind the rest of the world, according to the new Global Tuberculosis report by the UN World Health Organization (WHO).
HEALTH: New TB vaccine on the horizon
16 October 2012 (PlusNews ), A research team at Oxford University in the UK is very close to determining the efficacy of their new tuberculosis (TB) vaccine. If current clinical trials are successful, it will be the first new TB vaccine in almost a century.
ZIMBABWE: Nurses step up to initiate HIV treatment
16 October 2012 (PlusNews ), Faced with the ambitious target of reaching 85 percent of people in need of HIV treatment by the end of 2012, the Zimbabwean government has announced that nurses will be trained to prescribe and manage antiretroviral (ARV) drug treatment.
UGANDA: Worrying HIV levels among civil servants
12 October 2012 (PlusNews ), HIV prevalence among public servants in Uganda is 16.3 percent, more than twice the national average, according to a recently released assessment of the epidemic among the country's various sectors.
SOUTH AFRICA: Straight talk with Fareed Abdullah, head of the South African AIDS council
11 October 2012 (PlusNews ), Tasked with leading the South African National AIDS Council (SANAC) through its most ambitious and far-reaching reform yet, Fareed Abdullah has his work cut out for him.
AFRICA: Need for better research dissemination
10 October 2012 (PlusNews ), African research to improve patient care and treatment is growing, but the dissemination of evidence-based approaches to healthcare lags behind, experts say.
SOUTH AFRICA: Revamped AIDS council makes its debut
9 October 2012 (PlusNews ), After a troubled past, a revamped South African National AIDS Council (SANAC) was recently unveiled, coinciding with the announcement that the country has achieved universal access to HIV treatment. South Africa must now ramp-up prevention, new SANAC CEO Fareed Abdullah said.
HIV/AIDS: Free ARVs for all in England
8 October 2012 (PlusNews ), On the first day of October, a law change enabled everyone in England, regardless of their immigration status, to obtain free treatment for HIV and AIDS. This marks a victory for advocacy groups that have long argued that the health system restricted access to HIV treatment for some of the country's most vulnerable people.
SOUTH AFRICA: Dealing with sexual abuse in prison
5 October 2012 (PlusNews ), “Here is the mess,” the warder said when he shoved Michael Adams* into an overcrowded cell in Allandale Prison, near South Africa’s Cape Town, 10 years ago. That first night, Adams was raped by two men, and he was repeatedly assaulted during much of his time behind bars.
UGANDA: HIV trust fund in the works
3 October 2012 (PlusNews ), The government of Uganda is planning to establish a US$1 billion-dollar HIV trust fund to finance local HIV programmes.
HEALTH: A timeline of Global Fund reforms
27 September 2012 (PlusNews ), Change is afoot at the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria. In 2010, after allegations of fraud among fund recipients in Mali, Mauritania and Zambia, the Global Fund put together an independent, high-level panel to review its financial controls and assess how grant money is spent. The Fund is now implementing the panel's recommendations.
HEALTH: The Global Fund adopts new funding model
25 September 2012 (PlusNews ), The Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria has released initial details on its new funding model, which will change the way countries apply for money. But as the Fund works to finalize the model before next year, civil society is criticizing the process for being untransparent and rushed.
UGANDA: Condom use infrequent despite rising HIV rates
21 September 2012 (PlusNews ), Despite nationwide efforts to increase HIV awareness and common fears of unplanned pregnancy, young, sexually active Ugandans continue to have risky sex without using condoms consistently, spurring new measures to promote the prophylactic.
SWAZILAND: Child marriages banned
20 September 2012 (PlusNews ), The practice of men marrying underage girls - which has been an accepted social norm for centuries but has been linked in recent years to the spread of HIV - was recently declared illegal in Swaziland.
UGANDA: Decades later, HIV stigma lingers
20 September 2012 (PlusNews ), Ugandans have grown familiar with HIV over the past three decades, but new research suggests that many are still scandalized by it; according to the 2011 National AIDS Indicator Survey, released on 18 September, many people still attach shame and blame to people living with the virus.
UGANDA: Government adopts new PMTCT strategy
14 September 2012 (PlusNews ), The government of Uganda has launched the UN World Health Organization's (WHO) "Option B+" to boost the prevention of mother-to-child HIV transmission (PMTCT).
UGANDA: Questions over government's ability to cut new HIV infections
12 September 2012 (PlusNews ), In response to rising HIV prevalence, Uganda's government has announced a strategy to reduce new HIV infections by up to 30 percent by 2015, but activists have cast doubt on its ability to achieve this ambitious goal.

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