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SOMALIA: Burying stigma in Somaliland
14 December 2009 (PlusNews ), When a young HIV-positive woman recently passed away in Hargeisa, capital of the self-declared republic of Somaliland, none of the women in her family volunteered to carry out the traditional Islamic rite of washing the body before burial.
GLOBAL: Microbicide hopes dashed again
14 December 2009 (PlusNews ), A four-year clinical trial involving nearly 10,000 women in East and Southern Africa has found that the vaginal microbicide gel, PRO 2000, is safe but not effective at preventing HIV infection.
AFRICA: Judges join AIDS fight
11 December 2009 (PlusNews ), Twenty-five years into the HIV epidemic, a multitude of laws, international guidelines and government commitments have been drafted to ensure the rights of people living with HIV, but few cases have found their way into the courts, and even fewer have led to successful outcomes.
SOUTH AFRICA: Improved PMTCT yields dramatic results
10 December 2009 (PlusNews ), The percentage of HIV-positive mothers who pass the virus to their newborn babies in South Africa's KwaZulu-Natal Province has dropped by nearly two-thirds since dual antiretroviral (ARV) therapy was introduced for the prevention of mother-to-child transmission (PMTCT).
KENYA: Stavudine to be phased out - gradually
10 December 2009 (PlusNews ), Kenyan patients on stavudine, an antiretroviral drug in widespread use, which the UN World Health Organization (WHO) wants phased out, will have to wait a little longer to be put on alternative medication.
KENYA: "Men of the blood" come clean
9 December 2009 (PlusNews ), Every December, the village of Kangete, in eastern Kenya's Nyambene District, gears up for yet another season of festivities - not Christmas, however, but the initiation of hundreds of young men into manhood through circumcision.
KENYA: Meeting Muslim leaders halfway on HIV education
8 December 2009 (PlusNews ), "Desist from engaging in adultery, go for HIV tests, do not allow your sons and daughters to marry before they are tested... if you are positive go to the hospital and get free drugs."
GLOBAL: UNAIDS partners with religious groups to achieve universal access
8 December 2009 (PlusNews ), UNAIDS has launched a new framework for strategic partnerships with faith-based organizations (FBOs), acknowledging the impact they can have in delivering HIV programmes.
SOUTH AFRICA: Safer sex for soccer fans and sex workers
8 December 2009 (PlusNews ), With only six months until South Africa hosts the 2010 FIFA World Cup, the nettlesome question of how to deal with sex workers looms.
GLOBAL: Integrated health systems "boost the fight against HIV"
7 December 2009 (PlusNews ), If universal access to HIV prevention, treatment and care is to be achieved, experts recommend an inclusive approach to healthcare, rather than narrow HIV programmes.
AFRICA: Hospital-acquired HIV underestimated
7 December 2009 (PlusNews ), The role of blood-borne HIV infections from unsanitary healthcare procedures has been underestimated in sub-Saharan Africa's HIV/AIDS epidemic, according to several researchers and epidemiologists.
GLOBAL: PEPFAR unveils new strategy but more funds needed
4 December 2009 (PlusNews ), A shift from an emergency response to sustainable, country-driven HIV programming is at the heart of a new five-year strategy recently announced by the US President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR).
SWAZILAND: Marketing the cut
4 December 2009 (PlusNews ), A steady stream of young men from urban townships and rural farms are lining up for a procedure that few Swazi men have undergone since the custom of removing a man's foreskin died out in the 19th century.
SWAZILAND: Welile Mlilo, "The sugar daddies say they can give me what I want"
3 December 2009 (PlusNews ), Welile Mlilo, 19, lives with her mother in Manzini, Swaziland's commercial hub, where she does odd jobs to support the two of them. She told IRIN/PlusNews that one of her biggest challenges was avoiding HIV in a country with the world's highest prevalence rate.
UGANDA: International pressure mounts against "harmful" HIV bill
3 December 2009 (PlusNews ), The UN Special Envoy on AIDS in Africa, Elizabeth Mataka, has added her voice to growing criticism of a Ugandan bill that would criminalize the deliberate transmission of HIV.
SOUTH AFRICA: Male circumcision: why the delay?
3 December 2009 (PlusNews ), Countries all over Africa are at various stages of developing and implementing policies to roll out mass male circumcision to prevent HIV, but until recently South Africa has done little more than talk about a strategy of its own.
ZAMBIA: The hidden costs of TB
3 December 2009 (PlusNews ), "When you are poor and you have AIDS, you live with the threat of death above your head. However, when you have tuberculosis (TB), death moves closer and sits on your shoulder," said Max Ngoma, who used to be a peasant farmer in Lundazi, a rural town in eastern Zambia.
AFRICA: Time for prevention that works
2 December 2009 (PlusNews ), An array of interventions aimed at slowing the rate of new HIV infections in Africa has been tried over the last two decades. Some were tested to see if they actually worked, but many were not.
SOUTH AFRICA: Improvements in HIV policy, at last
2 December 2009 (PlusNews ), AIDS researchers, scientists and activists have welcomed the changes to South Africa's HIV/AIDS treatment policy, announced by President Jacob Zuma on World AIDS Day.
PHILIPPINES: AIDS activists dare to go bare
1 December 2009 (PlusNews ), On 1 December, World AIDS Day, activists in the Philippines will be wearing nothing but the red AIDS ribbon in a campaign to raise awareness about the growing threat of HIV.

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