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SWAZILAND: Thabile Xaba, "I can take the ARVs now if I like but... I must consult the ancestors"
1 March 2011 (PlusNews ), Most Swazis go to traditional healers if they feel ill, but in a country with the world’s highest HIV prevalence rate healers are struggling to cope. Thabile Xaba, 37, a healer who has been diagnosed HIV-positive at a clinic, told IRIN about her experiences.
HIV/AIDS: Microbicide gel could stop spread of HIV during anal sex
1 March 2011 (PlusNews ), A microbicide gel designed initially for vaginal use may be effective in safely preventing the spread of HIV when applied to the rectum prior to anal sex, according to preliminary research presented by the Microbicides Trial Network (MTN) this week.
UGANDA: Cash crunch delays shift to WHO-recommended PMTCT regimen
25 February 2011 (PlusNews ), A shortage of money means Uganda is unlikely to shift its prevention of mother-to-child transmission programmes to a more efficient UN World Health Organization regimen soon, say government officials.
KENYA: Integration of maternal, HIV services shows results
24 February 2011 (PlusNews ), The bold branding of HIV care centres in Kenyan hospitals stops many HIV-positive pregnant women from accessing vital HIV treatment that could protect their children from infection for fear of stigma.
ZIMBABWE: A helping hand for HIV-positive mothers and babies
22 February 2011 (PlusNews ), The high cost of maternity and health care, the lack of a proper follow-up system, and a limited ability to diagnose HIV infection early in babies means many Zimbabwean children are not being caught by the safety net that the prevention of mother-to-child transmission (PMTCT) programme was intended to provide.
KENYA: Hungry HIV-positive mothers wary of exclusive breastfeeding
21 February 2011 (PlusNews ), Nutrition experts recommend that HIV-positive mothers exclusively breastfeed their babies for the first six months to reduce the risk of HIV transmission, but food-insecure Kenyan mothers worry they have insufficient milk to keep their babies full and healthy.
SOUTH AFRICA: HIV patients go missing before treatment
18 February 2011 (PlusNews ), A study has found that about 55 percent of HIV patients in South Africa who are not eligible for treatment at the time of diagnosis will disappear from clinics within a year of initial monitoring, leaving a serious gap in HIV care and prevention, say researchers.
KENYA: HIV-positive forest evictees struggle to access ARVs
17 February 2011 (PlusNews ), Wesley Kipkoech*, 21, may be illiterate and speak only his native Ndorobo tongue, but he understands all too well that if he does not have regular access to his HIV medication, he is likely to die.
UGANDA: Pushing HIV on to presidential candidates' agenda
16 February 2011 (PlusNews ), Civil society activists say Uganda's presidential candidates have not placed sufficient emphasis on how they plan to tackle the epidemic should they come into office, despite rising HIV prevalence and huge funding problems.
RWANDA: Bloodless male circumcision to boost HIV prevention
15 February 2011 (PlusNews ), The Rwandan government plans to expand its national voluntary male circumcision programme using a new device, the PrePex system, which officials say saves both time and money.
ZIMBABWE: Lessons in HIV prevention
11 February 2011 (PlusNews ), African countries struggling to contain HIV epidemics can learn a thing or two about HIV prevention from Zimbabwe, say the authors of a new study which found that a reduction in sexual partners drove a decrease in new HIV infections there.
SOUTH AFRICA: No ARVs in 'whoonga', say experts
10 February 2011 (PlusNews ), Media in South Africa recently erupted into a frenzy of coverage of an allegedly new illegal drug, 'whoonga', said to contain life-prolonging antiretrovirals (ARVs), but experts say the drug is actually an old foe, heroin, and does not include ARVs.
UGANDA: Can "love wheel" stop infidelity in marriage?
9 February 2011 (PlusNews ), Spin the wheel and get a tip to spoil your better half; spend more time together or go out for a romantic evening: A new Ugandan HIV prevention programme hopes a "love wheel" will encourage couples to seek excitement within their own marriages rather than in the arms outsiders.
AFRICA: Need for systematic HIV drug resistance testing
8 February 2011 (PlusNews ), HIV is a tough enough diagnosis, but when one contracts a strain of HIV resistant to some life-prolonging medicines, treatment options are limited. A new study has found that transmitted HIV drug resistance may be on the rise in Africa, and the authors warn that unless resistance surveillance is increased, the continent's treatment programmes could suffer.
TANZANIA: Male circumcision campaign targets 2.8 million
7 February 2011 (PlusNews ), The Tanzanian government has embarked on a large-scale voluntary male circumcision programme aimed at reducing the HIV risk of men and boys in areas of the country with low levels of male circumcision.
SOUTH AFRICA: HIV testing in schools is a minefield
7 February 2011 (PlusNews ), South Africa is preparing to take HIV testing into the classroom as part of its national voluntary HIV testing and counselling campaign, but testing kids is controversial and implementing the programme is fraught with challenges – just ask those already doing it.
COTE D'IVOIRE: Political crisis affects supply of ARVs
4 February 2011 (PlusNews ), As Côte d'Ivoire's political stalemate drags on, NGOs are becoming increasingly concerned about its effect on the supply of life-prolonging antiretroviral medicines.
GLOBAL: More health workers needed to achieve HIV/AIDS targets
2 February 2011 (PlusNews ), With the current number of health workers worldwide, most developing countries will not be able to achieve Millennium Development Goal 6, which includes universal access to HIV/AIDS treatment by 2015, according to a 2011 World Health Organization (WHO) report which reviewed progress in five countries.
KENYA: Fidelity campaigns could take years to see results
1 February 2011 (PlusNews ), Your secret lover probably has a secret lover - Kenyans regularly hear this message through a campaign aimed at reducing the high rate of new infections occurring within marriage.
ZAMBIA: How to build a lab in a shipping container
1 February 2011 (PlusNews ), A tiny laboratory capable of doing big things is what Barry Kosloff, working with the London School of Hygiene and Tropical medicine, has created - a new type of high-tech, low-cost, tuberculosis (TB) lab in a shipping container. He walked IRIN/PlusNews through what it takes to build one.

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