Despite some improvement, the community-led monitoring group Ritshidze’s second report on key populations highlights that sex workers, people who use drugs and LGBTQIA+ community members are often still discriminated against when trying to access public health facilities. This can lead to treatment interruptions and some stopping their clinic visits. Nthusang Lefafa reports.
Taking the antibiotic doxycycline after condomless sex can reduce the risk of contracting three different sexually transmitted infections (STIs), according to a study presented last week at the AIDS 2022 conference in Montreal, Canada. Elri Voigt unpacks the study findings and asks local experts what it might mean for combatting STIs in South Africa.
Juliet Houghton was recently appointed as the CEO of the Southern African HIV Clinician’s Society (SAHCS). As part of Spotlight’s Women in Health series, Bienne Huisman spoke to her about her life working in HIV, her new role at the SAHCS, the importance of being able to laugh, and the Shakespearian origins of her name.
Over the last three decades, Dr Fareed Abdullah has been at the coalface of South Africa’s response to HIV, tuberculosis, and more recently, COVID-19. Biénne Huisman chatted with Abdullah about providing antiretrovirals in the time of AIDS denialism, National Health Insurance, working as a medical doctor, and the toll HIV has sadly taken on his own family.
South Africa’s new National Strategic Plan for HIV, TB, and STIs is being developed this year. Spotlight editor Marcus Low asks what we should aim for in the new strategy and how we should go about developing it.
Even though the rate of new HIV infections in young women and adolescent girls remains stubbornly high, provision and uptake of pills that can prevent HIV infection have generally been slow and lagging. One potential solution presented at the recent Conference on Retroviruses and Opportunistic Infections is to provide the pills at schools. Tiyese Jeranji reports.
People who belong to key populations, such as men who have sex with men, often report that it is difficult for them to access health services – for example, due to negative healthcare worker attitudes. Now, a large survey published last week by community healthcare monitoring group Ritshidze provides important statistics that not only confirm that such experiences are widespread but also help in pinning down some specific issues. Tiyese Jeranji reports.
A UNAIDS report published earlier this year estimates that just under 4.5 million men and boys accessed voluntary male medical circumcision (VMMC) services in South Africa by the end of 2019 with 47% of these having been performed from 2016 to 2019. Thabo Molelekwa reports on the impact COVID-19 has had on VMMCs and the challenges related to resuming this service in the country.
Data collected by the Ritshidze community-led healthcare monitoring project is now being shared through a new, publicly accessible online dashboard. Authors involved with the project explain the kinds of insights this rich new data source can give on healthcare services in South Africa.
From March to July this year, the Gauteng Department of Health recorded 57 848 TB tests – a decrease of about 30 000 tests compared to the same period last year. The province performed better with HIV testing, although the HIV response has faltered in other areas. Melissa Javan makes sense of the province’s numbers and speaks to activists and community health workers about the impact of lockdown on their services and plans to get things back on track.
Two decades since Doctors without Borders (MSF) started its HIV programme in Khayelitsha, the organisation will start wrapping up its operations. Siyabonga Kamnqa spoke to some people living with HIV who benefitted from this programme and who now work as activists about developments over the last 20 years.