In-depth: SA pharmacists will soon be able to prescribe HIV treatment

In-depth: SA pharmacists will soon be able to prescribe HIV treatment

In what Spotlight understands to be a world-first, South Africa is on the brink of allowing pharmacists with the required permits to prescribe HIV medicines without people first having to get a script from a doctor or nurse. Catherine Tomlinson investigates how it will work and why it may be just the boost the country’s HIV response needs.

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In Focus: Global strategy to end Cryptococcal Meningitis in people living with HIV

In Focus: Global strategy to end Cryptococcal Meningitis in people living with HIV

Cryptococcal meningitis is the second biggest killer of people living with HIV after tuberculosis (TB). Now, a global initiative, the Ending Cryptococcal Meningitis Deaths by 2030 Strategic Framework aims to get the gold standard drug to treat cryptococcal meningitis – flucytosine – registered in countries that need it. Amy Green reports.

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HIV Self-Testing: Will uptake in SA finally take off?

HIV Self-Testing: Will uptake in SA finally take off?

Around one in ten of the over seven million people living with HIV in South Africa are not aware that they have the virus in their bodies. One way to ensure more people are diagnosed more quickly is to make HIV self-tests more widely available. Tiyese Jeranji looks at what HIV Self Testing is, how it is done, and what government policy is on this type of HIV testing.

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Be true to science and kind to patients, says healthcare giant

Be true to science and kind to patients, says healthcare giant

Last month, Professor Hoosen “Jerry” Coovadia’s textbook Coovadia’s Paediatrics & Child Health was released in its seventh edition – 819 pages thick – 37 years after it was first published in 1984 but it is his work on HIV/AIDS transmission from mothers to babies that he is most famous for. Bienne Huisman asked Coovadia about his legacy and his advice for the medical community.

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New HIV/TB plan delayed by a year because of COVID-19

New HIV/TB plan delayed by a year because of COVID-19

South Africa will delay introducing a new HIV and TB plan until 2024, Deputy President David Mabuza revealed on Wednesday. The plan is delayed to allow the country’s HIV and TB responses to recover from COVID-19-related disruptions. Laura Lopez Gonzalez reports for Spotlight.

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Opinion: Getting people out of the clinic can support HIV treatment adherence

Opinion: Getting people out of the clinic can support HIV treatment adherence

The growing crisis in many of South Africa’s clinics has reached a point where patient care is being compromised and there is a deepening worry that people living with HIV are being pushed out of treatment, argues Anele Yawa and Lotti Rutter. In this op-ed, they ask whether repeat prescription collection strategies are simpler and quicker than waiting in long clinic queues.

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HIV and cervical cancer: Behind SA’s extraordinarily high numbers

HIV and cervical cancer: Behind SA’s extraordinarily high numbers

A study recently published in The Lancet found that women living with HIV made up an astonishing 63.4% of new cervical cancer cases in South Africa in 2018. Elri Voigt spoke to local experts about the links between HIV and cervical cancer in South Africa and how cervical cancer is prevented, tested for, and treated in the public sector.

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Opinion: Longer HIV treatment supplies can support better long term adherence

Opinion: Longer HIV treatment supplies can support better long term adherence

One of the biggest challenges now facing South Africa’s HIV response is how to support many more people living with HIV to engage or re-engage and then stay on treatment. One way to make it easier for people living with HIV to adhere to treatment is to provide a longer supply of medicines, argues Ndivhuwo Rambau & Simphiwe Xaba.

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Why broadly neutralising antibodies might be the next big thing in HIV

Why broadly neutralising antibodies might be the next big thing in HIV

We know antiretroviral therapy can prevent HIV infection, but can natural biological substances do the same? The results of a recent scientific trial have answered this question: Yes, using broadly neutralising antibodies. But what are broadly neutralising antibodies? How do they work? And when will the average person get access to them? Amy Green breaks down the science.

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HIV prevention pill available at 36% of public healthcare facilities, says Health Department

HIV prevention pill available at 36% of public healthcare facilities, says Health Department

According to the National Department of Health HIV prevention pills are now available at 1 227 public sector facilities (36% of the total). While far from the 100% target, this is a substantial improvement on the roughly 160 facilities that provided the pills six months ago. Amy Green reports.

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HIV in Umkhanyakude: Impressive numbers, but living with HIV difficult amid socio-economic hardship

HIV in Umkhanyakude: Impressive numbers, but living with HIV difficult amid socio-economic hardship

Premier of KwaZulu-Natal, Sihle Zikhalala praised the Umkhanyakude District recently on its ‘exceptional’ figures in meeting the UNAIDS 90-90-90 targets. Yet, when Spotlight recently visited the Jozini area, we were confronted with a less rosy picture. Some people stopped their HIV treatment because they do not have food to eat, and activists now warn that the progress with the targets can be derailed if poverty, hunger and other social determinants of health are not urgently and comprehensively addressed. Nomfundo Xolo reports.

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Reimagining health in the Eastern Cape: As budgets shrink, it is more important than ever to strengthen primary healthcare

Reimagining health in the Eastern Cape: As budgets shrink, it is more important than ever to strengthen primary healthcare

As the final negotiations in the 2021 budget process unfold, the government of the Eastern Cape and the department of health in particular are being asked to do more with less. It is now more urgent than ever to strengthen public primary health care, argue Ektaa Deochand and Russell Rensburg.

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