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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.