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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Editorial: Pieces finally slotting into place for mass vaccination in SA

Editorial: Pieces finally slotting into place for mass vaccination in SA

Within the next month or so we will be switching gears from the comparatively small-scale trial run of Sisonke to a full-on mass vaccination programme. As with the onset of a new wave of infections, this presents a dramatic shift in the pandemic and our response to it – although in this case, the shift is finally a good thing, writes Spotlight editor Marcus Low.

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SA piloting mobile X-rays to improve TB detection

SA piloting mobile X-rays to improve TB detection

South Africa’s first National Tuberculosis Prevalence Survey found that many people without TB symptoms nevertheless have TB disease that can be detected using chest X-rays. Accordingly, new mobile X-ray screening programmes are being piloted in a number of provinces. Tiyese Jeranji reports.

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SA missing childhood immunisation catch-up targets

SA missing childhood immunisation catch-up targets

Following a decline in childhood immunisations during the COVID-19 hard lockdown last year, a nationwide catch-up drive was launched in November. Government is not sharing all the data on how the drive is going, but the data that we have been able to access shows that some important catch-up targets are being missed.

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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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COVID-19: Second wave was “like a tsunami”, reflects Tygerberg doctor

COVID-19: Second wave was “like a tsunami”, reflects Tygerberg doctor

Spotlight first interviewed physician and infectious diseases specialist Dr Arifa Parker in May last year as South Africa’s first wave of COVID-19 was building up. Eleven very difficult months later, Bienne Huisman checks in with Parker to hear how things are going on the frontlines at Tygerberg Hospital.

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In-depth: Promising signs for local biopharmaceutical production

In-depth: Promising signs for local biopharmaceutical production

Biopharmaceuticals are therapeutic drugs, vaccines, and diagnostics in which the active ingredient is produced in a living substance such as eggs or tobacco plants. The living substance acts as a ‘miniature factory’ in which the active ingredient is grown and replicated. Catherine Tomlinson takes a deep dive into the fascinating research and other initiatives in South Africa aimed at spurring local production of these products – and asks why a Cape Town-based company opted to set up a manufacturing plant in Mauritius rather than at home.

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Opinion: President Ramaphosa, we still don’t have ambulances in Xhora Mouth

Opinion: President Ramaphosa, we still don’t have ambulances in Xhora Mouth

Six years after the South African Human Rights Commission held hearings into access to emergency medical services in the Eastern Cape little has changed for the people of Xhora Mouth, writes Phumzile Msaro.

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In-depth: SA at cutting edge of TB vaccine research

In-depth: SA at cutting edge of TB vaccine research

It is a hundred years since the BCG vaccine, the only registered vaccine proven to offer some protection against tuberculosis (TB), was first used in people. Now researchers in South Africa are at the forefront of clinical trials testing experimental new TB vaccines. Adele Baleta reports.

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Opinion: World TB Day – let’s seize this moment to change the status quo

Opinion: World TB Day – let’s seize this moment to change the status quo

Like with SARS-CoV2, we need to rapidly implement and scale-up effective tuberculosis (TB) prevention interventions, while remaining adaptive to prevailing needs across the country. If we choose to pursue this more deliberate approach to TB prevention in South Africa, World TB Day will no longer be an admission of insufficient progress, but a celebration of defeating our long-standing battle with this curable disease, writes Dr Kavindhran Velen and Professor Salome Charalambous.

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Opinion: Engage communities and leverage COVID-19 innovations to address SA’s TB crisis

Opinion: Engage communities and leverage COVID-19 innovations to address SA’s TB crisis

It is time to engage communities through community healthcare workers and to leverage COVID-19 innovations to advance the urgent need for high-quality, person-centred tuberculosis (TB) care for all, argue authors from leading TB advocacy organisation TB Proof.

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New TB testing strategy ups diagnosis in clinics by 17%

New TB testing strategy ups diagnosis in clinics by 17%

Around 360 000 to 390 000 people in South Africa fall ill with tuberculosis (TB) every year. Of these, around 120 000 to 150 000 are never diagnosed. Now a new TB testing strategy has been shown to improve TB detection at clinics by 17%. Tiyese Jeranji reports.

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