By Ntsiki Mpulo – Health minister Dr Aaron Motsoaledi sat down with Spotlight in an exclusive interview. He shares details on how the department plans to target vulnerable groups in efforts to stem the incidence of HIV. He speaks passionately on plans to target adolescents, a little less forceful on decriminalizing sex work and is thin on detail when it comes to men who have sex with men.
By Justice Edwin Cameron – It has been almost 35 years since AIDS was identified. Thirty-five long years, since the disquieting realisation that young men in North America, in the prime of their lives, were dying from a hitherto unknown virus.
By Nomatter Ndebele – Ten years ago, the International AIDS Conference was held in Durban in KwaZulu-Natal. Nkosi Johnson, who died a year later at the age of 12 – the longest-surviving HIV-positive born child at the time – addressed the plenary and made a plea to the government to make antiretroviral treatment available to pregnant women with HIV.
By Nomatter Ndebele – For the past 17 years, 55-year old Doris Ntuli has worked as a community caregiver (CCG) in the community of Sweetwaters, in Pietermaritzburg, Durban. In that time Ntuli has only received a pay increase of R300 (US$20). Her total monthly income is R1500 (US$95).
In KwaZulu-Natal, according to reports from the Human Sciences Research Council, there are 1.8 million people who are HIV positive. Of those, 1.1 million are on the antiretroviral programme. Yet, despite making great strides in the fight against HIV, the streets of KZN are still full of non-medical “healers” who prey on sick, desperate and vulnerable people desperate to be cured of HIV. Nomatter Ndebele visits two “healers” with thriving businesses.
By Bill Corcoran & Nomatter Ndebele – Severe acute malnutrition (SAM) remains stubbornly entrenched in many of KwaZulu-Natal province’s rural and peri-urban communities, on-the-ground evidence gathered by the Spotlight suggests.
A province that is in the news for all the wrong reasons. Spotlight keeps the focus on this beleaguered province and the right to health care as provided by the State. Some good news, some bad news and some downright ugly news. The spotlight has to remain on this province.
To understand what led to the crises in the Free State it is helpful to backtrack to 2005 when the provincial scale-up of antiretroviral therapy (ART) programmes across South Africa’s nine provinces began in earnest.
By Ufrieda Ho – Back in the mid-90s, Angelina Manale Mookadi had dreams of becoming a nurse. “I thought it was a profession I could afford because the government was going to help me pay for my studies. And I always wanted to help my community,” she says, sitting in the kitchen of her home in Tsephong, outside of Welkom, in the Free State.