The Health Systems Trust last week published the latest edition of the District Health Barometer (DHB). The DHB provides a wealth of district, provincial and national level data on a wide variety of indicators. Below we have picked out eight interesting national-level findings.
1 October is set to become a memorable day in some higher-education institutions. It marks the day in 2017 that Pre-Exposure Prophylaxis (PrEP) was first rolled out at select campus health clinics as a new, highly effective HIV-prevention method.
Thuthukile Mbatha is a researcher at SECTION27, and an advocacy fellow for the AIDS Vaccine Advocacy Coalition (AVAC). She runs an advocacy project that calls for access to Pre-Exposure Prophlylaxis (PrEP) for young women in higher education institutions.
“A few weeks ago we lost Prudence Mbele, a beloved long-time activist living openly with HIV, who died of TB. Prudence was famous for her ‘pill holidays’ – a big no-no in HIV-land, as it leads to further immune damage. The idea of someone stopping their life-saving tablets – even temporarily – boggles the minds of most health providers. Her death triggered an intense media and Facebook/Twitter reaction, filled both with criticism at her choices as well as empathy, as people shared their own hard stories about taking antiretrovirals. Professor Francois Venter writes for Spotlight about the difficulties of taking pills for the rest of your life and dealing with the mental health issues relating to illness.
By Dr Michelle Moorhouse – Antiretroviral therapy (ART) in South Africa seems set for a revolution with a new drug combination that is highly effective and involves only one pill a day that is smaller than an aspirin. One of South Africa’s top HIV clinicians explains.
The South Gauteng High Court this week ruled in favour of the SA HIV Clinicians Society in its legal battle with a doctor who promoted a product marketed as Dr Hugh’s Dermo Blue Pre-sex Protection Gel, which claimed to prevent HIV infection.
By Marcus Low and Ntsiki Mpulo – Aircraft have been used effectively to provide emergency medical services and to transport medical specialists and other supports services to deep rural and underserved areas in South Africa since 1960.
The MCC will soon be replaced by the South African Health Products Authority (SAHPRA). Spotlight asked MCC registrar Dr Joey Gouws and MCC chairperson Professor Helen Rees about changes at South Africa’s medicines regulator.
By Marcus Low & Lotti Rutter – In the early days of the AIDS epidemic, the high price of antiretroviral medicines meant many lives were unnecessarily lost. While the global AIDS movement managed to force lower prices for key ARVs, the wider battle has not yet been won.