1.3m switched to new ARV, but weight gain is a concern

1.3m switched to new ARV, but weight gain is a concern

Two years after it was announced that the ARV dolutegravir would become part of standard first line HIV treatment in South Africa, it is finally reaching significant numbers of people. But new research about a worrying side-effect, weight gain (particularly in women), has muddied its otherwise stellar reputation.

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COVID-19: Sex workers say they struggle to access contraception, abortion and other services

COVID-19: Sex workers say they struggle to access contraception, abortion and other services

The COVID-19 pandemic and South Africa’s national lockdown has exacerbated existing challenges the LGBTQI+ community and sex workers experience in accessing sexual and reproductive healthcare services. Tiyese Jeranji reports.

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The dreadful effects of lockdown on access to sexual and reproductive health services

The dreadful effects of lockdown on access to sexual and reproductive health services

Under COVID-19 lockdowns in South Africa and elsewhere, many public services have been interrupted, including sexual and reproductive health services. Thuthukile Mbatha considers the heavy toll these interruptions have taken on people’s lives.

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Fear of COVID-19 has caused major disruption to healthcare, new data shows

Fear of COVID-19 has caused major disruption to healthcare, new data shows

New data points to fears of contracting COVID-19 at congested health facilities as the primary reason for people not seeking needed care and defaulting on their chronic medication, including HIV treatment. Amy Green reports.

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COVID-19: Social distancing includes reducing contact with health facilities for those with chronic conditions

COVID-19: Social distancing includes reducing contact with health facilities for those with chronic conditions

People living with HIV and other chronic conditions should be urgently supported to reduce contact with health facilities both for “social distancing” purposes as well as saving healthcare worker capacity for those with the greatest immediate need, argues Lynne Wilkinson and Anna Grimsrud.

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Special investigation: Claims of 90-90-90 success in KZN districts were premature

Special investigation: Claims of 90-90-90 success in KZN districts were premature

Last year KwaZulu-Natal celebrated three districts’ achievement of the UNAIDS 90-90-90 targets. But celebrations may have been premature, as new data shows that no district in KZN in fact met the targets. Spotlight visited one of the districts to investigate.

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How HIV shaped us

By Professor Glenda Gray & Professor James A. McIntyre – HIV changed the nature of health in South Africa as our new democracy emerged. Seemingly overnight, in front of our eyes, young people and children died in unprecedented numbers. HIV slashed life expectancy, wiped out a generation of economically active adults in their prime across sub-Saharan Africa, reversed gains in under-five mortality and created a cohort of AIDS orphans.

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