The risk of developing severe or fatal COVID-19 is 30% greater in people living with HIV compared to those who are HIV negative, according to a new report from the World Health Organization. Comprised of data from 37 countries, including South Africa, the report suggests people living with HIV should be prioritised for vaccination. Laura Owings reports.
From March to July this year, the Gauteng Department of Health recorded 57 848 TB tests – a decrease of about 30 000 tests compared to the same period last year. The province performed better with HIV testing, although the HIV response has faltered in other areas. Melissa Javan makes sense of the province’s numbers and speaks to activists and community health workers about the impact of lockdown on their services and plans to get things back on track.
The Department of International Relations and Cooperation is investigating allegations that South Africans working at the Libyan embassy in Pretoria were pressured to test and reveal their HIV status after asking to be tested for COVID-19.
It seems HIV and TB are falling by the wayside in the drive to stop the spread of COVID-19. Where we can we must minimise the harm to the HIV and TB response, and we need to see the opportunity to address all three diseases together, writes Erica Penfold.
Every province and district should have an AIDS council. These AIDS councils are supposed to bring everyone (government, organised labour, business, civil society) together to jointly plot our response to HIV, TB and STIs.