HPV vaccination switching to single-dose and private schools to get government supply

A decade into South Africa’s HPV vaccination programme, the health department is switching from a two-dose to a single dose vaccine regimen and girls in private schools are set to start receiving government subsidised jabs. The vaccine provided, GlaxoSmithKline’s Cervarix, will remain the same. The move is backed by evidence showing one-dose regimens provide similar protection against HPV infection as multi-dose regimens. Catherine Tomlinson reports.

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Why a major finding on HIV and statins may not be that relevant in SA

One of the biggest stories in HIV in the last year was that a class of medicines called statins could help reduce cardiovascular disease in people living with the virus. In response, treatment guidelines in the United States were quickly updated, but the picture is more complicated in South Africa. Spotlight’s Elri Voigt explores why the case for widespread use of statins by people living with HIV is less compelling in South Africa than in some other countries.

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#InTheSpotlight | HIV prevention injections exist, but hardly anyone can get them

HIV prevention injections have been registered for use in South Africa, but their high price and limited supply means that for the next few years, while awaiting more affordable generics, very few people will be able to get the jabs. In this Spotlight special briefing, Catherine Tomlinson looks at the difficult choices facing the country if we want to offer the injection to more people more quickly. The calls we make could have global implications.

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#InTheSpotlight | Diabetes is a leading killer in SA – yet we don’t know who has it or where they are

Diabetes is the second leading cause of death in South Africa after tuberculosis, according to Statistics South Africa. It is the leading cause of death in women. Yet, despite being a major driver of deaths and illness, we do not have a clear picture of how many people in the country have diabetes or how many people are receiving diabetes care. This leaves our health system ill-equipped to handle the growing diabetes crisis.

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Widely used HIV drug in SA flagged for reports of resistance – but experts say don’t panic

That HIV can develop resistance to the drugs used to treat it is nothing new, but results from recent studies reveal the emergence of resistance in subsets of people living with HIV to dolutegravir – an antiretroviral widely used in South Africa. Top HIV experts spoke to Elri Voigt about the new findings and what it means for people living with HIV in the country.

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