Mental health: Are medicine shortages fuelling a shadow epidemic?

Mental health: Are medicine shortages fuelling a shadow epidemic?

Almost half of the most commonly used medications to treat mental illness in South Africa were out of stock in August, and many have been in short supply since March. Now, experts warn that amid the COVID-19 outbreak, the nation could see a “shadow epidemic” of psychiatric illness. Laura Lopez Gonzalez investigates.

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Editorial: As COVID-19 numbers fall, much remains uncertain

Editorial: As COVID-19 numbers fall, much remains uncertain

How many people have actually died of COVID-19 in South Africa and what do we know about the possibility of a second wave? As the first, and hopefully the only, substantial wave of infections and death recedes, Spotlight Editor Marcus Low assesses the many remaining uncertainties.

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Some TB patients still required to take pills in front of witnesses

Some TB patients still required to take pills in front of witnesses

Some tuberculosis patients in South Africa are still required to take their pills in front of a healthcare worker or family member. Is this a justified means of ensuring people take their medicine, or is it an invasion of personal autonomy? Elri Voigt asked local TB experts.

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COVID-19: What life is like in Khayelitsha after the surge

COVID-19: What life is like in Khayelitsha after the surge

On alert level two of South Africa’s lockdown and despite authorities warning against complacency, residents in places such as Khayelitsha are not just more relaxed, but many are abandoning COVID-19 safety precautions. Siyabonga Kamnqa reports.

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Opinion: Release of SA’s first National TB Prevalence Survey should not be delayed any longer

Opinion: Release of SA’s first National TB Prevalence Survey should not be delayed any longer

Even though it has been ready for months, findings of a critically important tuberculosis survey have not been made public. Every day that passes, the more outdated the findings become, and accordingly the less useful.

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COVID-19: High prevalence found in Cape Town antibody study

COVID-19: High prevalence found in Cape Town antibody study

Initial results from an antibody survey conducted in the Cape Town Metro indicate that of 2 700 pregnant women and people living with HIV making use of the public healthcare system, 40% have previously been infected with SARS-CoV-2. Adele Baleta has the details.

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Drop in DR-TB detection points to “crisis” in SA’s TB response

Drop in DR-TB detection points to “crisis” in SA’s TB response

A leading TB doctor says that “it is no exaggeration to say there is a TB crisis in the country”, and that “the impact of this crisis could be even more devastating than COVID-19”. Kathryn Cleary explores the COVID-19 pandemic’s impact on South Africa’s TB response and the way forward.

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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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Libyan embassy allegedly pressuring SA workers to test for HIV

Libyan embassy allegedly pressuring SA workers to test for HIV

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.

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SA to take part in two more COVID-19 vaccine trials

SA to take part in two more COVID-19 vaccine trials

South Africa is consolidating its place in the race for a COVID-19 vaccine with its participation starting from next month in two new international trials of vaccine candidates. Adele Baleta reports.

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IN-DEPTH: Vaginal ring ushers in new era in HIV prevention

IN-DEPTH: Vaginal ring ushers in new era in HIV prevention

A recent announcement about a vaginal ring to prevent HIV has AIDS activists and women’s sexual and reproductive health advocates excited. But where would this ring fit in South Africa’s HIV prevention programme? Amy Green investigates.

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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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