Behind the scenes: How the first 500 000 vaccine doses administered in SA were secured

Behind the scenes: How the first 500 000 vaccine doses administered in SA were secured

When South Africa’s rollout of the AstraZeneca vaccine was put on hold in early February, a scramble ensued to ensure healthcare workers could be protected. Chris Bateman spoke to Professor Glenda Gray about the behind-the-scenes negotiations that helped secure 500 000 doses of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine – almost all of which have now been used in the Sisonke study.

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HIV in Umkhanyakude: Impressive numbers, but living with HIV difficult amid socio-economic hardship

HIV in Umkhanyakude: Impressive numbers, but living with HIV difficult amid socio-economic hardship

Premier of KwaZulu-Natal, Sihle Zikhalala praised the Umkhanyakude District recently on its ‘exceptional’ figures in meeting the UNAIDS 90-90-90 targets. Yet, when Spotlight recently visited the Jozini area, we were confronted with a less rosy picture. Some people stopped their HIV treatment because they do not have food to eat, and activists now warn that the progress with the targets can be derailed if poverty, hunger and other social determinants of health are not urgently and comprehensively addressed. Nomfundo Xolo reports.

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IN PICTURES: World AIDS Day in Soweto

IN PICTURES: World AIDS Day in Soweto

On Tuesday South Africa commemorated World AIDS Day in Soweto under the theme: We’re in the together, Cheka Impilo. Spotlight photographer Denvor De Wee was there to capture the event in pictures.

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Government can do better, Deputy President says at World AIDS Day event

Government can do better, Deputy President says at World AIDS Day event

A high-level government delegation led by Deputy President David Mabuza descended on Soweto during a World AIDS Day commemoration. Ufrieda Ho reports.

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From the frontlines: 20 years of fighting HIV in Khayelitsha

From the frontlines: 20 years of fighting HIV in Khayelitsha

Two decades since Doctors without Borders (MSF) started its HIV programme in Khayelitsha, the organisation will start wrapping up its operations. Siyabonga Kamnqa spoke to some people living with HIV who benefitted from this programme and who now work as activists about developments over the last 20 years.

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‘Welcome Back Service’ aims to help people get back on HIV treatment

‘Welcome Back Service’ aims to help people get back on HIV treatment

While South Africa is doing well on some of the UNAIDS HIV targets for 2020, one target we are set to miss is ensuring that 90% of people diagnosed with HIV are on antiretroviral therapy. Partly in response to this problem, the ‘Welcome back’ campaign started by Doctors without Borders aims to make it easier for people who have stopped taking treatment to restart. Tiyese Jeranji reports.

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WORLD AIDS DAY: How stigma is impacting the 90-90-90 goals

WORLD AIDS DAY: How stigma is impacting the 90-90-90 goals

The HIV epidemic is far from over and we will not reach key UNAIDS targets and control HIV unless we end HIV-related stigma, argues Prof Linda-Gail Bekker.

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U=U: We should put people living with HIV at the centre of HIV prevention efforts

U=U: We should put people living with HIV at the centre of HIV prevention efforts

The U=U campaign is based on a simple message – an undetectable viral load in people living with HIV equals an untransmissible virus. The U=U campaign, argues Mandisa Dukashe, has the power to motivate people living with HIV to adhere to ARVs, achieve viral suppression, and subsequently lead long and healthy lives while preventing HIV transmission to sexual partners and their babies.

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IN-DEPTH: The slow motion race for a TB vaccine

IN-DEPTH: The slow motion race for a TB vaccine

In recent months, the world has seen unprecedented investment in new vaccines. Yet, while a COVID-19 vaccine proven to be safe and effective may be less than a year away, a new tuberculosis vaccine might only be ready to be rolled out in a decade, despite a massive head start over COVID-19. Amy Green takes a closer look at the race for a new vaccine for the world’s top infectious disease killer.

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Interview: Dr Thembisile Xulu – the new CEO of SANAC

Interview: Dr Thembisile Xulu – the new CEO of SANAC

Dr Thembisile Xulu was recently appointed as the new CEO of the South African National AIDS Council (SANAC). On her second day in office, Bienne Huisman spoke to Xulu about her new role, her love of medicine, and growing up in a family of strong women.

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Stronger governance is at the heart of addressing the health workforce crisis

Stronger governance is at the heart of addressing the health workforce crisis

Plans like South Africa’s new Human Resources for Health Strategy 2030 must be backed by political support and appropriate, capacitated institutional structures to bring about meaningful change, argue Manya van Ryneveld, Uta Lehmann and Helen Schneider.

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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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