By Marcus Louw – As the dust settles in Durban and the circus moves on, we reflect on a few of the bigger moments of AIDS 2016. Below are some of the highlights we think may turn out to be significant.
By Sharonann Lynch – Viral load testing measures the amount of HIV virus (HIV RNA) in a person’s blood. It is the optimal method for identifying antiretroviral therapy (ART) treatment failure (defined as an HIV viral load greater than 1000 copies/mL), because it is more sensitive and has a higher positive predictive value than CD4 cell count and other clinical indicators.
By Professor Hoosen Coovadia – I was thrust into the vortex of International AIDS Society’s 13th International AIDS conference in 2000 as chairperson by my close colleagues Professor Quarraisha Abdool-Karim and Dr Gustaaf Wolvaardt, presumably due to the absence of any suitable alternatives, because of my academic record (such as it was at that time) and my leadership roles in the struggle for freedom.
By Justice Edwin Cameron – It has been almost 35 years since AIDS was identified. Thirty-five long years, since the disquieting realisation that young men in North America, in the prime of their lives, were dying from a hitherto unknown virus.
By Nomatter Ndebele – Ten years ago, the International AIDS Conference was held in Durban in KwaZulu-Natal. Nkosi Johnson, who died a year later at the age of 12 – the longest-surviving HIV-positive born child at the time – addressed the plenary and made a plea to the government to make antiretroviral treatment available to pregnant women with HIV.
By Bill Corcoran & Nomatter Ndebele – Severe acute malnutrition (SAM) remains stubbornly entrenched in many of KwaZulu-Natal province’s rural and peri-urban communities, on-the-ground evidence gathered by the Spotlight suggests.
To understand what led to the crises in the Free State it is helpful to backtrack to 2005 when the provincial scale-up of antiretroviral therapy (ART) programmes across South Africa’s nine provinces began in earnest.
By Ufrieda Ho – Back in the mid-90s, Angelina Manale Mookadi had dreams of becoming a nurse. “I thought it was a profession I could afford because the government was going to help me pay for my studies. And I always wanted to help my community,” she says, sitting in the kitchen of her home in Tsephong, outside of Welkom, in the Free State.
The #BopheloHouse94 community health workers have been on trial since April 2014. Their crime? Holding a peaceful night vigil in the hope that their political leaders will explain why they had all been dismissed.