In-depth: SA pharmacists will soon be able to prescribe HIV treatment

In-depth: SA pharmacists will soon be able to prescribe HIV treatment

In what Spotlight understands to be a world-first, South Africa is on the brink of allowing pharmacists with the required permits to prescribe HIV medicines without people first having to get a script from a doctor or nurse. Catherine Tomlinson investigates how it will work and why it may be just the boost the country’s HIV response needs.

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HIV Self-Testing: Will uptake in SA finally take off?

HIV Self-Testing: Will uptake in SA finally take off?

Around one in ten of the over seven million people living with HIV in South Africa are not aware that they have the virus in their bodies. One way to ensure more people are diagnosed more quickly is to make HIV self-tests more widely available. Tiyese Jeranji looks at what HIV Self Testing is, how it is done, and what government policy is on this type of HIV testing.

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Western Cape to launch COVID-style tuberculosis dashboard

Western Cape to launch COVID-style tuberculosis dashboard

The COVID-19 pandemic caused huge setbacks for the fight against TB. Now, provinces are developing TB catch-up plans. The Western Cape Department of Health will soon launch a TB dashboard as part of its “multi-sectorial TB emergency response plan”. Tiyese Jeranji reports.

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Navigating abortion barriers in rural areas

Navigating abortion barriers in rural areas

Among several significant barriers to accessing abortion services, experts cite a lack of management support at health facilities, costs, fear of breach of confidentiality and stigma. Many of these barriers are compounded in rural areas. Tiyese Jeranji reports.

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COVID-19: ‘Truth offensive’ needed to counter vaccine misinformation, says expert

COVID-19: ‘Truth offensive’ needed to counter vaccine misinformation, says expert

From paintings by artists like Xolani Sivunda to communication campaigns launched by provincial health departments, the fight against COVID-19-related misinformation is being fought on many fronts. Siyabonga Kamnqa surveyed some of these efforts and asked health and behaviour experts what does and does not work.

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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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HIV prevention injection hailed as a “major breakthrough” for women

HIV prevention injection hailed as a “major breakthrough” for women

Early results from a pivotal trial of an HIV prevention injection announced by the University of the Witwatersrand researchers on Tuesday have been hailed as being a “game-changer” to turn “the tide on HIV” as it effectively reduces HIV acquisition and provides women more choices in how to protect themselves. Amy Green reports.

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TB catch-up plan underway in WC but old challenges linger

TB catch-up plan underway in WC but old challenges linger

In 2019 around 360 000 people in South Africa fell ill with tuberculosis (TB) and about 58 000 people died due to the disease, according to a World Health Organization Report released last week. The COVID-19 pandemic has exacerbated these already alarming numbers, with some TB patients stopping treatment during lockdown. Siyabonga Kamnqa looks at the plans the Western Cape Health Department has in place to get its TB programme back on track and finds old challenges still remain.

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