Equity in Health

AIDS Drugs Act Differently on African HIV Strains

Researchers report that genetic variations in the HIV (news - web sites) strains most common in Africa seem to make it harder for drugs called protease inhibitors to fight them. But the results do not mean that the drugs are powerless against these strains of HIV, according to the study's lead author, who noted that other factors are involved in determining the effectiveness of protease inhibitors.

Cholera epidemic slowing down, but not over yet -
KZN health dept

The daily number of new cholera cases continues to drop, and it appears the epidemic is tailing off, the KwaZulu-Natal health department said in a statement on Tuesday. But, it says, the epidemic can only be considered over if there are no new cases reported for 10 days in a row. The total of new cases in the last 24 hours is 231, a low number compared to January 30, which saw 1 010 new cholera infections in the beleaguered province, the highest figure recorded in one day since the outbreak of the disease in mid-August last year.

Mcgreed Refuses to Help Raped Employee

American fast food giant McDonald's has been dubbed "McGreed" in Mpumalanga after refusing to supply anti-Aids drugs to a staff member who was raped after working a late shift. The transnational corporation refuses to supply transport for staff who knock off between midnight and 2am, and who are regularly ambushed by criminals. A 29-year-old waitress who was gang-raped in February is so terrified of going home after work at the McDonald's Nelspruit branch that she spends her nights hiding in the local mall and only leaves after sunrise.

New cholera cases in KwaZulu-Natal

A total of 228 new cholera cases have been
reported in KwaZulu-Natal since Saturday, the provincial health department said on Sunday. No news deaths had been reported. The highest number of new cases had been reported in Lower Umfolozi District with 86, followed by Eshowe with 82. The lowest number of cases were reported on the South Coast and Pietermaritzburg with six each.

Procedural hearings in asbestos case begin in UK

A PROCEDURAL hearing to limit the issues and determine the trial date and length of the asbestos case against Cape plc began in the London High Court yesterday. The court will determine the timetable of the trial. The high court in London was told at yesterday's hearing that more than 6500 South Africans had registered for claims in the multimillion-dollar compensation battle against Cape plc. However, more than 150 of the claimants have died since the case started.

Sexual Mores Fuel AIDS Spread: African Official

Attitudes toward sex and sexuality are at the core of the African AIDS pandemic, according to a leading South African health official. He argues that researchers and politicians must involve the African public in an open discussion of human behavior if they hope to combat the disease successfully.``Sex is regarded as a taboo in Africa--you don't speak openly about it,'' said Dr. Malegapuru William Makgoba, president of the Medical Research Council of South Africa. ``We all know that this is a sexually transmitted disease and that's the bottom line, and we're doing everything except focusing on the real major factor that determines whether or not you get the disease.''

SOUTH AFRICA: Rural communities fight back against HIV/AIDS

EASTERN CAPE, 21 May (IRIN) - The Daliwonga clinic in South Africa's impoverished Eastern Cape province has become the area's best-known
landmark. The pristine brick-built structure stands in stark contrast to the dusty thatched huts that surround it. The clinic, funded by big business, was opened a year ago by former President Nelson Mandela, in his drive to
bring development to communities like Daliwonga, 50 km from the nearest tarred road.

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Talks on global AIDS plan near completion in advance of UN special session

With talks on a draft global plan of action to fight AIDS set to conclude on Friday, two of the chief negotiators said the text was near completion and should be ready for adoption by a General Assembly session next month. Ambassador Penny Wensley of Australia and Ambassador Ibra Deguène Ka of Senegal said agreement remained elusive on certain key issues, including financing the plan of action, but both expressed hope that progress would be achieved before the expected conclusion of the talks on Saturday.

The DA presents its own HIV/AIDS policy

The Democratic Alliance (DA) has set out steps it intends to take around HIV/AIDS that may have far-reaching implications for people living with HIV/AIDS, in its policy document released on Wednesday. Government’s approach has been simplistic and heavy-handed, the DA says. Although the DA accepts the health department's stance that it cannot supply antiretrovirals to all infected citizens, it says that there must be no compromise on providing antiretroviral drugs to pregnant mothers and rape survivors.


Violence - whether self-inflicted, interpersonal or collective - constitutes a global health problem of enormous dimensions, but much of it is preventable, an audience was told at a technical briefing followed by a discussion during the Fifty-fourth World Health Assembly.