Government was yesterday presented with evidence that it could save the lives of thousands of babies cheaply and effectively by giving their HIV positive mothers the drug Nevirapine during labour. The drug could cut the rate of HIV transmission from mother to child by about one third, meaning that only about 7% of babies born to HIV positive women would be infected at birth.
Have you ever spoken to your children about sex?How should parents broach the subject of sex with their children? These and other questions were posed to a selected group of famous parents in South Africa. KERRY CULLINAN reports.
Extreme poverty and not HIV/AIDS is the world’s biggest killer and the greatest cause of ill-health and suffering, President Thabo Mbeki told some 12 000 delegates at the opening of the13th world AIDS conference in Durban.
Overall, at least 3.5 million South Africans are already infected with HIV, a disease for which there is no cure. The best case scenario predicts six million South Africans will be HIV positive in 10 years’ time.
With the prospect of tens of thousands of HIV positive people in its district needing medical help in the next few years, the tiny, 300-bed Hlabisa Hospital has turned its attention to encouraging people to care for terminally ill relatives at home.
Despite the fact that state hospitals cannot afford to care for those dying of AIDS, government’s failure to work with non-governmental organisations is undermining volunteer home-care projects in KwaZulu-Natal. Over the past six months, Sinosizo, a home-based care organisation started by the Catholic Church, has closed its operations in the entire Western Region ‘ including Hammarsdale, Shongweni, Inchanga and the inner west.
Professor Hoosen “Jerry” Coovadia used to be a draw-card speaker at anti-apartheid rallies. Yet today he finds himself at odds with the very democratic government he fought so hard to install over its HIV/AIDS policy.