Carletonville shows HIV epidemic can be managed

Sex workers are leading the fight against the spread of HIV/AIDS on the mines around Carltonville. The challenge is daunting — a recent survey shows 47 percent of women and 40 percent of men from both the township and the shacks are HIV positive, while 28 percent of mineworkers are infected. However, since the Carltonville AIDS project, Mothusimpilo (“working together for health”), started almost two years ago, it has trained 90 sex workers as peer educators. The results have been phenomenal. In a recent survey, eight out of 10 sex workers reported using a condom every time they had sex. Last year, only two out of 10 of the women were using condoms.

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Business and AIDS: Lots of concern, little cash

“We are burying about three truck drivers a day because of AIDS, and at this rate we will have no drivers left by 2003,” says Paul Matthew, acting chief executive office of the Road Freight Association’€™s training board. But even though forecasts for the trucking industry are dire, Matthew says it’€™s a “slow process” getting employers to put money into fighting the epidemic.

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Health Department cuts spending

Despite the HIV/AIDS epidemic, government has cut health spending over the past year and it will spend even less per capita next year. “Add to this the pressure of HIV/AIDS and it becomes clear that we have more difficulties ahead of us,” Tshabalala-Msimang told the first-ever consultative meeting between herself, health MECs, MPs and MPLs dealing with health matters.

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AIDS orphans betrayed by greedy relatives

BETRYAL has become a bitter reality for AIDS orphans Phiwe and Muzi Hlabisa. First death cheated them of their parents, and now greedy relatives have plundered the humble inheritance their parents gathered together after learning that they were HIV-positive. The betrayal of Phiwe and Muzi is made all the more difficult because government has no apparent plans for AIDS orphans. The growing numbers of orphans are thus wholly dependent on the ability of their relatives to keep them.

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