UNAIDS Mourns Archbishop Desmond Tutu

UNAIDS says it is saddened at the passing of Archbishop Desmond Tutu who fought against apartheid in South Africa and combated racism and injustice worldwide and was also a powerful voice in the fight against AIDS, combating denial, demanding access to treatment for all, calling out against discrimination of people living with HIV, and championing the human rights of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people, women, and children. A giant has fallen. Archbishop Tutu was a freedom fighter, a holy man, a great hero who played a history-shaping role in…

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ZAN and Partners Move To Address Structural Barriers Facing Key Populations In Accessing Health Services

A consortium running under the banner ZIZIWAZI, which comprise of the Zimbabwe AIDS Network (ZAN), the National AIDS Council (NAC), Health Foundation Zimbabwe, Zimbabwe Rainbow Community and others,  has embarked on a five year engagement program with the aim of addressing challenges faced by populations at higher risk of HIV in accessing health services. By Patricia Mashiri Key populations or groups at high risk of HIV in Zimbabwe include Men who have Sex with Men (MSM) and other members making up the Lesbians, Gays, Bisexual, Transgender, Intersex and Queer (LGBTIQ)…

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First Injectable Treatment for HIV Pre-Exposure Prevention Approved

THE United States (US) Food and Drug Administration approved Apretude or use in at-risk adults and adolescents weighing at least 35 kilograms (77 pounds) for pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP) to reduce the risk of sexually acquired HIV. Apretude is given first as two initiation injections administered one month apart, and then every two months thereafter. Patients can either start their treatment with Apretude or take oral cabotegravir (Vocabria) for four weeks to assess how well they tolerate the drug. Own Correspondent “Today’s approval adds an important tool in the effort to…

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Drug Resistant Gonorrhea Variant Hits Zimbabwe…Country Running Out Of Treatment Options

THE Neisseria gonorrhoeae, also known as gonococcus, the bacteria that causes Gonorrhea, a Sexually Transmitted Infection (STI), has since developed resistance to available treatment options in Zimbabwe, raising fears of long term health complications in both men and women such as infertility, still births, a top STIs expert and venereologist has said By Michael Gwarisa Zimbabwe has over the years been using antibiotics such as Penicillin, Tetracilicin, and Quinolones to treat Ghonorrhea but the situation has changed at the back of growing drug resistant strains, leaving the country with only…

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WHO and Global Fund warn inequalities block progress towards ending AIDS, TB and malaria

Inequities have been widely acknowledged as barriers to achieving global and national goals and targets in HIV, TB and malaria programs. However, the magnitude and extent of underlying health inequalities have remained poorly documented and understood. By Sonali Reddy Until those inequalities are better identified, and their consequences better understood, it will be hard for programmes to meet people’s real health needs. Now, for the first time, a new report from the World Health Organization and the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria, systematically assesses the global State…

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Male circumcisions disrupted by COVID-19, fall short of the 2020 target

In areas with high HIV prevalence and low rates of male circumcision, voluntary medical male circumcision (VMMC) can greatly contribute to HIV prevention. Despite this, there was a steep drop in the number of VMMCs performed in the 15 priority countries in 2020, due mainly to service disruptions caused by the COVID-19 pandemic: approximately 2.8 million procedures were performed in 2020, compared with 4.1 million in 2019. Several countries suspended their programmes when the pandemic took hold, including South Africa. Despite this, programmes in some countries proved resilient enough to recover…

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Harare City Signs Paris Declaration on Fast-Track Cities To End AIDS By 2030

THE City of Harare today joined 350 other Cities globally who in signing the declaration on Fast-Track Cities and commit to Ending AIDS by the year 2030. By Michael Gwarisa The Fast-Track Cities initiative is a global partnership between cities with an HIV burden and four core partners: the City of Paris, France,( the first city to sign on the initiative); the Joint United Nations Programme on HIV/AIDS (UNAIDS); the International Association of Providers of AIDS Care (IAPAC); and the United Nations Human Settlements Programme (UN-Habitat Making his commitment, Acting…

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Fulfilling Our Promise to adolescents and young people

My years of work in HIV prevention have taught me a few things. Among them, one of the important things I have learnt is that if people do not know how to protect themselves or how to access treatment, they will not be able to prevent HIV or lead happy and fulfilling lives with HIV. Therefore, information and education is key. But its not the only thing needed. I might have the information that unsafe sex may expose me to HIV or other STIs, but I may still go ahead…

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Fighting HIV in the Midst of COVID-19 – Consolidating Gains, Increasing Investments!

JUST as was the case in 2020, we commemorate this year’s World Aids Day (WAD) in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic. The emergence of a new COVID-19 variant, Omicron, is likely to shadow this year’s commemorations. The drowning of HIV by COVID-19 is likely to shift political attention and financing away from efforts to consolidate the gains made in the fight against HIV over the years. By Paul Sixpence As we commemorate this year’s WAD and contend with COVID-19, we should never lose sight of our collective obligation to…

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