At a time when HIV rates have stabilised or declined elsewhere, the epidemic is still advancing in the Arab world, exacerbated by factors such as political unrest, conflict, poverty and lack of awareness due to social taboos.
Barbara Kemigisa used to call herself an “HIV/AIDS campaigner”. These days she would rather be known as an “HIV/AIDS family planning campaigner”.
Beatrice Njeri had just come home from her job as a janitor at a primary school in Nairobi. It was August 2009.
They say there is a war on and its target is the deadly human immunodeficiency virus (HIV).
Though West Africa’s massive Ebola outbreak may be dominating the spotlight within the global health community, HIV/AIDS remains an enormous issue for Africa as a whole - a sentiment that Washington officials made clear this week in their discussions of legislative and technological setbacks plaguing progress in fighting the epidemic.
Tope Tayo’s marriage broke up 11 years ago after she tested positive for HIV. Her angry and embarrassed husband took away their only child. Three months later, when the one year old boy tested positive, the husband dumped him with Tayo and absconded.
Children living with HIV in Senegal suffer because of the taboo associated with this disease in a country which is, however, praised for its fight against the pandemic.
Venezuela is gearing up to pass a new law to combat discrimination against people living with HIV/AIDS, in a country where the epidemic claims nearly 4,000 lives and infects 11,000 mainly young people every year, including increasing numbers of women.
New legislation recently passed in the southwest Pacific Island state of Papua New Guinea (PNG) outlawing polygamy has been welcomed by experts in the country as an initial step forward in the battle against high rates of domestic violence, gender inequality and the spread of AIDS.
International AIDS Conference concluded today as the first in its history that remembered not just the 39 million people worldwide who have died of AIDS but also those who lost their lives in the crashed MH17 flight carrying six of its delegates, one of whom was the past president of the International AIDS Society (IAS).
Marama Pala, hailing from Waikanae on the west coast of the North Island of New Zealand, was diagnosed with HIV at 22. The news of her diagnosis spread like wildfire in her tight-knit Maori community.
An African proverb says “a child that we refuse to build today will end up selling the house that we may build tomorrow.”
Kenya’s health sector has been facing significant challenges, ranging from a shortage of health care providers to a series of labour strikes. The problems have not only disrupted health services, but have HIV experts divided on whether to roll out Option B+ nationwide or just to pilot it in high volume facilities such as major referral hospitals.
International bodies and local campaign groups have repeatedly criticised Russia for not doing anywhere near enough in terms of providing prevention services or access to medical treatment for HIV/AIDS sufferers. The fourth Eastern Europe and Central Asia (EECA) HIV/AIDS Conference, which finished in Moscow last week, has not put a stop to that criticism.
As Africa scales up lifesaving antiretroviral therapy for HIV positive people, concerns are rife that the absence of mass routine viral load testing will hamper extending treatment to the millions who need it.