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How a rural KZN site is helping the world find a TB jab

A new tuberculosis vaccine is being tested in South Africa as part of a large trial in which about 20 000 people from seven countries will get their shots. We visited a rural site in KwaZulu-Natal to see how it is being rolled out.

#SliceOfLife: I get R7 for every ARV parcel I deliver to patients on my...

With a fifth of antiretroviral or chronic medication parcels left uncollected in the Chris Hani district in the first three months of this year, bicycle deliveries by Siphelo Lose are a lifeline to people in rural areas who can’t get to clinics. In this #SliceofLife he shares his story.

Health Beat #17 | Why corruption isn’t a victimless crime

In theory, the National Health Insurance (NHI) could transform our failing healthcare system. But, many South Africans have little faith in the politicians who are supposed to look after the public purse. We take a look at how the residents of Tembisa cope with the results of corruption at their hospital, the systems that private medical aid schemes have in place to curb fraud, and how the planned NHI could benefit from being more transparent.

Does SA’s biggest killer show up in your party’s manifesto?

A curable and preventable disease is South Africa’s biggest killer. Is your political party going to do something about it — and does it show up in their election manifesto?

Stigma, inaction and cost: Will SA treat obesity with lessons learned from HIV?

About two-thirds of women and almost a third of men in South Africa are overweight or have obesity. It’s a new public health threat, which, if not acted on now, will have serious consequences for the wellbeing of the country. But rather than making it a game of blame and shame, there are two things that can be done right now.

A huff and a puff: Could nicotine pouches put an end to smoking?

Dive into the world of "upper deckys" and "Zynbabwes”. Nicotine pouches have sparked a global sensation, hailed by some as the future of tobacco cessation. Yet, behind the catchy nicknames and promises of harm reduction lie the exploitation of legal loopholes and questionable science. What’s really the deal?

A race to the bottom: Does SA’s new tobacco Bill have enough teeth to...

Tobacco ads have been banned in many countries for years, but Big Tobacco is finding ways to get around the rules — like partnering with Formula 1 to punt their new products to a global audience. Could South Africa’s new tobacco Bill put an end to racing on our screens?

Want to make sense of SA’s 2022 antenatal HIV survey? We’ve got you

Every second year, South Africa releases a national antenatal HIV survey, which looks at the proportion of pregnant women who are HIV-positive and have syphilis. In the first of a three-part series, we help you make sense of the survey’s results and what it means for the country’s HIV outlook.

How does anti-HIV medication work — and would you use it?

Implementation trials start early 2024 in South Africa to help researchers find out what will make people use a two-monthly anti-HIV jab. Linda-Gail Bekker of the University of Cape Town, heads up one of the studies and spoke to Mia Malan on Bhekisisa’s TV show, Health Beat.

Taken by storm: Why climate change will make transactional sex more common

Researchers say transactional sex will become more common because of a rise in climate change-related droughts and floods. Droughts and floods cause financial hardship, and therefore increase the market for sex in exchange for rewards.

Health Beat #14 | Can we afford to not afford it? Why SA can’t...

Since fewer people are using condoms, we need more ways to prevent HIV. HIV prevention pills are free at government clinics, but the catch is that you have to take them every day. A two-monthly jab and monthly vaginal ring could change the game, but can the state afford them? Watch this Health Beat episode to find out.

#COP28: The spread of HIV has slowed down over the past 30 years. Will...

Experts at COP28 have warned that the climate crisis threatens to put us back in the fight against HIV. Floods and droughts will make it harder to adhere to daily treatment and to access HIV prevention medication, and will increase the demand for transactional sex.

#COP28: ‘You’re negotiating with our health’ — WHO

Health is high on this year’s COP28 agenda, with 65 health ministers attending the world’s most important climate conference. The World Health Organisation is pushing for ministers to get their governments to endorse a declaration that asks countries to commit to deal with the effects of changing weather patterns on people’s health.

Bending the curve: What a decade-long roll-out of the anti-HIV pill can teach the...

What can the roll-out of a two-monthly HIV prevention injection learn from how the daily anti-HIV pill was introduced? Create demand, make the jab easy to get hold of and ensure it’s not stigmatised, write Wawira Nyagah and Mitchell Warren.

Celebrating 10 years of Bhekisisa

The Bhekisisa Centre for Health Journalism started off as a tiny health desk of three at the Mail & Guardian in 2013. A decade...

Slash the price by three-quarters — government on anti-HIV jab

The health department says ViiV Healthcare’s non-profit price for their anti-HIV jab, CAB-LA, is four times what it can pay. In 2022, just over 164 200 people in South Africa became newly infected with HIV. Can we afford to go without the shot?