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[WATCH] Why treating sex workers badly makes HIV spread

Female sex workers in South Africa have more than double the HIV infection rates of adult women. Health workers’ negative attitudes towards sex workers and the criminalisation of the profession are big reasons. We break it down.

Over a million SAs have used the HIV prevention pill

More than a million public healthcare users in South Africa had started to use the HIV prevention pill by the end of May, with over half doing so in the past two years, health department data shows. But what must we do to make the pill — and a two-monthly HIV prevention injection — easier to get?

Wake up: Sleeplessness is a public health crisis

When you’re not feeling rested and refreshed after a night’s sleep, your thinking is fuzzy, your reaction time drops and you feel sluggish at work. But more and more research shows that sleeping poorly is a big public health worry. Today, on World Sleep Day, two experts explain why.

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.

Health Beat #13 | Why a hotter Earth could break health budgets

A hotter Earth is a threat to human health. It means more floods, droughts and heatwaves, which in turn make many diseases spread faster. Higher temperatures also exacerbate air pollution, resulting in more damage to our lungs. In this Health Beat episode we show you why climate change is our next pandemic.

Health Beat #12 | How to cope with taking HIV meds for life

People with HIV get depressed more often than those without the virus. This can make it hard to take their daily, lifelong medication correctly. In this Health Beat episode, we visit someone who has been taking ARVs for 22 years and ask experts if allowing nurses to prescribe antidepressants would help.

[WATCH] Yvette Raphael’s incredible journey of two decades with HIV

South Africa’s HIV plan says nurses, not just doctors, should be able to prescribe antidepressants. HIV-positive people struggle with their mental health more than those without the virus. But is this plan enough to help them stick to their daily pill regimens? This activist says no. Watch her story to find out why.

[WATCH] How to use pills to prevent TB

New guidelines from the health department say anti-TB pills are now available to anyone who’s had long contact with someone who is sick with TB, to stop them from falling ill too. Here’s how it works.

How taking ARVs daily stops those with HIV from transmitting the virus

Mapeseka Mabena has spent a decade getting her HIV patients to start and stay on treatment. Taking ARVs every day can be taxing, but Mabena motivates people with a reminder that meds can help them have HIV-free children and stop them passing on the virus through sex. She explains how in this video.

What HIV does to your brain — and how ARVs halt that

Left untreated, an HIV infection can cause inflammation in someone’s brain and lead to mental health problems. But antiretrovirals can stop it from happening. Mia Malan finds out how it works in this Health Beat interview.

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.

We’ve come a long way, baby

On our 10th birthday, we’ve grown from a three-person health desk at the Mail & Guardian to an independent media organisation with a staff of 20 full and part-time employees. Today, we have an average of two million annual pageviews and we’ve expanded from print-only stories to television and podcasts. Want to know more? This seven-minute video has it all.

Health Beat #15 | Sleepless in SA: Why bad sleep can cost you more...

Do you start your days feeling exhausted after going to bed early? You may have sleep apnoea, a condition where breathing stops for periods during sleep. This Health Beat episode shows how sleep disorders can affect your state of mind as well as your physical health, and experts tell us what can be done without expensive treatment.

[WATCH] How anti-cervical cancer jabs work

Most cervical cancer cases are caused by the human papillomavirus (HPV), which spreads through sex. Anti-HPV injections have been around since 2006 and getting the jab as a teenager can stop cervical cancer in about nine out of 10 women later in life. We break down how they work, what they cost and why they save lives.

‘The future is frightening.’ Why climate change makes young people think twice about having...

The climate crisis is bad for people’s mental health — and it’s taken increasingly seriously at this year’s conference of the parties, COP28. In this interview from Health Beat, Bhekisisa’s monthly TV show, South African climate justice activist, Kumi Naidoo, explains what climate anxiety is — and what we can do about it.

[WATCH] This nurse wants to stop cervical cancer in Hammanskraal

Nurse Tebogo Seleka does about 100 cervical cancer tests a month. One in ten patients test positive. This could be avoided if they were vaccinated against the human papillomavirus which causes this cancer. Our TV team travels to Hammanskraal near Tshwane to find out how Seleka is using jabs to stop cervical cancer in her community.