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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?

Can we stop TB from killing people? The world’s largest gathering kicks off

In Paris today, experts on lung health from across the globe are coming together at The Union’s World Conference on Lung Health to talk about how TB research can help to thwart one of the planet’s top killers. We’ve put together a collection of our most recent coverage on TB to help you be part of the conversation

There is no planet B: How HIV can teach us to deal with the...

Climate change is to public health today what Aids was 30 years ago, experts say — and it could put a spanner in the works for ending Aids as a public health threat by 2030. Yogan Pillay writes in an op-ed today what lessons we can take from responding to HIV to tackle the health effects of climate change.

[LISTEN] The anti-HIV jab is coming to SA. Find out when and how

Towards the end of the year, donated batches of the anti-HIV jab, CAB-LA, will arrive in South Africa. The two-monthly jab will be used in implementation trials and virtually wipes out someone’s chances of contracting HIV through sex. How much will donors and the South African health department have to pay for such injections and can the drugmaker, ViiV Healthcare, make enough of them? In this podcast, Mia Malan asks Mitchell Warren, who leads a group of organisations and donors who look at ways to make the jab available as fast as possible, for answers.

Why climate change is the biggest threat to health this century

The world is in a polycrisis — and climate change will highlight vulnerabilities and inequalities in healthcare. We need to understand how changing weather patterns will affect our health and draw on lessons from past research to help us become more resilient. Here’s what experts said at Bhekisisa’s 10th birthday celebration on Tuesday, 7 November.

From Moshi to Moscow: How a girl from the slopes of Kilimanjaro became Tanzania’s...

In 1969, Esther Mwaikambo became Tanzania’s first female doctor. Today, she is arguably also the country’s most famous. She tells Sean Christie how public healthcare in Africa has changed — and what she wishes for the future.

Making the case: Why poor mental health flags the need for HIV testing

To help South Africa wipe out HIV by 2030, the country focuses on getting people who have a big chance of getting or spreading HIV access to testing and treatment. Researchers say that people with serious mental illnesses should be added to the list of these key populations in South Africa. Learn more.

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?

Should nurses be allowed to hand out psychiatric drugs?

People with HIV have a big chance of battling with mental health problems. At the moment though, only doctors can prescribe psychiatric medicines. Could getting nurses to do this too help people with HIV to stay on their treatment, and so get infection rates down? Mia Malan finds out from a doctor who’s lived through HIV with his patients for the past 20 years.

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.

Will the Earth’s changing climate make TB spread faster?

The world is far behind its TB targets. Hoping to reduce TB deaths by 75% by 2025, world leaders have only managed to bring it down by 5.6% so far. Climate change, however, can derail these targets even more. The changing climate increases poverty, overcrowding, and malnutrition, the primary drivers of TB.