Special Reports:

Our HIV reporting of the past decade

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A large chunk of our reporting focuses on HIV. Since the launch of Bhekisisa in 2013, we’ve covered HIV in-depth — from the impact of the virus on former president Nelson Mandela’s family to the advances in antiretroviral treatment and anti-HIV pills and injections. We’ve also looked at the impact of inequality and discrimination on the spread of HIV, the link between gender-based violence and HIV — and ways to fix it.

HomeSpecial ReportsOur HIV reporting of the past decadeHealth Beat #14 | Can we afford to not afford it? Why...

Health Beat #14 | Can we afford to not afford it? Why SA can’t give up on the anti-HIV jab, no matter the cost

  • Although the country has made progress with slowing down new infections, South Africa’s latest HIV household survey, released on Monday, shows that fewer people than five years ago are using condoms — from 55% in 2017 to not even half in 2022.
  • Studies show the more HIV prevention choices people have, the higher the chances are that they will use at least one of those. Enter anti-HIV medication, known as pre-exposure prophylaxis, or PrEP.
  • The ring and jab aren’t yet available widely in the country — only via implementation trials.
  • In this Health Beat episode, Mia Malan asks the health department if they will buy these medications for state patients; talks to an expert about how well they work; while an HIV nurse breaks down why staying on HIV treatment doesn’t just benefit those living with the virus.

In today’s newsletter Mia Malan and Mohale Moloi take you to the Western Cape to see how having medication that prevents HIV has changed the lives of young women. Sign up.

Mia Malan is the founder and editor-in-chief of Bhekisisa. She has worked in newsrooms in Johannesburg, Nairobi and Washington, DC, winning more than 30 awards for her radio, print and television work.

Jessica Pitchford is Bhekisisa's TV and multimedia editor. She's been a journalist since the early nineties and has reported on some pivotal events in South Africa’s political history, such as the country’s transition to democracy and the work of the Truth & Reconciliation Commission.

Mohale Moloi is Bhekisisa's television producer and a health journalist.

Yolanda Mdzeke is a multimedia reporter at Bhekisisa.

Tshidiso Lechuba is a freelance video editor working in Johannesburg.