Using trends in the rate of new HIV infections in east and southern Africa we assess the current state of the epidemic and evaluate the future prospects for controlling it. If we let an incidence of 1 per 1,000 people represent a control threshold then this has been reached, or will probably be reached by 2020, in East Africa and is reachable by 2020 in those southern African countries that do not have strong social and economic ties to South Africa, if they continue to scale up their treatment programmes. South Africa, Lesotho, Mozambique and Swaziland could reach the control threshold by 2030 with sufficient political will and commitment to ‘treatment for all’.
SACEMA has been involved in the development of a modelling framework for ‘HIV Affected Children’ (children who are not infected themselves, but who have family members, in particular parents, that are infected). The article describes the process, benefits, and challenges of developing this framework that could be used to estimate the magnitude of negative consequences of adult HIV infection for the health and well-being of children.
AIDS 2012 has come and gone. South African researchers and NGOs engaged in AIDS related work were ever visible, presenting new results, chairing key sessions, or delivering invited talks. Before the conference began, it was widely noted that an important shift in debate has occurred in recent years, concerning the coalescence of treatment and prevention. The real discussion is now much more about how, practically, to access the prevention benefit of treatment. This debate, at AIDS 2012, although heated at times, at least did not just go over the same old ground. Furthermore, the progress here has largely been based on the work of South Africans pushing these ideas, and amassing the evidence of early impact of our local treatment programme. It must be said that South Africans are doing some of the most important work in many aspects of HIV research, not just in applications to our specific problems, but also raising the bar internationally in the practice of good science.
AIDS orphans face far greater financial, educational and psychosocial challenges to their development than their peers with healthy living parents. A cross-sectional survey was conducted, assessing the level and nature of abuse and neglect experienced by AIDS orphans in Conakry and N’Zérékoré, Guinea. Additionally, the degree of perceived social support in children whose parents were still alive and not perceived to be HIV positive, children orphaned by causes other than AIDS, and children orphaned by AIDS was explored. The results suggest that experiences of abuse and neglect are common in AIDS-orphaned children, and that adequate social support from family members is often lacking. However, social vulnerability was not limited to children orphaned due to AIDS. Scaled-up, non-discriminatory interventions to improve the psychosocial well-being of AIDS orphans and other vulnerable children are therefore urgently needed, and should be complemented with sound monitoring and evaluation of their effectiveness, scalability and affordability.
The huge increase in life expectancy enjoyed by people in the industrialized world since 1800 is among the most remarkable facts in human history. No one living in 18th century Europe could have foreseen that a lifespan of more than 70 years would be possible for the majority – indeed almost everyone. This article presents a historical overview on the reasons for this increase in life expectancy and why this increase is not experienced in all countries – especially African countries.
This article reports on the 4th South African AIDS Conference held recently in Durban, emphasising SACEMA’s involvement and contribution to the ongoing efforts to understand and break the cycle of new HIV infections.