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- Volume 2, Issue 2, 2001
Southern African Journal of HIV Medicine - Volume 2, Issue 2, 2001
Volumes & issues
Volume 2, Issue 2, 2001
Author Des MartinSource: Southern African Journal of HIV Medicine 2 (2001)More Less
Recent weeks have borne witness to controversies relating to the pricing of antiretroviral drugs, and it is heartening that at long last the voice of reason has prevailed and access to optimal therapies for our patients is on the horizon. The availability of cheap drugs, although crucial to treatment access initiatives, is by no means the only prerequisite that needs to be in place before patients get treatment.
Author Linda-Gail BekkerSource: Southern African Journal of HIV Medicine 2 (2001)More Less
The old Chinese proverb 'May you live in interesting times' has surely never been more apt than in the current HIV/AIDS arena in South Africa. Last month the Pharmaceutical Manufacturers Association, on behalf of 39 drug companies, unconditionally withdrew its challenge to legislation - passed in 1997 but not yet implemented - that allows the government to make or buy cheaper drugs. The drug companies, which include giants Merck, Bristol-Myers Squibb, GlaxoSmithKline and Boehringer Ingelheim, had claimed that a section of the 1997 law that allows South Africa to import or make cheaper drugs overrode their patent rights. The patents are necessary, they said, to encourage drug research. The Health Minister, Manto Tshabalala-Msimang, is however quoted as saying that the victory allowed South Africa to pursue policies that she believes are critical to securing medicines at affordable rates and exercising 'wise control' over them.
Author Steven MillerSource: Southern African Journal of HIV Medicine 2, pp 8 –10 (2001)More Less
The HIV calendar is increasingly filled with conferences devoted to super-specialised aspects of HIV medicine. The Conference on Retroviruses and Opportunistic Infections (CROI) remains one of the few scientific meetings devoted to excellence in the broader field of HIV infection. Each year, some 5 000 delegates undertake this expedition of scientific enquiry in the hope of expanding their knowledge, acquiring new skills and making a contribution to improving the quality of life of patients in their care. Some years bring exceptional news and exciting developments that translate into immediate clinical benefit At other times, the information presented is conceptual and intellectually challenging; these data invariably stimulate new areas of research that may not initially change clinical practice but that ultimately bring enlightenment and novel treatment strategies. The 8th CRGI, held earlier this year in Chicago, was of the latter type. Its content was wide-ranging, scholarly and reflective. The programme encompassed a wide range of topics with an emphasis on basic science and research. A few of the more clinically relevant issues have been selected for this article.
Author Francois VenterSource: Southern African Journal of HIV Medicine 2 (2001)More Less
Plight of AIDS patients in rural South Africa - a challenge to health professionals : home-based careAuthor Margie HardmanSource: Southern African Journal of HIV Medicine 2, pp 12 –13 (2001)More Less
All of the above are a sad reflection of many of our rural health facilities. Nurses who are already demotivated, inadequately trained for the huge responsibilities they have to carry, and frustrated by the lack of resources, now have to carry the extra burden of seeing people dying daily of AIDS in their communities, often friends and family members. Frequently, out of a sense of inadequacy and hopelessness, they respond in anger and frustration. The patients in turn, lose hope in the formal government health system, and turn instead to any other source where they can grasp for hope for a cure.
Source: Southern African Journal of HIV Medicine 2 (2001)More Less
While the 2001 budget speech did not address the HIV/AIDS crisis in South Africa, some South Africans are really doing their homework. For example, R A Parkes and Associates have established how HIV-positive patients can obtain tax relief from the South African Revenue Services (SARS). This tax relief could make HIV-care costs more affordable.
Preventing mother-to-child transmission of HIV-1 in South Africa : recommendations for best practice : guidelinesSource: Southern African Journal of HIV Medicine 2, pp 15 –26 (2001)More Less
These guidelines for best practice for the prevention of mother-to-child transmission (MTCT) of HIV-1 are intended to provide health workers with information to enable an informed decision on the most appropriate management regimen for HIV-positive pregnant women. Resources and circumstances differ across different practice settings. These guidelines recognise the need for any management strategy to be adapted to the available infrastructure and finance and to the stage of pregnancy and clinical condition of the mother. The various strategies and treatment recommendations for HIV-positive pregnant women are constantly evolving. The guidelines will be updated as and when new information becomes available.
Author Leighton McDonaldSource: Southern African Journal of HIV Medicine 2, pp 27 –30 (2001)More Less
HIV and AIDS is having, and will continue to have, a significant effect on the private health care industry in South Africa. A number of clinical, financial, legislative and ethical questions need to be addressed in deciding on an effective and sustainable response to the challenge posed by the epidemic. The maturation of the epidemic from an HIV to an AIDS epidemic has resulted in increased health care costs for employers, medical schemes and individuals. This increased expenditure has not always resulted in a favourable outcome and there is an urgent need to address the funding of HIV/AIDS management in a rational way to ensure optimal utilization of scarce resources
The use of dried blood spots and a modified particle agglutination test for cost-effective seroepidemiological HIV surveys : from the labSource: Southern African Journal of HIV Medicine 2, pp 31 –32 (2001)More Less
The AIDS epidemic in South Africa has now reached the alarming level at which almost 1 in every 10 South Africans is infected. This figure is extrapolated from the 10th National Antenatal HIV Survey, which was conducted during October 1999, and translates into an absolute figure of around 4.2 million people infected with HIV in South Africa, one of the highest in the world. It is therefore important that educational and awareness programmes reduce the rate of new infections.
Author Bonaventure NyathiSource: Southern African Journal of HIV Medicine 2, pp 34 –35 (2001)More Less
Unemployment and resultant poverty in many rural parts of South Africa dictate that most people live from hand to mouth, with their main objectives being to fill empty bellies and ensure a roof over their heads. A desire to learn about a dread disease shrouded with uncertainty and social stigmatisation is near the bottom of their list of basic human needs.
Author Leon J. LevinSource: Southern African Journal of HIV Medicine 2, pp 36 –37 (2001)More Less
Welcome to Kiddies Corner. We hope that this will become a regular feature in our Journal. At HIV conferences and in the literature, paediatric HIV is sorely neglected. We hope that Kiddies Corner will be a forum where we can discuss all aspects of paediatric HIV infection. In this regard, we would like to draw your attention to our Internet-based discussion group, the Southern African HIV Clinicians Society Paediatric Discussion Group (PDG). This PDG has been in operation since late last year and is popular for helping to resolve clinical problems and for exposing paediatricians to the complexities of antiretroviral therapy (ART) in children. Anyone who is not yet on the mailing list and would like to join the PDG is welcome to send his or her e-mail address to email@example.com.
Source: Southern African Journal of HIV Medicine 2, pp 39 –40 (2001)More Less
The Southern African HIV Clinicians Society and the Foundation for Professional Development, the educational division of the South African Medical Association, have joined forces to train in the region of 3 000 health care practitioners in HIV/AIDS management over the next 3 years.
Source: Southern African Journal of HIV Medicine 2, pp 43 –44 (2001)More Less
A son of Johannesburg, born 16 June 1929, Professor Ruben Sher is most widely known as Head of the AIDS Research Unit at the South African Institute for Medical Research (SAIMR), Johannesburg. A pioneer in AIDS research, he was a founder member of many South African AIDS bodies, including the Southern African HIV Clinicians Society. Before becoming the local media's medical face of AIDS, he was a pill-counter, served as a pilot in the infant Israel, completed a PhD, registered as a specialist pathologist (microbiology), and qualified as a sangoma. Currently Director of HIVCARE International, he has held seven academic appointments and served as principal investigator on six major HIV studies. Ruben is recipient of many accolades including the Wits Alumni Honour Award in 1987 for rendering exceptional service to the community, both the Paul Harris Fellowship and the Vocational Service Award from Rotary in the early 1990s, and the Salus Award (Silver) from the Department of Health in 1993. He is married, with 4 children and 5.5 grandchildren spread throughout the Diaspora, including New York and Toronto.
Author Michelle Rotchford GallowaySource: Southern African Journal of HIV Medicine 2, pp 45 –46 (2001)More Less
The urgent need to find an effective HIV vaccine, and the challenges this presents, have forced scientists to investigate various innovative approaches. Most of the attempts made in the last 15 years have focused on the structural proteins of HIV aiming at inducing immunity by blocking virus entry. However, the failure of this approach so far has led some scientists to investigate strategies aimed at controlling viral replication and blocking disease onset Recent approaches aimed at eliciting immunity against the HIV regulatory gene products tat, rev and nef have shown good results. Tat vaccination appears capable of controlling primary infection with highly pathogenic SHIV (simian HIV) viruses providing evidence of cross-protection in non-human primates. The tat gene is relatively well conserved in its immunogenic regions among most subtypes of HIV-1 and therefore may lead to the development of a vaccine that could be used globally.