On Wednesday, health officials in South Africa announced a new recommendation: all HIV patients should be screened for tuberculosis, and vice versa. Officials hope this pairing of HIV and TB testing will become normal procedure within five years. As cited in the Associated Press article, South Africa has one of the highest rates of TB in the world due, in large part, to its AIDS epidemic.
In Mozambique, HIV patients have formed teams to make refilling prescriptions and managing treatment easier. IRIN PlusNews reports that these community-based, self-formed groups of ARV patients share the responsibility for collecting medication and monitoring other members’ general health, taking some of the burden off over-worked health workers and increasing awareness around HIV.
Change.org had a post late last week on health care workers in Zimbabwe bribing HIV patients. Zimbabwe Lawyers for Human Rights (ZLHR) released a report accusing caregivers of asking for money in exchange for free live-saving antiretroviral drugs and other care. According to the piece, “Health Minister Dr. Henry Madzorera said the ministry was aware of the allegations and had begun an investigation to resolve the conflict.”
UPDATE: PEPFAR recently released their annual Country Operational Plan (COP) guidance, the first since the Global Health Initiative was announced this summer. In an email today, Population Action International argues that, though the new guidance does support an integrated, woman and girl-centered approach to health services, it does not provide the necessary tools to achieve it.
Please let me know if you have anything for next week!