News / Africa

    S. Africa Project Improves Treatment for Poor HIV-Positive Pregnant Women

    Multimedia

    Audio
    Joe DeCapua

    In a former township outside of Cape Town, South Africa, there’s a high rate of HIV infection among pregnant women.  Many are unable to get the treatment they need to save their lives and the lives of their children.  But that’s about to change with the launch of a new project that aims to break down barriers to antiretroviral therapy.

    The man in charge of the new project is Dr. Landon Myer, an associate professor based at the School of Public Health and the Desmond Tutu HIV Center at the University of Cape Town.  His work centers on the community of Gugulethu.

    “It’s a community of about 300,000 people of predominantly low socio-economic status, who live in a context of extreme poverty and with a very high prevalence of HIV infections.  So the prevalence of HIV in this setting is about 28 percent and so HIV presents an incredible problem to the community and to HIV infected women, who are pregnant, in particular,” he says.

    Complicated health care

    Dr. Myer is the recipient of the International Leadership Award from the Elizabeth Glaser Pediatric AIDS Foundation. A $300,000 grant will fund his project.  The aim to find the best strategies to allow HIV positive pregnant women to receive antiretroviral therapy.

    S. Africa Project Improves Treatment for Poor HIV-Positive Pregnant Women
    S. Africa Project Improves Treatment for Poor HIV-Positive Pregnant Women

    “The underlying issue,” he says, “is that lifelong antiretroviral therapy is the best form of prophylaxis or prevention of mother-to-child transmission [PMTCT] of HIV.  At the same time, it’s a critical intervention for the health of HIV infected mothers.”

    He says many HIV positive pregnant women in Gugulethu fall between the cracks of a dual health care system.  A system fraught with complications and uncoordinated medical appointments.

    “The existing antenatal health service, midwife obstetric units they’re called, are very good at providing simple, short course antiretroviral regimens to pregnant women, who are HIV infected, but don’t have advanced disease.  And an entirely separate health service is focused on starting antiretroviral therapy in eligible adults, regardless of whether or not their men or women or pregnant or not pregnant.  And we find that these pregnant women tend to fall between the cracks between these two very different services,” he says.

    That lack of coordination makes it difficult for a woman to arrange transportation, child care and time off from work.  Then there are the psychological concerns of starting antiretroviral therapy during pregnancy.

    Myer says, “The issues are complicated and often complicated issues require sort of holistic and multifaceted interventions.”

    Continental benefits

    Success in Gugulethu, he says, could have wide ranging effects throughout the continent.

    “If this project is really the success that I think we’re all hoping it will be, we’ll identify interventions, be able to identify interventions that can be generalized to other communities.  Both other communities in South Africa, but other communities across sub-Saharan Africa because this is, I believe, one of the real key issues facing PMTCT and HIV care and treatment globally,” he says.

    Since 2002, the Elizabeth Glaser Pediatric AIDS Foundation has awarded more than $5 million in grants to 13 recipients in 9 countries as part of its International Leadership Award.

    You May Like

    US Internet Giants, EU Reach Deal to Combat Online Hate Speech

    Facebook, Twitter, Google and Microsoft commit to ‘quickly and efficiently’ act to clamp down on use of social media to incite violence, terror

    Video Tunisia’s Ennahda Party Begins a New Political Chapter

    Party now moves to separate its political and religious activities; change described by party members as pragmatic response to political and economic challenges facing Tunisia today

    Virtual Reality Fine-tuned at Asia Tech Show

    Microchip designers hope to improve resolution for users of systems that can turn your bedroom into the ocean floor

    This forum has been closed.
    Comments
         
    There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

    By the Numbers

    Featured Videos

    Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
    Tech Startups Showcase Wares at Amsterdam Conferencei
    X
    Serginho Roosblad
    May 30, 2016 5:11 PM
    More than 20,000 tech enthusiasts, entrepreneurs and lovers of digital technology came together in Amsterdam recently at the Next Web Conference to discuss the latest developments in digital technology, look to the future and, of course, to connect. In recent years, there has been an explosion of so-called startup businesses that have created devices and applications that have changed the way we live; but, as Serginho Roosblad reports for VOA, there are pitfalls for such startups as well.
    Video

    Video Tech Startups Showcase Wares at Amsterdam Conference

    More than 20,000 tech enthusiasts, entrepreneurs and lovers of digital technology came together in Amsterdam recently at the Next Web Conference to discuss the latest developments in digital technology, look to the future and, of course, to connect. In recent years, there has been an explosion of so-called startup businesses that have created devices and applications that have changed the way we live; but, as Serginho Roosblad reports for VOA, there are pitfalls for such startups as well.
    Video

    Video US Military's Fallen Honored With Flags

    Memorial Day is a long weekend for most Americans. For some, it is the unofficial start of summer -- local swimming pools open and outdoor grilling season begins. But Memorial Day remains true to its origins -- a day to remember the U.S. military's fallen.
    Video

    Video Rolling Thunder Rolls Into Washington

    The Rolling Thunder caravan of motorcycles rolled into Washington Sunday, to support the U.S. military on the country's Memorial Day weekend
    Video

    Video A New Reading Program Pairs Kids with Dogs

    Dogs, it is said, are man's best friend. What some researchers have discovered is that they can also be a friend to a struggling reader. A group called Intermountain Therapy Animals trains dogs to help all kinds of kids with reading problems — from those with special needs to those for whom English is a second language. Faiza Elmasry has more on the New York chapter of R.E.A.D., or Reading Education Assistance Dogs, in this piece narrated by Faith Lapidus.
    Video

    Video Fan Base Grows for Fictional Wyoming Sheriff Longmire

    Around the world, the most enduring symbol of the U.S. is that of the cowboy. A very small percentage of Americans live in Western rural areas, and fewer still are cowboys. But the fascination with the American West is kept alive by such cultural offerings as “Longmire,” a series of books and TV episodes about a fictional Wyoming sheriff. VOA’s Greg Flakus recently spoke with Longmire’s creator, Craig Johnson, and filed this report from Houston.
    Video

    Video Chinese-Americans Heart Trump, Bucking National Trend

    A new study conducted by three Asian-American organizations shows there are three times as many Democrats as there are Republicans among Asian-American voters, and they favor Hillary Clinton over Donald Trump. But one group, called Chinese-Americans For Trump, is going against the tide and strongly supports the business tycoon. VOA’s Elizabeth Lee caught up with them at a Trump rally and reports from Anaheim, California.
    Video

    Video Reactions to Trump's Success Polarized Abroad

    What seemed impossible less than a year ago is now almost a certainty. New York real estate mogul Donald Trump has won the number of delegates needed to secure the Republican presidential nomination. The prospect has sparked as much controversy abroad as it has in the United States. Zlatica Hoke has more.
    Video

    Video Drawings by Children in Hiroshima Show Hope and Peace

    On Friday, President Barack Obama will visit Hiroshima, Japan, the first American president to do so while in office. In August 1945, the United States dropped an atomic bomb on the city to force Japan's surrender in World War II. Although their city lay in ruins, some Hiroshima schoolchildren drew pictures of hope and peace. The former students and their drawings are now part of a documentary called “Pictures from a Hiroshima Schoolyard.” VOA's Deborah Block has the story.
    Video

    Video Vietnamese Rapper Performs for Obama

    A prominent young Vietnamese artist told President Obama said she faced roadblocks as a woman rapper, and asked the president about government support for the arts. He asked her to rap, and he even offered to provide a base beat for her. Watch what happened.
    Video

    Video Roots Run Deep for Tunisia's Dwindling Jewish Community

    This week, hundreds of Jewish pilgrims are defying terrorist threats to celebrate an ancient religious festival on the Tunisian island of Djerba. The festivities cast a spotlight on North Africa's once-vibrant Jewish population that has all but died out in recent decades. Despite rising threats of militant Islam and the country's battered economy, one of the Arab world's last Jewish communities is staying put and nurturing a new generation. VOA’s Lisa Bryant reports.

    Special Report

    Adrift The Invisible African Diaspora