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Healthy relationships require equal decision-making practices, which includes decisions about safe sexual practices and protecting one another from the transmission of HIV and STIs. This can include choices about condom use and other forms of contraception, as well as the sexual practices that each partner is willing to engage in. Each person has the right to make decisions about their own sexual health that can be beneficial for both them and their future sexual partners.   Historically, men have been positioned as the head of their households, and as providers for their families. Whilst gender norms are shifting and more equitable gender roles are becoming more common, men are still role models for their families and communities by making decisions with the entire family in mind. Making these choices with a partner only makes them easier.   One of these decisions that men can make is the choice to undergo voluntary male medical circumcision...

With the country covering some 1.221 million square kilometres in total, the task of reaching everyone in South Africa with health services is no small feat. South Africa is home to just over 58 million people, of which an estimated 35% live in rural areas. Many rural areas in South Africa have a high rate of HIV prevalence. This can be explained by a number of factors including: Prevailing high-risk sexual practices Poverty, which can result in risky transactional sexual practices The vulnerability of women because of high levels of gender-based violence and patriarchal norms that limit women’s ability to negotiate safe sex The lack of universally available ART, and the historical imbalances in its provision Poor education systems in rural areas that allow myths about HIV infection to flourish Migrant labour forces that are prevalent across the country Recent research has shown that the links between poverty and HIV are multidirectional....

South Africa has opted to promote voluntary male medical circumcision (VMMC) as part of the package of HIV prevention services, although a recent UN report suggests that there has been a decline in the number of VMMC procedures performed since 2014. In order to meet the target of 80 percent coverage in relation to reducing new infections and the spread of HIV, the number of circumcisions needs to double. This requires innovative strategies that target the barrier to uptake. VMMC ambassadors play an important role in raising awareness about the procedure and its health benefits, and in encouraging the uptake of the procedure. JPS Africa interviewed one such ambassador, Itumeleng Tema, a Clinical Associate, to get his insights into the challenges and opportunities within VMMC. Itumeleng lives in Nkangala, an area where traditional circumcision practices are part of the rites of passage to manhood. However, as with many traditional circumcision rituals across...

Since October 2011, JPS Africa, in partnership with the National Department of Health, has implemented Voluntary Medical Male Circumcision (VMMC) as the leading strategy for HIV/ AIDS prevention in South Africa. Since then, JPS Africa now boasts 34 sites that support VMMC all over South Africa, and has performed over 59000 VMMC procedures.     [embed]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=puN9gkbIofM[/embed]  ...

Since the first cases of HIV, more than 35 million people have died from AIDS-related illnesses. Today we celebrate World AIDS Day - and stand in solidarity with the 78 million people who have become infected with HIV, as well as commemorate those that have passed away. World AIDS Day is commemorated each year on the 1st of December and is an opportunity for every community to unite in the fight against HIV, show support for people living with HIV and remember those who have died. The UNAIDS World AIDS Day theme for 2011 to 2015 is: “Getting to Zero”. This year, South Africa will focus on ZERO DISCRIMINATION, without losing sight of the other ‘zeroes’: zero new HIV infections and zero AIDS related deaths. We call on all South Africans to join our Zero Stigma, Zero Discrimination campaign for World AIDS Day 2014. The aim of this campaign is to ensure that the rights of people living...

AIDS has not been defeated, but, it can be. Since 2011 the UNAIDS World AIDS Day theme has been “Getting to Zero”, and this year, South Africa will focus on ZERO discrimination. Today is all about making sure that the rights of people living with HIV and AIDS are not violated, and that discrimination on the basis of HIV/AIDS is not tolerated. 1 December 2016 Michel Sidibé, Executive Director of UNAIDS, Under-Secretary-General of the United Nations Today, we commemorate World AIDS Day—we stand in solidarity with the 78 million people who have become infected with HIV and remember the 35 million who have died from AIDS-related illnesses since the first cases of HIV were reported. The world has committed to end the AIDS epidemic by 2030 as part of the Sustainable Development Goals. We are seeing that countries are getting on the Fast-Track—more than 18 million people are on life-saving HIV treatment and country after country...

Voluntary Medical Male Circumcision (VMMC) has been introduced in many countries as one of many efforts to reduce the transmission of and susceptibility to, HIV. Since 2007 the World Health Organisation and UNAIDS have recommended VMMC as one of the central components of HIV prevention, particularly in countries where few men are circumcised. Although many African countries including South Africa, Namibia, and Kenya promote VMMC as part of the package of HIV prevention services, a recent UN report suggests that there has been a decline in the number of VMMC procedures performed since 2014. In order to meet the target of 80 percent coverage in relation to reducing new infections and the spread of HIV, the number of circumcisions needs to double. Using innovative and affordable technologies such as PrePex may assist in driving the scale of VMMC, and community sensitive approaches will be key to promoting the practice. Speculation around the...

It has been more than three years since Sri Lanka has seen a case of Malaria. In these three years, millions of lives have been saved. Sri Lanka’s journey in fighting Malaria has not been a linear one – the disease was almost eradicated in the 1940s but when funding decreased and political instability increased the progress made was reversed. It has taken many years to eradicate the last hundreds of cases. A multi-pronged intervention strategy targeting both the mosquito and the parasite that causes the disease has been part of a broader successful effort at eradicating the disease. Other interventions included Clinics, indoor spraying, bed nets, rapid diagnostic kits and a combination of medicines. Together these interventions resulted in success - Sri Lanka was declared malaria-free by the World Health Organisation (WHO) in September this year. This is a significant victory for healthcare. By the end of the decade, many more...

Everyone knows that the sound of a mosquito near your bed as you’re trying to fall asleep can feel like a slow torture. For many people around the world, that mosquito also comes with the risk of contracting malaria, a potentially life-threatening disease. The World Health Organization (WHO) estimates that as of 2015 about 3.2 billion people live in areas that are malaria affected, and as temperatures rise with climate change that number could increase. The highest risk of contracting malaria remains in Africa. Previous efforts to curb malaria (including insecticide-treated mosquito nets and indoor residual sprays) have had positive results – studies estimate that nearly 700 million cases have been avoided since 2000 when efforts to curb the disease intensified. The WHO estimates that malaria deaths have fallen by 60% since 2000. An estimated 663 million possible cases have been prevented. Yet, more than 400 000 people died of malaria in...

It’s undeniable that technology and the internet have changed the way we do things. One of the most important things about the way technology has advanced in the last few years is the way that things are beginning to become connected. A useful way to think of this new interconnectedness is the term ‘The internet of things’ which describes the infrastructure of the information society. In essence this describes how our various technological devices (phones, computers, fitness trackers, heart rate monitors etc) communicate with one another to communicate and capture data. So your phone can tell you if it’s going to rain tomorrow so you should let your boss know you’ll be a few minutes late because of the traffic affecting your uber, and your need to stop off at the drycleaners, and that you should take some vitamins because your heart rate is slightly higher than usual today. In the fields...