With up to half a million football aficionados and tourists expected to visit South Africa for the 2010 World Cup, and up to half of South Africa’s sex workers carrying the HIV virus, there have been calls for the country to decriminalise sex work to help tackle the spread of HIV. But is this a warranted call? Can the World Cup ever be a justification for the legalisation of sex work? This CAI brief explores the rationale that underscores the proposal of legalising sex work during the 2010 FIFA World Cup.
The Treatment Action Campaign (TAC) has welcomed the announcement by king Goodwill Zwelithini, and KwaZulu-Natal health MEC, Sibongiseni Dlomo, to circumcise more than two million men in KwaZulu-Natal.
The TAC’s Marcus Low says while the organisation welcomes the move, it is vital to remember that male circumcision is only partially effective in HIV-positive female transmission to HIV- negative circumcised males.
Health Minister, Aaron Motsoaledi, has stated he will not bow to pharmaceutical companies who are crying foul about government’s intentions to buy cheaper anti-retroviral drugs (ARVs).
Motsoaledi, who delivered his budget vote in Parliament, says despite South Africa being the biggest consumer of ARVs in the world, government continues to pay the highest price for the life saving drugs.
The global response to the HIV/AIDS epidemic has been unparalleled. Between 2007 and 2008, funding increased from US$11.3 billion to US$ 13.7 billion globally (UNAIDS, Fact Sheet AIDS Funding 2008-09). However, the global economic crisis is having dire consequences for HIV and AIDS funding. These effects are felt particularly in sub-Saharan Africa, which has the highest levels of HIV and AIDS infection in the world, with approximately 25 million people infected.
The World Health Organisation (WHO) says international guidelines for mothers taking antiretrovirals (ARVs) may change, with new evidence showing HIV infection rates among babies are significantly cut when mothers are given prolonged ARV treatment during breastfeeding.
WHO is reviewing its 2006 recommendations on the use of ARVs in pregnant women, including during the breastfeeding period.
The new guidelines are expected to be published by the end of 2009 and will take into account emerging data.