Taking HIV testing to the masses

first_imgRay Maota A Doctors Without Borders counsellor tests a woman for HIV.(Image: Doctors Without Borders)MEDIA CONTACTS• Kate RibetMSF: Communications Officer+27 11 403 4440RELATED ARTICLES• Software speeds HIV diagnosis• HIV-testing drive for SA students• SA triage system to go global• New centres to help fight HIV in KZNOver the past few decades the world has become well acquainted with the scourge that is HIV and the disease borne from it, Aids. Sub-Saharan Africa, within which South Africa falls, has been the focus of awareness campaigns, because this region bears the world’s heaviest Aids burden.A 2010 study by international Aids charity Avert showed that over 22-million infected people, out of 34-million worldwide, lived in the region.As the South African government’s HIV/Aids priorities changed to adapt to the situation, so did its focus move towards encouraging citizens to get tested.The HIV Counselling and Testing Campaign (HCT) – dubbed the government’s most ambitious plan to date – was launched in 2010, and targeted as many as 15-million South Africans for testing. Health Minister Aaron Motsoaledi said at the time that the government wanted people to get used to testing and to do it continuously.Taking testing to the peopleWith this in mind, a team of medical professionals belonging to global NGO Doctors Without Borders or Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) is providing some reprieve for the state’s over-burdened resources.They’ve set up mobile testing units in Eshowe, a rural area on the east coast in KwaZulu-Natal province, which has the highest infection rate in the country, at 39.5%.The MSF project, which started in April this year, is being rolled out over the next 10 years, according to Kate Ribet, the organisation’s communications officer.The campaign aims to reach as many people as possible in the area, which is home to Eshowe Provincial Hospital, originally built in 1957. While some MSF staff oversees the testing centres, others go on a door-to-door drive to encourage residents to get tested on the spot.“The door-to-door testing is part of an overall MSF community-based project that aims to promote widespread testing, and includes facility or clinic-based testing, mobile stop shop testing, as well as testing at schools.“The teams visit the households and invite all the family members in the house to get tested,” explained Gugu Ngidi, who runs the testing programme on behalf of MSF.For those who test positive, Ngidi added, a driver is at hand to transport the patient to a nurse’s station nearby, where their CD4 count will be determined and counselling provided.CD4 is a glycoprotein found on the surface of immune cells in a human body, and a CD4 count is a measure used by medical professionals to assess the immune system of an HIV-positive patient and to determine the stage of the viral infection as well as the necessary treatment to administer.The goal for the MSF team is to do all of this within a space of 25 to 30 minutes for each case, thus encouraging the community to get tested voluntarily.Ribet said: “Using all these avenues, MSF aims to test 90 000 people in three years, as well as re-test annually all those who test negative. The teams also do TB screenings for those who test HIV-positive and pregnancy tests for the women among them.”Between January and the end of June 2012, 6 086 people were tested, with 449, or 7.4%, testing HIV-positive.Doctors on the sceneDr Ruggero Giuliani, who is originally from Italy and oversees the group’s work in the area, said the goal is to test everybody.“We know that the epidemic is driven by people who don’t know their status,” he explained.He acknowledged that the downside to many people in one area knowing their HIV status, especially if it is positive, is the pressure put on the state’s medical resources in that area to provide treatment and counselling as required by law.“The challenge is that in increasing testing we find more people who are infected and given the existing human resource and facilities, the challenge becomes providing good quality care for all these people,” said Guiliani.To help meet this goal, MSF proposes a community-based model of HIV care where people who’ve been on HIV drug therapy for a long time meet in groups to get their monthly supplies of medication, rather than going separately to make an appointment with a doctor or a nurse.Provincial health authorities accelerated the efforts of the HCT campaign in 2010 by taking testing and counselling services to the people instead of waiting on voluntary testing. Their strategy involves the promotion of medical male circumcision and the integration of TB-HIV services, which will mean that all HIV-positive patients are routinely screened for TB.HIV and South AfricaAccording to Avert, an estimated 5.6-million people were living with HIV/Aids in South Africa in 2009, the highest number in any country. In the same year, an estimated 310 000 deaths related to the disease were recorded in the country.The following year the government launched the nationwide HCT campaign aimed at encouraging people to get tested. The campaign has, since its implementation, had a notable impact on the availability and uptake of HIV testing and treatment.Deputy President Kgalema Motlanthe, speaking at the 19th International Aids Conference in the US in July, said given that South Africa has the highest number of people living with HIV in the world, the global fight against the disease cannot be won without success in South Africa.“In recent times the efforts that we have made, with support from development partners, are starting to bear fruits as evidenced by some of the successes we have seen over the last few years.”Successes of the HCT campaign include a programme that saw as many as 20-million people getting tested across the country, with 1.7-million positive people being put on treatment as a result. Furthermore, the rate of mother-to-child transmission dropped from 8% in 2008 to 3.5% in 2010, and even further in 2011 to 2.7%.“We are still faced with many challenges as we move from the emergency phase of our response to a phase of consolidation, scaling up and sustaining our multi-sectoral approach with a strengthened health system,” said Motlanthe.“This consolidation phase requires a new approach, a new paradigm underpinned by, among others, the principles of global solidarity, mutual accountability and transparency.”last_img read more

World’s most-logged geocache (GC189E5) is Geocache of the Week!

first_img SharePrint RelatedThe Most Found Geocache in the WorldMay 19, 2013In “Community”Geocaching country focus: CzechiaDecember 11, 2018In “Community”Underground — Geocache of the WeekFebruary 7, 2018In “Community” Geocache of the Week is the world’s most logged geocache. Any guesses?The Original Stash Tribute Plaque? No.The Geocaching Headquarters cache? No.Uh… Mingo? Nope.That cool giraffe cache in Berlin? Nein.Brazil’s APE cache? Not even close. Drumroll please… The most logged geocache in the entire world is, Prague bridges 1 – Karluv most in Prague, Czech Republic! The cache has just under 30,000 logs since it was published on January 1, 2008. Located on the northwest side of the famous Charles Bridge, the location is full of historical statues, and absolutely stunning. Have you logged this cache? Difficulty:1Terrain:1 Location:Prague, Czech RepublicN 50° 05.211 E 014° 24.544center_img TraditionalGC189E5by Benjo5 Swan LakeCharles Bridge from the northwestOne of many statuesThat’s a well-worn logbook!Night caching in the winterCharles Bridge at dawnCharles Bridge on an overcast dayView from aboveShare with your Friends:Morelast_img read more

Queensland and New South Wales Levelled

first_imgBy BEN HARRIS Queensland and New South Wales have claimed two series each in the earlier Game Two matches of the 2012 State of Origin series at Port Macquarie.The Maroons clinched the men’s 50’s and women’s 30’s divisions, and New South Wales have got the Women’s 20’s and Men’s 45’s in the bag.There were tight matches all round in today’s 9.50am time slot of the State of Origin series.The Men’s 50s match went into a drop-off and it was the fourth time in the series Queensland have won in extra-time.After scoring a double in the first half, Phil Evans scored the match-winner for Queensland to give his team a 6-5 victory.There was only one touchdown in it between the two states in the Women’s 30’s competition.After Queensland won game one in a drop-off, they claimed the second game 2-1.Like she did in game one, Maroons’ Lana Curry scored the winning touchdown.Queensland made it a clean sweep in the 30’s age group with their Men’s team winning the second match 9-8.In another heart-stopping encounter, both teams traded touchdowns but it was Queensland who were able to rejoice as they hit the lead in the final two minutes.But New South Wales got some of their own back by winning the Women’s 20s and Men’s 45’s divisions.Up 3-1 at half-time, New South Wales went to sleep in the second half, allowing Queensland to score two touchdowns.However, a touchdown to Simone Smith got the girls in blue the series win.New South Wales went for the jugular in the second half of the Men’s 45’s as they scored six touchdowns to claim a 8-5 win.Craig Nicholls scoring a double in the match. Queensland levelled the series in the Men’s 40’s with a hard-fought 6-4 win. Make sure you stay up to date with these websites for all the State of Origin action: State of Origin – www.soo.mytouchfooty.comTouch Football Australia – www.austouch.com.auTouch Football Australia’s YouTube channel – www.youtube.com/touchfootballausTwitter: www.twitter.com/touchfootyausFacebook: www.facebook.com/touchfootballaustraliaRelated LinksState of Orgin game twolast_img read more

2014 NSWTA State Cup

first_img225 teams from across the state will converge on the Port Macquarie Regional Sports Stadium this weekend to compete in the 2014 New South Wales State Cup. Teams will compete across 14 divisions, ranging from under 20’s through to over 55’s at the three day event, which will be held from Friday, 5 December to Sunday, 7 December 2014. Approximately 4,000 participants will take part in the event, as well as over 250 referees, coming together to participate in one of the largest Touch Football events in the world.  Round games will commence on Friday morning, running through the weekend with the finals concluding the tournament on Sunday afternoon. The first Grand Finals will begin at 12.40pm on Sunday, with the Mixed Open final at 2.25pm, Women’s Open at 3.05pm and the Men’s Open at 3.50pm.Teams from Papua New Guinea and Japan will also participate in the event.Unable to make it to the 2014 New South Wales State Cup? You can watch selected games live throughout the event on the TFA YouTube channel. Stay tuned to the website daily as we provide links to the chosen games.Friday, 5 December8.30am – Canterbury Bulldogs v Newcastle City Knights (Women’s Open) – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=a_jO_EUj7GQ 9.40am – Western Suburbs Magpies v Parramatta Eels (Men’s Open) – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gSco2Uvo3HQ 12.35pm – Penrith Panthers v Murwillumbah Mavericks (Men’s Open) – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=93-MEj87lbU 1.45pm – Manly Sea Eagles v Murwillumbah Mavericks (Men’s 20’s) – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HHPaoYrq128 2.20pm – University of New South Wales Bullets v Papua New Guinea (Mixed Open) – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=291CAiVpu-0Saturday, 6 December8.00am – Easts Roosters v Wests Magpies (Mixed Open) – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oQ_62lKQuE09.10am – Canterbury Bulldogs v Wests Magpies (Women’s Open) – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=E5iEMfDOkEg10.55am – Penrith Panthers v Canterbury Bulldogs (Men’s Open) – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=E5iEMfDOkEg3.00pm – Murwillumbah Mavericks v Wagga Wagga Vipers (Mixed Open ) – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CdCMiEwmHuM4.10pm – Manly Sea Eagles v Wollongong Devils (Women’s Open) – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=P38D4OhvL2s4.45pm – Hornsby Lions v Easts Roosters (Men’s Open) – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3z7zuSDnbgw Keep in touch with all of the latest news and information  from the 2014 New State Cup:Website – www.nswtouch.com.au and www.nswtaevents.sportingpulse.net  Facebook – www.facebook.com/nswtouchTwitter – www.twitter.com/nsw_touch (#nswtasc14) Instagram – www.instagram.com/nswtouch Related LinksNSW State Cuplast_img read more

3 days agoBlind: Painful watching Chelsea eclipsing Man Utd

first_imgAbout the authorFreddie TaylorShare the loveHave your say Blind: Painful watching Chelsea eclipsing Man Utdby Freddie Taylor3 days agoSend to a friendShare the loveAjax veteran Daley Blind admits it’s been painful to see Chelsea doing better than Manchester United.United sit 14th in the English top flight – just two points above the relegation zone – following Sunday’s draw with arch-rivals Liverpool.And Blind says it has been difficult to watch the plight of his former side this season.”Of course I’m not happy to see Man Utd and how they’re performing at the moment,” the 29-year-old told a press conference on Tuesday. “I’m still a fan of United and it’s not nice to see.”Regarding Chelsea, they are doing well, they have a good philosophy under a manager who wants to play out from the back. They play different attacking football with a lot of youngsters and that’s nice to see. “From that perspective, it’s good. But if you’re talking about United then I’m not happy about that, of course.” last_img read more

Kentucky Basketball: John Calipari Tells Colin Cowherd He Has To “Go To Church, Ask For Forgiveness” For His John Wall Criticism

first_imgJohn Calipari talks to Colin Cowherd about John Wall.John Calipari Colin Cowherd John WallColin Cowherd likes to criticize John Wall. The ESPN personality does it often on his radio show. For an in-depth look at Cowherd’s distaste for the Washington Wizards’ star point guard, you can read this by the Washington Post‘s Dan Steinberg. This morning, Wall’s college coach, John Calipari, went on Cowherd’s ESPN radio show. During his appearance, Calipari discussed Cowherd’s criticism of his former player. He doesn’t like it. The 56-year-old Wildcats’ coach joked that Cowherd has to “go to church” and “ask for forgiveness” for his Wall hate. Calipari to Colin Cowherd on John Wall hate: “You’ve gotta go to church, ask for forgiveness, let it go.”— Dan Bodner (@DanBodnerKSC) June 5, 2015Here’s video of the interview, courtesy of Sports Grid.This is why Kentucky fans love Calipari so much.last_img read more

Japanese PM Abe meets Dutch counterpart for trade talks

first_imgTHE HAGUE, Netherlands — Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe is visiting the Dutch port city of Rotterdam for talks with his Dutch counterpart as part of preparations to host the leaders of the world’s top 20 economies in Osaka in June.Abe meets Prime Minister Mark Rutte on Wednesday for a boat tour of Rotterdam’s port followed by a dinner at the 185-meter (607-foot) Euromast tower.The leaders are expected to discuss issues including the G-20 summit, trade and Britain’s impending departure from the European Union.The EU and Japan signed a trade deal last year that eliminates about 99 per cent of the tariffs on Japanese goods sold to the bloc. About 94 per cent of the tariffs on European exports to Japan will be lifted, rising to 99 per cent in the future.The Associated Presslast_img read more

Direct tax collection falls short CBDT raises alarm

first_imgNew Delhi: Mar 28 (PTI) The CBDT has rung alarm bells and has asked the Income Tax Department to go for a major assault as the direct tax collection target remains short of about 15 per cent, with the financial year closing less than a week away.On March 26, CBDT Member (Revenue) Neena Kumar shot off a letter to all the regional chiefs of the department stating that the tax collection figures have “been reviewed and it is seen that as against the budget collection target of Rs 12,00,000 crore, only 85.1 per cent of the target at Rs 10,21,251 crore has been collected as on March 23.” Also Read – Thermal coal import may surpass 200 MT this fiscalThe officer, who is responsible to supervise I-T department’s tax collection work across the country, underlined the areas that are sluggish vis-a-vis direct tax collections obtained from personal, corporate and advance tax categories.”The minor head-wise analysis indicates worsening trend of negative growth in regular collections at -6.9 per cent as against -5.2 per cent in the last week. This is an alarming situation which needs immediate attention,” Kumar wrote in the letter. The officer expressed CBDT’s disappointment at this situation and has asked the supervisory tax officials to pull up their socks and ensure no stone remains unturned to achieve the target. Also Read – Food grain output seen at 140.57 mt in current fiscal on monsoon boostThe Central Board of Direct Taxes (CBDT) frames policy for the I-T department and is also its controlling authority that functions from the North Block in the Finance Ministry.”You are aware that regular assessment tax is bench-mark of performance as it is based upon quality of demand raised which can further be converted into actual collections,” Kumar wrote in the letter.”Board (the CBDT) has discussed strategies through various communications with you (senior officials) and it was expected that by this time your strategies would have succeeded resulting into improved collections. However, the figures of collection give a different account,” she added. She asked the department to take “all possible actions urgently, especially with respect to recovery of arrear and current demand, so as to achieve the targets for collection.”The CBDT has been worried over the direct tax collection work for quite some time and Board Chairman P C Mody had recently held a video-conference with the top brass of the department across the country and discussed strategies to boost the collection figures to be achieved by the end of the 2018-19 fiscal on March 31. Both Mody and Kumar are undertaking daily updates on the issue. They are monitoring advance tax and arrear collections, enforcement action to check tax evasion and subsequent surrender of undisclosed income, a senior official said.last_img read more

Track and Field Kendall Sheffield breaks 60meter record in Ohio States final

In the final meet before the Big Ten Indoor Track and Field Championships, the Ohio State men’s and women’s track teams placed in the top two spots of 25 different events in the Buckeye Tune Up on Friday at French Field House, highlighted by Kendall Sheffield’s record-breaking sprint. Men’s recapSheffield, the Ohio State football team’s cornerback, broke the Ohio State’s 60-meter dash record and the French Field House record with a time of 6.663. The previous team record held by Jonathan Burrell and was 6.665. “It feels great to break the record,” Sheffield said. That time currently puts him at 24th in the nation. With his goal being one of 16 competitors at the national championships in March, Sheffield will have to trim off 0.03 of his time to earn a bid.Junior Coty Cobb reached the 5.41-meter mark on the pole vault for a personal record and stand as qualifier for nationals with one competition remaining. This was the goal for Cobb heading into this meet, and before he even landed on the pit, he was already celebrating what he had accomplished.“I was trying not to celebrate too hard and get ready for the next jump,” Cobb said.Cobb’s teammate senior Cole Gorski, whose personal best 5.47 meters is currently inside the top 16, had a disappointing day, but still finished second at 5.12 meters.The next jump was at 5.49 meters, or 18 feet, a mark that would’ve placed Cobb inside the top 10 in the nation. The closest he came to jumping that height was on his first attempt, when his body grazed the bar just enough to dislodge it.With one meet remaining before the national indoor championships, the No. 20 Ohio State men’s team has six athletes currently qualified, including top long jump qualifier Zach Bazile.Women’s recapIn throwing, junior Sade Olatoye finished second in weight throw at 22.61 meters. The distance would have broken her previous record she held at the French Field House had it not been already surpassed by Cincinnati’s senior Annette Echikunwoke, who recorded a 24.78-meter throw, the best in the nation so far this year.Olatoye did go on to win shot put with a throw of 16.78 meters.Freshman Anavia Battle continues to lead the Buckeyes’ sprinters, this time winning the 60-meter dash with a time of 7.43. Although she didn’t compete in the 200-meter dash, Ohio State didn’t have any trouble with the event for freshman Syaira Richardson finished first with a time of 24.69. Freshman Brooke Mangas got her first collegiate first place finish in high jump. She won with a jump 1.63 meters. In a rematch at pole vault from last week’s Music City Challenge meet, Cincinnati’s junior Brooke Catherine finished first at 4.11 meters ahead of senior Madison Roberts, who finished second at 4.01. Ohio State sophomore Megan Hoffman finished fourth (3.91).Ohio State heads off to the Big Ten Indoor Championships next weekend in Geneva, Ohio. read more

Softball No 18 Ohio State swept to begin Big Ten play against

Ohio State junior infielder Emily Clark makes a tag on a Wright State runner on Sep. 24. Credit: Gretchen Rudolph | For The LanternIndiana began Big Ten play with a bang, sweeping the No. 18 Ohio State softball team in all three games the two teams played this weekend, outscoring the Buckeyes 19-4 in the three games.Indiana (10-21, 3-0 Big Ten) took control of the series from the beginning, holding the Buckeyes (19-7, 0-3 Big Ten) to just two hits in the first game of the series.Indiana’s junior pitcher Tara Trainer, a player Ohio State head coach Kelly Kovach Schoenly described as “very competitive” and said would be one to watch for in this series, pitched all seven innings of the 6-0 shutout. The six unanswered runs for the Hoosiers came in pairs starting with two runs in the first inning, followed by two more in the second and another two in the fourth.The Buckeyes got on the board in the second game, but it wasn’t enough to take down the Hoosiers.Ohio State scored two runs in the top of the fourth inning. Junior catcher Emily Clark doubled and advanced to third on a throw while junior shortstop Lilli Piper made it to home. Clark later scored after senior first baseman Ashley Goodwin reached on a fielder’s choice.In the bottom of the fifth, however, Indiana put five runs on the board that inning alone. Freshman catcher Maddie Westmoreland’s home run contributed three of the five runs.Ohio State grabbed one run back after Clark scored in the top of the sixth, but the Hoosiers responded with four more runs in the bottom half to put the game out of reach. Ohio State was not able to get back in the game in the seventh, bringing Game Two to a close and giving the Hoosiers their second win of the weekend, ending the game at 9-3. The Buckeyes kicked off the third game with a home run by Piper in the top of the first.The Hoosiers tied the game in the bottom half of the first, however, with sophomore right fielder Gabbi Jenkins scoring on a wild pitch.The score remained at 1-1 until senior shortstop Rachel O’Malley stepped up with the bases loaded and hit a bases-clearing double to give Indiana the 4-1 lead. That base hit proved to be the game-winner for the Hoosiers.Ohio State will have its first home game at Buckeye Stadium at 6 p.m. Wednesday when it hosts Kentucky. read more