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Less than half of people living with HIV are on treatment. This means that over half of HIV positive people are not on any treatment. With over 2.1 million new HIV infections globally in the year 2015, this growth must be addressed.

At the moment, the most effective way to treat HIV is by suppressing the virus using antiretroviral therapy (ART). This is a daily pill, taken for the rest of the person’s life, that suppresses the virus. As soon as as someone is diagnosed with HIV they should start ARVs.

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Make Way for the Tutu Tester!



The communities that are the most vulnerable to HIV and TB are remote, populated communities. The Tutu Truck was identified as an essential service to reach these people: bring the health care to them.

The truck specialises in HIV testing, as well a wealth of other essential services it offers full wellness checks, including blood pressure, family planning, and TB testing. What’s more, the service is accessible. Parking near schools or shopping centres, the Tutu Truck tries to ensure that there is no extra cost for a visit. Additionally, the truck stays open until after school has finished, ensuring that patients can find care without missing school or work. This service is especially important for empowering women who are seeking contraception.

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PrEP stands for Pre-Exposure Prophylaxis. It is a daily drug that can be taken by people who don’t have HIV to prevent them from being infected with the virus. It can prevent HIV infection even if the virus enters the body through an exchange of sexual fluids or from an injection.

There are many studies that confirm that PrEP prevents HIV infection from both hetero- and homosexual intercourse, as well as one study that suggests PrEP could also be effective for people who inject drugs.

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Many nurses go through their healthcare career as unsung heroes. Strain and burden are symptoms that many caregivers have to cope with. Since nurses are acclimatised to stressful situations, they may not realise they themselves are stressed.

It’s the perfect time to thank the nurses and caregivers in your life and to pay special attention to how to care for your caregivers.

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We live in an age of incredible luxury. Many people today have never encountered diseases that were once rampant and harmful - all thanks to vaccinations. Unfortunately, not everyone has access to life-saving immunisation due to their remote living conditions or socio-governmental situations. Moreover, some people opt not to vaccinate themselves or their children, even when vaccines are freely available.

There are many reasons that people cite for opposition to vaccinations. These can be philosophical, religious or concerns about safety. Anti-vaccination movements have been around since vaccines were first created. Today, the internet is flooded with a lot of confusing and contradictory information about vaccinations. The same arguments and misconceptions are seen over and over again.

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There is a vaccine for TB, the BCG (bacille Calmette-Guerin); however, it has some limitations because immunocompromised people cannot receive it. The BCG is nearly a century old, and there is a global effort to find a new, updated version. The Desmond Tutu HIV Foundation (DTHF), along with the South African Tuberculosis Vaccine Initiative (SATVI) are trialing a few different variations of vaccines in the search for increased efficacy.

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Vaccines protect us from serious illnesses like mumps, polio and rubella. These diseases, which used to be harmful, are today are no longer a threat in situations where child vaccinations are routine. However, an HIV vaccine remains elusive. The Desmond Tutu HIV Foundation (DTHF) is conducting HIV vaccine trials in the hope that one day we will have an effective HIV vaccine to prevent HIV infection.

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Women in blue | Tyler Golato DTHF
To commemorate World Immunisation Week, we are sharing some of our research in HIV immunity trials. The Desmond Tutu HIV Foundation (DTHF) is testing an infusion of HIV antibodies that are administered intravenously for HIV-negative people. The drip has a similar function to a vaccine; it introduces HIV-fighting antibodies to the patient’s immune system. If successful, this drip could prevent many new incidences of HIV in high-risk communities.

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Polio vaccine | Unicef Guinea
The Desmond Tutu HIV Foundation (DHTF) has been researching HIV and providing outreach around Cape Town for over a decade. This includes research on the elusive HIV vaccine. This World Immunization Week 2017, we want to share some of the history of immunization, what research is ongoing right now and where vaccines will be in the future.

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