World renowned professors visit Chatsworth Hospice

Seen are the delegates together with members of the hospice.

The Chatsworth Hospice Regional welcomed world renowned epidemiologists to share information on HIV and its pandemonium, recently.  South African clinical infectious disease epidemiologist, Prof Salim Abdool Karim together with his wife, an epidemiologist and vice president (SA Region) of the African Academy of Sciences, Prof Quarraisha Abdool Karim graced the Chatsworth Hospice with their presence.

A total of 120 delegates from all around Chatsworth and neighbouring areas welcomed them with standing ovations. Prof Salim Karim spoke on ‘Global perspectives on HIV and AIDS’ and said that in 2015, 36, 7 million people were living with HIV.

“1, 1 million deaths occurred and 2, 1 million new infections were found.  Therefore, HIV should be given the highest priority for care as it is one of the top ten contributors of mortality and morbidity in the world.  When one looks at South Africa, we hog 19 percent of the world’s infections yet South Africa has one percent of the world’s population.

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These are shocking statistics so many years after the discovery of this major health catastrophe over the last three years. There hasn’t been much of a difference and two million new infections are detected each year.  The global challenge is that a high rate of infection is noted in women and women from 16 to 24 years are the ones mostly infected.  Research has shown that men in their 30 and above years are responsible for these infections in these young girls. Males, however, are infected in their productive years from 24 years old,” said the professor.

He explained that the only way one could stop this virus is by keeping girls uninfected. Prof Quarraisha Karim explained why women are more vulnerable to HIV and Aids.

She said, “Con-current infections assist the spread of this disease.  Reducing HIV in young women is the only answer to the down trend of this major scourge.  Biomedical interventions alone cannot solve this challenge but gender power and value of women must be given priority.”

The programme director, Honey Allee explained that sexual partnering between young women and older men is one of the driving forces together with the added stigma driving this condition.

The president of Chatsworth Hospice, Kogie Singh congratulated these renowned researchers for their sterling job in not only leading the research on tenofvir gel and other trials but for the indispensable and easy explanations given during their presentations.  “Both the professors are epitomes of hope for us South Africans,” she said.

Article: Bianca Lalbahadur 

 

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