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21 July 2024

Key programmatic and policy considerations for introducing multipurpose prevention (MPT) methods: reflections from healthcare providers and key stakeholders in South Africa

Multipurpose prevention technologies (MPTs) simultaneously prevent HIV, other sexually transmitted infections, and/or unintended pregnancy. Key gatekeepers, [healthcare providers (HCPs) and key stakeholders] require proactive engagement before product implementation. This manuscript identifies HCP demand creation strategies, key stakeholder considerations for the adoption of MPTs in South Africa.

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21 July 2024

Experiences of oral pre-exposure prophylaxis use among heterosexual men accessing sexual and reproductive health services in South Africa: a qualitative study

South African men face a substantial burden of HIV and are less likely to test for HIV and initiate antiretroviral therapy if tested positive and more likely to die from AIDS-related causes than women. In addition to condoms and circumcision, guidelines provide for the use of daily oral pre-exposure prophylaxis…

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21 July 2024

Baseline preferences for oral pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP) or dapivirine intravaginal ring for HIV prevention among adolescent girls and young women in South Africa, Uganda and Zimbabwe (MTN-034/IPM-045 study)

Adolescent girls and young women (AGYW) in sub-Saharan Africa are disproportionately affected by the HIV epidemic and face an array of challenges using proven behavioral and biomedical prevention methods. To address the urgent need for expanding prevention options, we evaluated the baseline preferences of HIV prevention methods among participants enrolled…

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21 July 2024

Prevention method preferences and factors influencing hypothetical choice among women in South Africa: a survey exploring opportunities for a multipurpose prevention technology implant

South African women bear an intersecting burden of HIV, sexually transmitted infections (STIs) and unintended pregnancy. Multipurpose prevention technologies (MPTs) are a class of products that address multiple needs and have the potential to improve uptake and use of prevention products.

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18 July 2024

HPV vaccination switching to single-dose and private schools to get government supply

Professor Sinead Delany-Moretlwe, Director of Research at Wits RHI, told Spotlight that existing data suggests “if you’re on antiretroviral therapy, you’re likely to have the same response to a single dose as someone who is not living with HIV”. A very small fraction of girls in South Africa are HIV…

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9 July 2024

How can we help pregnant women better cope with heat?

Pairing research with action. That's the question that drives Gloria Maimela, who heads the climate and health group at the University of the Witwatersrand's Reproductive Health HIV Institute in South Africa, a country where periods of extreme heat have been linked to significant spikes in mortality. "We've spent a lot of…

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8 July 2024

SA professor appointed co-principal investigator in landmark HIV prevention network

Sinéad Delany-Moretlwe has been selected as a co-principal investigator for the groundbreaking HIV Prevention Trials Network (HPTN).  HPTN is a collaborative clinical trials network with 67 sites in North and South America, Africa and South East Asia. It develops and tests the safety and efficacy of interventions designed o prevent the acquisition and transmission…

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3 July 2024

Prof Helen Rees Delivered a Keynote Address at the International Pandemic Sciences Conference 2024

On 1 July 2024, Prof Helen Rees, Executive Director of Wits RHI, delivered a keynote address at the International Pandemic Sciences Conference 2024, hosted by the Pandemic Sciences Institute at the University of Oxford. The conference, which took place from 1-2 July 2024, brought together representatives from academia, industry, policy,…

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28 June 2024

Gophelega Ekurhuleni Cluster Manager Named in Mail & Guardian’s 200 Young South Africans 2024 List

We are thrilled to announce that Bokang Jackson Morure, Cluster Manager within the Gophelega Ekurhuleni District, has been recognised in the Health & Wellness category of Mail & Guardian's 200 Young South Africans 2024. Bokang oversees operations across eight clinics and one hospital at the Gophelega Ekurhuleni site. He leads…

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26 June 2024

SAPRIN Concludes Successful Annual Conference

SAPRIN concluded its annual conference on 26 June 2024, marking a significant shift from an operationally focused Best Practice Workshop to a more holistic and science-focused event. This new approach was well received by attendees, highlighting SAPRIN's commitment to advancing scientific excellence and comprehensive understanding in its field.

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26 June 2024

SAPRIN Annual Conference 2024: Exploring Societies in Motion and Population Health

The SAPRIN Annual Conference commenced on Monday, 24th June 2024, at Wits RHI in Hillbrow, Johannesburg, under the theme "Societies in Motion: Understanding Population Health." This three-day conference serves as a gathering point for experts and stakeholders to delve into critical issues impacting population health in urban environments. Dr Kobus…

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26 June 2024

HPV one-dose jab campaign to now include private schools

The Department of Health has announced that it is moving from a two-dose to a single-dose HPV (human papilloma virus) vaccine regimen and that pupils in private schools will also be offered the government-subsidised jabs.

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25 June 2024

Researchers Are Optimistic About The Early Findings Of HIV Prevention Injection Study

Early results from an HIV prevention trial show that an injectable antiretroviral drug given twice a year can prevent infection in cisgender women.  “This is the first HIV prevention trial ever in history to show zero HIV infections with an intervention,” says Professor Thesla Palanee-Phillips, director of clinical trials at Wits RHI in…

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21 June 2024

Professor Helen Rees discusses African Vaccine Manufacturing Accelerator’s launch during Al Jazeera interview

The African Vaccine Manufacturing Accelerator, launched in Paris on 20 June 2024, aims to enhance local vaccine production in Africa through financial incentives. Prof Helen Rees highlighted the challenges of delayed vaccine access in Africa during an interview with Al Jazeera.

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20 June 2024

World leaders launch programme to boost vaccine production in Africa

"By the time we got really good access to vaccines here [in Africa], many countries had already experienced COVID outbreaks, many people had immunity from natural infection. The impact of the vaccines was much less here simply because we got them too late,” Prof Helen Rees, Executive Director of Wits…

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19 June 2024

Heat exposure during pregnancy can lead to a lifetime of health problems

Climate change is one of the greatest public health threats humanity has ever faced. Global warming is part of this threat. Increasing temperatures are linked to deteriorating health, especially in vulnerable populations, including pregnant women and children.

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19 June 2024

HPV vaccination switching to single-dose and private schools to get government supply

A decade into South Africa’s HPV vaccination programme, the health department is switching from a two-dose to a single-dose vaccine regimen and girls in private schools are set to start receiving government subsidised jabs. The vaccine provided, GlaxoSmithKline’s Cervarix, will remain the same. The move is backed by evidence showing…

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19 June 2024

SA adopts single dose HPV vaccine regimen, extends govt-subsidised jabs to private schools

Cervical cancer is the second leading cause of cancer in women in South Africa. To protect women against cervical cancer, the government launched a national human papilloma virus (HPV) vaccination campaign in 2014.

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19 June 2024

HPV vaccination switching to single dose and private schools to get government supply

Prof Sinead Delany-Moretlwe, Director of Research at Wits RHI, told Spotlight that existing data suggests “if you’re on antiretroviral therapy, you’re likely to have the same response to a single dose as someone who is not living with HIV”.

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19 June 2024

Champion and Coach: Supporting men living with HIV to stay on treatment

In South Africa, 94 percent of men with HIV know their status, but only 71 percent of those are on treatment. Thato Ncosta, a 24-year-old from Welkom, South Africa, is one of those men living with HIV and on treatment. He is also a champion of the power of HIV…

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18 June 2024

Nokuthela Ngwenya CHC launches youth-focused health initiative

Nokuthela Ngwenya CHC teams up with Soul City and Wits RHI to introduce Adolescent and Youth Friendly Services (AYFS).

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10 June 2024

OptiMVacc-SA Stakeholder Meeting: Optimizing Maternal Vaccination in South Africa

On 10 June 2024, an event was held at Wits RHI as the Maternal and Child Health team, led by Prof. Lee Fairlie, and the Implementation Science team, under the leadership of Prof. Saiqa Mullick, hosted a pivotal stakeholder meeting. The main focus of this workshop was to gather stakeholders…

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5 June 2024

Prof Helen Rees Recognised as 2024 Rockefeller Foundation Bellagio Honouree

Wits RHI is proud to celebrate the remarkable achievement of our Executive Director, Professor Helen Rees, who has been named as one of the honourees for the 2024 Rockefeller Foundation Bellagio Center Residency Program.  The Rockefeller Foundation Bellagio Center Residency Program is renowned for bringing together outstanding professionals from diverse…

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28 May 2024

Wits RHI’s Schools Programme participated during PEPFAR, USAID and CDC Interagency visit for the DREAMS at Siyanakekela Community Centre in Johannesburg Health District

On 14 May 2024, a high-level delegation from PEPFAR, USAID, and the CDC visited the Johannesburg Health District to evaluate the implementation and impact of the DREAMS programme. The visit included a meeting with officials and a joint site inspection with DREAMS implementing partners, including Wits RHI, NACOSA, HIVSA, PACT_Achieve, and Future…

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22 May 2024

Wits RHI Receives Funding from Elton John AIDS Foundation and Launches ‘What We Want’ Study

Elton John AIDS Foundation Funding The Key Populations Programme is elated to announce the receipt of funding from the Elton John AIDS Foundation (EJAF) in May 2024 to conduct a mixed method prospective study to assess the acceptability, feasibility, and effectiveness of the use of HIV self-testing (HIVST) via primary…

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22 May 2024

Wits RHI Schools Programme Participates in DREAMS Programme Interagency Visit by PEPFAR, USAID, and CDC

Buffalo City Metro was visited by a delegation from PEPFAR, USAID, and CDC, consisting of representatives from their South Africa local mission and Washington DC office. The visit occurred over 2 days from May 9-10, 2024. The purpose of the visit was to observe the various services provided by USAID…

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20 May 2024

Health Programmes Team Shines Bright at INTEREST Conference 2024

Wits RHI’s Health Programmes Team made a resounding impact at the INTEREST Conference held from 14-17 May 2024, in Cotonou, Benin. The team's triumvirate, comprising Khensani Nkuna, Mafa Motloutsi, and Jackie Burgess, showcased their groundbreaking poster abstracts, affirming Wits RHI's prominent position in the realm of HIV research and intervention.…

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20 May 2024

Project PrEP Excels at INTEREST Conference 2024

Wits RHI's Implementation Science programme, particularly Project PrEP, showcased its prowess and innovation at the esteemed INTEREST Conference 2024, held in Cotonou, Benin. Represented by the capable Hlologelo Ramatsoma, the Project PrEP team made significant contributions that underscored Wits RHI's commitment to advancing HIV prevention strategies in South Africa and…

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16 May 2024

Wits RHI’s Key Populations Team Presents COP 23 (Year 2/FY 25) to USAID Leadership

On 15 May 2024, the Key Populations Team presented the COP 23 (Year 2/FY 25) implementation plan to USAID leadership. This platform provided an opportunity for the team to engage with senior managers from the agency and learn from USAID technical advisors representing the broader care and treatment program. Wits…

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14 May 2024

Key Populations Hillbrow Site Hosts South-South HIV Prevention Learning Network

On Tuesday, 14 May 2024, the Wits RHI Key Populations Hillbrow site hosted the South-South HIV Prevention Learning Network. Organised by Genesis Analytics, this Learning Visit welcomed 15 stakeholders from Nigeria and Côte d'Ivoire to South Africa for a week-long program running from 13th-17th May 13th-17th. The primary focus was…

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11 May 2024

A century after the first TB vaccine, a new vaccine is reigniting hope

“The prospect of having a really good option for TB prevention that doesn’t rely on people having to take treatments or go to regular clinic visits is huge.”– Professor Lee Fairlie, Wits RHI

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10 May 2024

In 2023, more than 8900 boys and girls aged 15–24 years were infected with HIV and 150 000 young girls were pregnant in South Africa

Speaking at the launch event in Alexandra, Linda Mazibuko from WITS RHI, which works closely with the Department of Health emphasised young people’s rights to bodily integrity and accessing healthcare services.

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10 May 2024

Ward 21 CRS Hosts BIYELA Protocol Training

On 10 May 2024, the Wits RHI Research Team at Ward 21 CRS, led by Prof. Sinead Delany-Moretlwe (Director of Research at Wits RHI), welcomed visitors including Dr. Lori Newman (Deputy Director STI & Gynecology) and Dr. Lyou-Fu Ma (Portfolio and Platform Lead) from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation,…

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8 May 2024

Prof Thesla Palanee-Phillips Attends MATRIX Collaborative Two-Day Retreat in the US

Prof Thesla Palanee-Phillips, Wits RHI Director of Clinical Trials and Deputy Director of the USAID-MATRIX Award, recently participated in a two-day retreat held in Pittsburgh, USA. The Magee-Womens Research Institute and Foundation organised the retreat to advance innovative HIV prevention options for women through the MATRIX initiative. Attended by MATRIX…

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30 April 2024

Tshwane and Ekurhuleni Gophelega Team Supporting Gauteng’s Teenage Pregnancy Prevention Strategy Launch

On 30th April 2024, the Tshwane and Ekurhuleni Gophelega AYFS and Community team stood in support of Gauteng's Teenage Pregnancy Prevention Strategy launch. The event, graced by Gauteng's MEC of Health, marked a pivotal moment with key departments like Maternal Child Health (MCH), Adolescents and Youth Friendly Services (AYFS), Integrated…

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25 April 2024

FHI 360 and partners introduce injectable HIV prevention method as part of research study

In a recently published article by FHI360. Nicolette Naidoo, Wits RHI’s principal investigator for CATALYST in South Africa, emphasizes, "The CATALYST journey is not ours alone." She underscores the importance of working closely with governmental health ministries, civil society organisations, and communities to ensure a comprehensive response to the prevention…

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25 April 2024

CG Vincent Spera’s Last Visit to Masilo Clinic

In a symbolic gesture marking the conclusion of his term, the US Consular General, Mr. Vincent Spera, recently conducted his final facility visit in the Free State Province. His destination was the Masilo Clinic, a beacon of hope and health in the heart of Masilonyana Subdistrict, Lejweleputswa district. This visit,…

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22 April 2024

Empowering young people is at the heart of Ntsiki Khunju’s efforts to change the world

“Wits RHI is where I got exposed to the concept of STI management, clinical research into vaccines and HIV prevention. I realised that I could be a person who connects and bridges the community and the science.”

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8 April 2024

Ekurhuleni Gophelega Team Takes Center Stage on U=U Podcast Series

Dr. Mpho Maraisane-Mtembu, an Advanced Clinical Care Doctor, recently took part in a series of illuminating interviews featured on the U=U Podcast series, hosted by Jozi FM. Spanning from March 13 to April 2, 2024, these interviews delved into crucial topics surrounding HIV treatment and the concept of U=U (Undetectable…

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5 April 2024

Dr. Gloria Maimela Highlighted in The Economist for Insights on Climate and Health

The spotlight shines brightly on Dr. Gloria Maimela, the Director of Climate and Health, as she graces the pages of The Economist in an illuminating feature titled "Recent Heatwaves are a Harbinger of Africa's Future." This insightful article delves into the critical connection between climate change and human health. She…

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3 April 2024

Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation’s Trevor Mundel Engages with Wits RHI: Advancing Global Health through Innovation

In this photo, Trevor Mundel is seen interacting with site staff and CAB members, discussing the impact of tuberculosis, ongoing vaccine research for M72 trials, and emphasizing the crucial role of innovative tools in the fight against TB. Dr Trevor Mundel, President of Global Health at the Bill and Melinda…

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21 March 2024

Novel Vaginal Ring Prototypes Undergo Crucial Testing for HIV and Pregnancy Prevention

Exciting developments are underway in the realm of women's health as prototypes of a groundbreaking vaginal ring design undergo rigorous testing. This study aims to refine and finalise a dual-purpose ring capable of preventing both HIV transmission and unplanned pregnancies. The initiative builds upon valuable insights gained from previous studies,…

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19 March 2024

Trial for Tuberculosis Vaccine Begins in South Africa

On 19 March 2024, a significant milestone was reached in the global fight against tuberculosis (TB) as the first jabs of an experimental TB vaccine were administered at a clinical trial site affiliated with Wits RHI in Johannesburg, South Africa. This trial marks the commencement of a large Phase 3…

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8 December 2023

Community Liaison Officer and NextGen Squad member on the MOSAIC project has been featured on Exposure

Celimpilo Nkambule, a Community Liaison Officer and NextGen Squad member on the MOSAIC project has been featured on Exposure, USAID’s photo story platform! The photo story focuses on a day in Celi’s life and what motivates her as a young woman in South Africa who is passionate about advocating for…

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8 December 2023

HIV prevention strategies must evolve as ARVs change the perception of risk

Prof Sinead Delany-Moretlwe was interviewed in the article. HIV prevention strategies must evolve as ARVs change the perception of risk. (Date – 1 Dec 2023)

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8 December 2023

Integrating HIV and NCD care is critical but not straight-forward

Wits RHI's Josephine Otchere-Darko, Programme Head for Ekurhuleni's Health Programmes, provides insights in the below article. Integrating HIV and NCD care is critical but not straight-forward, clinicians say. (Date – 4 Dec 2023)

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2 November 2023

New Gonorrhoea Treatment Shows Positive Results in Trial Sponsored by Non-Profit Partnership

Prof Sinead Delany-Moretlwe, principal investigator for the trial in South Africa, said that the trial had been conducted under difficult circumstances during the height of the COVID-19 pandemic. “The huge investment in HIV trial infrastructure has really given South African scientists the capacity to do trials in infectious diseases and…

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31 August 2023

Wits RHI’s Project PrEP- The launch of Project PrEP study

The study will generate real-world data on integrating a new PrEP method, the Dapi-ring, to protect women against sexual transmission of HIV. In 2016 South Africa was one of the first countries in the world to approve and begin the rollout of oral PrEP, or rre-exposure prophylaxis, for populations at…

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5 December 2022

Decoupling of omicron variant infections and severe COVID-19

Vaccines against human papillomavirus (HPV) are the key to controlling cervical cancer in low/middle-income countries (LMICs) where incidence is highest, but there have been limited data from these settings on programme impact on HPV prevalence, and none in a population with endemic HIV infection. Furthermore, for many LMICs, the currently…

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5 November 2022

Impact of one and two human papillomavirus (HPV) vaccine doses on community-level HPV prevalence in South African adolescent girls: study protocol and rationale for a pragmatic before–after design

Machalek D, Rees H, Chikandiwa A, Munthali R, Travill D, Mbulawa Z, Petoumenos K, Delany-Moretlwe S, Kaldor J; HOPE Study team.

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6 October 2022

Building the concept for WHO Evidence Considerations for Vaccine Policy (ECVP): Tuberculosis vaccines intended for adults and adolescents as a test case

Kochhar S, Barreira D, Beattie P, Cavaleri M, Cravioto A, Frick MW, Ginsberg AM, Hudson I, Kaslow DC, Kurtz S, Lienhardt C, Madhi SA, Morgan C, Momeni Y, Patel D, Rees H, Rogalski-Salter T, Schmidt A, Semete-Makokotlela B, Voss G, White RG, Zignol M, Giersing B

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