Summaries of health policy coverage from major news organizations
SAfAIDS Launches Informational Toolkit for Southern African Women About Antiretroviral Drugs
Southern Africa HIV and AIDS Information Dissemination Service, with support from the American Jewish World Service and ActionAid International, on Monday in Harare, Zimbabwe, launched the first women's toolkit, aimed at providing girls and women with practical information about antiretroviral drug therapy, the Herald/AllAfrica.com reports. The toolkit, which will be rolled out across the country this week, is designed to help girls and women make informed decisions regarding HIV/AIDS prevention, support, care and treatment, as well as to help those on antiretrovirals adhere to treatment and support their peers. The kits are available in English, Ndebele and Shona and include diagrams, pictures, fact sheets, posters, activity cards, a calendar, a brochure, an audiocassette and lists of resource materials. The toolkit seeks to address the unique HIV/AIDS treatment concerns of girls and women, including the effects of antiretrovirals on women's physical and emotional health, reproductive and sexual health choices, post-exposure prophylaxis and prevention of mother-to-child HIV transmission, according to SAfAIDS. The toolkit also is user-friendly for illiterate and visually impaired people, the Herald/AllAfrica.com reports. SAfAIDS said it hopes the kit will help mobilize communities and encourage policymakers to protect and promote HIV/AIDS treatment rights of women. SAfAIDS also has organized a series of interactive workshops to train those who educate women on antiretrovirals in Southern Africa. According to the organization, the workshops aim to empower educators to improve their advocacy for medical care for girls and women and counteract HIV/AIDS programs that have been "gender neutral and insensitive," the Herald/AllAfrica.com reports (Herald/AllAfrica.com, 6/21).
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