Debunking anti-circumcision pseudoscience

The National Coalition For Men (NCFM) published a letter to the Gates Foundation dated 14 July that argues against circumcision as an HIV-prevention measure in sub-Saharan Africa. The letter was written by Peter Adler and Steven Svoboda and submitted by the NCFM's president, Harry Crouch. Stephen Moreton has annotated the NCFM letter, pointing out its errors. This is a slightly edited version of the annotations he has sent to the Gates Foundation.

Tags: circumcision  |  47 comments

Solal's SLAPP suit

"Short of a gun to the head, a greater threat to First Amendment expression can scarcely be imagined." - New York Supreme Court Judge J. Nicholas Colabella

Tags: Solal, free speech  |  1 comment

South Africans are living longer

On 6 August 2001, President Thabo Mbeki wrote a letter to his Minister of Health, Manto Tshabalala-Msimang, questioning the priorities of South Africa's social spending.

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CANSA promotes untested supplement

Search the Internet for cancer organisations in South Africa and the top site returned will likely be the Cancer Association of South Africa (CANSA).

Tags: CANSA, cancer, fish oil  |  0 comments

Pet food advertising is better regulated than complementary medicines advertising

In this article, which is quite technical but nevertheless an important read, Professor Roy Jobson of Rhodes University's Faculty of Pharmacy's Pharmacology Division explains that we should consider using the current advertising code for pet food as a guide to improving the code for complementary medicines.

Tags: ASA  |  0 comments

PEPFAR's anti-prostitution pledge is bad for health

The US President's Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR) should end its anti-prositution pledge. It harms sex workers and it's bad for health, especially HIV prevention and treatment.

Three words doctors should use more often: "I don't know"

In both clinical practice and guideline development, doctors need to get better at saying "I don't know".

Tags: HIV  |  0 comments

The stavudine debate

At the opening of the SA HIV Clinicians Society there was an excellent debate on the stavudine (also known as d4T) 20mg trial. Francois Venter argued for and Eric Goemaere against. Dozens of Treatment Action Campaign members demonstrated against the trial and participated in the debate.

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Vitamin supplements: so many trials, so little use

Do daily micronutrient (or multivitamin) supplements improve health? This has been a hotly debated question. In recent years several large studies have been published and received wide publicity. But the results have been inconsistent.

Phase out D4T in poor countries

In 2010 the World Health Organisation (WHO) changed the HIV treatment guidelines for poor countries and recommended switching from stavudine (D4T) to tenofovir disoproxil fumarate (TDF) for all patients on first line treatment. Stavudine (D4T) was previously one of three antiretroviral drugs (ARVs) recommended as first-line treatment but serious side effects, seen in many studies and treatment programmes, led to calls to use better, less toxic drugs.

Tags: HIV, stavudine  |  0 comments

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