South African team leads study on anti-HIV gel

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South African team leads study on anti-HIV gel

first_imgThe Facts 001 study will enrol 2 200women aged 18 to 30 years at seventrial sites across South Africa to testthe effectiveness and safety of tenofovirgel to reduce HIV infection in women.(Image: actup.org)MEDIA CONTACTS• Salim Abdool KarimCaprisa+27 31 260 4548RELATED ARTICLES• Anti-Aids gel offers hope• New research key to HIV treatment• HIV vaccine hope for Africans • HIV vaccine breaks new groundNosimilo RamelaA South African team of researchers will soon lead a major follow-up clinical trial to confirm the effectiveness and safety of tenofovir gel, an antiretroviral microbicide, which has been proven to reduce HIV infection in women.The clinical trial, named the Facts 001 study, will expand on the findings of the initial phase IIb study, called Caprisa 004, which were presented last year. The Caprisa 004 study examined the concept of using a product for Aids treatment in HIV prevention.The Durban-based Centre for the Aids Programme of Research in South Africa (Caprisa) put 889 women on the study over two years. They found that a vaginal gel containing the antiretroviral drug tenofovir was 39% effective in reducing HIV risk when used before and after sex. It was 54% effective when used more consistently, and also halved the incidence of genital herpes infections.However, Caprisa 004 was a small trial and was not designed for licensure purposes. In order for the gel to be licensed for distribution and use, another study with more participants needed to be conducted.Prof Helen Rees, executive director of the Wits Reproductive Health and HIV Institute, will be leading the Facts 001 study.She said: “If we’re going to do licensure, we’ve got to demonstrate safety in thousands of women. We don’t have enough safety data yet. Through this new study we want to build up the body of knowledge of this gel so that we can put all of this data together and, assuming that we have got an effective product, apply for licensure.”Rees said the objectives of the study are to confirm the Caprisa 004 results in larger and more diverse populations, as the initial study was only done on two populations in KwaZulu-Natal where the HIV incidence is extremely high.The Facts 001 study will examine the effectiveness of the gel against HIV in different sorts of populations where the HIV incidence is lower, in other parts of the country.Honouring the unsung heroes“We are very pleased to be associated with the Facts 001 study and hope that the results of this study will confirm the positive Caprisa 004 results, making it possible to provide a technology that can help protect women against HIV and Aids,” said Derek Hanekom, deputy minister of science and technology.Funded by South Africa’s Department of Science and Technology, the Department of Health and the US Agency for International Development, the Facts 001 study plans to enrol 2 200 women aged 18 to 30 years at seven trial sites across South Africa.This will be the first South African-led team of scientists to conduct HIV research at seven centres, said Rees. She said international scientists collaborating with local peers usually led multi-site trials.“We are very proud of the South African researchers who constantly prove that they are world-class,” said Hanekom. “We would also like to honour the women who are an integral part of these studies – they are the unsung heroes.”last_img read more

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Port Elizabeth school a champion in recycling

first_imgIt takes a community when it comes to recycling and green initiatives, says Kabega Primary School, winners of the Plastics|SA 2016 Clean Up & Recycle competition.Learners at Kabega Primary School in Port Elizabeth celebrate Earth Day. The school won the Plastics|SA 2016 Clean Up & Recycle competition. (Image supplied)Melissa JavanA grandmother who brought in newspapers that she had collected at her old her age home is one of the contributors to the recycling project at Kabega Primary School in Port Elizabeth. The school recently won the Plastics|SA 2016 Cleanup & Recycle Competition.Educating peopleJacques Lightfoot, the sustainability manager at Plastics|SA, said that the initiative was founded in 2005 as The Fantastic Plastics SA school competition. In 2016, a total of 2,500 learners participated. The competition began in July and ran until October 2016, with final judging in November.“The purpose of the competition was to encourage schools, businesses and community members to get involved with Clean-up Month in September,” explained Lightfoot. “Only the projects get evaluated and we do not conduct any monitoring of the schools, as we let their projects show their success.”Participating schools had to write a short report about their initiatives and submit photographs. Brand South Africa’s Play Your Part initiative is a partner in Cleanup & Recycle, which last year had the theme “Play Your Part … Let’s Clean-Up South Africa!”One of Kabega Primary School’s initiatives is cleaning up the river and the beach. Gideon Labuschagne and Bianca Deysel are part of the initiative to collect water for farmers in the Free State, during drought. (Image supplied)The winnersThe top three schools were Kabega Primary in Port Elizabeth, Vaalpark Primary in Vaalpark, and Kragbron Primary in Witbank, Mpumalanga.Winning organisations were Clean-up & Recycle Klerksdorp in North West, Fichardt Park Neighbourhood Association in Free State, and Greater Tygerberg Partnership in Bellville, Western Cape.Lightfoot said in a press release that entries were judged based on how many participants were involved in the respective projects. “[We judged] whether they managed to involve their community.”Kabega Primary School principal Andrew Jonas (left) with Grade 1 learners Natalie de Jager, Cloe Jantjies, Gareth van Heerden and Tanya de Kock, as well as deputy principal Corrie van Eck; the school received a bench from Plastics|SA as winners of the Plastics|SA 2016 Cleanup & Recycle Competition. (Image supplied)Lightfoot added: “Kabega Primary was a clear winner and stood out for us because of the amount of recycling and other environmental and sustainability work it does … It is an amazing school that is clearly dedicated to making a difference in its environment as it organised clean-ups in Baakens River Valley, Willows and Seaview.”It’s not about the competitionAdele Botha, co-ordinator of the green projects at Kabega Primary School, said they had been undertaking green initiatives for the past four years. The school, for example, used a solar geyser.It had an enviro-committee consisting of teachers who organised the projects and wrote regular reports on the initiatives. “The whole school takes part in our green initiatives,” said Botha.Learners collected things such as bottles, lids and plastic bags, which they brought to school. “We have a group of Grade 6 learners who are in charge of making sure the recycling station stays clean,” she added.Recycling should be a lifestyle, which was why the school got the parents and the community involved. “The older generation are being taught by the children to do the right thing. This is really life-changing. We are not doing this to be in a competition.”Botha said the surrounding community got involved in their initiatives, even the police. They were trying to get better at cleaning up their environment every year. “We also do regular beach and river clean-ups.”AchievementsThey had been working with The Waste Trade Company in Port Elizabeth for four years, Botha said. “They have 230 schools that do recycling. For the four quarters of 2015 and 2016 we were the winning school. For the last quarter of 2016, we recycled material of 12,990kg.”In November 2016, they won the Eastern Cape’s Top Green Award for small business. “For the past three years we have represented the Eastern Cape in the Sasol Enviro Quiz in Gariep.”Kabega Primary has also undertaken a project with the Sweethearts Foundation. For this, the learners and community collect plastic bread clips. For every 50,000 of these bread clips, one wheelchair is donated to a child in need.Would you like to use this article in your publication or on your website? See Using Brand South Africa materiallast_img read more

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GeoTour Spotlight: Florida’s Operation Recreation (GT3D)

first_img SharePrint Related Hidden Gem (something only the locals know)Step back in time and discover more about the Native Americans that once inhabited Florida at the Crystal River Archaeological State Park. Locate the cache while learning about why this site has served as a vital ceremonial center for 1,600 years. Or head on down to Bahia Honda State Park where you can interject caching with snorkeling coral reefs.Lovers Key State ParkPrizesFind 20 caches and win the Official Operation Recreation Geocoin. Kids can win too!  If they discover all six nature cards, they win an Operation Recreation Kids Geocoin!Operation Recreation GeoTour GeocoinWhat geocachers are sayingCarrot Killer and I braved the heat to ride our bikes and explore the Keys. We love visiting state parks, and we have the Florida Geo-Tour in mind as a fun challenge to complete. We loved riding the trails and hitting up the beach at this park. CK made the find on his one, and we were happy to sign for our first Florida State Park cache.       — LadyBlackCat949 After the Manatee talk, we headed to this cache. It was very windy today because of the incoming storm, so it was a nice break to be inside. We had a wonderful time. We went to the river viewing platform afterwards and saw a wild manatee swimming in the river. TFTC FloridaParkService! — Mahout_Have found 50+ ORGT caches and got our coin long ago. Not sure how it is that we never got this ORGT that is not too far (about 25 miles) from our home. Just after we got the cache, it started to rain and we got soaked on our way back to the geomobile. Beautiful park. TFTF. — caviar42Florida Caverns State Park Location:Florida’s 171 award-winning state parksFavorite Points:#749Operation Recreation GeoTour stretches from Pensacola to Key West and includes 71 award winning Florida State Parks and Trails.Bahia Honda State ParkFlorida’s state parks and trails inspire residents and visitors with recreation opportunities and scenic beauty. Print out your GeoTour Tracking Sheet and the Kids GeoTour Tracking Sheet and come explore nearly 800,000 acres, 100 miles of beaches, and more than 1,600 miles trails.Must See (popular tourist attraction)While caching, don’t forget to take some time to soak in the striking features of Florida State Parks. Gaze upon the outstanding floral architecture at Alfred B. Maclay Gardens State Park and work your way through webs of brick walkways leading you to secret gardens and reflection ponds to locate the hidden cache treasure. Get invigorated while making the five-mile drive into Kissimmee Prairie Preserve State Park to cache within the 54,000-acre preserve protecting Florida’s dry prairie. Be sure to keep your eyes peeled for an array of endangered plants and animals!Kissimmee State Park Meadowlarkcenter_img Find out more about the Operation Recreation GeoTour here.Note: All the above information was provided by the GeoTour host. Copy has been edited by Geocaching HQ.Share with your Friends:Morelast_img read more

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AI flight skids off runway in Pune

first_imgPune: Passengers on Delhi-Pune Air India flight AI 849 had a close shave after it overshot the 2,535-metre runway at the Lohegaon Airport in Pune, forcing an emergency evacuation of those aboard. No one was injured. Authorities said all 152 passengers were safely evacuated, while the runway was shut down for over an hour as the aircraft had to be towed awayA number of flights between 6.27 p.m. and 7.30 p.m. were delayed as a result.“The plane overshot the runway after touching down at 6:27 p.m. It halted safely and was towed away. All passengers were evacuated using chutes and no one was injured,” said Air India officials.While many flights were delayed, details were awaited at the time of going to press. Directorate General of Civil Aviation officials said the incident was serious in nature and would be investigated. “This is a case of runway excursion, which seems to be due to excessive tail winds. But there is no damage to the aircraft. A DGCA team from Mumbai will visit Pune on Saturday,” officials said. The Pune Airport forms part of the Indian Air Force’s Lohegaon Air Base and currently handles 126 civil aircraft movements. Air India officials said that a ferry flight was being arranged to fly from Delhi to Pune for the passengers waiting to fly to the capital.last_img read more

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Barcelona door always open for Pep Guardiola, says club president Josep Bartomeu

first_imgPep Guardiola would be welcomed back to Barcelona with open arms after club president Josep Maria Bartomeu said the door is always open for the La Liga side’s former player and coach to return to the Nou Camp.The Manchester City manager played for Barcelona for 11 years before becoming coach in 2008, leading the club to 14 trophies including two Champions League titles.He left in 2012 and went on to coach Bayern Munich before joining City but last month said in an interview with the Universo Valdano TV programme that he would like to finish his career coaching at Barca’s famous La Masia youth academy.”I read a few days ago that he’s planning in the future to come back to Barcelona and maybe take care of La Masia,” Bartomeu said in an interview with The Times of London.”I think it’s good news for our club that he could do that one day.”He knows the door is always open for him. Even when he told us he wanted to leave in 2012, we suggested to him he could take care of La Masia. He preferred (a clean break). Nobody told him to leave Barcelona. He could come back in future. He knows this. Why not?”Guardiola won the Premier League with Manchester City last season, with a record total of 100 points.last_img read more

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