- A University of California study shows there is wide support for Botswana's policy of routine HIV testing, from which people can "opt out".
The government introduced the policy in 2004 after it found that reluctance to be tested was a major cause of slow takeup of free antiretroviral treatment.
The cross-sectional study of 1,268 people at the end of 2004 found that 81 percent of respondents were either "extremely" or "very much" in favour of routine testing, while 60 percent thought the policy could help reduce stigma and 55 percent said it could reduce violence against women.
However, the survey also revealed some contradictory opinions: 43 percent of participants believed routine testing might actually discourage people from seeking medical care from doctors.
Although concluding that Botswana's policy was well supported, the authors cautioned that "efforts to scale up HIV testing must also be accompanied by appropriate monitoring of testing practices to ensure that they are implemented in accordance with international guidelines on human rights and HIV/AIDS."
afrol News - It is called "financial inclusion", and it is a key government policy in Rwanda. The goal is that, by 2020, 90 percent of the population is to have and actively use bank accounts. And in only four years, financial inclusion has doubled in Rwanda.
afrol News - The UN's humanitarian agencies now warn about a devastating famine in Sudan and especially in South Sudan, where the situation is said to be "imploding". Relief officials are appealing to donors to urgently fund life-saving activities in the two countries.
afrol News - Fear is spreading all over West Africa after the health ministry in Guinea confirmed the first Ebola outbreak in this part of Africa. According to official numbers, at least 86 are infected and 59 are dead as a result of this very contagious disease.
afrol News - It is already a crime being homosexual in Ethiopia, but parliament is now making sure the anti-gay laws will be applied in practical life. No pardoning of gays will be allowed in future, but activist fear this only is a signal of further repression being prepared.
afrol News / Africa Renewal - Ethiopia's ambitious plan to build a US$ 4.2 billion dam in the Benishangul-Gumuz region, 40 km from its border with Sudan, is expected to provide 6,000 megawatts of electricity, enough for its population plus some excess it can sell to neighbouring countries.