Student news wrap 04/07/19

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News for and about students.

CPUT offers ARV treatment on campus in SA first

Cape Peninsula University of Technology (CPUT) has become the first university in South Africa to supply antiretroviral (ARV) treatment to students with HIV/Aids, on campus. The Student Health Clinic on Bellville Campus started its ART Clubs programme this week with plans for it to be available on all campuses by 2020. Besides cutting out the need to miss classes to collect medication, students will receive a minimum two-month supply of ARVs to ensure they are covered even when on holiday. The clinic will be open every day and students can go for counselling as they need it. – Read more IOL site

US university draws closer to HIV cure by injection 

A team of researchers at the University of Nebraska Medical Center (UNMC) say they are close to finding a cure for HIV. Using a treatment to suppress HIV replication and gene editing therapy has proven to eliminate HIV from cells and organs of infected animals. Current HIV treatment uses antiretroviral (ARV) therapy, which suppresses HIV replication but does not eliminate the virus from the body, means sufferers must take medication for their entirely lives. When the HIV cure is completed, patients would replace taking pills with two separate injections. There is still more research to be done, however, and lots more funding needed. UNMC research team leader Dr Howard Gendelman said it could be two to three years before the cure is tested on humans and even longer before the drug is ready for the general public. It normally takes between seven to 10 years for drugs to be approved in the US. – Read more on the NBC news site

UCT drops charges against FeesMustFall activists

Charges against students involved in various protests at the University of Cape Town (UCT) from 2015 to 2017 have been withdrawn. The withdrawal of charges follows after UCT’s council adopted a report by the Institutional Reconciliation and Transformation Commission (IRTC). The IRTC began its investigation in February last year and was mandated to look into institutional culture, decolonisation, transformation, unjust discrimination, and amnesty for students implicated in the violent protests. It also suggested among other things that the university conduct research on the best ways to embrace diversity and appoint a panel to determine how to strengthen the mental health services available to staff and students. All students that faced disciplinary action for their part in protests from UCT were able to present their cases before the commission. The commission received 80 submissions and held amnesty and public hearings while aslo examining documents submitted by the university, students and other interested parties. – Read more on the IOL site

Students experience ‘current’ events on research ship

On Monday (July 1), 41 students from universities and institutions across the country set off on an 11day programme at sea aboard the SA Agulhas II. The SEAmester programme was founded by UCT’s Professor Isabelle Ansorge and is funded in part by the department of Science and Technology. “Science should be cool, it needs to be engaging. SA is the first country to offer this kind of thing, open to all students,” she said. The programme is designed to help students get access to a world-class research vessel and get a taste for research at sea. Students will be busy with lectures and work on deck and in laboratories. They are travelling from Cape Town to the heart of the Agulhas Current and return to port on July 11. During the voyage, students will also participate in ongoing oceanographic research on the Agulhas System Climate Array, an international project studying the Agulhas current. – Read the full article on the Daily Maverick site