Eureka >> In softball, the term “battery” refers to the pitcher-catcher combination, as they are the engine that keeps the game moving.In Friday’s game against the Eureka Loggers, the Fortuna Huskies’ battery of pitcher Hailey Dolcini and catcher Jenna Christensen’s impact was felt in every aspect of the game — often with seismic results.Christensen, a senior, belted a two-run double to the left-center field gap to give the Huskies a 3-0 lead in the third inning, then walloping a 3-0 Alyssa …
Find out more about using MediaClubSouthAfrica.com materialThe third national HIV prevalence, incidence and communication survey shows South Africa’s epidemic has stabilised, with promising signs of declining prevalence among children and teenagers.The percentage of people living with HIV has barely changed in the last six years, but the new data, released on Tuesday, revealed that between 2002 and 2008 there were many changes in HIV knowledge, risk behaviour and testing habits.The survey, conducted in 2008 by the Human Sciences Research Council (HSRC), in conjunction with the Medical Research Council and the Centre for Aids Development, Research and Evaluation, has given researchers the first real opportunity to study trends in HIV prevalence and risk behaviour. Previous surveys were conducted in 2002 and 2005.Download the full report hereDownload the report presentation The findings, based on interviews with about 21 000 individuals, 15 000 of whom agreed to anonymous HIV tests, give a fairly detailed picture of South Africa’s mixed success in fighting the largest HIV epidemic in the world.Prevalence has stabilised at about 11%, and infection rates among children and teenagers have decreased, but have increased slightly in adults over the age of 25.Olive Shisana, CEO of the HSRC and one of the survey’s principal investigators, noted that African women aged 20 to 34 remained the group most at risk with a stubbornly high HIV prevalence of nearly 33%. Men aged between 25 and 49 have the second-highest risk profile, with an infection rate of 24%.HIV infection in the country’s nine provinces still varies widely. KwaZulu-Natal, which has consistently carried the highest burden, now has a prevalence of 26% in the 15 to 49 age group, up from 22% in 2005; in the Western Cape, levels increased slightly from 3% in 2005 to 5% in 2008, but are still the lowest in the country.The 2008 study provides the first national prevalence figures for high-risk groups such as heavy drinkers, drug users and men who have sex with men; of these, people with disabilities and heavy drinkers were found to be most at risk, with both groups having a prevalence of about 14%.Professor Thomas Rehle of the HSRC, another of the study’s principal investigators, noted that the figures could be “masking some success stories”, as the country’s growing antiretroviral (ARV) treatment programme may have reduced Aids-related deaths, thereby increasing the total number of people living with HIV.This will become clearer when data on new HIV infections, or incidence of the disease, become available later in the year, but the estimated incidence among young people, based on prevalence, showed a substantial drop since 2005, particularly among teenagers.Risky behavioursIn recent years researchers have identified intergenerational sex, particularly between younger women and older men, and having multiple sexual partners at the same time, as major drivers of the HIV epidemic in southern Africa.The HSRC survey found that prevention efforts in South Africa were having little or no impact on either of these risky behaviours: the percentage of girls aged 15 to 19 who had had a partner at least five years older rose steeply from 18.5% in 2005 to nearly 28% in 2008; the number of men aged 15 to 24 who reported having more than one sexual partner in the last 12 months increased from 27 to 31%.Worryingly, since 2005 accurate knowledge about how HIV is transmitted had decreased significantly in all age groups. One researcher noted that, “There seemed to be an acceptance of multiple partners, especially among the youth,” and that respondents found it hard to grasp the link between multiple partners and increased HIV risk.Shisana said these disturbing trends were somewhat offset by a significant uptake in condom use, particularly among young men, 87% of whom reported using a condom the last time they had sex. “I think young men have made a decision that they’re going to run around, but that they’re going to use a condom,” she said.Other encouraging findings were that more South Africans had been tested for HIV (about half of all respondents in 2008 compared to 30% in 2005) and that national HIV communication programmes had achieved a broader reach.The researchers recommended targeted interventions to address intergenerational sex and multiple partners, particularly in hard-hit provinces, and that routine HIV testing, with the option of refusal, should be made available at all health care facilities currently offering voluntary counselling and testing.“As a country, we can do much better,” said South Africa’s new health minister, Aaron Motsoaledi. “We have spent a lot of time fighting each other,” he said, referring to the history of conflict between government and civil society on HIV/Aids during former President Thabo Mbeki’s tenure.“I’m quite sure that time is over now and instead we’re going to fight this disease.”Source: Irin PlusNewsRelated articlesNew TB vaccine for babies ‘The end of meningitis in Africa’ Preventing HIV with OneLove Booster for child health in SA Anti-Aids gel offers hope Useful linksHuman Sciences Research Council South African National HIV Prevalence,Incidence, Behaviour and Communication Survey, 2008 Medical Research CouncilCentre for Aids Development, Research and EvaluationDepartment of Health
At the end of the buyer’s process in evaluating change and a potential new partner, they worry about risks.Some of these risks are real. Some of them are not real but must be treated as if they are.Real Risks That Prevent Buyers from Saying YesThe risk that you may fail in delivering the outcome you are selling is real. Even though you don’t believe that it will happen, it is something that may happen. Your dream client has likely had a the experience of a partner failing before, and it isn’t unreasonable for your prospective client to be afraid to make a decision when they are concerned about whether they will get what they bargained for.The risk that you may sell your dream client your solution and disappear when things get difficult is very real. In fact, it’s likely that some of the contacts within your prospect’s company have been bamboozled in the past, and it is why they express skepticism now. Even if you have no intention of disappearing, the risk is real.Your prospective client may fear paying too much and that you cannot really justify the delta between your price and your competitors. It doesn’t mean that you cannot justify the delta, it’s the fear that you won’t that gives your prospective client cause for concern. They want to believe you are better, but what if you’re not?Perceived Risks That Block DealsSome risks your dream client perceives are not real. But they still require your attention.Your prospective client may worry that your smaller size is a risk and indicates a potential inability to execute. They may believe your diminutive size is an indication that you don’t have the necessary resources to deliver the outcomes you are promising. Even though it may be more likely that your larger competitor who has grown through acquisitions is straddled with crippling debt requiring the bulk of their profit to pay the interest on their loans, they may perceive bigger as safer.Some may be concerned that you don’t have experience in their exact industry or vertical. This is a similar mistake we make in hiring, believing experience counts more than anything else, even though it isn’t often true. In just as many cases the principles and values that allow you to serve some clients in one industry well easily translate to clients in a different industry. The fear is still real.Whether or not the risks are real or perceived, you must treat them as if they are real. Without discussing the issues to help your prospective client resolve their concerns about risk, you are in danger of losing your opportunity.It isn’t your prospective clients job to resolve their own concerns. That’s what you are there to do.
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