1. A way to beat Aids

Could an end to the Aids epidemic be in sight? A study has found that antiretroviral (ARV) drugs reduced the risk of sexual transmission of the virus that causes Aids to zero. This could mean that if everyone with HIV were fully treated, there would be no further infections. 

The eight-year study of gay couples found no cases of transmission of the infection to the HIV-negative partner during sex without a condom. The research, published in The Lancet, was conducted across Europe among nearly 1,000 male couples in which one partner had HIV and took ARVs.

2. Contagious fear

It was only a matter of time before false information on social media caused a run on a bank. A flurry of posts sent on WhatsApp last week claimed that the UK’s Metro Bank was about to collapse. The posts advised customers to withdraw funds and empty safety-deposit boxes at the bank. The panic sent Metro’s shares to a new low, Bloomberg reports.

The bank assured customers it was in no danger of going bankrupt, but the damage — in terms of a lower share price and panic withdrawals of cash — had already been done.

3. It gets darker for Zim

Already under the whip from a perfect storm of rampant inflation, cash and fuel shortages, higher taxes, collapsing domestic demand, low global commodity prices and drought, Zimbabweans are now grappling with a new crisis — load-shedding.

The country’s energy utility says reduced output from the Kariba Dam hydroelectric scheme — the dam is only 34% full — is to blame, along with problems at the Hwange coal-fired power station. It warns that this is only stage 1 of the process and that if the situation deteriorates further, stage 2 — cuts of 12 to 15 hours daily — will be necessary.

Sounds all too familiar.