Since 1997
by By Dr Imraan Khallil on August 25th, 2017

​Although HIV-positive divers can enjoy the sport, there are potential risks and considerations to take into account.
 
Human immunodeficiency virus/acquired immunodeficiency syndrome (HIV/AIDS) is a global pandemic with the highest incidence in Africa. As of 2012, approximately
35.3 million people have HIV worldwide with the number of new infections for that year being about 2.3 million. In South Africa, the estimated overall HIV prevalence rate is approximately 10%. The total number of people living with HIV has been estimated at approximately 5.26 million in 2013.

The disease is caused by HIV. There are two distinct types of the HIV disease – HIV-1 and HIV-2. Initially, the HIV-1 epidemic was most prevalent among homosexual populations and intravenous drug abusers. The HIV-2 epidemic originated and remains concentrated in West Africa, but has spread beyond its borders following the emigration of HIV-2 afflicted locals and tourists who have had sexual contact with infected West Africans. 


by Dr Lourens De Kock on August 24th, 2017

Two concerns burden the older diver: fitness for the intended activity and the likelihood of survival. Put otherwise, am I fit enough to continue with my passion without getting injured, or even dying?


by Dr Serena Lucrezi on August 24th, 2017

Diving businesses depend heavily on the quality and sustainability of the diving environments they offer their clients: Ecology affects their economy. Therefore, divers and diving businesses all have a vested interest in preserving these environments. This article provides guidance on how diving businesses can develop and implement ecologically sound and sustainable management practices.


by Dr Cecilia Roberts on August 24th, 2017

​Electronic cigarettes (e-cigarettes) have taken the world by storm, and vape shops are everywhere to be found. There are over 500 brands of e-cigarettes and 7700 flavours e-juice readily available on the market today. Their use has increased substantially, conspicuously in teenagers. Needless to say, many questions have been raised regarding the safety and health implications of these newer nicotine alternatives. Although Nicotine Replacement Therapy (NRT) medicines, which help people quit smoking, have been around for some time, e-cigarettes have become way more popular


by Dr Imraan Khallil on August 24th, 2017

​Breath-hold diving (BHD) or freediving is a form of underwater diving that relies on the divers’ ability to hold their breath until resurfacing, rather than on the use of a breathing apparatus such as scuba gear. Freediving, apnea and skin diving are all synonyms for BHD.

BHD has been around for thousands of years. For the past 100 years, however, it has been somewhat eclipsed by technological advancements and the booming industry of scuba diving. Yet, since the turn of the millennium, BHD has started regaining some of the original attraction – perhaps as part of a general shift towards more ‘natural’, environmentally-conscious, contemplative living.

BHD introduces several physiological challenges, including hypoxia, hypercapnia and nitrogen accumulation. Previously Decompression Illness (DCI) was thought to be limited largely to high pressure work or scuba diving. However, and somewhat counter-intuitively, BHD can actually produce DCI. In fact, there is an historic and very well-established relationship between repetitive, deep BHD and neurological problems which are indistinguishable from DCI 1,2. Already in 1965 Dr Ed Lanphier proposed that DCI could affect BHD if deep repetitive dives were done with short surface intervals 3. Yet, and perhaps even because the mechanisms of DCI in scuba diving-related are not fully understood, there remains an aura of ignorance and denial about DCI in BHD’s.