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11 December 2015 VOLUME 16 ISSUE 50

Media Coverage

  • The approval of a highly potent antiretroviral drug [Truvada] in South Africa has been widely welcomed.....The Treatment Action Campaign has cautioned that the approval...should not be seen as a licence to reckless sexual behaviour. TAC spokesperson Marcus Low said: “Our advice to people is to continue using condoms to protect themselves and their sexual partners. We also encourage men to undergo medical circumcision since this helps reduce the risk of contracting HIV. (Truvada) should be seen as an additional layer of protection in addition to these other methods.”

    December 10, 2015
    Lifestyle
  • The self-image men have as strong, sexually active risk-takers means they are more likely to die from HIV and Aids than women....The experts called for more HIV workplace testing to reach men and greater efforts to change gender norms. Although six out of 10 Africans with HIV are women, men are 25 per cent more likely to die from the disease, according to research by the Africa Centre for Health and Population Studies in South Africa.

    December 10, 2015
    Reuters
  • The UNAIDS programme in Nigeria said it would partner with the Federal Government in domestically sourcing funds and drugs for the control of HIV/AIDS in the country. The Country Director of UNAIDS, Dr Bilali Camara, made this known to State House correspondents after paying a courtesy visit to Vice President Yemi Osinbajo.

    December 10, 2015
    Daily Independent
  • The Black Women's Health Imperative and Gilead Sciences, Inc. have joined forces to educate women about PrEP (pre-exposure prophylaxis) as an effective means to prevent HIV infection. According to the CDC, Black women continue to have the highest incidence and prevalence of HIV diagnoses among women, including transgender women, and among heterosexuals.

    December 10, 2015
    University Chronicle
  • Author, playwright and activist Larry Kramer has changed his mind and now embraces using HIV medication to prevent transmission of the virus. Kramer claimed in 2014: “There’s something to me cowardly about taking Truvada instead of using a condom. You’re taking a drug that is poison to you, and has lessened your energy to fight, to get involved, to do anything"....After Kramer met with other AIDS campaigners and activists from across the generations, Peter Staley of the Treatment Action Group says there is now unity on the issue.

    December 10, 2015
    Gay News Network
  • Thanks to treatment advances, people with HIV can and do live long and full lives. And that has led to a challenge that doctors and patients in the 1980s and early 1990s may not have imagined: the aging HIV patient....In 2015, the lifespan of a person living with HIV is approximately the same as someone not living with HIV, an impossibility in the early days of the epidemic. But we should also resolve to be part of the generation that stops this virus in all populations. The time to act is now.

    December 10, 2015
    Agenda
  • The KwaZulu-Natal Research Institute for TB and HIV says guidelines around the use of a drug to prevent the sexual transmission of HIV still need to be established....Professor Thumbi Ndung’u says questions remain around access to and use of the drug. ''The next step is going to be for the government to come up with strict guidelines about how this drug should be used and...rolled out in the general population,...he said.

    December 10, 2015
    East Coast Radio
  • In this guest post Tom Harmon, senior policy analyst at the International AIDS Vaccine Initiative (IAVI), and Anna Forbes, a globally recognized advocate for women’s HIV prevention needs, discuss a new piece proposing how HIV prevention research and development (R&D) for women and girls can better align with programs to improve their health and well-being.

    December 9, 2015
    Breakthroughs
  • A small number of female sex workers continue to test negative for the infection despite repeated sexual activity and low rates of condom use. However, the reason as to why these women are protected from HIV infection has eluded scientists....The results of the study were published in the November issue of the journal Mucosal Immunology.

    December 9, 2015
    Medical Xpress
  • Transgender women are 49 times more likely to have HIV than the general population, but little research has looked into how feminizing hormones might affect the HIV prevention method of taking Truvada as pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP). A policy brief by the National Center for Innovation in HIV Care looks at this issue and calls for more research....The center is a collaborative educational program of the Fenway Institute, AIDS United and AIDS Resource Center of Wisconsin (ARCW).

    December 9, 2015
    POZ
  • On Tuesday, Medicines Control Council (MCC)...has officially registered the use of [Truvada], a combination pill of two anti-retroviral drugs as a form of pre-exposure prophylaxis (or “PrEP”) medication; a pill taken once a day that massively reduces the chances of contracting the HIV....South Africa, therefore, joins only one other country in the world, the United States, in allowing its citizens widespread access to this groundbreaking and formidable HIV prevention tool.

    December 9, 2015
    Mail&Guardian
  • A newly issued report [G-FINDER 2015] found that [global] investment in Ebola might have come at the expense of other funding to develop drugs, vaccines and diagnostics for other neglected diseases [and] that public funding on R&D for neglected diseases was at its lowest in years....The report found that the “three ‘top tier’ diseases – HIV/AIDS, malaria and TB – received [68 percent] of global neglected disease R&D funding. Funding for malaria and for TB increased slightly while funding for HIV/AIDS remained about the same.

    December 8, 2015
    Intellectual Property Watch
  • Men who have sex with men reporting feelings of vengeance concerning their HIV infection may be less likely to engage in safe sexual behavior, according to data presented at the CDC’s National HIV Prevention Conference....[The researchers] found moderate feelings of vengefulness were associated with increased reports of unprotected anal sex, unprotected insertive sex and unprotected receptive sex, and also affected attitudes toward status disclosure.

    December 8, 2015
    Healio
  • The International "Lung Meeting" held here last week was not your grandparents' tuberculosis (TB) conference....Prominent attendees included the South African minister of health and the head of the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria. The Lung Meeting has morphed into the type of gathering that international HIV/AIDS meetings pioneered, where advocacy and community building are as much a part of the agenda as scientific presentations....It is a fitting overlap.

    December 8, 2015
    Science
  • Community organisations, activists, and researchers last night came together to sign a historic accord on pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP) in Melbourne. The accord outlined a number of shared principles around the HIV prevention tool in areas such as education, stigma, and approval in Australia.

    December 8, 2015
    Star Observer
  • The announcement of the approval of oral pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP) for HIV prevention by South Africa's Medicines Control Council is a major step forward for the national and global responses to AIDS, and should spur other countries and global health organizations to quickly follow suit....Daily oral PrEP is finally beginning to take its place as a core element of global HIV prevention.

    December 8, 2015
    The Body
  • CytoDyn Inc., a biotechnology company focused on development of new therapies for combating HIV infection, today announced that 11 HIV-1 patients receiving PRO 140 monotherapy in an extension study have now successfully reached one year of maximal virologic suppression. These patients substituted their daily Highly Active Antiretroviral Therapy (HAART) regimen with weekly subcutaneous injections of PRO 140....for a period ranging from 12 to 15 months to date.

    December 8, 2015
    DDN News
  • At the National HIV Prevention Conference, the CDC announced release of a national HIV testing campaign and an online tool to help people assess their risk for acquiring HIV. “Both efforts are designed to help people take control of their health, make informed choices and reduce their risk for getting and transmitting HIV,” Jonathan Mermin, MD, director of the CDC’s National Center for HIV/AIDS, Viral Hepatitis, STD, and TB Prevention, said in a press release.

    December 8, 2015
    Healio
  • Use of HIV pre-exposure prophylaxis may drive decisions about sex and condom use among serodiscordant couples, according to findings presented here at the CDC’s National HIV Prevention Conference. “In Seattle, we found that men are asking their sex partners about being on PrEP, and that it does appear to somewhat influence sexual decision-making,” Christine Khosropour, MPH, department of epidemiology, University of Washington School of Public Health, told Infectious Disease News.

    December 8, 2015
    Healio
  • The Botswana-Harvard AIDS Institute Partnership (BHP) said Monday that it is taking its HIV Prevention Trials Network studies to another level as it launches a new concept study that seeks to determine the effectiveness of passive infusion of antibodies in the prevention of HIV in young women in southern Africa....BHP said the “the HPTN 081″ study also known as “antibody mediated protection “(AMP) is scheduled to start in the first quarter of 2016.

    December 7, 2015
    Star Africa
  • Despite billions of dollars spent and some of the world’s best brains on the case, there is still no vaccine to protect against HIV. But, as Christopher Kelly reports, recent discoveries have recharged researchers’ efforts.

    December 6, 2015
    Gay News Network
  • Death rates among people living with HIV in some Southern states are three times higher than those living in other parts of the country, according to a new state-by-state analysis on progress in HIV prevention and care released today by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

    December 6, 2015
    AIDS.Gov Blog
  • The number of annual HIV diagnoses declined by 19 percent between 2005 and 2014, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported Sunday evening, but diagnoses jumped 6 percent among men who have sex with other men.

    December 6, 2015
    Washington Post
  • With the battle to combat HIV/AIDS intensifying in Zimbabwe, the Prevention of Mother to Child Transmission initiative (PMTCT) has increasingly become a success weapon in the war on transmission of the once dreaded disease to the country’s unborn babies, despite some mothers testing positive for the disease....PMTCT...services are now available throughout this country’s Maternal, Newborn and Child Health (MNCH) clinics in all 62 districts here.

    December 1, 2015
    IPS

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