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12 May 2017 VOLUME 18 ISSUE 19

Media Coverage

  • Since 2002, with bipartisan support bridging political administrations, the United States’ global strategy on AIDS, started by President George W. Bush and sustained by President Barack Obama, has delivered unprecedented results...The opportunity to end AIDS is real. However, a business-as-usual approach will cost us dearly.

    May 12, 2017
    The Hill
  • For the first time, researchers, ethicists, lawyers, and community representatives will meet to discuss balancing the public health benefits and the potential risks of creating a massive database of HIV sequences from people living in sub-Saharan Africa.

    May 12, 2017
    Science Magazine
  • "We met every condition they set for us: internal controls for monitoring money, having competent personnel to implement programmes that are funded, and sealing loopholes that would jeopardise accountability, among others," said [Health Permanent Secretary] Julius Korir....Despite the denials, however, Mr Bernard Muchere, the man who blew the lid off the scam, maintained that there were massive improprieties...that had led to embezzlement of funds. The final report of the audit is yet to be made public.

    May 11, 2017
    The Nation
  • Life expectancy for young HIV-positive adults has risen by 10 years in the United States and Europe thanks to improvements in...antiretroviral therapy, researchers said Thursday. This meant many patients can expect to live as long as those without HIV, according to their study in The Lancet. The scientists said the improvements were likely to be largely due to...less toxic medicine combinations, more drug options for people infected with drug-resistant HIV strains, and better adherence.

    May 11, 2017
    Reuters
  • Atieno, a mother of five, has sold the fish since her husband died 10 years ago leaving her to support her family. With no other income, she was left with no option but to trade sex with the fishermen for a share of their catch. Sex-for-fish, known locally as "jaboya", is common practice in Abimbo village in western Kenya's Siaya County and throughout sub-Saharan Africa....Siaya is the county with the second highest HIV prevalence in Kenya, with nearly a quarter of the population infected with the virus that causes AIDS.

    May 11, 2017
    Reuters
  • The Gates Foundation is at the World Economic Forum on Africa to lend its voice to the idea of reducing inequalities and get African governments to invest more in research and development....In health, the foundation focuses on maternal and child health...[and] communicable diseases,...the two main areas of [its] assistance to...South Africa,...to strengthen the primary health care systems or...provide assistance to strengthen their HIV, TB treatment [and] prevention programs.

    May 11, 2017
    Devex
  • “Dr. Zulu"..., a nurse mentor at Nyangana District Hospital in Namibia,...and his team developed a detailed procedure that ensures close coordination among the hospital’s nurses and health assistants, outreach clinic staff and community health workers. The system tracks HIV-positive mothers and ensures their babies are tested at 6 weeks, 9 months and 18 months.

    May 11, 2017
    USAID
  • The Australian Federation of AIDS Organisations has welcomed a government commitment to make HIV prevention medication PrEP available through the Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme if it wins approval at a key meeting in July.

    May 11, 2017
    Qnews
  • More people are living longer lives with HIV, according to a new report in the Lancet HIV that includes data from more than 88,000 people from 18 countries. People who contracted the virus in recent years are living 10 years longer than people infected in the mid 1990s....The researchers, part of the Antiretroviral Therapy Cohort Collaboration, say that introduction of anti-HIV drugs...played a large role....As encouraging as the results are, they also reveal that for some groups of people, the gains aren’t as great.

    May 10, 2017
    TIME
  • Newly-appointed fellows of the Academy of Medical Sciences told The Standard of their concern,...called for changes to the immigration system to retain EU staff already in the country and encourage future generations of “exceptional talent” to come to the UK, and urged future co-operation between the UK and EU on regulating life sciences and for the Brexit deal to allow British experts to continue to access EU research funding.

    May 10, 2017
    The Standard
  • The prevalence of human papillomavirus types...has fallen among young women in the US since vaccination was recommended in 2006. These HPV types decreased by 56% in the youngest age group during the first four years after the vaccine's introduction, followed by a 61% drop in the next youngest age group during the subsequent four-year period. This analysis...provides the first evidence that herd immunity is emerging, offering protection for people who are not vaccinated themselves.

    May 10, 2017
    MedPage Today
  • On May 4, the American Health Care Act passed the US House of Representatives in a narrow 217-213 vote [and] effectively moved to roll back the Affordable Care Act, also known as Obamacare. The HIV community reacted swiftly, warning that people living with HIV face distinct risks of life-threatening loss of health care if the AHCA is ultimately signed into law....Community groups and leaders also issued calls to oppose the AHCA as it moves into the Senate.

    May 10, 2017
    The Body
  • For 40 years starting in 1932, medical workers in the segregated South withheld treatment for unsuspecting [black] men infected with [syphilis] simply so doctors could track the ravages of the horrid illness and dissect their bodies afterward. Finally exposed in 1972, the study ended and the men sued, resulting in a $9 million settlement. Twenty years ago this May, President Bill Clinton apologized for the US government, [seeming] to mark the end of this ugly episode....Except it didn't.

    May 10, 2017
    NY Times
  • [In January 2017], Philippine President Duterte signed an executive order calling for universal access to modern family planning methods [with] provisions for...sex education and maternal and child health. That such anodyne health matters have to be affirmed attests to the contested nature of reproductive health issues in the Philippines....Population growth remains very high....[and] there is an alarming increase in HIV infection rates,...the health ministry’s main rationale for condom distribution and promotion. But that too is unacceptable to anti-RH advocates.

    May 9, 2017
    Huffington Post
  • USAID issued a notice informing the government that funding for various health-related programmes and administrative support would be suspended until certain conditions...are met. Direct health service delivery, including life-saving treatment, prevention, outbreak or emergency response, family planning promotion and tackling HIV/Aids has not been frozen....In his first reaction, Kenya's health minister Cleopa Mailu said that the ministry is committed to "prudent financial management and accountability".

    May 9, 2017
    International Business Times
  • Who will become WHO’s next director general?...Who will transform WHO and not just navigate it better?...This requires not the safe re-arranging of bureaucratic furniture yet again but the ability to innovate WHO’s business model and organisational set-up. Fresh independent minds and hands are needed and not those already far too vested in the existing system.

    May 9, 2017
    The Guardian
  • Scott Gottlieb, a physician and former deputy FDA commissioner during the George W. Bush administration, is seen as competent and knowledgeable. But critics worry about his ties to the pharmaceutical industry....Gottlieb is expected to move quickly to implement FDA mandates in the recently passed 21st Century Cures Act...and streamline the process for approving generic versions of complex, difficult-to-copy therapeutics.

    May 9, 2017
    Reuters
  • By the early 2020s, the world could at last have an HIV vaccine. But before chilling the champagne,...consider that in all likelihood such a vaccine would be only partially effective....What good is a vaccine that cuts HIV risk by, say, only half? Plenty. Scientists generally consider that level of efficacy the minimum threshold for rolling out an HIV vaccine on a grand scale.

    May 9, 2017
    POZ
  • The virus reprograms the stem cells, called basal cells, to produce enzymes that can destroy lung tissue....“This research is important because although antiretroviral agents have turned HIV into a chronic, rather than deadly, disease, the viral reservoirs that remain in the lungs and other tissue continue to cause serious side effects,” study author Ronald G. Crystal, MD, at New York Presbyterian/Weill Cornell Medical Center, said.

    May 9, 2017
    Healio
  • A study published Tuesday...in the Journal of the American Medical Association shows the need for ongoing monitoring of new treatments years after they hit the market....Lead author Joseph Ross [of] Yale University [said] it is critically important “[to] have a strong system in place to continually evaluate drugs and communicate new safety concerns quickly and effectively....No drug is completely safe, and during premarket evaluation, we are not going to pick up all the safety signals.”

    May 9, 2017
    Washington Post
  • Women living with HIV had a lifetime prevalence of post-traumatic stress disorder four times the national average, according to a small study examining women from an urban HIV clinic. Overall, 43.1% of participants met diagnostic criteria for lifetime PTSD, while the national prevalence for women is estimated at 10%, reported Keemi Ereme, MPH, of Howard University College of Medicine in Washington, D.C., and colleagues.

    May 8, 2017
    MedPage Today
  • An Indonesian police raid last month led to detention and forced HIV testing of 14 men....Police were reportedly tipped off by neighbours, and carried out a midnight raid on a private party of 14 gay men....The next day, police informed media that all 14 men were made to undergo testing for sexually transmitted infections (STIs), and five had tested HIV positive. Human Rights Watch have released a statement denouncing the treatment of the men.

    May 8, 2017
    SBS
  • Our recently released study provides critical evidence of the gaps in the content and delivery of existing sexuality education programmes and an opportunity for strengthening them. The study, conducted in 2015 in 78 public and private schools, found three out of four surveyed teachers reportedly teaching...a comprehensive sexuality education programme. Yet only 2% of the 2,484 sampled students said they learned about all the topics. Worse still, incomplete and sometimes inaccurate information is being taught.

    May 7, 2017
    The Conversation
  • Bridgette Brawner, University of Pennsylvania, and colleagues wrote: “In both clinical and non-clinical samples, heterosexually active black adolescents dealing with depressive symptomatology may be less likely to use condoms and...use them incorrectly....[and] more likely to have sex under the influence of substances, be involved in dating violence, maintain simultaneous male and female partnerships, and have sex in exchange for money, drugs and goods. Lifetime histories of STIs and pregnancies are also higher in this demographic.”

    May 6, 2017
    Healio
  • As Congress moves legislation forward to repeal and replace parts of the Affordable Care Act and debates other possible changes to our nation’s health care delivery systems, a new brief assesses...proposals to alter the ACA’s Medicaid expansion and overhaul the traditional Medicaid program and the far-reaching impact on people with HIV. A related infographic explores how the ACA’s Medicaid expansion affected health care and coverage for people with HIV.

    May 5, 2017
    Kaiser Family Foundation
  • HIV HOPES: Scientists using the Crispr gene-editing technique have been successful in removing the HIV virus from mice, bringing human clinical trials a step closer. Encouraging medical breakthroughs however need to be matched by stronger government action and strategies such as promoting condom use. (Molecular Therapy, The Lancet).

    May 5, 2017
    Financial Times
  • An update on philanthropic funding in the area of HIV/AIDS is the subject of the GrantWatch column in the May 2017 issue of Health Affairs....I learned of some interesting stats and projects. However, the column is just a small sampling of what is going on in HIV/AIDS philanthropy and is not meant to be comprehensive.

    May 5, 2017
    Health Affairs
  • Development of new cancers rose with older age in a 15,000-person analysis of HIV-positive people across Europe....Compared with the general population, people with HIV run a higher risk of many cancers. The reasons for this higher cancer risk with HIV are not fully understood.

    May 5, 2017
    BodyPRO
  • A decision by the NIH to limit its grant support for individual researchers has sparked concerns that the policy could discourage collaboration or divert funding from the best science....“This seems like tax reform to me: everybody agrees something needs to be done, but with any given scheme there's going to be winners and losers,” says Jonathan Karn, an HIV researcher at Case Western University.

    May 5, 2017
    Nature
  • You may have heard about the story that's been making the media rounds regarding a potential HIV cure using gene editing that had been tested in animals. (If you haven't, you can see examples from CBS News, Daily Mail, HuffPost UK, The Independent, Science Daily, The Sun, and TechCrunch.) Here's some help making sense of the story, including what's true or not, and what to get excited about.

    May 4, 2017
    The Body
  • A new contraceptive silicone ring that doubles as an anti-HIV drug dispenser could give vulnerable women in places like sub-Saharan Africa greater ability to protect themselves....Developed by the International Partnership for Microbicides, the ring is inserted into the vagina by the wearer. There, it releases dapivirine and levonorgestrel for 3 months. IPM founder Zeda Rosenberg believes women will be more likely to use the ring faithfully...because it also prevents pregnancy.

    May 4, 2017
    The Economist
  • Former GOP Rep. Mark Green is the Trump administration’s expected pick to lead the United States Agency for International Development, but has struggled to close a deal with the Trump administration....In addition to wanting the title of USAID administrator,...he is seeking promises that Trump won’t dismantle USAID or make it a subsidiary of the State Department.

    May 1, 2017
    Politico

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