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13 January 2017 VOLUME 18 ISSUE 2

Media Coverage

  • It shouldn’t be a big deal that I gave blood this week, but it is. To do it, I had to give up all forms of sex for a year. The reason: I’m gay. With what we know today about the disease, it’s a stupid reason.

    January 12, 2017
    NY Times
  • On paper, David Nabarro may seem the ideal candidate to become the world’s most powerful doctor. In practice, the Briton faces a stiff contest, but with WHO’s credibility still on the line,...his CV may be the right one....Nabarro agrees there must be no more fiefdoms....The WHO’s finances...coffers have been topped up by donations...tied to particular projects....His solution is for the organisation to become what he calls “catalytic”.

    January 12, 2017
    The Guardian
  • This issue provides abstracts of articles from the peer-reviewed literature on male circumcision published from 1 October 2016 to 31 December 2016, with links to the full text of articles that are open access. Five of the 27 articles in this issue are additions to a special collection on modeling the cost and impact of VMMC strategies in developing countries.

    January 12, 2017
    Male Circumcision
  • The conflict between the papacy and the Knights of Malta, a 1,000-year-old lay order, is the latest example of an apparently widening breach between Francis and a group of progressive European bishops on one side and conservatives, including an American cardinal, on the other side....The conflict with the Knights of Malta began after the order’s Malteser International aid group distributed condoms in Myanmar to combat HIV/AIDS.

    January 12, 2017
    Angle News
  • [Nick] Seymour wrote Jan. 7 in The Hill: "Tuberculosis’ recent surpassing of HIV/AIDS as the leading infectious killer globally has not been met with anything close to equal funding for relief”....Has it really become a bigger killer than HIV/AIDS? Looking at the data, estimates are mixed. But just as importantly, the relative death tolls of the two diseases has more to do with success in treating HIV/AIDS patients, and less to do with any change in the spread of TB....On balance, we rate this statement Half True.

    January 11, 2017
    Politifact
  • Rex Tillerson, former ExxonMobil CEO, offered general support for furthering U.S. foreign aid and its development agenda as secretary of state, but expressed reservations on various hot-button topics — including women’s health and climate change — during an all-day Senate Foreign Relations Committee confirmation hearing....Tillerson remarked favorably on the work of the...Millennium Challenge Corporation and PEPFAR.

    January 11, 2017
    Devex
  • Savvy consumers and activists have found a way to make Truvada...available to citizens in the UK in spite of the National Health Service’s refusal to offer the drug....Will Nutland of the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine realized the potential positive impact this drug can have on at-risk populations in the UK, especially gay men, so in order to bypass the government’s inaction, he set up PrEPster to help facilitate purchasing the drug online.

    January 11, 2017
    Futurism
  • Here in Atlanta, we’re in the heart of some of the worst chronic disease problems in America: obesity, diabetes, stroke. Can you say anything about those? [Frieden] We started a program we called Winnable Battles and set really ambitious goals we could measure. We met tobacco and teen pregnancy fully [and] made really significant progress on teen pregnancy, HIV, and healthcare-associated infections.

    January 11, 2017
    National Geographic
  • Predictors of infection with HIV included a partner of unknown HIV status, number of lifetime sexual partners, syphilis, bacterial vaginosis and vaginal candidiasis. A composite risk score higher than six was associated with a six-fold increase in HIV incidence; the score was a more accurate predictor of HIV infection than any individual risk factor. [The study, reported in the online edition of Clinical Infectious Diseases, involved over 1300 pregnant women in Kenya.]

    January 10, 2017
    aidsmap
  • Science Speaks introduces you to those members in this series.

    January 10, 2017
    Science Speaks
  • Retroviruses -- the family of viruses that includes HIV -- are almost half a billion years old, according to new research by Oxford University scientists. That's several hundred million years older than previously thought and suggests [that] retroviruses have been with their animal hosts through the evolutionary transition from sea to land. The findings will help us understand more about the continuing 'arms race' between viruses and their hosts.

    January 10, 2017
    Science Daily
  • Ragon Institute researchers, working with young, healthy, South African women, found that individuals with vaginas dominated by pro-inflammatory bacterial species were at a 4-fold higher risk of acquiring HIV than those with "healthy" vaginal bacteria....They now want to pursue probiotic or prebiotic therapies to reduce HIV acquisition in women living in vulnerable communities.

    January 10, 2017
    Science Daily
  • Studying viral isolates from the blood and genital secretions of eight chronically HIV-1 infected donors and their matched recipients, researchers [at the University of Pennsylvania] identified a sub-population of HIV strains with biological properties that predispose them to establish new infections more efficiently.

    January 10, 2017
    Science Daily
  • The Trump transition team walked that back hours later, saying no final decision had been made on [such] a commission....“The science is clear: Massive evidence showing no link between vaccines and autism….There’s not even any plausibility for a link,” said Peter Hotez, dean, National School of Tropical Medicine at Baylor College of Medicine.

    January 10, 2017
    Washington Post
  • The use of Truvada as pre-exposure prophylaxis to prevent HIV is going gangbusters. By the end of 2015, likely well over 80,000 U.S. residents had filled at least one prescription for the daily tablet.... Indeed, this is fantastic news—for white MSM. The picture has become increasingly clear: PrEP is largely failing to help those who need an HIV prevention game changer most desperately, namely Black MSM, in particular those younger than 25.

    January 9, 2017
    POZ
  • Four London sexual health clinics saw dramatic falls in new HIV infections among gay men of around 40 per cent...., maybe mostly due to thousands buying ...PrEP online. “We need to be cautious,...but I can’t see what else it can be,” says Will Nutland, London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine....To avoid paying for brand-name Truvada, growing numbers are buying generic versions from online pharmacies for £40 a month through UK website I Want PrEP Now.

    January 9, 2017
    New Scientist
  • The Jewish Healthcare Foundation launched AIDS Free Pittsburgh [AFP] last December to slash HIV infections by 75 percent and eliminate new cases of AIDS by 2020. AIDS often is the result of late HIV diagnosis and delayed treatment, said Dr. Ken Ho...at the University of Pittsburgh. Today, it can be avoided — but it requires a multi-pronged approach, one AFP is taking,..based on similar programs in San Francisco, New York and Washington.

    January 9, 2017
    TribLive
  • Donald Trump has promised to change Washington, and he surely will. Yet while he may play some wild cards in the realms of medicine, science, and public health, you can also look for some surprising continuity with President Obama’s administration. Here’s our preview of what to expect.

    January 9, 2017
    STAT
  • Included in the Senate Foreign Relations Committee’s oversight is the U.S. President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief, and the US Agency for International Development. Science Speaks introduces you to those new members in this series.

    January 9, 2017
    Science Speaks
  • Researchers who conducted a dozen focus groups [in eight community settings across Baltimore, Maryland,] with 70 straight and gay/bisexual Hispanic and African-American males ages 15 to 24 report that gaining a better understanding of the context in which young men grow up will allow health care providers to improve this population’s use of sexual and reproductive health care.

    January 9, 2017
    Science Daily
  • The Cleveland Clinic yesterday released an apology from a staff physician who published an antivaccination column late last week on the news website Cleveland.com. The doctor, Daniel Neides, will be “appropriately disciplined,” the Ohio hospital added in its own statement, which noted that the family physician’s views do not reflect his institution’s.

    January 9, 2017
    Science Mag
  • My work in South Africa is showing that managed HIV encounters a variety of social and environmental challenges that confront the possibility for healthy lives. This begins at rural clinics and hospitals where testing occurs, and then continues with the procedures for continued treatment.

    January 9, 2017
    The Conversation
  • This week, a study examines how two precursor forms of vitamin D may help protect against HIV infection. Another study supports the idea of protease inhibitor monotherapy, specifically for individuals with high CD4 counts and who have had undetectable viral loads for years. Finally, people in New York City are being diagnosed earlier and starting treatment sooner than they were a decade ago.

    January 6, 2017
    BodyPro
  • The negative impact of the war on drugs on the HIV epidemic is felt more acutely in the Central Visayas region and its main Cebu City,...[which] has the country’s highest population of injection-based drug use....From July to October, almost all new HIV infections as a result of drug injection were identified in the Central Visayas region alone. Around 43% of men injecting drugs in Cebu City are HIV-positive.

    January 5, 2017
    IB Times
  • Salk Institute scientists have solved the atomic structure of a key piece of machinery that allows HIV to integrate into human host DNA and replicate in the body, which has eluded researchers for decades. The findings describing this machinery, known as the "intasome," appear January 6, 2017, in Science and yield structural clues informing the development of new HIV drugs.

    January 5, 2017
    Science Daily
  • For advocates of the NIH, this is their worst fear: Come April, when Congress needs to fund the federal government again, they’ll be so busy...that they’ll simply pass a stopgap spending bill that would likely mean another year of flat funding....Lobbyists around town who want to see more dollars for NIH cite several reasons to be concerned.

    January 4, 2017
    STAT
  • New data suggest that Africa is on the cusp of beating back HIV. But to do so it will have to redouble its efforts to educate, test and treat more people. It would also help if more girls stayed in school, and if faster economic growth gave more young women the jobs and independence that might make sugar daddies’ offers less tempting.

    January 3, 2017
    Economist
  • For years, researchers have been trying to figure out why gay and bisexual (men who have sex with men, or MSM) black men have such high rates of HIV....[W]hat's emerging is a picture based on social and structural factors....[One particular barrier might surprise to medical professionals: black MSM's health care providers themselves...[and] a gulf between patient and provider that leaves room for old stories and beliefs about black men and MSM to color clinical judgment.

    December 30, 2016
    BodyPro

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