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13 MARCH 2015 VOLUME 16 ISSUE 11

Media Coverage

  • On June 5 1981, the virus that would become known as HIV was mentioned for the first time in a medical publication by the Centre for Disease Control’s Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report in the United States. Zimbabwe was not spared when the virus started ravaging the world, especially Sub- Saharan Africa like a veld fire.

    March 13, 2015
    Zimbabwe Mail
  • Takeda Pharmaceutical said it has done its job and is bowing out of further development of a human papillomavirus vaccine....Takeda brought development of the vaccine through the preclinical stage and has transferred the license to the Chemo-Sero-Therapeutic Research Institute, known as Kaketsuken, to develop it to market....
     
    March 12, 2015
    FiercePharma
  • The widely reported Proud study shows just how effective pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP) can be at preventing HIV transmission. PrEP is, quite simply, a game-changer and represents a wake-up call for the government, NHS England and local authorities to make PrEP a key component in our strategy to defeat HIV.
     
    March 12, 2015
    Guardian
  • Before Discover magazine named her one of “The 50 Most Important Women Scientists,” before she became president-elect of the International Society for Vaccines, before she was nicknamed by her former students “The Mother of DNA Vaccines,” Dr. Margaret A. Liu was a kid growing up in Durango....[Her] résumé spans the gamut of scientific work in her area of expertise. 
     
    March 12, 2015
    Durango Herald
  • A colleague in East Africa and I were talking about an upcoming national survey to measure the HIV epidemic in the hardest hit countries. “We’re willing to go to more households to test more people,” if that’s what it takes, she said. “We really need to know how many people aren’t aware they have HIV.”

    March 12, 2015
    Global Post
  • Overtaken by microbicide trial results, USAID update on global health research raises questions of HIV prevention....In the void left by those results, a sentence at the end of the [HIV] section moves up in prominence, where the report notes: “USAID continues to collaborate with its partners and other donors to design and validate improved models for preclinical evaluation.”
     
    March 11, 2015
    Science Speaks
  • Uganda’s ability to respond to major epidemics will be undermined if plans to send 263 doctors, nurses and midwives to the Caribbean are carried out, civil society activists have warned.
    March 11, 2015
    IRIN
  • I was living in Ghana in February 2008 when President George W. Bush stopped by for a brief state visit. The local press was largely critical....But there was one issue on which Ghanaians and the US president clearly saw eye to eye: sex education....Whether it worked or not, an abstinence-oriented approach was much more consistent with mainstream Ghanaian values than was so-called comprehensive sex education, with its emphasis on individual autonomy and decision-making....
     
    March 11, 2015
    Foreign Affairs
  • Leon Richardson is 18 years old and tall, charismatic and thoughtful about his sexual health. He understands that as a young, gay black man, he is in the demographic with the highest rate of HIV infections in the country. But when Richardson learned that he could be part of an HIV prevention pill research study for young people, he was skeptical...

    March 11, 2015
    WNYC
  • We at the US Women and PrEP Working Group, a national advocacy coalition of more than 100 women’s health advocates, health-care providers, researchers, policymakers, and industry partners, believe that everyone has the right to affordable access to the tools they need to implement their sexual and reproductive choices....March 10 is National Women and Girls HIV/AIDS Awareness Day. So it’s a good time to ask the question: Why are women being excluded from this potentially life-saving medication?
    March 10, 2015
    RH Reality Check
  • Imagine a single drug that could prevent human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) infection, treat patients who have already contracted HIV, and even remove all the dormant copies of the virus from those with the more advanced disease. It sounds like science fiction, but scientists have gotten one step closer to creating such a drug by customizing a powerful defense system used by many bacteria and training this scissor-like machinery to recognize the HIV virus.
     
    March 10, 2015
    Science Daily
  • A new approach to care for patients with advanced HIV in Tanzania and Zambia, combining community support and screening for a type of meningitis, has reduced deaths by 28%. The research, published in the Lancet, suggests that a simple low-cost intervention could be an effective approach to reducing HIV-related deaths in Africa. Researchers...conducted a randomised trial of 1,999 HIV patients in Tanzania and Zambia.
    March 10, 2015
    Science Daily
  • Every day, an estimated 3,000 latex condoms are flushed down the toilet and end up in pipelines connected to the city’s sewer system, Topsy Sikalinda, spokesman at Lusaka Water and Sewerage Co. Ltd., said. Not all the condoms make it to the treatment facility, contributing to the more than 20 blockages that have to be cleared along the network each day....“It’s good that people are using condoms,” Sikalinda said. “On the other hand, it’s important to sensitize people on the proper disposal of them.”
    March 10, 2015
    Bloomberg
  • Last month, a team of scientists announced what could prove to be an enormous step forward in the fight against HIV.
    March 9, 2015
    New York Times
  • Seeing is believing, and a study in rhesus macaques with a new imaging technique reveals for the first time a real-time map of an AIDS virus replicating in the entire body of a living animal....The innovative tool promises to clarify the still-murky details of the initial infection process and may help guide drug, vaccine, and cure research in people.
     
    March 9, 2015
    Science
  • How do you cut the school dropout rate for girls in a remote pocket of Uganda? And how do you create jobs for village women? The answer to both questions: sanitary pads. The story begins in 2009, when 26-year-old Sophia Klumpp and her husband-to-be Paul Grinvalds – she's from the US, he's from Canada — began working for a nonprofit group in a rural village in Uganda...
    March 9, 2015
    NPR
  • A study [in Zimbabwe] examining what happened to adults and teenagers who had been diagnosed with HIV, had come to a clinic for care, and were waiting to begin antiretroviral treatment found that of those who died during that wait, the death rate among adolescents — those patients between the ages of 10 and 19 — was double that of adults....
     
    March 8, 2015
    Science Speaks
  • I have supported my fellow activists in the LGBT community...for fast access to PrEP in the spirit of solidarity, as I want to support what many gay men feel it’s better for themselves....However can PrEP just be provided to men who have sex with men in the UK?  What about others? What about other vulnerable populations, such as black women and migrants? What about trans women? All the data we have here in the UK  is about men who have sex with men, and this worries me.
    February 27, 2015
    Speaking Up

Published Research

  • FEM-PrEP was unable to determine whether once-daily, oral emtricitabine/tenofovir disoproxil fumarate reduces the risk of HIV acquisition among women because of low adherence. Self-reported adherence was high, and pill-count data suggested good adherence. Yet, drug concentrations revealed limited pill use. We conducted a follow-up study with former participants in Bondo, Kenya, and Pretoria, South Africa, to understand factors that had influenced overreporting of adherence and to learn the whereabouts of unused pills.
    March 13, 2015
    J Acquir Immune Defic Syndr
  • Here we show that...B cell follicles constitute 'sanctuaries' for persistent SIV replication in the presence of potent anti-viral CD8+ T cell responses, potentially complicating efforts to cure HIV infection with therapeutic vaccination or T cell immunotherapy.
     
    March 12, 2015
    Nature Medicine
  • This issue of the Journal presents a milestone in expanding the coverage of cancers associated with the human papillomavirus (HPV). Joura and colleagues report the results of a randomized, controlled trial of a new 9-valent HPV vaccine versus a quadrivalent HPV vaccine in more than 14,000 young women. The authors found that the new vaccine had an efficacy of nearly 97% against high-grade cervical, vulvar, and vaginal disease related to HPV types 31, 33, 45, 52, and 58. 
    March 12, 2015
    N Engl J Med
  • The 2013 WHO guidelines recommend substantially expanded ART eligibility. The host countries of the TasP trials are adopting the guidelines as national policy...., and currently accepted ethical standards for clinical trials oblige the TasP trials to do likewise for patients enrolled in all trial arms. The problem is that the [TasP] trials were designed and originally powered under the more restricted, previous ART eligibility standards and may thus become insufficiently powered to test the TasP hypothesis.
    March 12, 2015
    PLoS Med
  • Four large community trials [of TasP] are underway in South Africa, Zambia, Botswana, Kenya and Uganda....In June 2014, Bärnighausen and colleagues presented their views on the implications of the 2013 change in WHO ART guidelines for the TasP studies. Their main conclusions were that as WHO guidelines are implemented, it will become unethical to continue the trials....We believe that the article by Bärnighausen and colleagues contains inaccurate statements that compromise their conclusions.
     
    March 10, 2015
    PLoS Med

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