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14 April 2017 VOLUME 18 ISSUE 15

Media Coverage

  • When the next viral threat goes on the march in a remote African or Asian village, a defunct drugmaking facility in Rockville, Maryland, could be critical to the global response.

    April 14, 2017
    Science
  • More Kentucky adults favor syringe exchanges than oppose them, and the more they know about them, the more likely they are to support them, according to the latest Kentucky Health Issues Poll....Last year, the CDC said 54 of Kentucky’s 120 counties were among the 220 most vulnerable in the nation to a rapid spread of HIV and hepatitis C infection among those who inject drugs. Sixteen of the state’s counties ranked in the nation’s top 25.

    April 13, 2017
    Ky Forward
  • The HIV Prevention and Control Bill 2017, passed by the Parliament Wednesday is a progressive piece of legislation that people living with HIV, and public health activists have been waiting for at least two decades. Although considerably late and not without some failings, it's expected to help normalise the lives of more than two million people living with the virus, and those who might be infected in future.

    April 13, 2017
    Huffington Post
  • India has passed a landmark bill which aims to ensure equal rights for those living with HIV/AIDS. The HIV and AIDS (Prevention and Control) Bill, passed by the [Indian] parliament Tuesday, will make it illegal to discriminate against people living with and affected by HIV. It is the first of its kind in south Asia, and will make India the largest country in the world to ban this kind of discrimination.

    April 13, 2017
    CNN
  • Dr. Mark Wainberg, a Montreal-based trailblazer in HIV/AIDS research and an internationally renowned scientist, died Tuesday after swimming in rough water in Bal Harbour, Fla. He was 71....Wainberg was, at the time of his death, lead investigator at the Lady Davis Institute for Medical Research at the Jewish General Hospital, director of the McGill University AIDS Centre, [and] professor of microbiology and immunology, medicine and pediatrics at McGill.

    April 13, 2017
    CBC News
  • Speaking at a recent forum, Anova Health Institute, senior clinical specialist Kevin Rebe debunked some of the myths that could be standing between you and PrEP. Myth: PreP will increase my risk of contracting a sexually transmitted infection; Myth: People taking PrEP are more promiscuous; Myth: I can’t take PrEP because I’m pregnant.

    April 13, 2017
    Bhekisisa
  • People in Scotland at risk of HIV will be able to access PrEP treatment on the NHS. The Scottish Medicines Consortium (SMC) – which decides which drugs should be made available on the NHS – gave the go-ahead on Monday....The Scottish decision is in sharp contrast to the lack of access to PrEP for high-risk patients in England.

    April 12, 2017
    Pharmaceutical Journal
  • Lilianne Ploumen, Dutch minister for foreign trade and development cooperation...told Devex that Europe will be “a beacon of stability” on women’s issues in coming years....“We need to step out of our silos...: the HIV/AIDS community, women’s empowerment community, people working on ending inequality, there is a need to come together more, and I hope the She Decides platform will invite people from those different backgrounds to not only contribute funding, but to contribute to the conversation.”

    April 12, 2017
    Devex
  • What do particle diffusion in liquids and stock price prediction have to do with building a better HIV vaccine? According to University of Iowa microbiologist Hillel Haim, you can apply concepts from the first two to predict the evolution of HIV surface proteins, information that can then be used to design better vaccines [and]...potentially allow tailoring of vaccines to the specific forms of HIV present in different populations worldwide.

    April 12, 2017
    News Medical
  • Professor Michael Farzan...has received $4.8 million through a 2017 Avant-Garde Award for HIV/AIDS research from the NIH's National Institute on Drug Abuse....This work will build on a 2015 study...showing that researchers can use a gene-therapy approach to prompt muscle tissue to produce HIV-fighting antibodies or antibody-like molecules. Further studies from the Farzan lab have shown that this method works as a vaccine to protect nonhuman primates from HIV.

    April 11, 2017
    News Medical
  • As numbers of children taking medicine while at school increases, experts are calling on the government to issue schools with letters that allow learners to comfortably carry their prescribed medication to school and take it without any hitches....This is in accordance with a new resolution adopted by the ministries of Health and Education to address growing cases of HIV among adolescents.

    April 11, 2017
    Daily Nation
  • The Department of Health in KwaZulu-Natal, together with non-governmental organisation "Integration of TB in Education and Care for HIV and Aids", also known as I-TEACH, have embarked on a campaign to train thousands of traditional healers to conduct HIV/Aids tests on their clients.

    April 10, 2017
    SABC
  • Scientists at The Scripps Research Institute (TSRI) have found a way to tether HIV-fighting antibodies to immune cells, creating a cell population resistant to the virus. Their experiments under lab conditions show that these resistant cells can quickly replace diseased cells, potentially curing the disease in a person with HIV. "This protection would be long term," said Jia Xie, senior staff scientist at TSRI.

    April 10, 2017
    Science Daily
  • Veterans are disproportionately affected by HIV, HCV and HBV compared with the general public, and homeless veterans are at a particularly high risk for infection due to overlapping risk factors such as high rates of mental health and substance use disorders. Amanda Noska, MD, MPH,...and colleagues used VA warehouse data containing records for more than 5.6 million veterans.

    April 10, 2017
    Healio
  • Scientists from The Scripps Research Institute in La Jolla announced they had conceptually demonstrated an entirely new method of blocking HIV [and] have teamed up with the City of Hope hospital in Los Angeles County...to develop the method so it can be tested in HIV patients. If the vaccine-like technology works — and it will be years before it will be ready for patients — it would cure them of HIV disease, said Scripps Research professor Richard Lerner.

    April 10, 2017
    San Diego Tribune
  • As the executive and legislative branches review the federal budget, they will have vigorous debates about how best to spend taxpayers’ money — and they should....I argue that we shouldn’t spend money on programs that don’t work...but they should fully fund programs that have proven to be efficient, effective and results-oriented. Saving nearly 12 million lives is proof that PEPFAR works, and I urge our government to fully fund it.

    April 9, 2017
    Washington Post
  • Gay sex has been a crime in Tanzania, punishable with life in prison, since British colonial rule, but there is no record of anyone serving serious time for it,...despite stigma and discrimination. But now the Tanzanian government is getting aggressive....Government ministers have threatened to release lists of LGBT people across Tanzania, and health workers say it’s begun interfering with HIV prevention and treatment.

    April 8, 2017
    BuzzFeed
  • In a stirring op-ed published in the Washington Post, former President George W. Bush pressed Republican lawmakers and President Donald Trump to continue to fully fund an anti-AIDS program he created in 2003 to battle the HIV/AIDS pandemic in Africa. “In the past six years, more than 370,000 women have been screened for cervical cancer and 24,000 for breast cancer through Pink Ribbon Red Ribbon....Critical to this effort is our...partner, the President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR),”

    April 8, 2017
    Raw Story
  • This week, a study finds that starting ART immediately after diagnosis lowered the risk of severe bacterial infections. Another study finds that providers in the San Francisco area are willing to prescribe PrEP, but with more training. And researchers are examining how fibroblasts, cells in the genital and intestinal mucosa, may be carrying HIV to CD4 cells in the mucosa.

    April 7, 2017
    BodyPRO
  • This week, as President Trump’s nominee to head FDA, Scott Gottlieb sat before Republican lawmakers hungry for promises of “shorter time frames” for drug and device approvals, and again expressed his zeal—repeatedly—for adaptive trial designs....But for all their promise, many adaptive trial features still aren’t commonplace. And Gottlieb will face a number of obstacles to encouraging their wider use, experts tell Science Insider.

    April 7, 2017
    Science
  • Men living with HIV have an elevated rate of suicide, particularly in the first year after diagnosis, according to a 15-year study of almost 90,000 people diagnosed with HIV in England and Wales, with comparison against the general population. Sara Croxford of Public Health England presented the findings to the British HIV Association (BHIVA) conference in Liverpool yesterday.

    April 6, 2017
    AIDSmap
  • The number of new HIV diagnoses in gay men attending five key London clinics fell substantially during 2015 and 2016, Valerie Delpech of Public Health England told the BHIVA conference yesterday....“We are witnessing and recording an ecological experiment of the impact of combination prevention on HIV incidence,” Delpech said, [adding] that there was no reason why testing and early ART could not be scaled up in all people at risk of HIV in this country, regardless of gender, ethnicity or sexuality.

    April 6, 2017
    AIDSmap
  • The University of Chicago Medicine's Center for Interdisciplinary Inquiry and Innovation in Sexual and Reproductive Health has launched a research initiative aimed at reducing HIV infection and transmission among vulnerable youth of color, including young men who have sex with men YMSM and young transgender women. The goal is to provide job readiness and employment skills to increase placement within companies with existing diversity and inclusion policies that protect LGBTQ young people.

    April 6, 2017
    News Medical
  • I saw a dramatic illustration of Fogarty's reach at an International Conference on HIV prevention attended by over 1,000 delegates from developing countries. During the closing ceremony Ken Bridbord MD, Fogarty’s director of training and research programs, asked all in the audience who had received training from the Fogarty programs to stand. Fully one third of the delegates stood as the contributions of the Fogarty International Center to health-related training in low-income countries were acknowledged.

    April 6, 2017
    PLoS Blog
  • The election for the next Director General of WHO has stirred a quiet but important conversation about the agency’s future role. Yet the two major questions driving this uncertainty—do we really need a WHO and, if yes, what do we need the WHO to do—are often avoided....The next DG needs to answer both questions.

    April 6, 2017
    Health Affairs
  • Clinics and health department programs that provide integrated STD and HIV prevention services reduced the incidence of HIV transmission in populations at high risk; however, delivery of certain specific services at the local level warrant improvement, according to a recent MMWR.

    April 6, 2017
    MMWR
  • That percentage jumped to more than 42 percent during 2013 to 2014....In both groups, prevalence was higher in men than in women. “We tend to overlook the fact that 20 percent of us are carrying the virus that can cause cancer,” said Geraldine McQuillan, lead author at CDC's National Center for Health Statistics....This is the first data CDC has compiled on HPV rates among men.

    April 6, 2017
    Washington Post
  • In findings presented at the 2017 American Association for Cancer Research Annual Meeting, UNC-Chapel Hill researcher Jessica Islam, in collaboration with the National Cancer Institute and CDC, reports the total number of HIV-positive cancer patients in the United States is projected to decrease through 2030, with significant decrease in cancers linked to the advanced stage of HIV infection, AIDS, while frequencies of other cancers, such as those of the lung and prostate, will increase.

    April 5, 2017
    News Medical
  • A method that renders cells resistant to virus infection is reported,...based on anchoring antibodies to cell surface virus receptors to the plasma membrane. Because of their effective molarity, the antibodies are much more effective than if they were free in the circulation,...interact with the receptors, and block virus attachment. In infections with viruses such as HIV, cells rendered resistant to infection will be selected over infected cells, thereby opening the possibility of [cure].

    April 5, 2017
    PNAS
  • It is laudable that the National Strategic Plan 2017-2022 makes a commitment to have 6.1-million people on ART by 2022,.. yet unless there are sweeping reforms of the health services,...this will be difficult to achieve....It is also not disloyal to point out that when the NSP is stripped off its verbiage when it comes to the scaleup of treatment,...the NSP merely endorses the PEPFAR plan.

    April 5, 2017
    Daily Maverick (South Africa)
  • Amid ongoing skepticism of the US Food and Drug Administration, a new analysis finds the agency is notably faster at reviewing and approving new medicines than its counterpart in Europe. And the researchers suggest the results, which resemble an earlier comparison, should reassure FDA critics as Congress looks to renew a law that allows the agency to collect industry funds for product reviews.

    April 5, 2017
    STAT News
  • Among young women in South Africa, approximately one out of every four new HIV infections is thought to stem from violence in some form....In places like the Victoria Hospital Forensic Unit, helping survivors of rape goes beyond clinical and psychosocial care....The Forensic Unit is part of...a remarkably strong collaboration between Department of Health medical staff, National Police Service,...National Prosecuting Authority, and Rape Crisis first response counsellors.

    April 4, 2017
    Global Fund
  • To understand how HIV-positive individuals become AIDS denialists,...we undertook a mixed-method study of the largest AIDS-denialist community on Russia’s largest social network, VKontakte....To our surprise, we found that the two most-known and hotly debated AIDS denial rhetorical strategies – that HIV science is fake and a product of a global conspiracy – played almost no role....Three important factors were determined: inadequate counselling, denial of diagnosis because informants “felt good”, and unwillingness to follow antiretroviral treatment.

    April 3, 2017
    The Conversation

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