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16 June 2017 VOLUME 18 ISSUE 24

Media Coverage

  • Experts cited complicated factors, like patient and doctor awareness and the unique way the US HIV medication market functions, as reasons not to get your hopes up.

    June 16, 2017
    Vice
  • Campaigners say President Museveni’s plan to end HIV by 2030 will not work if it ignores whole communities where the disease is rife. Activists have criticised the Ugandan president for failing to cater for gay men in his new plan to end HIV by 2030.

    June 15, 2017
    The Guardian
  • Quarraisha Abdool Karim is philosophical about dud experiments...In 2010, she showed that women can halve their chance of contracting HIV if they use a gel containing the antiretroviral drug tenofovir at least 80% of the times they have sex,...the first demonstration that a woman-initiated approach could work....Her clinical trials put her in direct contact with the women she's trying to help, and knowing them motivates her. “They are a constant reminder of the urgency for women-initiated technologies,” she says.

    June 15, 2017
    Nature
  • Two years after the clubs were launched, more than 1,100 RISE clubs have been set up in six out of nine provinces across South Africa, reaching more than 18,000 girls. And demand is outpacing supply....Understanding HIV and how to protect oneself from infection is a theme weaving through many of the conversations.

    June 14, 2017
    Exposure
  • Hoping to prevent future outbreaks and drive the HIV infection rate to zero, public health experts [held] a Capitol Hill summit Wednesday. The summit’s organizer, anti-HIV public health advocate amfAR, is rolling out a new website that assembles a wealth of data on the opioid epidemic and its relationship to HIV and other infectious diseases....This includes CDC data on the 220 opioid addiction-racked US counties most vulnerable to infectious disease outbreaks linked to injection drug use.

    June 14, 2017
    Washington Post
  • A greater proportion of uncircumcised men test HIV-positive with increasing age, according to a study presented at the 8th South African Aids Conference in Durban yesterday....The reasons for circumcision by age was thought to be related to a transition to manhood in the young, while older men sought out VMMC because they feared they might have been exposed to HIV.

    June 14, 2017
    Cape Times
  • The Việt Nam Administration for AIDS Control in coordination with PATH has launched an oral HIV pre-exposure prophylaxis service in Việt Nam....The introduction of PrEP services is part of the US President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR) through the Healthy Markets project, a five-year initiative funded by USAID....The pilot programme will run until September 2018 at which time the results will be documented and presented to the Ministry of Health for the following steps.

    June 14, 2017
    Viet Nam News
  • On 19 May, Belgium announced that it would start rolling out PrEP provision and had set aside €1 million to pay for it....On 24 May, Brazil announced that it had given itself a deadline of six months to start offering PrEP free of charge to those in need of it via its national Unified Health System....On 29 May, Portugal announced that it too was taking steps to roll out PrEP....Meanwhile, on 26 May, Morocco announced an implementation trial of PrEP.

    June 13, 2017
    AIDSmap
  • We modeled three budget scenarios – the Administration’s proposed cuts as well as two more modest decreases – in countries that receive US global health assistance for HIV, TB, family planning, and maternal, newborn, and child health. Based on our models, the potential health impacts of these one-year cuts is significant across all three budget scenarios.

    June 13, 2017
    Kaiser Health News
  • The power of positive thinking might extend well beyond emotional well-being to include physical benefits such as lower viral load in people with HIV, according to new research from Northwestern University...published in the Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology.

    June 13, 2017
    BodyPRO
  • The long and largely unsuccessful effort to develop a vaccine against HIV...suffered a major setback in 2009, when the experimental shot RV144 was shown in a trial to be just 31% effective. Now scientists led by Duke University are taking insights from that trial...and using them to design a more comprehensive vaccination approach...using a “pentavalent,” or five-part vaccine.

    June 13, 2017
    Fierce Biotech
  • Testifying before two Senate committees, Tillerson faced tough questions about the administration's proposal to cut funding for the State Department and U.S. Agency for International Development by more than 31 percent....The chairman and ranking members of both committees said the budget is a non-starter and represents an abdication of American leadership....[It]...includes a $222 million cut in an international fund for fighting AIDS, tuberculosis and malaria and would end $523 million in funds for international family planning programs.

    June 13, 2017
    NY Times
  • Crucial to the plan’s success is the ability of the country to meet two particular goals: implementing the 90:90:90 strategy for HIV...[and] that treatment, and other support, is given to vulnerable groups, such as sex workers. But will the plan work? Some believe not. One source of criticism has come from sex workers themselves. Their case is set out in an open letter to the South African National Aids Council written by Zenande Dlamini, sex worker and activist.

    June 13, 2017
    Times Live
  • Teva has won FDA approval to sell a generic version of Gilead's Truvada pill to prevent HIV. Amid widespread confusion over when the HIV prevention pill will go generic, a spokeswoman for Teva on Monday told STAT that the company has reached a confidential settlement controlling when it can enter the marketplace.

    June 12, 2017
    STAT News
  • Controversy is brewing about the body mandated to validate test kits for screening blood-related infections as alarm escalated over influx of suspected fake testing kits in the market. While Kenya National Blood Transfusion Service director Margaret Oduor said the test kits have been evaluated by the National Aids and STI’s Control Programme, questions are being raised whether the government agency has the capacity to execute the mandate.

    June 12, 2017
    Media Max Network
  • The drug used to help prevent HIV has been included on the WHO "essential drug list"....Professor Salim Abdool-Karim, director of CAPRISA, told GroundUp that "now that it's on the WHO list the next step is for the South African essential drugs list committee to consider it for inclusion"....He expects that when the committee next meets, it will be included on the list,...the procurement process would need to be implemented...[and] that this should be relatively straightforward.

    June 12, 2017
    What'sUpHIV
  • Cervical cancer affects more than half a million women and causes more than a quarter of a million deaths each year globally. Almost all cervical cancers result from a human papillomavirus, or HPV, infection. HPV infections cause cancers in other parts of the body, too. But the latest HPV vaccine could prevent most infections -- and millions of cancers -- worldwide, according to researchers at the University of New Mexico Comprehensive Cancer Center.

    June 12, 2017
    Science Daily
  • In 60 women from El Salvador who used the Hybrid Capture 2 High-Risk HPV DNA test, 98% said they accepted self-screening because it was easy, 98% because it saved time, and 80% because it was less embarrassing, Miriam Cremer, Cleveland Clinic Lerner College of Medicine and colleagues reported...in the International Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology....Rates of cervical cancer incidence and mortality in El Salvador are among the highest in the world.

    June 12, 2017
    MedPage Today
  • The partnership between National Aids & STI Control Programme (NASCOP) and Pharmaceutical Society of Kenya was announced at the society’s annual scientific conference. The two organisations also rolled out a nation-wide sensitisation campaign for self-testing through the more than 4,000 registered pharmacists across the country. The programme will establish the community pharmacy as a primary healthcare center to support government efforts to fight HIV/Aids.

    June 11, 2017
    The Star
  • The female condom, sold under the name F2C, will no longer be available in pharmacy aisles. Veru Health, the company that makes the product, is moving to a prescription distribution model....Advocates, however, note that this move comes with a hefty price increase that could leave the uninsured with no access to the condom.

    June 9, 2017
    BodyPRO
  • Men who have sex with men in Seattle who had recently begun to take PrEP described profound impacts on their sexual health and wellbeing that go beyond PrEP’s primary function of preventing HIV infection, according to a study in the International Journal of Sexual Health....However, it also exposed users to PrEP stigma. Both positive and negative impacts are likely to be key to PrEP’s acceptability, demand and patterns of use.

    June 9, 2017
    aidsmap
  • This week, a study finds that continuous HIV treatment adherence, without a 90-day gap, has increased from 2001-2010, and is now longer than adherence to medications for some other chronic diseases. Another study finds that programs specifically to help people living with HIV quit smoking are needed. And continuing to take antiretroviral therapy after giving birth despite having a high CD4 count helps prevent future mild-to-moderate, HIV-related illnesses.

    June 9, 2017
    BodyPRO
  • The executive director of public-interest law organisation Section 27, Mark Heywood, was a founding member of the Treatment Action Campaign and helped to lead the struggle for HIV treatment in South Africa. In his new book, Get Up! Stand Up! Personal Journeys towards Social Justice, Heywood recounts how the war was won - and its costs.

    June 8, 2017
    Bhekisisa
  • The NIH is dropping a controversial, 1-month-old plan to cap the amount of support an individual scientist can receive.....Instead, the agency will eventually devote $1 billion a year—about 3% of its $34 billion budget—specifically to funding proposals from early- and midcareer investigators. The new plan, unveiled today, is a stunning shift from a policy announced on 2 May.

    June 8, 2017
    Science
  • Men who have sex with men have an increased risk of meningococcal disease, investigators from the United States report in...Clinical Infectious Diseases. The number of cases was small, but overall incidence of meningococcal disease was four times higher among MSM compared to non-MSM, with the risk especially high for HIV-positive MSM....[The authors] believe their findings support recommendations for all HIV-positive people to receive the quadrivalent meningococcal vaccine.

    June 6, 2017
    aidsmap
  • An international team of investigators...examined data collected between 1998 and 2013 in eastern Zimbabwe....“As far as we are aware, this is the first study to demonstrate an association between increasing partner age and HIV incidence in a representative general-population sample covering pre- and post-ART periods,” note the authors.

    June 2, 2017
    aidsmap

Published Research

  • We identified ten innovative financing instruments/IFIs, which mobilised US$8.9 billion (2.3% of overall DAH) in 2002–15, channelled mostly through GAVI and the Global Fund, and used for programmes for new and underused vaccines, HIV/AIDS, malaria, tuberculosis, and maternal and child health. Vaccination programmes received the largest amount of funding ($2.6 billion), followed by HIV/AIDS ($1080.7 million) and malaria ($1028.9 million), with no discernible funding targeted to non-communicable diseases.

    July 1, 2017
    Lancet
  • A new issue of Sexually Transmitted Diseases is now available online and for download through the iPad app. (Sexually Transmitted Diseases, July 2017 - Volume 44 - Issue 7)

    June 15, 2017
    Sexually Transmitted Diseases
  • Despite efforts to decentralise services over the past decade, many barriers to accessing HIV care persist. There is a need to increase sustained access to care for PLHIV not yet on treatment, with initiatives that encompass biomedical aspects of care alongside considerations for individual and collective challenges they faced. A failure to do so may undermine efforts to achieve universal access to antiretroviral therapy.

    June 14, 2017
    Sex Transm Infect
  • Survival rates of patients with HIV have improved enormously as a result of [ART], but increased life expectancy is now associated with a high risk of comorbidities. HIV–1-associated chronic obstructive pulmonary disease often manifests as emphysema, originating around the airways and extending into lung tissue. Chung et al. have discovered that this is caused by HIV binding to basal cells in the airway and activating a tissue-destructive phenotype.

    June 9, 2017
    Science
  • Conclusions: Maternal HSV-2 coinfection appears to be associated with increased perinatal HIV transmission. Further study of the effect of HSV-2 treatment on MTCT is warranted.

    June 9, 2017
    Sex Transm Infect
  • We developed...the MZCL IVR, which released the antiviral agents MIV-150, zinc acetate, and carrageenan (MZC), and the contraceptive levonorgestrel (LNG)....No NNRTI-resistant SHIV was detected in macaques that became infected after continuous exposure to MZC....Macaques wearing the MZCL IVR also had carrageenan levels in vaginal fluid expected to protect from HPV...and LNG levels in blood associated with contraceptive efficacy. The MZCL IVR is a promising MPT [multipurpose prevention technology] that warrants further development.

    June 9, 2017
    Drug Delivery and Translational Research
  • A provocative Letter to the Editor from Timothy Ray Brown, the only person in the world cured of HIV, raises concerns about major changes in the approach to NIH funding under consideration. With the goal of optimal stewardship of taxpayer funds and increasing support for early and mid-career investigators, a program placing caps on individual support levels will be implemented. These potentially major changes have raised concerns.

    June 1, 2017
    AIDS Research and Human Retroviruses

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