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16 September 2016 VOLUME 17 ISSUE 37

Media Coverage

  • Is it true that the number of people becoming newly infected with HIV has not dropped much in recent years?

    September 16, 2016
    Africa Check
  • Abivax's share price has surged more than 160% in little more than one trading session....The surge followed an update on the Abivax-led Project CaReNa, a Bpifrance-backed scheme that pairs the French biotech with Theradiag and the French National Center for Scientific Research to develop HIV drugs and diagnostics targeting protein-RNA interactions.

    September 15, 2016
    Fierce Biotech
  • Yesterday the UN published the results of its high-level panel, set up last year by UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon....The panel is urging Ban Ki-moon to kick-start “negotiations for a binding R&D Convention that delinks the costs of research and development from end prices to promote access to good health for all.” Clinical trial transparency...was also high on the agenda--as well as greater transparency on just what it costs to develop a new medicine....But pharma is not happy about the report.

    September 15, 2016
    Fierce Biotech
  • Rutgers' New Jersey Medical School's Clinical Research Center is participating as a clinical trial site in a novel study that could signal a new way of protecting people from developing HIV infection....The Antibody Mediated Prevention (AMP) study will determine whether infusing an experimental antibody (VRC01) into HIV-negative men and transgender individuals who have sex with men, will prevent acquisition of HIV.

    September 15, 2016
    Medical Xpress
  • During my trip to South Africa in July, I had highlights of my visit recorded in virtual reality....Start by e-mailing this link to your phone....In this video, you will hear the stories of young women living with HIV. Sit beside me as I drive from the leafy suburbs of Johannesburg to the dusty township of Soweto....And be inspired by the power of South Africa’s youth...to create a future free of AIDS.

    September 15, 2016
    Gates Notes
  • Uniting the groups most at risk of contracting HIV — gay men in the UK or the USA to poor communities in South Africa or Uganda— a breakthrough drug is gaining ground.

    September 15, 2016
    Global Citizen
  • The high court ruled that NHS England has the power to commission PrEP, which has been described as a “game-changer” in the fight against HIV/AIDS. NHS England is appealing on the grounds that local authorities have the legal responsibility to arrange services to “prevent” the spread of HIV, while its own responsibilities are limited to treating those already assumed to be infected.

    September 15, 2016
    The Guardian
  • It’s much easier to scapegoat capitalism and property rights, and that’s what the [UN] High Level Panel was designed to do. Its mandate—the culmination of years of campaigning by NGOs—literally assumes an inherent conflict between patents and access to medicines for public health. Fully 50 times in the final report IP rights are assumed “incoherent” with public health. This indictment of patent protection reflects the inordinate influence radical NGOs have gained over UN institutions that in practice now function simply to convene and amplify developing world resentment.

    September 14, 2016
    Fox News
  • The Affordable Care Act’s preventive services requirement already includes coverage for at least some women of several important services to protect against HIV and other STIs....Yet, several other proven STI prevention services are currently omitted...: condoms to prevent STIs,...expedited partner therapy,....home testing kits,... pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP).

    September 14, 2016
    Health Affairs Blog
  • The highly anticipated report on access to medicines was released by the UN today. [and] has garnered both admiration and scorn. The biopharmaceutical industry called the document a “missed opportunity” by ignoring the common issues that restrict access. For Doctors Without Borders, it was a major victory....The report calls out the inability of the pharmaceutical industry to meet global health challenges.

    September 14, 2016
    Humanosphere
  • Researchers have attempted for years to develop a vaccine for HIV. But their efforts have faltered as researchers struggled to come up with a way to test the possible candidates until now. Using stem cell techniques, researchers at Boston Children's Hospital have created a new kind of mouse with a human immune system able to identify if an HIV vaccine might work. The research was published last week in the journal Cell.

    September 14, 2016
    Boston News Net
  • An effective vaccine may be necessary to eliminate hepatitis C virus (HCV) but development has been hampered by several challenges including the variability of the virus and incomplete natural immunity.

    September 14, 2016
    aidsmap
  • EurekAlert, a press release distribution service from the American Association for the Advancement of Science, has been hacked and—as a result—is temporarily offline. In emails sent to registered users throughout the day, AAAS confirmed that “registrants’ usernames and passwords were compromised” during a security breach the organization believes occurred on September 9.

    September 13, 2016
    The Scientist
  • Starting in 1984, Dr. Frank Plummer found himself in Nairobi, Kenya, where he spent 17 years leading the University of Manitoba’s medical collaboration there....During the 1980s, Plummer tracked the lives of sex workers who worked in areas where the infection rate sometimes exceeded 50 percent....At some point, Plummer noticed a curious phenomenon: some of the sex workers were not affected by HIV; they seemed to have a natural immunity.

    September 13, 2016
    Global Citizen
  • It is clear that sufficient effort has been placed in effective strategies to reduce the raging HIV epidemic of a decade ago but not enough effort has been placed in combatting the problematic attitudes which deny women control over their own bodies. The heavy burden of patriarchy is the biggest driver of this epidemic.

    September 13, 2016
    Huffington Post
  • With the support of the Global Fund and El Salvador's Ministry of Health, Plan International has created an innovative program that provides prevention services and early HIV-care and support services to El Salvador's most vulnerable populations. It uses mobile education units...[to] increase awareness of HIV and provide access to condoms and lubricants, rapid HIV testing, pre- and post-test counseling, as well as referrals to health centres and HIV-care clinics.

    September 13, 2016
    Huffington Post Canada
  • An ambitious new clinical trial funded by the NIH called REPRIEVE was launched in 2015 to investigate whether a cholesterol-controlling statin drug can lower the elevated cardiovascular disease risk of people living with HIV....Beyond focusing on the physiological issues unique to women, the study will also assess the best ways to recruit and retain women as trial participants, thus informing the design of future studies.

    September 13, 2016
    Health Affairs
  • Heart disease and HIV lead the list of medical research fields long overdue for a substantial re-focus on women’s health. Heart disease, originally thought to be a man’s disease, is actually the number one cause of death for women worldwide....Today, women account for half of all adults living with HIV worldwide....Heart disease and HIV converge in the most unfortunate way for women.

    September 13, 2016
    Health Affairs
  • For the first time, scientists know what happens to a virus' shape when it invades a host cell, thanks to an experiment by researchers at Penn State College of Medicine and University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine [that] could lead to more effective anti-viral therapies. The experiment was designed to investigate how a virus' protein shell -- its capsid -- changes as it prepares to inject its genetic material into a cell.

    September 13, 2016
    Science News
  • [A] research team led by Dr. Pandora Pound, University of Bristol School of Social and Community Medicine, analyzed 55 studies...in schools in numerous countries...between 1990 and 2015. Despite coming from different parts of the world, the teens' perceptions and feelings about the sex education they'd received was strikingly similar -- and not very positive.

    September 12, 2016
    Health Day News
  • In a small fraction of people infected for a couple of years, their immune systems learn to recognize viral mutations, cranking out “broadly neutralizing antibodies” that naturally block HIV in its many disguises. Scientists have tried to harness the potential of these antibodies and translate that knowledge into a vaccine....Now, researchers in a large-scale collaboration at a number of institutions say they have taken a major — though early — step toward such a vaccine development.

    September 12, 2016
    VOA
  • The Anti-Prostitution Loyalty Oath (APLO), which identifies prostitution and sex trafficking as contributing to the spread of HIV...has had pervasive and direct negative effects on the global goal of preventing HIV worldwide.... Many organizations fear that their funding will be at risk if they provide services to sex workers, and so have eliminated these services from their programs....Rather than upholding APLO, many organizations are pushing for the decriminalization of sex work.

    September 12, 2016
    HIV Equality
  • Research carried out by the International Association of Physicians in Aids Care [and]...published last month in the South African Journal of HIV Medicine show that only three countries in sub-Saharan Africa had adopted the WHO 2015 recommendations by August 2016, with an average delay of eight months to incorporate the[m] into national guidelines.

    September 12, 2016
    aidsmap
  • A new study from scientists at The Scripps Research Institute shows that "holes" in HIV's defensive sugar shield could be important in designing an HIV vaccine. It appears that antibodies can target these holes, which are scattered in HIV's protective sugar or "glycan" shield, and the question is now whether these holes can be exploited to induce protective antibodies.

    September 12, 2016
    Science Daily
  • On the sidelines of the India Africa Health Sciences Meet, Mark Feinberg, Chief Executive Officer of the International AIDS Vaccine Initiative, spoke to Vidya Krishnan about the lack of urgency weakening global HIV interventions. Having spent nearly three decades in HIV research, Dr. Feinberg said the AIDS epidemic was worse than ever but it had become less visible, leading governments to think that the problem had been solved.

    September 12, 2016
    The Hindu
  • While mosquitoes are a key menace when it comes to Zika, the media and public officials are too focused on them. They also need to pay attention to sex: If we are going to stop the spread of this disease, we are going to need better access to Zika testing for anyone who is sexually active in a Zika zone....If men can be carriers of Zika, why aren't they being recommended for testing in active Zika zones, too?

    September 11, 2016
    CNN
  • In a country where many myths abound around contraceptives and their side effects, the most popular forms of contraception for women in this community are depo-provera “depo” and intrauterine device implants....[which some women prefer] because unlike condoms they can keep them secret from their husbands....Dr Akinyele Eric Dairo,...UNFPA, adds that the preference for other forms of contraception also reflects young unmarried women’s fears of pregnancy.

    September 11, 2016
    IPS News
  • The wealthiest private foundation in history is tackling its most ambitious project ever: eliminating inequalities between the sexes. This is a major shift for the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation....But, says foundation co-chair Melinda Gates, too many programs miss the mark because their impact on women and girls is not taken into consideration.

    September 10, 2016
    Macleans
  • When presented with a range of possible HIV prevention technologies – a daily pill, pills before and after sex, injections, or a rectal gel – gay men in London have a range of views about which methods they would prefer, but the biggest determining factor was a method’s efficacy. Men felt they might be willing to experience more inconvenience or greater discomfort if a particular method offered them greater protection against HIV than another.

    September 9, 2016
    aidsmap
  • Science may be closer than ever before to ending a 25-year long debate about hormonal contraception and HIV infection risk but as the world deliberates, women may face tough choices....To provide a more definitive answer, a large clinical trial called Echo is underway in several African countries....The study, set to be released in 2018, could also inform evidence-based contraception and HIV-reduction policies in sub-Saharan Africa.

    September 9, 2016
    Bhekisisa
  • During HIV infection, the virus mutates too rapidly for the immune system to combat, but some people produce antibodies that can recognize the virus even two years after infection. With an eye towards developing a vaccine, in four related papers from multiple groups publishing September 8 in Cell and Immunity, researchers describe a multi-step method for "training" the immune system to produce these antibodies in genetically engineered mice.

    September 8, 2016
    Antibody Related Research
    Science Daily
  • There are significant disparities in the life expectancy of HIV-positive people starting combination antiretroviral therapy between world regions, according to the results of a meta-analysis published in HIV Medicine. In high-income countries, a 20 year old starting treatment was calculated to have a total life expectancy of 63 years, but in low/middle-income countries men starting treatment at that age had a total life expectancy of 43 years and women a life expectancy of 53 years.

    September 8, 2016
    aidsmap
  • Fear of a public and right-wing media backlash could be holding back the funding of a new “game-changing” preventative HIV treatment, according to the leader of the drug's clinical trial....In an interview with The Independent, Professor Sheena McCormack said the Government risks being influenced by public outrage instead of making a “straightforward, everyday business decision” according to clinical evidence and costs.

    September 2, 2016
    Independent

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