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19 JUNE 2014, VOLUME 15, ISSUE 25

Media Coverage

  • The Embassy of the United States of America has introduced a relatively new HIV preventive tool among youth in Botswana; an innovative feature film that also contains animated sequences showing how the virus circulates through the human body at different stages of infection. The film, Inside Story, will be distributed in secondary schools around the country in an effort to counter HIV message fatigue.

    June 19, 2014
    Botswana Gazette
  • Scientists have developed a new animal model for AIDS research by modifying how the HIV-1 virus interacts with the immune system of the pigtail macaque monkey. After decades of research, a reliable animal model has thus far eluded science given that HIV-1 only causes AIDS in humans and chimpanzees—the latter deemed impractical for study and no longer used in laboratories.

    June 19, 2014
    Medical Daily
  • The closest thing we have to a cure for HIV is viral suppression. Many patients who are stable on antiretroviral treatment have what is called an ‘undetectable viral load’. This does not mean that there is no virus in the patient’s body, but that there is so little virus that standard tests cannot detect it.

    June 19, 2014
    Health-e
  • Gilead Sciences Inc. should explain at a congressional hearing why a full course of its hepatitis C pill Sovaldi costs $84,000, two House Democrats said.

    June 19, 2014
    Bloomberg
  • Gardasil may be the No. 2-selling vaccine in the world, but its marketers have struggled against a variety of barriers to get it where they want it in terms of uptake. Now, a new anal cancer indication in Europe may help. On Wednesday, Sanofi Pasteur MSD—the European joint venture between Sanofi and Merck—announced that the European Commission had green-lighted Gardasil in both males and females for the prevention of anal cancers and precancerous lesions related to certain HPV types.

    June 19, 2014
    FiercePharma
  • The China Red Ribbon Foundation has launched an annual program to advocate knowledge about HIV and AIDS prevention among migrant workers. The program recruits university students as volunteers to give "health bags" to migrant workers that include such items as a pamphlet and a deck of cards with facts about HIV prevention, a cup, mask, nail cutter, handkerchief and a pair of gloves... Thirteen provinces, municipalities and regions... will take part in the program this year. There were about 269 million migrant workers in China in 2013.

    June 18, 2014
    China Daily
  • In 2000, Poppy Hillsborough* entered an office at San Francisco General Hospital with babies on her mind. Her boyfriend, Ted Morgan,* has HIV, and she wanted to know if she could have children with him without adopting or using expensive reproductive technology.

    June 18, 2014
    Beta
  • Inter-governmental Authority on Development (IGAD) member states agreed to collaborate in making accessible reproductive health services and in fighting HIV/AIDS within the sub-region....IGAD's Health and Social Affairs Division head, Fatah Alwan said that IGAD member states will hold a regular meeting every two years to review and share experience in prevention of HIV/AIDS, provision of reproductive health and control of trans-boundary diseases.

    June 18, 2014
    Ethiopian Radio and Television Agency
  • Technological advances in antigen discovery, genomics and immunological monitoring offer tremendous potential for revolutionizing vaccine development. On 5–6 February 2014, 35 leading vaccine scientists met to consider how best to harness these advances and spur innovation.

    June 18, 2014
    Nature Immunology
  • Last month, the CDC issued a much broader recommendation for the use of PrEP... because the incidence of HIV infection has remained stubbornly high, at about 50,000 new cases a year, even though we have the means to prevent it.

    June 18, 2014
    Medscape
  • A recent PLoS Medicine Collection considers the progress thus far, and through to 2016, of this initiative... The 13 papers in the collection deal with issues around supply of VMMC—such as maintaining quality of service during scale-up and optimizing efficiency in service delivery.  But, more interestingly, they also deal with the problem that identified as one of the two main obstacles to achieving the UNAIDS goal—that of creation of demand.

    June 18, 2014
    BMJ
  • The Network of Zambian people living with HIV and AIDS says stigma and discrimination are still high and hindering young people from disclosing their status as well as accessing treatment. Commenting on the Zambia Medical Association president Dr Aaron Mujajati's statement on Monday that there was a high risk of child-to-child HIV transmission at school or in the community, NZP+ programme manager Kunyima Banda, said there was need for a stigma-free environment.

    June 18, 2014
    The Post Zambia
  • In an unexpected announcement yesterday, the University of Southern California in Los Angeles revealed it may be acquiring or merging with the Scripps Research Institute... a major nonprofit biomedical research hub based in San Diego, California... The article cites anonymous sources who say funding woes at Scripps motivated the possible merger—namely, increasing competition for funding from the National Institutes of Health (NIH)...

    June 17, 2014
    Science
  • Is promoting the use of the antiviral drug a good public health strategy, or will it encourage more to have unprotected sex?

    June 17, 2014
    New York Times
  • Doctors now consider HIV infection a chronic disease rather than a death sentence because of the success of antiretroviral drugs (ARVs)... With that success in hand, the top priority is now prevention. The choices available to most of the world—abstinence, condoms and male circumcision—are especially problematic for women, who, because of social and economic circumstances, often have less control over their options. As an alternative, scientists are testing a new class of antiretroviral drugs, ARV microbicides, that prevent HIV infection altogether.

    June 17, 2014
    Scientific American
  • Treatment of people with HIV has advanced so much that some doctors and activists are urging the US National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID) to stop a trial that compares how well older and newer protocols keep mothers from passing HIV on to their newborn babies.

    June 17, 2014
    Nature
  • With trousers around his ankles, Justin Igalla awaits a tight rubber band for his foreskin, an innovative non-surgical technique rolling out in several African nations to encourage circumcision and cut HIV infection rates.

    June 17, 2014
    New Vision (Uganda)
  • This month the NIH expects to launch a global study that will... identify 54 HIV-positive infants and treat them with standard antiretroviral drugs beginning within 48 hours of birth. The team plans to enroll HIV-positive infants across 17 hospitals and clinics in the US and 11 other countries... After an extended period... researchers will discontinue therapy if they cannot find any virus in the child’s blood. The babies will then be carefully monitored to see if the virus boomerangs.

    June 16, 2014
    Scientific American
  • Fox News reported that Brazilian health officials took the opportunity to offer HIV testing and hand out condoms to World Cup fans in Sao Paulo June 13 during festivities in the city... The campaign provides rapid HIV testing and counseling, free condoms, and emergency retroviral drugs in Sao Paulo and 11 other cities across Sao Paulo state that currently house visiting World Cup teams.

    June 16, 2014
    Fox News/Reuters
  • First Lady Jeannette Kagame has urged all Rwandans, irrespective of status in society, to join the fight against HIV/AIDS, saying it is crucial to ensure that HIV-positive persons are not stigmatised. Mrs Kagame made the call at a function marking the 10th anniversary of the Rwanda Network of People living with HIV, commonly known as RRP+, at Petit Stade yesterday.

    June 13, 2014
    New Time
  • Fox News reported that a recent study revealed that while just fewer than 2 million Americans have chlamydia, approximately 400,000 do not know they are infected... The study also noted that young women between the ages of 14 and 19 have the highest chlamydia prevalence, and that 18.6 percent of cases were found in black teens, compared to 3.2 percent in white teen girls.

    June 11, 2014
    FOX News
  • A US Senate Appropriations subcommittee voted June 10 to give medical research a boost in funding to supplant the sequester cuts that hit the National Institutes of Health last year. The draft bill provides $30.5 billion in funding—a $605.7 million increase—for NIH's 27 institutes and centers for fiscal year 2015, which begins Oct. 1. That amounts to a 2% gain for the agency, which is more than the $211 million bump that President Obama's budget allotted...

    June 11, 2014
    FierceBiotechResearch
  • The United Nations General Assembly chose Sam Kutesa, Uganda’s foreign minister, as its next president on Wednesday, bypassing concerns of rights advocates and Western officials over Uganda’s law criminalizing homosexuality, which took effect four months ago. Mr. Kutesa was selected by acclamation, without a vote.

    June 11, 2014
    New York Times
  • The Global Dispatch reported that Haiti recorded more than 25,000 new HIV diagnoses in 2013... The majority of new HIV cases were among women at a ratio of 1.7:1, consistent with recent patterns. Approximately 20 percent of infected women were pregnant... More than 60 percent of infections were among heterosexuals, while only 6 percent was reported among men who have sex with men. Condom usage was low.

    June 8, 2014
    Global Dispatch

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