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21 NOVEMBER 2014 VOLUME 15 ISSUE 47

Media Coverage

  • News articles often describe Truvada, the daily medication that has been shown to greatly reduce the risk of contracting HIV, as controversial. But they tend to cite one specific Truvada opponent: Michael Weinstein, the outspoken president of the Los Angeles-based AIDS Healthcare Foundation.
     
    November 21, 2014
    New York Times
  • Hundreds of thousands of Zimbabweans are kept alive by anti-retroviral drugs (ARVs) given freely by aid agencies on condition that they are not re-sold and are used for treating those in need....However, any interruption in the supply of those drugs to a patient can seriously affect their health....Which is why it is so disturbing that the regular supply of ARV is reportedly being disrupted by theft and corruption.
     
     
     
    November 20, 2014
    Aljazeera
  • Ngā Taonga Sound & Vision Auckland presents Thirty, a moving image exhibition that illuminates the early years of HIV AIDS, explores changing community attitudes and responses, and acknowledges those that have passed. The exhibition endeavours to break stereotypes - and, in particular, to give voice to the underrepresented story of women and AIDS.
    November 20, 2014
    Yahoo News
  • The Presidency has taken the lead in efforts geared towards eliminating mother to child transmission of HIV with the launch of new National Operational Plan for the Elimination of Mother to Child Transmission of HIV in Nigeria (2015-2016), last week Thursday, in Abuja.
     
    November 20, 2014
    Guardian
  • At my home is a photograph of Princess Adeyeo,...a refugee during Liberia’s civil war; when she returned, she found she was HIV-positive. But in Monrovia’s John F. Kennedy Hospital she was put on antiretroviral drugs and gave birth to a baby boy, HIV-negative, healthy....It’s right that we get mad about Ebola....But we should remember too that Liberia–in fact, every country–has seen small miracles like the story of Princess and her son, and sees more each year.
    November 20, 2014
    Time
  • An anthology featuring eight Zimbabwean poets has been published just in time for this year's World AIDS Day on December 1...."We are One (With or Without)" is an AIDS poetry compilation published this year by Diaspora Publishers (UK). Done specifically for the annual AIDS event, [it] carries verse of desperation, consolation, and education as the poets featured meditate in their different serenities (or disturbed thought)....
    November 19, 2014
    The Herald
  • Not all sex workers do it because they cannot find any other job. Some of them, even if offered alternative work, would not even consider taking it....The National AIDS and STI Control Programme together with other partners are implementing various programmes specifically tailored to this key population.
    November 19, 2014
    The Star
  • An Army National Guard colonel charged with knowingly exposing a woman to HIV faced his accuser in a military courtroom on Monday.  Col. Jeffrey Pounding, a Special Forces officer, is charged with assault, adultery, and conduct unbecoming an officer, according to the Army Times. The accusations against Pounding are being heard in an Article 32 hearing, the military equivalent of a grand jury.
    November 19, 2014
    Daily Beast
  • Congress should authorize a public-private partnership designed specifically to mutually fund and develop the most promising drugs and medicines to combat outbreaks like Ebola and bioterrorism.... The partnership would be a great place for FDA to experiment with innovative new approaches like 'adaptive licensing' and technologies such as early biomarker qualification that would rapidly accelerate access to life-saving innovative therapies.
     
    November 19, 2014
    USA Today
  • The number of people in the UK infected with HIV has reached an all-time high, new figures show. Nearly 110,000 are living with the condition, but around a quarter are unaware they have it. They are therefore at risk of passing on the virus to others through unprotected sex, experts warn. The figures, from Public Health England, have been released ahead of National HIV Testing Week.
     
    November 19, 2014
    Mail Online
  • This year, the Foreign Operations Bill proposed by the [US] House of Representatives includes restoration of $300 million in funding for PEPFAR....The restored funding would prevent an estimated 62,000 AIDS related deaths, place over 54,000 HIV positive pregnant women on antiretroviral treatment in low-income countries, and prevent as many as 16,800 infant HIV infections. Unfortunately, the proposed legislation also contains a discredited policy that could undercut the health impact of these additional funds.
    November 19, 2014
    Huffington Post
  • Bionor Pharma ASA announces the results from the Vacc-4x + Revlimid (lenalidomide) study also known as the "Boost & Kill" study. The Phase II trial was an exploratory double-blind placebo controlled immunogenicity study....Qualitative immune response analyses support the quantitative findings.
     
    November 19, 2014
    ClinicaSpace
  • Brazil has a long history of innovation on HIV and is held up as the great developing country success story in fighting AIDS....But with a new plan launched late last year, Brazil is poised to go one step further. It wants to stop the spread of HIV by putting every single person who has the virus on treatment, whether they are sick or not. The concept – known as “treatment as prevention” – has Canadian roots.
     
    November 19, 2014
    Globe & Mail
  • Although no vaccine against HIV exists, advances in prevention and treatment have led to a growing conviction among researchers, public health officials, and politicians that the HIV/AIDS epidemic can be brought to a halt with existing tools. Fast-Track: Ending the AIDS epidemic by 2030, a report released yesterday by UNAIDS, spells out how this ambitious aim could be achieved. But the report notes that if treatment and prevention efforts remain at 2013 levels, the epidemic will continue to grow....
     
    November 19, 2014
    Science
  • Victorian Health Minister David Davis has said if the Liberals were re-elected at next weekend’s state election they would spend $4 million over the next four years to expand the PRONTO! HIV rapid testing service. The announcement was made last week at a community election forum organised by Victorian AIDS Council (VAC) and Living Positive Victoria (LPV) that addressed Victoria’s ongoing response to HIV and AIDS.
    November 19, 2014
    Star Observer
  • A well-founded sense of urgency gripped the recent Senate Appropriations Committee hearing about the proposed $6.2 billion emergency funding bill to combat the Ebola epidemic....Yet it comes as no surprise that we are scrambling to react. As Senator Tom Harkin noted, experts have warned for decades that Americans were at risk from emerging viruses and emphasized the need to build public health infrastructure and provide sustained research funding — to “stop the viruses before they become epidemics.”
    November 19, 2014
    Roll Call
  • Findings from PROMISE, released Monday, support current WHO guidelines, showing that for HIV-infected women whose immune systems were healthy, a three-drug antiretroviral drug regimen during pregnancy prevented transmission of the virus more effectively than the administration of individual drugs administered across pregnancy, labor and after delivery. The findings add numbers to calls for countries to adopt the approach to treatment for HIV-infected pregnant women known as Option B+.
     
    November 18, 2014
    Science Speaks
  • Today UNAIDS released Fast Track: Ending the AIDS Epidemic by 2030, which is its report for World AIDS Day (December 1, 2014). Coming nearly two weeks early, the launch is, itself, fast-tracked -- and there's plenty of "we can't wait" urgency within the pages of the report, starting with the first page (that does more, typographically, with red ribbons than you might believe is possible).
     
    November 18, 2014
    The Body
  • South Sudan gained independence from north Sudan in July 2011 [and] improved services for its estimated 150,000 people living with HIV. The new conflict reversed these gains....The UN estimates that 1.9 million people are newly displaced. Some fled to neighbouring countries, while 1.4 million huddle in 130 camps in South Sudan. Of these, 70 are so remote they are inaccessible to relief agencies, says a study by the HIV/AIDS Alliance.
    November 14, 2014
    IPS
  • For years, health researchers have been excited about two new weapons in the war on HIV — a vaginal gel and a pill. Both reduce the likelihood of HIV transmission during intercourse and could give young women in Africa...a new way to protect themselves during sex. There's just one problem: It's really difficult to get women to use them. A study presented at an HIV conference in South Africa last month has helped researchers understand why.
    November 13, 2014
    National Public Radio
  • Last weekend Quarraisha Abdool Karim, one of South Africa’s top HIV researchers, became the first woman to receive a US$100,000 (£62,000) prize for developing world scientists. The prize is a welcome recognition for the 54-year-old epidemiologist. Abdool Karim has devoted her career to developing tools that African women can use to protect themselves against HIV. She is involved in developing a battery of new methods, including anti-HIV gels and long-term injectables.
    October 28, 2014
    Guardian
  • A team of international researchers has gone begging for four years, looking for funding for a trial to settle a troubling question: does Depo-Provera, one of the most widely used hormonal contraceptives in Sub-Saharan Africa, increase a woman’s risk of HIV infection? The strange thing is that other scientists hope they will never run their trial.
     
    October 21, 2014
    The Verge

Published Research

  • The results indicate that different categories of sex work are associated with different HIV and STI risk profiles. Local contextual understanding of the different types of sex work and the associated levels of risk assist NGOs to target their interventions more effectively and efficiently in order to reduce STI and HIV prevalence among FSWs and their clients.
    November 20, 2014
    BMC Women's Health
  • In conclusion, objective and subjective quality assessment provides[d] a valuable opportunity for the institution to evaluate and improve its IRB review and deliberation processes, and to strengthen relationships and reduce conflicts with researchers, which in turn has a direct positive impact for all involved in the conduct of ethical human-subject research.
     
    November 20, 2014
    PLoS ONE
  • Recent articles...have challenged the concept of conducting a randomized trial to determine whether injectable DMPA increases the risk of HIV acquisition....While those authors acknowledge the uncertainty of the evidence regarding the effect of hormonal contraception, particularly DMPA, on increased HIV risk, they argue that the observational data are of sufficiently high quality to inform women of the potential risks and recommend against investing in a randomized trial to answer the question.
     
    November 20, 2014
    Contraception
  • [Our] findings from a nationally representative survey of clinicians (n=1444) in HIV-prevalent settings in South Africa and Zimbabwe emphasize the need to improve clinicians' awareness of evidence-based guidelines for hormonal contraception for women at high risk of HIV and HIV-positive women. Evidence-based information that oral contraception and injections are appropriate is essential. Contraceptive education should be integrated into HIV training to reach at-risk populations.
    November 20, 2014
    Contraception
  • CD4 cell counts will continue to play an important part in initial decisions around ART initiation and clinical management, particularly for patients presenting late to care, and for treatment monitoring where viral load monitoring is restricted. However, in settings where both CD4 cell counts and viral load testing are routinely available, countries should consider reducing the frequency of CD4 cell counts or not doing routine CD4 monitoring for patients who are stable on ART.
    November 19, 2014
    Lancet Infectious Diseases
  • Four hundred and thirty nine (45.5%) of the participants reported a desire to have children in the future. Age, HIV disclosure status to husband/sexual partner, and relatively few live children were all found to influence HIV-positive women's fertility desire. Programmers and policy makers should consider the effects of these factors for HIV-positive women as they develop HIV/AIDS interventions.
     
    November 19, 2014
    BMC Women's Health

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