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22 April 2016 VOLUME 17 ISSUE 16

Media Coverage

  • While vast progress has been made in AIDS treatment in sub-Saharan Africa, barely a dent has been made in HIV infection rates among young women (which are significantly higher than among young men). With the youth population of Africa booming (40 percent of Zambians are under 16), a realization is dawning: The AIDS epidemic will be uncontrollable unless the number of infections among young women is rapidly and dramatically reduced.

    April 22, 2016
    Washington Post
  • "The data sharing policy has been in place for a very long time . . . but it’s hard to actually do that in a way that’s not randomly sharing Excel files... instead of just mining one big source of data, researchers can actually compare the results of many different scientific studies at once...they can instantly chart how patients across studies responded to the same drug—with all the data rendered on a perfectly articulated graph with the same timelines.

    April 22, 2016
    Co.Design
  • Infectious diseases specialist Kevin Rebe spoke to Bhekisisa editor Mia Malan about the do's and don'ts of pre-exposure prophylaxis, known as PrEP. Rebe heads up Anova Health Institute's PrEP demonstration projects.

    April 21, 2016
    Bhekisisa
  • The Government of the Republic of Zambia, through the Ministry of Gender, is committed to protect women's rights, fight gender based violence and reduce gender inequalities....One of the tools being used to protect women from HIV infection is the female condom. It has been redesigned, repacked and renamed as "Diva" female condom,...designed to give women greater control over their own protection without having to rely on their partners to use a condom.

    April 20, 2016
    Times of Zambia
  • The rate of HIV infection among Cambodia’s transgender women is nearly six times higher than the national average, according to a 2012 survey published in the online journal PLOS ONE this month....Nearly a third of the individuals interviewed said they had been assaulted in the past six months, and more than half reported experiencing discrimination in their lifetimes. But the study group also showed resilience, with just 15 percent reporting having low self-esteem.

    April 20, 2016
    Cambodia Daily
  • The Uganda Health Marketing Group (UHMG) has launched a social marketing activity aimed at increasing access to and demand for quality and affordable reproductive health products for hard-to-reach populations. The four-year project ending in 2019, has been funded to a tune of $24m (Shs 76b) by USAID....The outcome of the project is expected to be reduced unmet need for family planning and incidence of HIV infection especially among the youth.

    April 20, 2016
    Observer
  • A study comparing recorded diagnoses of HIV with subsequent records...suggests that the number of people with HIV in the US could have been overestimated by as much as 45% and the proportion on ART with undetectable viral loads by as much as 50%. There could be a few as 820,000 people with HIV compared with the normally accepted figure of 1.2 million – and up to 55% of those could be on ART and virally suppressed, compared with the most commonly quoted figure of 30%.

    April 20, 2016
    Antibody Related Research
    aidsmap
  • Doctors Without Borders released a report Wednesday saying the focus on Africa's so-called "HIV hotspots" has resulted in a too-narrow focus that overlooks needs in West and Central Africa.... It says HIV needs in that region are underestimated and given little priority, while those needing treatment face barriers such as stigma, drug shortages, health care fees, and poor quality services.

    April 20, 2016
    VOA News
  • The zero draft reflects on the achievements made so far in the response to AIDS. It also sets out a clear agenda to Fast-Track the response by 2020....Member States will negotiate and finalize the declaration over the next few weeks, which will be then be presented for adoption at the High-Level Meeting on Ending AIDS on 8 June.

    April 19, 2016
    Humanitarian News
  • The world was pretty far from having a vaccine for Ebola...in 2014 and 2015. But it might have been a little closer if the United States had not cut funding for research in 2012..., according to a report by the Global Health Technologies Coalition....Funding for other neglected diseases, including HIV, malaria and tuberculosis, decreased -- continuing a downward trend that began in 2009.

    April 19, 2016
    CNN
  • Faced with the threat of legal action..., NHS England’s lawyers have said a dedicated committee will meet next month to look again at the pronouncement. The rethink represents a major victory for the National AIDS Trust, which sent NHS England a 17-page legal letter last week that laid out a string of reasons why the decision not to provide the drug was legally flawed.

    April 19, 2016
    BuzzFeed
  • But if Washington doesn’t put more money behind its ambitious rhetoric, HIV could make a major comeback...Critics fault Congress and the Obama administration for promising to usher in an AIDS-free generation while forcing PEPFAR to ration the expansion of critical HIV services.

    April 18, 2016
    Foreign Policy
  • A bit over a decade ago, AIDS researchers tested a new approach to reducing the spread of HIV -- circumcising young adult men....But voluntary medical male circumcision has its critics....Brian Earp, a noted ethicist who divides his time between the University of Oxford and the Hastings Center Bioethics Research Institute, [has] challenged... the real meaning of the original studies on which the grand strategy was based.

    April 18, 2016
    Politifact
  • Twenty eight-year-old Amina Nakayiza (not real name) in 2012 enrolled onto a clinical trial study meant to improve women's chances of being protected against HIV..., one of 2,629 women in Malawi, South Africa, Uganda and Zimbabwe...enrolled onto the three year ASPIRE study....Nakayiza tested HIV negative after the end of the study and says now that the ring is out of the picture, she hopes that being faithful in her relationship will protect her further from acquiring the virus.

    April 18, 2016
    The Monitor
  • We need new metrics rooted in existing global commitments to human rights, public health and development that measure the full spectrum of drug-related issues....We also need to mobilise resources to meet these existing commitments, in particular as they intersect with drug policies. At present rates of funding, for example, we will miss our HIV targets for people who use drugs.

    April 18, 2016
    The Guardian
  • One of the first groups of HIV patients in a poor country to get free AIDS drugs has about the same survival rate as their closest counterparts in the USA.....Ten years after a free treatment program was introduced in Haiti’s capital, two-thirds of the first 910 patients enrolled were still alive, researchers said in the New England Journal of Medicine.

    April 18, 2016
    NY Times
  • This week, diplomats gathered at the United Nations will adopt a document outlining the future of global drug policy — a text that may have been better in the eyes of many advocates if it weren't for one country: Russia. Moscow's rise as the most vocal proponent of the drug war not only affects the pace of change worldwide, it has also created a domestic HIV crisis, and coincided with allegations of corruption among top Russian drug officials.

    April 18, 2016
    VICE News
  • “Nothing has been more transformative for women than the availability of effective contraception, and for many women in high HIV-incidence areas, they’ve never been able to take charge of protecting themselves against STDs and, in particular, HIV in quite the same way,” Sharon Hillier, head of the University of Pittsburgh–based Microbicide Trials Network, told TakePart. Hillier’s group coordinated the largest clinical trial to date of vaginal rings containing the antiretroviral drug dapivirine.

    April 17, 2016
    TakePart
  • In two parallel phase III clinical trials, the efficacy of tenofovir alafenamide (TAF) was similar to that of the older tenofovir disoproxil fumarate (TDF, Viread) in patients with chronic HBV after 48 weeks of treatment,...according to presentations at the International Liver Congress. But TAF was associated with smaller declines in bone mineral density and better renal function.

    April 16, 2016
    MedPage Today
  • Ahead of next week’s General Assembly special session on drugs, the United Nations agency leading the world’s HIV/AIDS response has released a new report, which warns that many countries are failing to reduce new HIV infections due to the absence of health- and rights-based approaches, particularly as regards drug use. The report, Do no harm: health, human rights and people who use drugs, was issued by UNAIDS.

    April 15, 2016
    UN Newscentre
  • A data revolution is underway at the US President's Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR). We're using data in transformational ways to prevent more HIV infections and save more lives, ensuring our investments have the greatest impact by targeting lifesaving interventions to the populations and places with the highest HIV/AIDS burden.

    April 14, 2016
    Huffington Post
  • Scientists have identified a human (host) protein that weakens the immune response to HIV and other viruses. The findings, published today in Cell Host & Microbe, have important implications for improving HIV antiviral therapies, creating effective viral vaccines, and advance a new approach to treat cancer.

    April 14, 2016
    Science Daily
  • Publish What You Fund, a global campaign for aid transparency, analysed funds from 46 donors and found that most had failed to uphold commitments made in 2011 in Busan, South Korea, to publish details of their development projects to a common open standard: the International Aid Transparency Initiative. Only a quarter of aid meets transparency standards.

    April 13, 2016
    Guardian
  • New research in monkeys exposed to SIV, the animal equivalent of HIV, reveals what happens in the very earliest stages of infection, before virus is even detectable in the blood, which is a critical but difficult period to study in humans. The findings have important implications for vaccine development and other strategies to prevent infection.

    April 13, 2016
    Science Daily
  • Two separate studies presented today at The International Liver Congress™ 2016 in Barcelona, Spain have offered alternative conclusions regarding the efficacy of direct-acting antivirals (DAAs) among patients co-infected with HIV and Hepatitis C virus (HCV).

    April 13, 2016
    Science Daily
  • A combined vaccination against Hepatitis C virus (HCV) and HIV moved a step closer, with the results of a study presented at The International Liver Congress™ 2016 in Barcelona, Spain today. The research showed that the 'prime boost' approach is compatible with co-administration of vectors encoding for HIV and HCV antigens (molecules capable of inducing an immune response).

    April 13, 2016
    Science Daily
  • The proportion of people living with HIV in a population who have a detectable viral load is much more strongly associated with the rate of ongoing HIV infection in that community (HIV incidence) than the average viral load in people living with HIV (community viral load), a large study in India has shown....The findings may provide a useful measure to enable programmes to monitor the effectiveness of test and treat programmes..., but researchers say long-term follow up is needed.

    April 6, 2016
    aidsmap
  • Early initiation of ART does not have negative social consequences, investigators report in the online edition of AIDS. Research involving patients in Côte d’Ivoire showed...no differences in key social indicators such as relationship status, HIV disclosure and HIV-related discrimination between patients who started treatment early and those who initiated treatment according to guideline thresholds.

    April 5, 2016
    aidsmap

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