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22 January 2016 VOLUME 17 ISSUE 3

Media Coverage

  • To protect and extend the significant progress made against the HIV/AIDS epidemic globally, policymakers and funders must target specific high-risk populations, especially young women in sub-Saharan Africa, according to US Global AIDS Coordinator, Dr. Deborah Birx, who oversees PEPFAR...."You can't talk about a sustained response when you have an ever-growing epidemic," said Birx..."HIV is not everywhere and our investment needs to track where the disease is."

    February 1, 2016
    Global Health Matters
  • A coalition of AIDS groups is pressuring the Obama administration to stick with its plan for a $100 million bump in HIV research funding, arguing that the increase is needed to develop a vaccine and take other steps that have even seasoned scientists predicting a possible end to the widespread threat of the virus.

    January 21, 2016
    CQ Roll Call
  • Even people who are adherent to their medication regimens may experience occasional “blips” in their viral loads, experience viral rebound or maintain a steady, if low, viral load above undetectable levels. To understand why some people struggle to achieve or remain undetectable, we spoke with Keith Henry, MD, an HIV specialist at Hennepin County Medical Center who has more than 25 years of experience caring for people with HIV.

    January 21, 2016
    aidsmap
  • “New data have emerged suggesting that the next generation of the vaccine protects against nine different kinds of HPV and, therefore, prevents even more of the cancers that we are concerned about. If this vaccine could be better, it has now been made better,” William Schaffner, MD, infectious disease specialist and professor of preventive medicine at Vanderbilt University, told Infectious Disease News. "We should be promoting this vaccine for cancer prevention. It is safe and effective.”

    January 20, 2016
    Healio
  • According to a new study, the higher rates of migration within the Mayan communities have caused an increase in risk of being infected with HIV. The researchers studied two Yucatan municipalities that had a poverty rate of about 90 percent. These two localities have faced a rise in migration numbers as men migrate to neighbouring states in Mexico for days or weeks in order to find work....A previous study stated that the chances of contracting HIV are three times higher for the people who migrate.

    January 20, 2016
    HT Media
  • With the Ebola outbreak in West Africa stubbornly hanging on, officials have brokered an agreement to ensure that a vaccine is available to fight future occurrences. On 20 January, Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance, announced that it has paid US $5 million to Merck, the manufacturer of the first Ebola vaccine shown to protect against the virus in a human clinical trial. The deal marks the first time that the public-health organization has moved to purchase a vaccine before it has been licensed.

    January 20, 2016
    Nature
  • Less than a quarter of sexually active high school students and only a third of young adults reported ever being tested for HIV, according to CDC's National Youth Risk Behavior Survey and Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System....HIV testing among sexually active high school students was the most prevalent among black females (36%) and the least prevalent among white males (15%). But prevalence of testing among young adults actually declined over the course of 2 years.

    January 20, 2016
    MedPage Today
  • A new British mathematical modeling study published in The Lancet HIV has found that adding pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP) for gay men in the U.K. at high risk of HIV to relatively modest increases in HIV testing and immediate treatment for those diagnosed could substantially cut the number of gay men infected by 2020.

    January 20, 2016
    hivandhepatitis
  • In a recent study by the Centers for Disease Control, researchers sought to identify US counties where persons who inject drugs appear especially vulnerable to the rapid spread of Hepatitis C or HIV. Among the top 220 counties identified as high risk areas, large portions of Kentucky, Ohio, and West Virginia were in the top five percent of the study.

    January 19, 2016
    WOWK TV
  • It isn’t too out of the ordinary for [Gates Foundation] grant awards to soar into the eight- and even nine-figure range. So, its $20 million grant to Moderna Therapeutics to support its continuing development of a novel but promising HIV prevention therapy isn’t particularly extraordinary. But what is unusual...is that the total potential commitment from the foundation could reach upwards of $100 million—around 70 percent of the Gates Foundation’s HIV/AIDS grants for all of last year.

    January 19, 2016
    Inside Philanthropy
  • About half the N$1,2 billion donated to Namibia by the Global Fund in 2013 was not utilised by government and Nanaso by January 2016, according to an HIV and AIDS women's network organisation. The money is part of funds donated to Namibia every three years by the Global Fund to fight AIDS, tuberculosis and malaria and is supposed to be utilised within that period. According to The Namibia Women's Health Network, about N$600 million of that money is yet to be spent.

    January 19, 2016
    Namibian
  • Two cases have been documented of gay men taking Viread (tenofovir), one of the two drugs in Truvada (tenofovir/emtricitabine), for hepatitis B virus (HBV) and contracting HIV, aidsmap reports. These cases suggest that Viread alone may not be enough to prevent HIV through pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP), and that Emtriva (emtricitabine) is also required for such prevention. However, there is a possibility that the presence of hep B may have increased the men’s risk of HIV acquisition.

    January 19, 2016
    POZ
  • The HIV/AIDS fight in China is going online, with support from an unlikely ally: the Chinese government....“Gays in China remain very afraid of being publicly revealed,” explains Bu Jiaquing, founder of a Shanghai INGO. “We [started] using the Internet...to lend a voice and access to information to people the government won’t be able to find....The top leadership of the central government is making AIDS a special priority.…partly because Peng Liyuan, Xi Jinping’s wife, has made AIDS intervention her focus.”

    January 19, 2016
    Intellasia
  • In resource-limited settings, the non-nucleoside reverse transcriptase inhibitor nevirapine has been widely used by HIV-positive mothers and their infants for PMTCT....But pediatric treatment with efavirenz-based therapy is attractive for a number of reasons. Possible advantages include once-daily dosing, harmonisation of treatment with that recommended for older children and adults, simplification of treatment for tuberculosis and the preservation of ritonavir/lopinavir for second-line therapy.

    January 19, 2016
    aidsmap
  • A new generation of safe, effective, and longer-lasting treatments to keep HIV in check is very much needed.... That’s why I’m encouraged to see early signs of progress emerging from a small, NIH-supported clinical trial of an HIV-neutralizing antibody....called VRC01....[Researchers found that this antibody...is well tolerated,...remained in the participants’ bloodstreams for weeks, [and with]...a related antibody could stop more than 90 percent of known HIV strains from infecting human cells in the laboratory.

    January 19, 2016
    NIH
  • Angela Tweheyo, 17,...had no idea about condoms when she was impregnated at age 15 by a teacher....When she confronted him, he told her to abort and said he would not be responsible for the baby...."You have no idea how it feels, [she said]....My baby is also HIV positive. But I decided to go public about my HIV status so that girls can learn from my experience and don't fall into the trap like me."

    January 18, 2016
    Key Correspondents
  • Governor Andrew Cuomo plans to introduce new legislation that would allow minors in New York to get HIV treatment and prevention medication without parental consent....Minors already have the right under current state law to consent to STD and HIV testing, and can be treated for STDs without consent of a parent or guardian. But if they test positive for HIV, they cannot get medical treatment without parental consent.

    January 18, 2016
    DNA Info
  • Research recently published by Oxford University Press finds that taking Truvada — a drug used to prevent HIV —doesn’t pose a greater health risk than taking a daily aspirin to prevent heart attacks....Jeffrey Klausner, professor of medicine and public health, University of California/Los Angeles, and lead author of the study, told Buzzfeed both Truvada and aspirin affect different organs, but after taking a closer look at the data, “It really looked like I could say Truvada compared favorably, in terms of its safety profile, to aspirin.”

    January 18, 2016
    Medical Daily
  • There are 260,000 couples in Kenya where one partner is positive and the other negative. Known as serodiscordant couples, they account for 44% of new HIV infections in the country. The drive to have children is still very strong - in one recent study involving serodiscordant couples 16% of the women became pregnant. Now a new way of using anti-HIV drugs called PrEP - normally given to people who are HIV positive - could potentially mean couples could try and conceive risk-free.

    January 17, 2016
    BBC News
  • To help shed light on Congress’ role in global health, this primer provides an overview of its engagement in this area. First, it examines the structure of Congress and its role and key activities in global health [and] then illustrates these by examining selected legislative activities for two global health examples: the creation and evolution of PEPFAR and the 2014/2015 Ebola outbreak in West Africa.

    January 15, 2016
    Kaiser Family Foundation
  • Doctors asked to perform virginity testing should refuse because it’s not medically necessary and may cause psychological harm,...ethicists wrote recently in The Lancet.... Still, the practice persists....In South Africa, the tests fell out of use but became more common with the AIDS epidemic....[However, in] a country where many very young women report that their first sexual experiences aren’t consensual, the specter of virginity tests can potentially serve as a deterrent against unwanted sexual advances.

    January 15, 2016
    Reuters
  • Adolescent girls living in high-poverty communities and majority Hispanic communities in the United States were more likely to have received at least one dose of a human papillomavirus (HPV) vaccine than those living in low-poverty communities and in communities of other racial and ethnic compositions.

    January 14, 2016
    Science Daily
  • The first meeting of a new advisory body, the Global Platform to Fast-Track HIV Responses among Gay Men, Bisexual Men and Other Men Who Have Sex with Men was convened by UNAIDS and the Global Forum on MSM & HIV in Geneva, Switzerland, on 12-13 January....Members will provide strategic advice to UN agencies and other stakeholders on HIV programme needs and priorities to urgently address the rising HIV epidemic worldwide among this population.

    January 14, 2016
    UNAIDS
  • Middle-aged people living with HIV have an increased risk of frailty compared with their peers without the virus, Dutch investigators report in AIDS. The association between frailty and HIV infection persisted even after taking into account well-known risk factors for the condition.

    January 13, 2016
    aidsmap
  • A former Iowa State University scientist who admitted faking AIDS-vaccine research has failed to have his prison sentence reduced.

    January 13, 2016
    Des Moines Register

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