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26 JUNE 2015 VOLUME 16 ISSUE 26

Media Coverage

  • A report compiled by UNAIDS and The Lancet medical journal, with the support of leading figures in the 34-year war on AIDS, called for the disease to be given high priority in the UN's post-2015 development goals.

    June 25, 2015
    AFP
  • South Africa is in huge trouble more than two decades later. It has the world’s highest prevalence rate for HIV among people aged between 15 and 24, and the incidence of HIV infection among this age group is skewed towards girls and women. Helen Rees is one of many health professionals trying to reverse the trend.

    June 25, 2015
    Business Day Live
  • Three schoolboys behind a colour-changing, STI-detecting condom say they've been contacted by a contraceptive company about their idea. Daanyaal Ali, Chirag Shah, both 14, and Muaz Nawaz, 13, won a TeenTech award this week for their idea, called S.T.Eye...."We took inspiration from an HIV testing method [called Elisa] which utilises colour-changing."

    June 24, 2015
    BBC
  • The International Partnership for Microbicides has developed a vaginal microbicide ring to help women protect themselves against HIV infection. Researchers hope the product could be rolled out by early 2016....The dapivirine ring, which women insert and leave in place for one month, is the first long-acting microbicide to be tested in large-scale safety and efficacy trials for HIV prevention,” says Tembo.

    June 24, 2015
    Key Correspondents
  • Just five years ago, males in Malawi simply did not participate is women’s antenatal care services, which had a grievous effect on the way pregnant women with HIV addressed their health needs, according to UNICEF. But that figure has improved dramatically recently thanks to a government program that’s working to break the stigma around the issue and encourage men to be more involved in their wives’ well-being.

    June 24, 2015
    Huffington Post
  • Nearly four out of every ten people with HIV in the European Economic Area is a migrant to the country in which they are diagnosed, a recent report by the Spanish Centre for Epidemiology shows.... Between 2007 and 2012, 60,446 out of 156,817 new cases of HIV (38%) were in people who were not native to the country where they were diagnosed. Nearly all HIV-positive migrants are concentrated in the richer countries of western Europe.

    June 24, 2015
    AIDSmap
  • A recent survey of people living with HIV in the United Kingdom found that more than half would participate in a clinical study to develop a cure for HIV, despite this posing a risk to their health.

    June 24, 2015
    The Conversation
  • The global HIV epidemic could see a resurgence in just five years without a drastic acceleration in efforts to prevent and treat the AIDS virus, the United Nations and disease experts said on Thursday. While good progress has been made in improving access to life-saving AIDS drugs, an analysis by UNAIDS and an expert panel commissioned by The Lancet medical journal found the rate of new HIV infections is not falling fast enough.

    June 24, 2015
    Reuters
  • GGD Amsterdam has launched a medical study on PrEP – a pill that can prevent infection with HIV – among gay men and transgenders...The study will focus on the interest to use PrEP, compliance on taking the pill, how it is to use PrEP and whether the cost of this program outweigh the costs saved by preventing people from becoming infected with HIV.

    June 23, 2015
    NL Times
  • Zimbabwe has won the bid to host the International Conference on AIDS and STIs in Africa (ICASA) to be held from the 29th of November to the 4th of December 2015....The bid to host the 18th ICASA conference had initially been won by Tunisia, but the North African nation failed to meet some requirements, [paving] the way for other African countries to express interest.

    June 23, 2015
    Harare 24
  • As America is blowing billions by using its military as a one-size-fits-all solution for emergencies around the world, USAID is understaffed, underfunded, and on the cusp of crisis....Its staff is divided between veterans who are aging out and greenhorns, with too few in the middle. From the standpoint of national capacity, America has a development donut. And it’s a problem that so far has gone all but unnoticed by policymakers or the public.

    June 22, 2015
    Foreign Policy
  • Success toward ending all HIV transmission is possible if we put recent discoveries to work on a massive scale. Why do we think this is possible? In a new article published in the Journal of the Association of Nurses in AIDS Care, we suggest how lessons learned from preventing HIV infection in babies show us the way.

    June 22, 2015
    Huffington Post
  • Dr. Ampaire Justus, a gynecologist at St Augustine community medical centre, says: “Uganda will not achieve zero transmission of HIV from mother-to-child if there are no midwives to provide the necessary care needed by HIV-positive mothers.” Midwives are key players in preventing the transmission of HIV from mothers to their children. Through counseling they educate expectant mothers on ways to reduce risk to their unborn babies.

    June 22, 2015
    Key Correspondents
  • Siemens scored FDA approval for its HIV combo test, a win for the company as it looks to its diagnostics unit to chart some growth amid lagging fortunes....Siemens' ADVIA combination test can simultaneously screen blood samples for HIV viral protein and antibodies produced in response to HIV viral infection, potentially allowing clinicians to detect the virus earlier and reduce transmission among patients.

    June 22, 2015
    Fierce Diagnostics
  • So what are the implications of PrEP....in Zambia, and the general Zambian HIV and AIDS response? Issues of the paucity or lack of domestic funding of our response aside, there is a deafening lack of noise on PrEP in our national conversation....In our fear of addressing MSM issues and related HIV, are we denying serodiscordant couples in Zambia an intervention that is available now to similar couples in the US?

    June 21, 2015
    Zambia Post
  • New research concludes buffering people from financial shocks may help keep them from resorting to risky behaviors that spread the virus. The researchers found higher rates of HIV among villages in sub-Saharan Africa that had experienced drought in the previous 10 years. They reported that people were apparently coping with the crisis by trading sex for support.

    June 20, 2015
    Voice of America
  • Researchers, Scientists and Journalists are all agreed that there is need for an HIV vaccine that will stop the further spread of the pandemic. This came to the fore when journalists from Zimbabwe, Malawi and Zambia met during an HIV Vaccines Regional Symposium June 17 to June 18. HIV/AIDS activist Mannasseh Phiri, researchers Margaret Kasaro and William Kilembe said following the recently announced 31.2 percent success story of a vaccine study in Thailand, it is possible that sooner or later, an appropriate vaccine should be found.

    June 20, 2015
    Times of Zambia
  • The WHO has largely failed to live up to its promise....While the WHO Constitution grants the Organization a sweeping mandate and unusually broad normative authority, its ability to exercise this authority has been hamstrung by political gridlock, organizational deficiencies, inadequate finances, and a failure to embrace non-state actors....[F]undamental changes will be necessary if the WHO is to re-establish its position as the world's foremost global health authority.

    June 19, 2015
    Science Direct
  • Efforts to track transmission rates [in Henan, China] among married couples in which just one partner was infected began in 2006, and the resulting data gives a look at the real world prevention benefits of antiretroviral treatment, according to a study reported in Clinical Infectious Diseases.

    June 18, 2015
    Science Speaks
  • Despite continued concerns about Malawi's ability to absorb grant funds, the country will receive an additional $37 million in incentive funding to support its HIV program, bringing the total allocation under the new funding model for this central African nation for all three diseases and health systems strengthening to more than $611 million.

    June 18, 2015
    All Africa
  • Chlamydia trachomatis is...the most common sexually transmitted pathogen, infecting more than 100 million people each year....Chlamydial infection ignites chronic inflammation, [scarring] mucosal surfaces such as eyelids, ovaries or fallopian tubes; women with chlamydia are much more vulnerable to other sexually transmitted infections, including HIV....The need for a vaccine has always been clear, but no trials have been mounted since the 1960s....Now Harvard Medical School scientists report success against this daunting public health challenge.

    June 18, 2015
    Science Daily

Published Research

  • On Lake Victoria’s shores, fish declines affect initiation, duration and power dynamics in fish-for-sex relationships. Fish availability affects economic (e.g., price) and sexual (e.g., condoms) negotiations. A primary goal of fish-for-sex relationships is resources access, not just income.

    October 1, 2015
    Science Direct
  • Here we report the results of a first-in-man dose escalation phase 1 clinical trial of 3BNC117, a potent human CD4 binding site antibody, in uninfected and HIV-1-infected individuals. 3BNC117 infusion was well tolerated and demonstrated favourable pharmacokinetics....We conclude that, as a single agent, 3BNC117 is safe and effective in reducing HIV-1 viraemia, and that immunotherapy should be explored as a new modality for HIV-1 prevention, therapy and cure.

    June 25, 2015
    Nature
  • A broader range of non-cationic proteins were associated with HIV neutralizing activity in highly exposed seronegative and HIV-positive female sex workers [in Kenya]. These results indicate that novel protein factors found in CVS of women with high-risk sexual practices may have inherent antiviral activity, or are involved in other aspects of anti-HIV host defense, and warrant further exploration into their mode of action.

    June 25, 2015
    PLOS One
  • In May, 2013, the UNAIDS–Lancet Commission—a diverse group of experts in HIV, health, and development, young people, people living with HIV and affected communities, activists, and political leaders— was established to investigate how the AIDS response could evolve in a new era of sustainable development....The path to ending AIDS as a public health threat by 2030, as set out in this report, should be a major part of the post-2015 development agenda.

    June 25, 2015
    Lancet
  • Many observers were surprised when Indiana Governor Mike Pence issued an executive order on March 26, 2015, declaring a public health emergency after a rapidly escalating outbreak of HIV was identified in...a rural region on the Kentucky border. Others, however, had seen it coming....We believe that threading the needle to prevent further HIV outbreaks among substance users requires aggressive implementation of evidence-based practices for HIV prevention.

    June 24, 2015
    NEJM
  • In the largest study of cervical HPV genotypes among HIV-infected women in Latin America, infection by high-risk HPV types other than 16 or 18 and infection by more than one high-risk HPV types were common. Infection by more than one high-risk type was more strongly associated with abnormal cervical cytology than any individual high-risk HPV type, highlighting the need for multi-valent HPV vaccines.

    June 23, 2015
    BMC Cancer
  • Following the introduction of a HIV post-exposure prophylaxis program in the Korle-Bu Teaching Hospital in January 2005, the incidence of adverse events and adherence were documented in occupationally-exposed healthcare workers (HCWs) and healthcare students (HCSs). The intolerance to adverse events was cited as the sole reason for truncating PEP, thereby indicating the need for adequate, appropriate and effective counselling, education, active follow-up (possibly through mobile /phone contact) and management of adverse events.

    June 20, 2015
    BMC Public Health
  • Chlamydia trachomatis is the most common reported sexually transmitted bacterial infection in the United States, with more than 1.4 million cases of infection reported in 2012....An estimated 106 million cases occur globally among both women and men each year...The findings reported by Stary et al. [in] this issue constitute a major step forward in understanding C. trachomatis immunobiology and could translate into a vaccine that galvanizes mucosal T cells against this pathogen.

    June 19, 2015
    Science
  • Our objective is to propose a methodology to estimate context-specific parameters using DHS-like data that can be used in mathematical modeling of short-term HIV spreading. Our results showed that, within the 15–24 year age group [in Kenya], increasing male circumcision coverage and antiretroviral therapy coverage at CD4 ≤ 350/mm3 over the current 70% could have short-term impacts.

    June 19, 2015
    PLOS one
  • For the first time, we examine flows in official development assistance (ODA) and grants from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation (collectively termed ODA+) in relation to the continuum of care for reproductive, maternal, newborn, and child health (RMNCH) and assess progress since 2003....Despite a reduction in ODA+ in 2011, ODA+ to RMNCH increased in both 2011 and 2012. The increase in funding is encouraging, but continued increases are needed to accelerate progress towards achieving MDGs 4 and 5 and beyond.

    June 19, 2015
    The Lancet
  • Since the late 1980s, progressive development of antiretroviral drugs has revolutionised care for people with HIV infection.... However, such treatment was susceptible to treatment failure... because of poor tolerability and adherence challenges. More recently, antiretroviral drug development has evolved towards drugs that are easier to take, resulting in improved adherence and clinical benefits.

    April 15, 2015
    The Lancet
  • Tenofovir disoproxil fumarate can cause renal and bone toxic effects related to high plasma tenofovir concentrations. Tenofovir alafenamide is a novel tenofovir prodrug with a 90% reduction in plasma tenofovir concentrations. Tenofovir alafenamide-containing regimens can have improved renal and bone safety compared with tenofovir disoproxil fumarate-containing regimens.

    April 15, 2015
    The Lancet

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