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26 May 2017 VOLUME 18 ISSUE 21

Media Coverage

  • The recent launch of the guidelines for pre-exposure prophylaxis (PreP) for HIV by the Kenya Ministry of Health presents an excellent opportunity to rewrite the HIV prevention landscape in Kenya.

    May 26, 2017
    The Standard
  • The Ministry of Health announced it will offer the drug through the Brazilian Unified Health System within six months. “Brazil, once again, emerges as one of the pioneers in HIV prevention and treatment,” said Minister Ricardo Barros during a press conference [at] the World Health Assembly in Switzerland. The initial investment of the Ministry of Health will be $1.9 million to purchase 2.5 million tablets which they say should meet the demand for a year.

    May 25, 2017
    Gay Star News
  • Improving science communication is one of the most urgent issues for the scientific community today, argues Harvard University graduate student Katherine Wu. But what stands in the way of scientists and non-scientists finding common ground? One culprit...is the idea that “scientists” and “the general public” are two separate entities. In fact, scientists are people, too. Wu says both parties must reassess how they communicate.

    May 25, 2017
    Washington Post
  • Huge challenges face Tedros, as he is known, when he takes over the embattled global health agency’s top job on July 1....The question of how to secure the cash the agency needs to do the job expected of it is pretty much top of the list....The job of filling the perennially cash-strapped organization’s coffers may be made that much more difficult by the belief that many of the WHO’s major donor countries supported another candidate in the race to be director-general: British physician David Nabarro.

    May 25, 2017
    STAT News
  • With the United States likely to pull back on global health funding, the World Health Organization, under its new director-general, will need to undertake serious structural and administrative changes.

    May 25, 2017
    CFR
  • Inovio Pharmaceuticals is racing to develop a DNA-based vaccine that can treat or prevent the HIV virus.

    May 25, 2017
    Philly.com
  • The new head of WHO voiced hope on Wednesday that bipartisan support would prevail in the US Congress to fund global health initiatives, despite deep budget cuts proposed by the Trump administration....But Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, a former Ethiopian health and foreign minister elected as the first African WHO director-general on Tuesday, also said the United Nations agency would be seeking new donors.

    May 24, 2017
    Reuters
  • When Microsoft cofounder Bill Gates sat down with President Trump and his aides a couple of months ago, he tried to convince the new president that public health funding was not something that could be sacrificed. “It’s an education process,” he said. Those pleas seem to have fallen on deaf ears. The budget outline released by the White House Tuesday contains sharp cuts to everything.

    May 24, 2017
    STAT News
  • The...Global Gag Rule...re-emerged this week in its new, sweeping form with restrictions to funding and activities of a greatly expanded range of health, and health-related service providers....Instead of restricting information and services offered by reproductive health and family planning providers, it now limits...services to prevent, treat and control HIV, tuberculosis, Zika, pandemic influenza and more, and even includes foreign-aid programs that address community-level water, sanitation, and hygiene.

    May 24, 2017
    Science Speaks
  • [In an hour-long webinar] Washington insider and Kyle House Group Founding Partner Porter Delaney...covered a range of topics, including the ins and outs of the budget reconciliation process, which he said would likely not be finalized until fall. He also said he thinks global health -- beyond funding for the US President's Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief, or PEPFAR -- will likely be protected and that the budget's proposed cuts to food aid will not go through.

    May 24, 2017
    Devex
  • The Trump administration released the first detailed version of its proposed federal budget on May 23. Leading organizations within the HIV community were quick to condemn it....Now, with the entire proposal available for review, reaction has been swift -- and deeply critical.

    May 24, 2017
    The Body
  • Medical and health advocacy groups have come out largely in opposition to the Trump administration's proposed cuts in the 2018 budget, with one executive calling it a "disaster" to federal programs and institutions that provide resources to improve health.

    May 24, 2017
    Healthcare Finance
  • As expected, the NIH’s budget would be slashed to $26.9 billion in the full Trump 2018 budget request,...a 22% cut....A White House document states that “significant reductions” will come from slashing overhead payments NIH now pays to universities....The...budget proposal eliminates the Fogarty International Center, which has a $72 million budget this year. But $25 million would be set aside for other institutes to fund some of the center’s global health research and training.

    May 23, 2017
    Science
  • US President Donald Trump's fellow Republicans in Congress on Tuesday assailed his proposed cuts in the diplomatic and foreign aid budget, making it unlikely the cutbacks in global health, peacekeeping and other programs will take effect....Congress sets the federal government budget, and Republicans who control both houses and Democrats have said they do not support such drastic cuts.

    May 23, 2017
    Reuters
  • President Trump's dramatic expansion of a policy blocking US aid to organisations offering abortion services...means cuts to programmes like one run by Kenyan nurse Monica Oguttu, who founded the Kisumu Medical and Education Trust...after discovering half the women in her ward...there because of damage done by backstreet abortions...[The trust] now expects to lose all US funding [and be forced] to start charging for contraceptives....The Kenyan health ministry...did not return calls seeking comment.

    May 23, 2017
    Reuters
  • The Trump administration has proposed slashing those programs by at least $1.1 billion — nearly a fifth of their current funding, said Jen Kates [of] the Kaiser Family Foundation....Hari Sastry, director of the State Department’s Office of Foreign Assistance Resources, said that everyone now receiving drug treatments under the programs would be allowed to continue, even if the funding cuts were approved....He did not explain how that would happen.

    May 23, 2017
    NY Times
  • Yesterday, in her final speech to the World Health Assembly, outgoing Director-General Margaret Chan chose to address the political unrest beyond Geneva that has many questioning the relevance and future of the WHO....Chan charged delegates to make reducing inequalities a “guiding ethical principle,” listen to civil society,... uphold scientific evidence...., strengthen accountability systems, “safeguard” the WHO’s integrity and pursue innovation.

    May 23, 2017
    Humanosphere
  • Work led by the United States to prevent, detect, treat and control diseases, to develop new diagnostic devices, medicines and vaccines, and to make those innovations available where they are needed, would do so with resources diminished by double digit percentages, under the terms of a budget proposal titled “A New Foundation for American Greatness.”

    May 23, 2017
    Science Speaks
  • Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus of Ethiopia was voted director general of the World Health Organization on Tuesday. The election was the first conducted by the W.H.O. under more open and democratic rules. After nearly two years of public campaigning, originally by six candidates,....Dr. Tedros — a malaria expert who campaigned under his first name — ultimately beat Dr. David Nabarro of Britain after three voting rounds. The final tally was 133 votes to 50, with three abstaining or not voting.

    May 23, 2017
    NY Times
  • [T]he cuts are getting the most attention. Research!America’s president and CEO Mary Woolley did not pull any punches. “The president’s proposed FY18 budget is an imbalanced, heavy-handed approach to bolstering national defense at the expense of other American priorities, including the research and innovation crucial to national security....Consistently, surveys show how highly Americans rank securing better health and quality of life; the President's blueprint is tone-deaf to that reality."

    May 23, 2017
    Fierce Biotech
  • Activist Michael Ighodaro speaks about being violently attacked in his home city, seeking asylum in the US, and issues that [confront] LGBT people....Ighodaro, an Assistant Professor in Global LGBTI Studies at The New School University in New York, is among activists fighting for...LGBT people across the world....In 2015, he was named a White House Honoree and a World Refugee Champion of Change for his work with the AVAC and Housing Works.

    May 23, 2017
    Independent
  • The proposed cuts to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention drew an unusually sharp rebuke from former CDC director Tom Frieden, who went on Twitter to describe the administration's CDC request as "unsafe at any level of enactment. Would increase illness, death, risks to Americans, and health care costs.” In a separate tweet, Frieden listed what he sees as the dire ramifications of the Trump proposal.

    May 23, 2017
    Washington Post
  • The Director, Clinical Services, Institute of Human Virology, Nigeria, Dr. Ernest Ekong has said that many HIV/AIDS patients were abandoning their Antiretroviral (ARV) drugs because of false cure claims by some persons. He disclosed this during a media roundtable organised by the New HIV Vaccine and Microbicide Advocacy Society (NHVMAS) to commemorate this 2017 HIV Awareness Day in Lagos.

    May 23, 2017
    Daily Trust
  • Circumcised participants in a study presented at the annual meeting of the American Urological Association were twice as likely as their uncircumcised counterparts to have either of two HPV strains associated with penile cancer, researchers said. Their findings are not consistent with previous research.

    May 22, 2017
    Healio
  • Programs that were started to identify youth living with HIV and improve their access to care got from 70% to 77% of HIV-positive youths to a medical visit within their first 42 days of testing.

    May 22, 2017
    MedPage Today
  • Two years after the UK became the first major economy to meet the UN target of devoting 0.7% of gross national income to aid, the Whitehall vultures are circling,...casting covetous glances at the £12bn aid budget....How are the main parties planning to negotiate this political minefield? Outlined below are the key commitments on aid and development contained in the Conservative, Labour and Liberal Democrat manifestos.

    May 22, 2017
    The Guardian
  • According to internal documents obtained by The Associated Press, [WHO] routinely has spent about $200 million a year on travel expenses, more than what it doles out to fight some of the biggest problems in public health, including AIDS, tuberculosis and malaria combined....At a time when the cash-strapped health agency is pleading for more money to fund its responses to health crises worldwide, it has struggled to get its travel costs under control.

    May 22, 2017
    AP
  • Mr. Kramer...tarred politicians, drug companies, medical establishment, and gay organizations, including members of the two he founded. He took special aim at Anthony Fauci, head of the National Institute of Allergies and Infectious Diseases, whom he compared to Nazi war criminal Adolf Eichmann. “I remember the headline, ‘An Open Letter to Anthony Fauci, an Incompetent Idiot,’” Dr. Fauci said. “I said, ‘Wow, that gets my attention.’” But over time the two formed an unlikely friendship.

    May 19, 2017
    NY Times
  • A team from the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health and the University of British Columbia analyzed 106 studies published between 2006 and 2014, sharing their findings this week in Lancet HIV....Across the world, injection of drugs continues to be a key driver in the HIV epidemic, with about 13 percent of these drug users estimated to be living with the virus.

    May 19, 2017
    The Hub
  • Nearly 700 positions are vacant at the CDC because of a continuing freeze on hiring that officials and researchers say affects programs supporting local and state public health emergency readiness, infectious disease control and chronic disease prevention. The same restriction remains in place throughout the Health and Human Services Department despite the lifting of a government-wide hiring freeze last month. At the NIH, staff say clinical work, patient care and recruitment are suffering.

    May 19, 2017
    Washington Post
  • The President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief, or PEPFAR,...has invested billions of dollars...to great success. [It] relies on a web of clinics, supply chains, and foreign governments working together, and the expanded policy [against abortion] could, some fear, force clinics and community-health organizations to choose between restricting their services or doing without US government funding.

    May 19, 2017
    The Atlantic
  • Yet another document that appears to outline the Trump administration's budget intentions leaked Friday. While the numbers are preliminary --... the official White House budget is expected May 23 -- the spreadsheet, if authentic, paints another grim picture of how the president views US foreign assistance....The document was obtained by Third Way, which...considered it in the public’s interest to publish it in its entirety.

    May 19, 2017
    Devex
  • The International HIV/AIDS Alliance, which consists of 32 local organizations, offers a window into how the new policy will play out. The alliance receives a total of $130 million in annual funding - 20 percent of which comes from the United States. Each alliance member will now have to decide whether to keep its US assistance by cutting any mention of abortion from its services. "This is going to drive girls and young women away from treatment," said Divya Bajpa, director of programs.

    May 18, 2017
    LMT Online
  • The Fogarty Center was established in 1968 in honor of Congressman John E. Fogarty (D-RI)....The smallest of the 27 [NIH entities], it has relied on a fraction of the total NIH budget to train more than 6000 scientists to carry out over 500 research and training projects in more than 100 countries since its inception,...with 80% of funds going to US institutions and 100% of its grants involving US scientists....It would be eliminated according to the president’s fiscal year 2018 budget.

    May 17, 2017
    JAMA Network
  • In the first of a 2-part series, Sara Gianella, MD, on behalf of Infectious Disease Advisor, talks with Sheldon Morris, MD, associate professor of medicine at the University of California San Diego AntiViral Research Center about an upcoming pre-exposure prophylaxis study in transgender individuals that will look at understanding HIV prevention within this population, uptake of PrEP, adherence to treatment, and other issues unique to this group.

    May 17, 2017
    Infectious Disease Advisor

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