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29 January 2016 VOLUME 17 ISSUE 4

Media Coverage

  • India's first preventive HIV medicine project that is being funded by Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation is stuck in red tape. The project that was to start among 1,000 sex workers in Kolkata's red light district, Sonagachhi, in December is now facing indefinite delay.

    January 29, 2016
    HTMedia
  • New HIV infections in New Zealand could be eliminated within 10 years, the AIDS Foundation says. It is calling for the government to fund new prevention tools that could halt the epidemic. The foundation's executive director, Shaun Robinson, said people living with HIV at low levels were not yet eligible for government-funded treatment - and that needed to change.

    January 28, 2016
    Radio New Zealand
  • The Shang Ring circumcision device - invented in China and lauded by Bill Gates - is being used in Botswana, Ethiopia, Kenya, Namibia and 10 other African countries affected by AIDS.

    January 28, 2016
    Coast Week
  • Strains of HIV are becoming resistant to an antiretroviral drug commonly used to prevent and fight the virus, research has suggested.

    January 28, 2016
    BBC
  • While some African countries, like South Africa, have seen pro-gay progress, same-sex sexual activity is illegal in 34 African nations, according to the International Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Trans and Intersex Association.

    January 27, 2016
    Essence
  • Louis Picker... is not afraid to break with convention. Trained as a pathologist, he was on the front line when the AIDS epidemic emerged in the 1980s....He pursued an unusual HIV vaccine that is now in clinical trials, and was once considered a fool's errand.

    January 27, 2016
    Nature
  • An NIH-funded study published today in Nature shows how ongoing HIV replication can help maintain stores, or reservoirs, of the virus in HIV-infected patients undergoing antiretroviral therapy who have achieved undetectable blood levels of HIV. The findings provide new insights into how the virus persists in the body—information essential for developing strategies to eliminate viral reservoirs and ultimately achieving a cure for HIV infection.

    January 27, 2016
    NIH
  • Since 2004, YRS, a non-profit, sexual and reproductive health clinic has reached out to thousands of low-income group women in Bali. Most of them...work in traditional market communities with an average daily income of US$5. The YRS started in 1999,...initially worked in...AIDS prevention, [and] later developed a plan to open health centers to provide information and services on breast and cervical cancer prevention, HIV/Aids, family planning, prenatal care and sexually transmitted infections.

    January 27, 2016
    Business Standard
  • ARV for people living with HIV/AIDS will be paid by health insurance from June 2016, said the Department of HIV/AIDS Prevention under the Vietnamese Ministry of Public Health. Children below 6, poor people, and those from ethnic minority groups carrying HIV will receive a 100-percent payment from the insurance sector for check-up and treatment services. The rate for the near-poor and retired people is 95 percent, while those in other groups is 80 percent.

    January 27, 2016
    Vietnam Plus
  • Malawi’s election into the UNAIDS Programme Coordinating Board gives hope to UNAIDS that more countries will learn best practices in HIV fight, as the country becomes a global role model for achievements in its HIV response programme. Ms Jan Beagle, UNAIDS Deputy Executive Director and Assistant Secretary-General of the United Nations, made the observation Tuesday morning, when meeting President Peter Mutharika at Kamuzu Palace in Lilongwe.

    January 27, 2016
    Malawi Voice
  • A South African education scheme under fire for offering girls university scholarships on condition they remain virgins has been defended by the local mayor....Dudu Mazibuko, mayor of the Uthukela district,...defended the initiative, saying it will combat the country’s growing HIV epidemic [and] told the BBC that the scheme is intended to "reduce HIV, Aids and unwanted pregnancy" in Uthukela.

    January 26, 2016
    RT.com
  • Family planning is not only about the rights of women and girls to make their own choices about...their reproductive health, it’s also key to global development. This was the underlying message [at] the 4th International Conference on Family Planning [this week] in Indonesia....When it comes to sexual and reproductive health and rights, it is not just family planning which is vital to ensure healthy and productive communities. HIV remains a huge public health priority.

    January 26, 2016
    Key Correspondents
  • The 24th African Union Summit is underway in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, where stakeholders are urging their respective governments to demonstrate that family planning is a priority....“Kenya’s unmet need for contraceptives is 25 per cent nationwide but 60 per cent among HIV positive women,” says Dr John Ong’ech, Kenyatta National Hospital....One barrier for women with HIV...is health facility staff, [who] are not trained on contraceptive options for women living with HIV.

    January 26, 2016
    Daily Guide
  • The Senate is expected to pass a bill Wednesday to cut funding of Planned Parenthood in Ohio, giving Gov. John Kasich the chance to sign it ahead of the Iowa caucus and New Hampshire primary....Supporters of the clinics say the funding loss will hinder services such as sexual transmitted disease and HIV testing, contraception and breast-cancer screenings.

    January 26, 2016
    Columbus Dispatch
  • The Black Lives Matter movement has catapulted the problem of state violence against African-American people onto the national consciousness. Across the United States, organizers and activists have disrupted business as usual to remind people about the systematic violence against black people, whether in the form of police brutality, over-policing or mass incarceration. And for HIV advocates involved in the movement, HIV criminalization is another aspect of the structure of racial violence.

    January 26, 2016
    The Body
  • As part of the $100 million Countdown to a Cure initiative,...the Foundation for AIDS Research (amFAR) is funding scientists who work outside the specific field of HIV research. The foundation is aiming to expand the scope of HIV research to include other scientific fields that could inform those avidly working to discover the basis for a cure.

    January 26, 2016
    Out
  • Teens' experiences with violence -- either through fear of violence, observing violent events, or being victims of violence themselves -- are associated with how likely they are to have sex and use condoms, new research from the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health suggests....Results showed that the teens' experience with violence and sex differed between males and females.

    January 26, 2016
    Science Daily
  • The new Miss Universe, back in the Philippines after an epic televised blunder surrounding her crowning, said Sunday she would use the attention the incident attracted to campaign for HIV awareness....“It’s about time someone like me should step up and hopefully others would follow suit as well,” Wurtzbach, 26, told AFP. “I think in the Philippines, there’s a bit of a stigma because we’re a conservative country.”

    January 26, 2016
    Intellasia
  • HIV-positive women are more likely than HIV-negative women to develop pre-cancerous cell changes in their cervix, known as cervical dysplasia, aidsmap reports...Danish researchers conducted a study of all 1,140 women receiving HIV care in Denmark between 1999 and 2010 and compared them with 15 age-matched controls each, for a total control group of 17,046 women....Compared with the HIV-negative women, the HIV-positive women had a 2.48-fold greater rate of cervical inter-epithelial neoplasia (CIN)1+, a 2.4-fold greater rate of CIN2+, and an equivalent rate of the third stage.

    January 26, 2016
    POZ
  • The Member of Parliament for Salaga and Ranking Member on the Public Accounts Committee, Ibrahim Dey Abubakari, has defended government’s decision to spend over GHc1 million to supply free male condoms to some Ghanaians,...argues that the free condom distribution was a wise decision because it has contributed to a decline in Ghana’s HIV/AIDS prevalence rate, [and] “...has succeeded in preventing a lot of venereal diseases the government would have spent money to cure in the hospital.”

    January 26, 2016
    Ghana Web
  • The WHO ranks Zambia as having the third highest mortality rate from cervical cancer and it is rated the highest in Africa....In a bid to protect women from contracting cervical cancer, in 2013, the government introduced the HPV vaccination programme....Despite being received with scepticism among some parents who had misconceptions about the vaccine, phase one of the immunisation exercise which was conducted last year saw over 17,000 girls get vaccinated.

    January 26, 2016
    Zambia Daily Mail
  • Two statisticians involved in the PROUD and iPrEx trials of pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP) warn that future trials to test new PrEP drugs and formulations may be extremely difficult to design. David Dunn, UK Medical Research Council, and David Glidden, University of California, San Francisco say that statisticians will need to choose and analyse their trial population very carefully if they wish to be able to demonstrate meaningful results.

    January 26, 2016
    aidsmap
  • A combination of widespread intravenous drug use, ignorance of or disregard for the perils of unsafe sex, and conservative policies that have held sway in the Kremlin since Vladimir Putin’s return to the presidency in 2012, have sent HIV infection rates soaring in Russia....“The Russian government not only fails to support, it hinders implementation of effective prevention programs that we and other nongovernmental organizations attempt to carry out,” says Anya Sarang, director, Andrey Rylkov Foundation.

    January 26, 2016
    Newsweek
  • Those four letters stand for a daily medical regimen in which healthy individuals take a blue oval pill to lower their risk of becoming infected with HIV. The treatment, known as pre-exposure prophylaxis, has become so common in the Bay Area’s gay community that it’s frequently mentioned in social media profiles from Facebook to Scruff.

    January 26, 2016
    Washington Post
  • Douglas Kwon and colleagues, Ragon Institute, conducted a study in 432 women aged 18 to 23 years...in South Africa....[and] found women using injectable progestin-only contraceptives at higher risk for acquiring HIV, [with] 3.92 times as many cervical HIV target cells...compared with women using no long-term contraception....In a related editorial, Gita Ramjee, South African Medical Research Council, and Sheena McCormack, University College London, wrote that the study did not sufficiently explain why progestin-only contraceptives increase the risk for HIV and suggested that other immune cells, not necessarily T cells found in the cervix, could play a role.

    January 25, 2016
    Healio
  • Och-Ziff Capital Management has built up a sizable stake in the London-based drugmaker...and fund officials are leaning on Chairman Philip Hampton to shake up [GSK] management....Och-Ziff's focus is on CEO Andrew Witty....Witty has shown that he's open to the idea of splitting off GSK units, a trend that's swept through all of Big Pharma, and...entertained the idea of hiving off ViiV Healthcare, the company's HIV-focused joint venture, but nixed that idea after the unit stepped up sales growth.

    January 25, 2016
    Fierce Pharma
  • [Interview with Chris Collins] "Today, there is wide acknowledgment that community activism and service delivery are essential to tackling HIV. And now it's time to...make support for communities a systematic part of AIDS planning and financing. At the same time, we have to support people who are pushing back against very concerning efforts in many countries to shrink civil society space, making it harder for civil society to organize and speak out."

    January 25, 2016
    TheBody.com
  • The most commonly used test for tuberculosis fails to accurately diagnose TB in up to 50 percent of pregnant women who are HIV+, new research has found. The research is believed to be the first study to compare the accuracy of two TB tests – the Quantiferon Gold In Tube blood test and the more commonly used TST or tuberculin skin test—in this population.

    January 25, 2016
    Science Daily
  • In July 2012, the US Food and Drug Administration took a landmark decision when it approved the use of the antiviral Truvada for the prevention of HIV infection....Since then the world of HIV prevention and national health systems has been very slow to catch up with the only HIV prevention strategy that is user-controlled, not coitally dependent, and which does not rely on the involvement or willingness or consent of sexual partners of often unknown HIV status.

    January 25, 2016
    Incidence
  • Even a modestly effective HIV vaccine would likely be cost-effective and could make a major contribution to a sustainable response to the global HIV/AIDS epidemic, especially in combination with the scale-up of other interventions including prompt initiation of antiretroviral therapy and pre-exposure prophylaxis, according to a report in the January 5 edition of PLoS ONE.

    January 25, 2016
    aidsmap
  • Even as the latest National Family Health Survey findings reveal widespread lack of awareness about HIV/AIDS among women, the drastic budgetary cut coupled with paid health services, even in government hospitals for patients in Karnataka, has hit the prevention programme.

    January 22, 2016
    The Hindu
  • Children in Ghana are lagging behind in access to HIV and AIDS services. Presenting statistics to support its assertion, UNICEF has said among the 250,000 people currently living with HIV in the country, over 21,000 are children under the age of 15. “Out of these vulnerable and at risk children, only one in five are on antiretroviral treatment, increasing the number of children at risk of sickness and death from HIV and AIDS due to limited access to antiretroviral therapy,” it said.

    January 22, 2016
    Daily Guide Africa
  • The country’s sole leading youth friendly sexual and reproductive health services provider, Family Planning Association of Malawi has called government to review education policy on sexual reproductive health provision in accommodating adolescents for primary and secondary schools in a bid to reduce further spread of HIV/AIDS and early pregnancies. The call comes amid alarming rates of HIV prevalence which has increased from 0.4 percent to 2.7 % and 3.7% to 4.2% in boys and girls respectively between 2004 and 2010.

    January 22, 2016
    Maravi Post
  • Scientists from the Wistar Institute and Center for Interdisciplinary Research on AIDS at Yale University have demonstrated that the issue of missing data can be successfully overcome using appropriate statistical methods and, as a result, were able to show how early initiation of ART in infants preserves an expansion of naïve T-cells and allows the infant's immune system to be properly reconstructed.

    January 22, 2016
    Science Daily
  • In a large survey of MSM in major urban areas, nearly two-thirds reported having condomless anal sex at least once during the past year, and a quarter said they had receptive anal intercourse without a condom the last time they had sex with a man. But there is also evidence that MSM use condoms at considerably variable rates depending on their own HIV status, the status of their partners, whether the partner is a main or casual one, and the sexual position.

    January 22, 2016
    POZ
  • Portugal is expected to start trialing an HIV/AIDS vaccine on people who do not have the disease in a bid to prevent new cases. According to Diário de Notícias, the vaccine will initially be used on homosexual men, but only among those who run the highest risk of infection. While previous trials have indicated the relative effectiveness of the vaccine, many specialists have expressed concerns that it could encourage unprotected sex and risky behaviour.

    January 21, 2016
    Portugal News
  • Just when you thought 2016 might be the year when ridiculous anti-PrEP propaganda would come to a halt, Michael Weinstein, CEO of the AIDS Healthcare Foundation, starts touting some conspiracy nonsense....Now AHF has filed a bogus Food and Drug Administration complaint against Gilead Sciences for allegedly conspiring to promote Truvada, the only drug so far approved for PrEP, for situational, off-label use.

    January 21, 2016
    The Advocate
  • A new study suggests detection of human papillomavirus (HPV)-16 in the oral cavity was associated with 22-times increased risk of oropharyngeal squamous cell carcinoma.

    January 21, 2016
    Science Daily
  • A compound developed to protect the nervous system from HIV surprised researchers by augmenting the effectiveness of an investigational antiretroviral drug beyond anything expected. The potency of the combination treatment, tested so far in mice, suggests it would be possible to rid the body of HIV for months, reducing the frequency with which patients must take these medications.

    January 20, 2016
    NIH News
  • How you offer patients an HIV test has a significant impact on the likelihood of them accepting tests, finds a study published by the BMJ today. Results show that opt-out HIV testing can substantially increase the number of patients accepting tests, while opt-in schemes may reduce testing. However, the researchers suggest that active choice testing (directly asking patients if they would like an HIV test) may best reflect patients' true preferences, and call for further work.

    January 19, 2016
    Medical Xpress
  • Something interesting happens when you poll people who treat HIV -- and people who have HIV -- about whether they'd prefer a treatment option that consists of a periodic injection or infusion in place of the pill or pills that they take every day. Lots of them say yes....Given the success of currently available oral therapies, why do so many people say they want shots instead? Part of it, of course, is the way the question is framed, and human nature.

    January 18, 2016
    BODY Pro
  • According to results of a meta-analysis published in AIDS,...over half of people with HIV smoked, over two-thirds of HIV-positive men who have sex with men had anal infection with human papillomavirus types associated with a high risk of cancer, and over a quarter of people with HIV were also infected with hepatitis C virus. These rates were well in excess of those seen in the general US population.

    January 18, 2016
    aidsmap

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