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3 June 2016 VOLUME 17 ISSUE 22

Media Coverage

  • The latest dispatch from the war on HIV, the “Global AIDS Update 2016”, just published by UNAIDS, the UN agency responsible for combating the virus, brings qualified good news.

    June 4, 2016
    The Economist
  • Without a less restricted fund, health officials fighting Zika have had to move money and scientists away from programs focused on other diseases, like Ebola, malaria and dengue. Robbing existing programs is sure to hurt public health the longer it goes on.

    June 2, 2016
    NY Times
  • From an HIV stigma perspective, that's a really positive thing to see that we're breaking down barriers that people may have in terms of their comfort with [HIV-positive] partners," says Dr. Darrell Tan, the study's lead researcher, who nonetheless strongly recommends people taking PrEP continue to use condoms.

    June 2, 2016
    CBC
  • The government is under pressure to intervene and overturn an NHS decision not to fund a revolutionary daily pill that can prevent HIV infections.

    June 1, 2016
    Independent
  • A representative for London Councils has alleged that NHS England is deliberately stalling a decision on HIV-preventing PrEP drugs until after patents have expired.

    June 1, 2016
    Pink News
  • A look at some science-based facts about HIV that may surprise you as we mark the 35th anniversary of the official start of the AIDS epidemic.

    June 1, 2016
    PoZ
  • As of Wednesday (June 1, 2016), sex workers in selected sites around the country will for the first time be able to receive oral antiretrovirals as pre-exposure prophylaxis....“Combination prevention has been demonstrated to prevent new HIV infections. And, given the very high level of HIV infections in sex workers, this community needs additional protection,” according to ministry spokesman Joe Maila.

    June 1, 2016
    LifeStyle
  • More than a decade ago, researchers at Gilead Sciences thought they had...a new version of the company’s key HIV medicine that was less toxic to kidneys and bones....But in 2004,...Gilead executives stopped the research....[which] would go unpublished for years as the original medication – tenofovir – became one of the world’s most-prescribed drugs for HIV....More than six years later, in 2010, Gilead restarted those trials.

    June 1, 2016
    LA Times
  • Voluntary medical male circumcision (VMMC) is a one-time, low-cost HIV intervention shown to reduce the risk of female-male HIV transmission by at least 60 percent....PEPFAR's rigorous data analyses have shown that certain VMMC partners and program sites are more effective and efficient at reaching men and delivering safe, high-quality services. Based on these analyses, we have redirected some VMMC resources to these high-performing partners and sites and only closed sites for poor service delivery or non-performance.

    May 31, 2016
    The Hill
  • Since 2008, the overall rate of reported gonorrhoea infections has more than doubled across Europe, going up from 8 per 100,000 population to 20 cases per 100,000 persons in 2014.....The majority of infections were diagnosed among young adults aged 15-24 years,...followed by the 25-34-year-olds....Almost half of the reported gonorrhoea diagnoses in the EU/EEA in 2014 were reported to be among men who have sex with men.

    May 31, 2016
    Science Daily
  • New molecular dynamics research into how RNA (ribonucleic acid) folds into hairpin-shaped structures called tetraloops could provide important insights into new treatments for retroviral diseases...that afflict humans, including Ebola, HIV and Zika...[and] are active areas of research at the Los Alamos National Laboratory.

    May 31, 2016
    Science Daily
  • From Monday 23rd to Friday 27th May 2016, the 69th World Health Assembly in Geneva was charged with many exciting technical sessions, plenary meetings and side events all geared towards charting new and innovative ways of improving health and general wellbeing of the global community. The following provide key highlights of the agreed resolutions for the assembly.

    May 31, 2016
    Daily Trust
  • In Zimbabwe, Government knows too well why data is important in accelerating development outcomes. First, government has the role of providing merit goods like mass immunizations and to do so, they need to know the number of people they should target; second, in order to allocate resources, and make strategic decisions and fulfil this merit good around health services....Health and Child Care acting Secretary Dr Gibdon Mhlanga outlined the importance of data in planning and implementation of health programmes.

    May 31, 2016
    Herald
  • The Wellcome Trust medical charity is to profit from US approval of a new diagnostic cancer test, the first commercial product funded by the organization since the sale of its pharmaceuticals business to Glaxo in 1995. The regulatory green light shows how the world's healthcare leading charities are becoming important sources of finance for biotech start-ups and can gain when the young firms they back succeed.

    May 31, 2016
    Reuters
  • A cross-sectional survey of viral load in patients attending the largest clinic providing ART in Kenya has shown that after an average of nearly two years on first-line, tenofovir-based ART, 76% maintained a viral load under 40 copies/ml and 85% under 1000 copies/ml, the WHO threshold for significant clinical and transmission consequences.... However, the study found extremely high rates of significant drug resistance in those whose viral load was detectable.

    May 31, 2016
    aidsmap
  • For some women, the power to negotiate safe sex is not always within their control....But new results from two large clinical trials have shown that a ring that slowly secretes an antiretroviral drug into the vagina could reduce around 6-in-10 HIV infections in women, with a promising proof of concept that could be built upon to increase the prevention odds....Female-controlled HIV prevention interventions are welcome news for the Caribbean, which currently records the second-highest prevalence of HIV after sub-Saharan Africa.

    May 29, 2016
    Antillean Media Group
  • Vadim Pokrovsky stunned hundreds of students at a conference in Moscow last week when he reached into his pocket and took out a condom. "And you, the young generation, how do you protect yourselves from HIV?" said Pokrovsky, the 61-year-old head of Russia's federal AIDS centre. "I always have a condom on me. Today even a 90-year-old can contract the virus." The audience fell silent for a moment before breaking into applause.

    May 28, 2016
    AFP
  • Menstruation has long been a neglected topic, but a new generation of researchers are now shedding light into the shadows...."Girls are literally selling their bodies to get sanitary pads,” says Dr Penelope Phillips-Howard. “When we did our study in Kenya, one in 10 of the 15 year old girls told us they had engaged in sex to get money to buy pads. These girls have no money, no power...."It's referred to as transactional sex,...but of course it is really coercive."

    May 28, 2016
    Guardian
  • This qualitative health policy analysis sought to understand why and how interventions to improve sexual health of lesbian and bisexual women and address sexual violence were initially proposed in the HIV & AIDS and STI Strategic Plan for South Africa 2007‐2011 and why and how these concerns were deprioritised in the National Strategic Plan (NSP) on HIV, STIs and TB 2012‐2016.

    May 28, 2016
    Reproductive Health Matters
  • In what European science chief Carlos Moedas calls a "life-changing" move, EU member states today agreed on an ambitious new open access target. All scientific papers should be freely available by 2020, the Competitiveness Council—a gathering of ministers of science, innovation, trade, and industry—concluded after a 2-day meeting in Brussels. But some observers are warning that the goal will be difficult to achieve.

    May 27, 2016
    Science Mag
  • Treatment with efavirenz has been associated with rare but severe liver complications among patients receiving antiretroviral therapy in South Africa. Writing in AIDS, investigators report three patterns of efavirenz drug-induced liver injury, the most severe of which involved necrosis with severe elevations in transaminases and jaundice. Mortality rates were high.

    May 27, 2016
    aidsmap
  • Udom Likitwanwuth, an advisor to the global AIDS Vaccine Advocacy Coalition, and Lt. Gen. Sornchai Nittayapan,...outlined the latest efforts to develop a vaccine for Human Immunodeficiency Virus on HIV Vaccine Awareness Day in Pattay.

    May 25, 2016
    Pattaya Mail
  • Sexually transmitted infections such as syphilis and resistant gonorrhea have public health officials and staff at Canadian nursing homes and retirement communities taking note. The Public Health Agency of Canada said reported rates of chlamydia, gonorrhea and syphilis have been steadily rising since the late 1990s. Young Canadians continue to have the highest reported rates of infections, but increasing numbers are occurring among middle-aged and older adults.

    May 20, 2016
    CBC News
  • A qualitative study of women in Malawi who chose not to take HIV treatment as part of the country’s Option B+ programme...has found that needing more time to think, concerns about partner support, and side-effects were important reasons for declining. While these themes have appeared in other settings, they seem especially significant in the context of Option B+, [in which]... women who may feel healthy are asked to begin HIV treatment on the day of diagnosis and continue it for the rest of their life.

    May 19, 2016
    aidsmap
  • In a setback for a novel approach to curing HIV, researchers involved in a technique that uses enzymes to remove viral genes from the DNA of infected cells have found that HIV rapidly develops resistance to the guide molecules that target the correct part of the DNA sequence....Furthermore,...the way the gene therapy works may actually promote the development of resistance.

    May 17, 2016
    aidsmap

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