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30 JANUARY 2015 VOLUME 16 ISSUE 5

Media Coverage

  • The rate of late stage clinical trial failures is the single biggest determinant of returns on pharmaceutical R&D. The lion’s share of discovery and development costs come at the end of the process, and if those trials fail (whether for safety or lack of efficacy), all the capital invested up to that point is lost.

    January 30, 2015
    Forbes


  • A list of leading women working in global health is being compiled by people around the world who are nominating their choices via Twitter as part of an effort to showcase female leadership.


     


     

    January 30, 2015
    Lancet




  • Anybody who's ever hung from the bars of a playground jungle gym knows it's easier to latch on with two arms instead of one. The same might be said of immune system antibodies: The "Y" shaped proteins do a better job of clinging to invader viruses when they use both of their arms, or binding sites, instead of just one.


     


     

    January 30, 2015
    Los Angeles Time
  • The ministry of health has launched an ambitious US$100 million male circumcision programme that is expected to see at least 80 percent of the male population being voluntarily circumcised.


     

    January 30, 2015
    New Zimbabwe
  • Asia’s biggest vaccine maker is working on a string of new low-priced offerings that threaten to undercut brands from the world’s biggest pharmaceutical companies. Serum Institute of India Ltd, which makes vaccines injected in 65% of the world’s children, is targeting newer vaccines, including one for the human papillomavirus that could be available in late 2018 and sell at a third of the price of Merck and Co.’s blockbuster Gardasil.
    January 29, 2015
    LiveMint
  • As partnerships between the public and private sectors gain prominence, government leaders laud private aid partners, citing their expertise and vast resources. Though there’s reason to believe many public-private partnerships have been effective, quantifying their impact is difficult because comprehensive, transparent metrics do not yet exist. What do these partnerships look like on the ground, and how are they working? 
    January 29, 2015
    Global Post
  • The Irish Family Planning Association is calling on the government to implement a national sexual health programme. It has published data from an online STI testing service it runs in partnership with Lloyds Pharmacy [that] allows people to send samples away for testing for infections including Chlamydia, Gonorrhoea and HIV. Last year almost one thousand Irish people used the service - 57% of them were women. However, fewer women than men asked for HIV testing.
     
    January 29, 2015
    Evening Echo
  • President Mutharika says Malawi stands to benefit a lot from the coming African Union (AU) ordinary Assembly meeting...which will take place from January 30 to 31 under the theme “Year of Women Empowerment and Development towards Africa Agenda 2063.” “One of the things we are going to discuss during the meeting is the issue of women empowerment and also HIV and Aids,” he said.
    January 29, 2015
    Capital Radio Malawi
  • Nearly 3,000 students from 30 universities took part in flash mobs across Viet Nam to raise awareness of sexual and reproductive health issues. The activists converged on the grounds of a popular music festival series, performing up to six flash mobs per day in six major cities, reaching hundreds of thousands of young people with their messages....The campaign...was designed to spread messages about safe sex, contraception and youth empowerment, and engage young people as activists.
    January 29, 2015
    http://foreignaffairs.co.nz/2015/01/29/flash-mobs-converge-on-viet-nam-call-for-access-to-sexual-and-reproductive-health/#sthash.iRDcooUK.dpuf
  • Canada's first-ever African, Caribbean and Black Canadian HIV/AIDS Awareness Day will take place on Saturday, February 7, 2015. The event will raise awareness that the risk of HIV infection among African, Caribbean and Black Canadians is higher than among other Canadians.
    January 29, 2015
    Health News Network
  • Public health officials, health care providers, and community advocates provided more details and raised more questions about the city's "Getting to Zero" plan for eliminating new HIV infections at a recent Board of Supervisors Budget and Finance Committee hearing. Attendees emphasized that funding for the new initiative should not come at the expense of existing HIV services.
    January 29, 2015
    Bay Area Reporter
  • The trial called A Study to Prevent Infection with a Ring for External Use (ASPIRE) uses a ring made of semi-porous material containing the antiretroviral drug, dapirivine....The ASPIRE team recruited 630 Zimbabwean women to participate in the study, says Nyaradzo Mgodi, clinical researcher directing the trial, who works for the University of Zimbabwe-University of San Francisco Collaborative Research Programme. ASPIRE has enrolled 2,629 women in 15
    January 28, 2015
    SciDevNet
  • The Asia-Pacific region will not meet the goal of ending the HIV epidemic in 15 years unless it changes laws and attitudes hostile to people living with HIV, the head of the United Nations agency on AIDS said Wednesday....  "I'm fully convinced that if you don't address these issues ... it's impossible to end HIV/AIDS," said Sidibé, speaking on the opening day of an Asia Pacific inter-governmental meeting on HIV and AIDS in Bangkok. 
    January 28, 2015
    Reuters
  • The Cameroon Association for the Protection and Education of the Child, CAPEC, has been carrying out voluntary HIV screening with a "Mobile Clinic" team in Meme Division of the South West Region, [its] objective to mobilise and empower 5,000 families (about 25,000 people) to work for elimination of HIV/AIDS....The CAPEC mobile clinic team is created to meet people at their various job sites [and] has also organised person-to-person and door-to-door mobilisation, awareness and counseling.
    January 28, 2015
    Cameroon Tribune
  • Zimbabwe needs to intensify age-specific interventions on sexual and reproductive health amid indications that the majority of young women are having unprotected sex, a women rights lobby group has said. The sentiments follow 2014 research findings by Guttmacher Institute and University of Zimbabwe’s Centre for Population Studies.
    January 28, 2015
    Daily News Live
  • Permanent secretary of health Dr Kolaatamo Malefho has called on Batswana to practice safe sex to stop the spread of HIV/ AIDS. Briefing members of Ntlo ya Dikgosi on January 27, Dr Malefho stated that communicable diseases continued to worry his ministry with HIV/AIDS taking priority. He said 30 percent of pregnant women in Botswana were HIV positive, a worrying factor as some had decided not to enroll on Prevention of Mother to Child Transmission programme.
    January 28, 2015
    Daily News
  • Lu Thi Thanh, a 28-year-old woman residing in northern Vietnam, speaks matter-of-factly about living with HIV. She and her husband have it, but their two children do not....“[W]e are still normal people, we still live healthily and we can do a lot of things which some healthy people may not even know how to do,” she said. In 2010, she joined a network called Sunflower aimed at helping HIV-positive women get medical treatment and social support.
    January 27, 2015
    PBS NewsHour
  • Bill Gates has dismissed criticism by health campaigners of the high prices of some vaccines, warning that it only serves to deter pharmaceutical companies from working on life-saving products for poor countries....Gates praised pharmaceutical companies that were willing to invest in vaccine research and development for poor countries. These companies charge different prices according to countries’ ability to pay, he said.
    January 27, 2015
    Guardian
  • A US House of Representatives panel today released a proposal for speeding new medical treatments,...[developed by] by Fred Upton (R–MI) and Diana DeGette (D–CO), House Energy and Commerce Committee....It grew out of a series of hearings and roundtables on ways to spur biomedical research innovation and streamline clinical trials and the drug approval process. The result is a list of ideas summarized in...a "discussion draft". Upton has invited comments via Twitter handle #Cures2015.
     
    January 27, 2015
    Science
  • A defining moment in the life of Dr. Matshidiso Moeti, the WHO's new regional director for Africa, came when she was 9 and her father decided “we would move to Botswana so his children could get a better education,” Dr. Moeti said Monday from Geneva....“There is no question that, as a region, we need to up our game,” Dr. Moeti said. “The WHO is reforming, and one of my intentions is to fast-track reform in the region, too.”
    January 27, 2015
    New York Times
  • In Berlin today, the Global Alliance for Vaccines and Immunization asked for help in meeting its goals of vaccinating 300 million children in low income countries....The response was extraordinary: a total of $7.5 billion pledged to cover GAVI's 2016-2020 efforts.
    January 27, 2015
    Reuters
  • An international survey of HIV-positive women looks at issues of sexual and reproductive health and human rights, according to a press release by the Salamander Trust, which spearheaded the 2014 survey and the resulting report, titled Building a Safe House on Firm Ground. Key findings were presented this month in Geneva at a World Health Organization (WHO) meeting....The WHO will soon begin updating its 2006 guidelines on the subject.
    January 27, 2015
    POZ
  • Paris’* baby boy was a happy addition to her family....Her only son, Paris’ father, had passed away from AIDS. His only child, 16-year-old Paris, was also HIV-positive....But how exactly should Paris feed her baby? Should she breastfeed at all? 
    January 27, 2015
    Observer
  • The US Center for Disease Control is on the verge of endorsing [male] circumcision as a means of preventing HIV and other sexually transmitted diseases, including herpes and human papilloma virus. The decision is based on results from numerous studies, conducted for the most part in sub-Saharan Africa, showing that circumcision reduces the risk of HIV infection by as much as 50%-60%, and the risk of herpes and human papilloma virus by approximately 30%.
     
    January 27, 2015
    Examiner.com
  • mscripts and Avella Specialty Pharmacy recently completed analyzing data demonstrating the effectiveness of mobile pharmacy apps in helping HIV patients better manage their disease through improved medication adherence. Results from this analysis show that HIV patients using a mobile app — which can provide refill reminders, dosage reminders and other prescription management functionality —are 2.9 times more likely to be adherent.
    January 27, 2015
    DrugStore News
  • To help define the future of the HIV response in this new era, governments across the Asia-Pacific region together with civil society and other partners are gathering in Bangkok this week at a major regional meeting convened by the United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific, in partnership with the Joint United Nations Programme on HIV/AIDS, the United Nations Development Programme and other organizations.
    January 26, 2015
    Jakarta Globe
  • Children from poor backgrounds and with no previous technological experience are able to use digital storytelling to share their secrets and fears online, shows a recent doctoral thesis completed at the University of Eastern Finland. Since 2002, Marcus Duveskog, MSc, has been involved in various projects in southern Africa focusing on the development of technologies that make it possible for children and youth to share their experiences of HIV and AIDS.
    January 26, 2015
    Science Daily
  • Two new tools to fight AIDS should be available by 2030 in the form of a vaccine and new intense drug treatments, ending most cases of a disease that has killed millions in the past 30 years, Bill Gates said. The Microsoft founder... told the World Economic Forum in Davos the "two miracles" were within reach in the coming years. "We're pretty optimistic in this 15-year period we will get those two new tools," Gates told a session late Friday.
     
    January 24, 2015
    Reuters
  • A French study that looked at the total amount of time since infection that people with HIV have spent with a detectable viral load has found that, contrary to some researchers’ expectations, starting therapy immediately after infection and then interrupting it conferred no advantage compared to deferring treatment until CD4 counts fell below a certain figure. Only those who started therapy early and stayed on it had a significant advantage in terms of immune recovery.
     
    January 22, 2015
    aidsmap
  • Only a handful of UK universities are deeply involved in the fight to improve global health, according to a new ranking table released yesterday at the United Kingdom’s Houses of Parliament....The University of Oxford came out on top, followed by the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine, Imperial College London, University College London, and University of Liverpool. These five account for 74% of the UK's global health research spending....
    January 22, 2015
    Science
  • At the beginning of December, Russia announced it was pushing not just one, but three new HIV vaccines into clinical trials. But Russia is not the only country searching for a successful HIV vaccine as we venture into 2015.
    January 22, 2015
    Pharmaceutical Online Newsletter
  • The subtype that comprises 5 percent of HIV-1 infections globally traveled from Africa to Thailand where it was identified in 1989. From there, it spread around the world....The authors used a global data set to trace the subtype’s journey around the world. 
    January 22, 2015
    Science Speaks
  • American gay men reporting depression, childhood sexual abuse, stimulant use, other substance and heavy alcohol use are nine times more likely than men without any of these issues to subsequently acquire HIV, according to a large study conducted over four years reported in the Journal of Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndromes....[S]ome researchers have paid attention to how these issues, sexual risk taking and HIV infection link together. The term ‘syndemic’ is used.
    January 20, 2015
    aidsmap

Published Research

  • In this special supplementary issue of AIDS Patient Care and STDs, we present the findings and lessons learned from the Special Projects of National Significance Enhancing Access to and Retention in Quality HIV Care for Women of Color (SPNS WOC) initiative, conducted from 2009 through 2014. The initiative was led by an Evaluation and Technical Assistance Center at the Albert Einstein College of Medicine of Yeshiva University. The final patient cohort consisted of 921 women of color.
     
    January 30, 2015
    AIDS Patient Care and STDs
  • A randomized, noninferiority crossover clinical trial assessed the function of four female condoms (FC2, Woman's Condom, Cupid and VA w.o.w) among 300 women in Durban, South Africa. FC failure rates decreased markedly after use of the first five condoms regardless of FC type and continued to fall across the next three use periods.
    FC failure rates decrease over 20 uses, regardless of FC condom type used. 
    January 29, 2015
    Contraception
  • Data are from the South Africa HIV Antenatal Post-test Support Study. For HIV-positive women compared to HIV-negative women, the risk ratio of condom use was 1.66; for dual protection (use of a condom and a hormonal method) it was 1.96.  in an urban clinic in Durban, South Africa. Our study contributes additional evidence that knowledge of HIV status may be an important motivating behavioral factor for women to use contraceptives and dual protection in the postpartum period.
    January 29, 2015
    Contraception
  • This Viewpoint discusses essential steps to attaining a world without AIDS...."Scale must give way to focus, details,”...“tailored prevention approaches are key”,... [and must exist alongside a] “robust system of care and treatment”.
    January 27, 2015
    JAMA
  • Affordability of vaccines prevents many people from accessing the benefits of immunisation, says a new report from Médecins Sans Frontières released Jan 20. Although the world's poorest countries are supported by GAVI, the report describes how a large group of middle-income countries, aid agencies, and GAVI-graduating countries are struggling to afford key vaccinations.
    January 24, 2015
    Lancet
  • In 2012, we estimate that there were 417 million people aged 15–49 years living with HSV-2 infection world-wide, of whom 267 million were women....The highest burden was in Africa. However, despite lower prevalence, South-East Asia and Western Pacific regions also contributed large numbers because of large population sizes.
    January 21, 2015
    PLoS ONE

Announcements

  • The meeting will be held February 12, 2015, from 9 am to approximately 5 pm (ET) and February 13, 2015, from 9:30 am to approximately 12:30 pm (ET), to discuss essential health benefits and provider networks, integration of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) qualified health plan, and the Ryan White Program; an update on the National HIV/AIDS Strategy; and a discussion on surveillance data. The meeting will be open to the public.
     
    January 27, 2015