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30 MAY 2014, VOLUME 15, ISSUE 22

Media Coverage

  • Two weeks ago, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention announced that it was recommending physicians consider Truvada, a medication used to treat HIV/AIDS, to prevent infection for high-risk patients who are HIV negative. Seen as a miracle drug by some and a "party drug" by others, Truvada has struggled to take off as a preventative measure and, prior to the CDC's endorsement, foundered under its own controversy.

    May 28, 2014
    San Francisco Bay Guardian
  • A Vancouver hospital ward once so stigmatized it was only referred to by code name has been transformed from an AIDS-dedicated centre now the illness has been "virtually controlled" in the province....St. Paul's Hospital in the city's core is repurposing the floor that nursing staff would only identify as "10C," because of a near-elimination of AIDS cases in British Columbia and the associated drop in need for high-maintenance HIV care....

    May 27, 2014
    Global Post/Canadian Press
  • The Winnipeg Free Press reported that after a two-year lobbying effort, Alberta’s St. Thomas Aquinas Catholic School District in Leduc has become the final public school district in Canada to allow female student vaccinations for human papillomavirus (HPV), with parental permission. Countering critical arguments that the vaccine will challenge the teachings of abstinence and promote promiscuity, HPV Canada said the top priority has always been the health of children and the final decision will be given to parents, not the schools....

    May 27, 2014
    Winnipeg Free Press
  • The Center for Health Protection ( CHP) of Hong Kong on Tuesday reported a record of 154 HIV infections in the first quarter of 2014, bringing the cumulative total of reported HIV infections to 6,496 since 1984. According to the report, of the 154 HIV cases, 84 acquired the infection via homosexual or bisexual contact, 22 via heterosexual contact and one through drug injection. The routes of transmission of the remaining 47 cases had yet to be determined due to inadequate information. The 154 cases comprised 133 males and 21 females....

    May 27, 2014
    Global Post
  • ....On Wednesday at Toronto's Royal York hotel, Harper will open a three-day international summit, called Saving Every Woman, Every Child, where NGOs and maternal health experts from around the world will come to discuss nutrition, immunization and other matters related to maternal and child health....In 2010, Canada pledged $2.85 billion which, according to the summit's website, is being invested in maternal and child health centres in Bangladesh, HIV testing in Ethiopia, and nutrition education in Mali and Mozambique.

    May 27, 2014
    The Star
  • As [PEPFAR] began its shift from emergency to sustainable response in 2009, international organizations faced a daunting deadline. In three years, groups like the U.S.-based Elizabeth Glaser Pediatric AIDS Foundation, which by then had provided HIV testing and counseling to two and a half million pregnant women, care and support to more than a million patients, and antiretroviral treatment for more than half a million people during the previous five years, would need to turn responsibility for the programs making that possible over to local organizations in resource-poor countries....

    May 27, 2014
    Science Speaks
  • Bill Gates, who as the richest American has become one of the foremost advocates of philanthropy, has reduced the pace of his own giving to the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation over the last decade. After starting the foundation with gifts of $356 million from 1994 to 1997, Mr. Gates, the co-founder of Microsoft, vastly expanded it into the nation’s largest with a burst of gifts totaling $24.6 billion over the next four years. Since then, however, he has dialed back this giving. From 2002 to 2012, he gave $3.7 billion, according to foundation disclosures and data from a Gates spokesman.

    May 26, 2014
    New York Times
  • Religious activists, students, and colleagues gathered outside Jamaica's biggest university Monday to protest the firing of an HIV expert who testified on behalf of church groups defending an anti-sodomy law....Dozens of protesters said the University of the West Indies punished Dr. Brendan Bain for expressing his opinion as an expert witness in the Belize case....Bain, a retired professor who was removed as head of the Caribbean HIV/AIDS Regional Training Network, did not attend the protest and has not commented on his firing....

    May 26, 2014
    Associated Press/Washington Post
  • "Oral PrEP is a promising HIV prevention method, particularly for women," says Ana Wheelock, Imperial College London. "But we still do not know if people will adhere long term to the treatment regime as they need to"....To answer that question, researchers are running 'demonstration projects' to evaluate the viability of PrEP under realistic conditions. There are currently at least ten PrEP demonstration projects going on around the world [that] offer participants a “menu of choices that meet the needs of different groups," says Wheelock....

    May 25, 2014
  • The Rakyat Post reported that Malaysia's Health Minister Datuk Seri Dr. S. Subramaniam said the country has seen 50 percent fewer new HIV cases throughout the past 11 years, down from 6,978 reported cases in 2002 to 3,393 reported cases in 2013....He also noted that HIV infection among drug addicts had decreased from 53 percent in 2006 to 22 percent in 2013....However, the country has seen a dramatic rise of sexual transmissions, contributing to 74 percent of new HIV cases compared with only 32 percent just five years ago.

    May 24, 2014
    Rakyat Post
  • A new HIV pandemic is "a real possibility", one of the world's leading authorities on infectious disease has said, warning that a rise of drug resistant strains of the virus could "reverse progress made since the 1980s" in combating the disease. Professor Jeremy Farrar [director of the Wellcome Trust] said that "the spectre of drug-resistant HIV" threatened to have "a huge impact" in the next 20 years, if drugs which have made vast improvements to the life expectancy of patients since 1990s become less effective....

    May 22, 2014
    The Independent
  • The world's largest gathering on HIV/AIDS will be held in July in Melbourne, Australia. The theme of the 20th International AIDS Conference – also known as AIDS 2014 – is Nobody Left Behind. Organizers have issued the Melbourne Declaration....The Melbourne Declaration affirms that “non-discrimination is fundamental to an evidence-based, rights-based and gender transformative response to HIV and effective public health programs"....

    May 20, 2014
    Voice of America

Published Research

  • Latent Class Analysis (LCA) was used to identify sexual behaviour typologies to predict sexual risk outcomes among 274 (63% female) unmarried, sexually active African–American emerging adults living in disadvantaged urban neighbourhoods. LCA identified distinct risk clusters that predicted sexual health outcomes and can inform targeted interventions for a minority youth population disproportionately affected by HIV, other STIs, and early parenthood.

    May 30, 2014
    Sex Transm Infect
  • We conducted a consultation with district-level community stakeholders experienced in HIV-prevention interventions with at-risk populations in Bondo and Rarieda, Kenya to generate locally grounded approaches to the future rollout of oral PrEP to four populations: fishermen, widows, female sex workers, and serodiscordant couples. The 20 consultation participants represented the Ministry of Health, faith- and community- based organizations, health facilities, community groups, and nongovernmental organizations.

    May 30, 2014
    BMC Health Services Research
  • ...This new Viewpoint appears in the September 2014 special LARC-themed issue of Perspectives on Sexual and Reproductive Health. It explains that enthusiasm about LARC methods has increased among US reproductive health professionals in recent years because of their potential to help decrease the national rate of unintended pregnancy.

    May 29, 2014
    Perspectives on Sexual & Reproductive Health
  • To maximize HIV prevention efforts in South Africa and perhaps the broader region, public health officials should consider testing for other sexually transmitted infections when they test for HIV, according to a new paper in the journal Sexually Transmitted Infections....The new study led by Brown University public health researchers emphasizes that sooner is indeed better than later, because the data show that HIV-positive South Africans were much more likely to be troubled by STIs before starting HIV treatment than after....

    May 28, 2014
    Science Daily
  • Syphilis, by its nature, should be a relatively easy public health problem. Humans are the only reservoir, for the most part it's transmitted sexually, and it's relatively easy to cure. Why, then, is the rate of syphilis rising in the US? Specifically, why is it rising mainly among gay and bisexual men, while dropping in most other groups? And why is it rising now, rather than, say, a decade ago? It's a combination of factors, according to experts who spoke to MedPage Today.

    May 28, 2014
    MedPage Today
  • Concerns about guardianship and privacy can discourage clinics from testing children for HIV, according to new research from Zimbabwe published this week in PLOS Medicine. The results of the study, by Rashida A. Ferrand of the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine and colleagues, provide much-needed information on how to improve care of this vulnerable population....Provider-initiated HIV testing and counseling (PITC) involves health care providers routinely recommending HIV testing and counseling when people attend health care facilities.

    May 27, 2014
    Science Daily
  • Children born with HIV are far more likely to develop resistance to antiretroviral drugs than adults, according to a new Tulane University School of Medicine study. Researchers following almost 450 children enrolled in the Pediatric HIV/AIDS Cohort Study, one of the largest studies of HIV-positive children in the United States, found that 74 percent had developed resistance to at least one form of drug treatment and 30 percent were resistant to at least two classes of HIV treatment drugs.

    May 22, 2014
    Science Daily