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5 SEPTEMBER 2014 VOLUME 15 ISSUE 36

Media Coverage

  • The 20th International AIDS Conference (AIDS 2014)...began by commemorating those who died on their way to the conference as passengers aboard the Malaysian airline flight brought down in eastern Ukraine. Although this terrible loss cast a shadow over the entirety of the conference, researchers and advocates turned their focus to recent progress in the realms of HIV treatment and prevention research, as well as what is still needed to achieve an AIDS-free world.

    September 5, 2014
    Vax Report
  • Should tax money be spent for research on pornography in Bangladesh? How about on sex worker organisations’ efforts to legalise sex work?...While there is widespread global support for some aspects of sexual health,...many other sexual health issues are far more controversial. The theme of this year’s World Sexual Health Day on Thursday is exploring what sexual health actually is, and what it means to all of us.

    September 4, 2014
    Guardian
  • Indian HIV patient Rekha has missed her daily dose of medicine several times the last few months because the government distribution center at New Delhi's Lok Nayak Hospital ran out of drugs....Like thousands of other sufferers, she relies on free antiretroviral drugs handed out at state-run healthcare providers supplied by NACO facing shortfalls blamed on supply bottlenecks, late payments to drugmakers and at least one large Indian manufacturer boycotting the process.
     

    September 4, 2014
    Reuters
  • At last week’s roundtable discussion on maternity care for women living with HIV, hosted by CHANGE, advocates discussed how disrespect and abuse towards women in the maternal and reproductive health care world contributes to the HIV/AIDS epidemic....Forced sterilization of women living with HIV is more of the norm rather than the exception, as well as women living with HIV being forced to use certain contraceptives.

    September 3, 2014
    Science Speaks
  • Ugandan MPs have begun work on reintroducing tough anti-gay legislation, a month after the east African nation's constitutional court declared a previous law "null and void", a report said Wednesday. Two MPs have been granted leave from parliament to prepare the bill for a fresh vote, the Daily Monitor newspaper reported....According to the Daily Monitor, 254 out of 376 MPs now support reintroducing the legislation, far above the necessary one-third quorum as well as majority vote.

    September 3, 2014
    Agence France Presse
  • Oregon researchers developing a vaccine that has shown promise in preventing HIV infection in primates said Wednesday they have been awarded a $25 million grant from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. Oregon Health & Science University scientists, in announcing the award, said they hope to develop a vaccine that not only prevents the HIV virus from infecting people exposed to it, but also eliminates the virus from those already infected.

    September 3, 2014
    Reuters
  • Terrence Higgins Trust, the UK’s largest HIV and sexual health charity is launching a project to provide African faith leaders with the skills and knowledge to support people living with HIV in their communities. Through the Faith and Community Project, the charity will also work closely with the African faith groups to raise awareness of HIV and encourage regular testing to African communities

    September 3, 2014
    Afro News
  • Queenmothers from some selected communities in the Greater Accra region have been admonished to promote the use of female condoms to help prevent unwanted pregnancies and other sexually transmitted diseases....The call was made at a sensitisation meeting organised by Hope for Future Generations and Society for Women and AIDS in Africa....
     

    September 3, 2014
    Daily Graphic
  • People in Malawi are buying life-saving antiretroviral drugs meant for people living with HIV, and misusing them to brew gin as well as fattening livestock....The farmers’ activity has resulted from their observations made of people living with HIV who gain weight as their health improves once they are on the medication. The appalling revelations were made in Malawi’s Weekend Nation newspaper report of 16 August and it is believed that some people were arrested as a result.

    September 3, 2014
    Key Correspondents
  • The country has started rolling out the Prevention of Mother to Child Transmittion of HIV (PMTCT) Option B+ programme which entails enrolling all pregnant women on ART for life, regardless of their CD4 cell count. This was revealed by Nokuthula Maseko from Elizabeth Glaser Pediatric AIDS Foundation at the Trade Fair yesterday.

    September 3, 2014
    Swazi Observer
  • Sayana Press (a new formulation and presentation of Depo-Provera) is being co-launched by Pfizer and DKT International in Nigeria, being offered commercially for the first time on the African continent. The three-month, progestin-only injectable contraceptive is packaged in the Uniject system, which enables a precise dosage and less painful injection than other 3-month injectable products because the needle is smaller and the injection is delivered subcutaneously instead of intramuscularly.
     

    September 3, 2014
    Street Insider
  • A six-day workshop [in Chandigarh] on "HIV AIDS Care, Prevention and Treatment" was organized by Dr Sandhya Ghai, with a team of coordinators, under Global Fund for AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria. 136 students were trained. The goal was to provide basic information on HIV AIDS and anti-retroviral therapy enabling them to adequately support, care and treat HIV positive patients. Challenges and the measures to overcome them were also discussed.

    September 3, 2014
    Times of India
  • The mobile theatres, which look like containers loaded onto trucks, have generators for electricity, a tank for water and doors that are airtight to prevent dust entering. Fitted with two operating tables, it only takes half an hour for the circumcision to be performed and a local anaesthetic injected so that the procedure is pain free....The launch, which was on Saturday in Stellenbosch, was also part of a new drive to persuade members of the coloured community to choose circumcision.

    September 2, 2014
    The South African
  • A new study of 314 female sex workers in Makindye division found that more than half of respondents falsely believe that once a man is circumcised, protection is not necessary during sex. The International Health Sciences University (IHSU) study was titled: "Understanding the dynamics and practices of female sex workers with both circumcised and uncircumcised men in Makindye division."
     

    September 2, 2014
    The Observer
  • More than 30 years after the AIDS epidemic began, HIV is no longer a story that engages journalists or the public, and when it is covered, it is often sensationalised or based on information that is out of date. These are some of the findings of a report being presented to a parliamentary group on HIV and AIDS at the House of Commons in London today.

    September 2, 2014
    Reuters
  • At a time when HIV rates have stabilised or declined elsewhere, the epidemic is still advancing in the Arab world, exacerbated by factors such as political unrest, conflict, poverty and lack of awareness due to social taboos....“It is true that the Arab region has a low prevalence of infection, however it has the fastest growing epidemic in the world,“ warns Dr Khadija Moalla, an independent consultant on human rights/gender/civil society/HIV-AIDS.

    September 1, 2014
    IPS
  • On Sept. 5, 1994, 20,000 delegates from 179 countries gathered in Cairo for the International Conference on Population and Development. Unlike prior population meetings, focused mainly on family planning, the Cairo convention endorsed equal access to education for girls [and] demanded “reproductive rights” — including rights to contraception and information about sex — for adolescents of both genders. Two decades later, girls’ education has expanded steadily around the globe. But sex education has stalled....
     

    August 31, 2014
    Washington Post
  • Three Sydney sex workers have staged a protest at the Festival of Dangerous Ideas over the representation of their profession in a panel discussion on the global sex industry called Women For Sale.

    August 31, 2014
    Guardian
  • As HIV infections and AIDS-related deaths around the world fall, rates in Uganda have been on the rise. Part of the problem...is that the populations most at risk...face laws that increase stigma, drive them underground and make them reluctant to seek diagnosis and treatment....The NewsHour explored the issue in July [and then] put the call out for questions for four activists and human rights workers who deal specifically with at-risk populations in Uganda.

    August 29, 2014
    PBS
  • The Centers for Disease Control rolled out a new campaign to target Hispanic and Latino communities in addressing HIV/AIDS, citing a high number of new infections each year....Introducing their new campaign, accompanied with two videos highlighting the information, the CDC said, "We all have a role to play. We can stop HIV one conversation at a time. Together, all of our conversations can help protect the health of our community and reduce the spread of HIV. "

    August 28, 2014
    Latin Post
  • Why are researchers only just beginning to recognize the connection between the decriminalization of sex work and HIV?... During the 2014 International AIDS conference, The Lancet medical journal released a series of articles focused exclusively on HIV and sex work. One study by Kate Shannon et al., demonstrates that decriminalization of sex work could reduce HIV infections by 33 to 46 percent over the next decade....

    August 13, 2014
    RH Reality Check

Published Research

  • 3285 persons living with HIV (PLHIV) in 15 States of were followed up to six months across 30 ART centres in 15 States of India. Adherence was assessed using pill count and self-reported recall, determinants of suboptimal adherence explored. Suboptimal adherence was found in 24.5 per cent of PLHIV.

    September 4, 2014
    Indian J Med Res
  • There were few examples of shared decision-making, with a power imbalance in favour of providers, although they offered substantial psycho-social support. Unclear communication by providers, and patients not asking questions, resulted in missed services. Omission of pre-HIV test counselling was often noted, influencing women's ability to opt-out....Trust in providers was limited by confidentiality concerns....Good care was recounted by some women, but many (HIV-positive and negative) described disrespectful staff.
     

    September 4, 2014
    PLoS ONE
  • Among MSM aged 18–19 years, recent HIV testing was shown to increase significantly among black MSM, but not among MSM of other racial/ethnic groups. Increases in recent HIV testing among populations most affected by HIV are encouraging, but despite these increases, improved testing coverage is needed to meet CDC recommendations.

    September 4, 2014
    PLoS ONE
  • Applying a multi-stage content development approach to crafting text messages – informed by behavioral theory – resulted in message content that was consistent across different focus groups. This approach could help answer “why” and “how” text messaging may be a useful tool to support maternal and child health. We are evaluating the effect of these messages on improving postpartum PMTCT retention and infant HIV testing in a randomized trial.

    September 4, 2014
    PLoS ONE
  • The isolation of human monoclonal antibodies is providing important insights into the specificities that underlie broad neutralization of HIV-1. Here we report a broad and extremely potent HIV-specific monoclonal antibody, termed 35O22, which binds a novel HIV-1 envelope glycoprotein (Env) epitope....Binding to this new site of vulnerability may thus be an important complement to current monoclonal-antibody-based approaches to immunotherapies, prophylaxis and vaccine design.
     

    September 3, 2014
    Nature
  • Measurements of disease progression among South African women who were found to have been recently infected with the same HIV-1 subtype showed faster decline in their immune cell counts than what is considered common, adding impetus to accelerated HIV testing and treatment efforts, according to authors of a study just published in Clinical Infectious Diseases.
     

    September 2, 2014
    Science Speaks
  • A large number of HIV-positive African Americans receiving treatment with maraviroc (Selzentry, Celsentri) may be on subtherapeutic levels of the drug, according to newly published research [from Johns Hopkins].

    September 2, 2014
    TheBodyPRO
  • A total of 381 MSM were recruited in a community-based cross-sectional survey in two towns (Long Xuyen and Chau Doc) in An Giang province in 2009. Due to the scarcity of effective MSM-targeted prevention programmes, it is likely that substance use, risky sexual behaviours and low testing uptake may substantially contribute to the spread of HIV among Vietnamese MSM sampled. Harm reduction programmes targeting MSM, and in particular injecting MSM, should be rolled-out in this province.
     

    September 2, 2014
    Sex Transm Infect
  • The main barriers identified were classified in four categories: (1) social and cultural barriers such as taboos; (2) structural and administrative barriers such as inappropriate structure of the health system; (3) political barriers such as lack of an adopted strategy by the government and (4) non-use of religious potential. Adolescent SRH in Iran should be firmly established as a priority for government leaders and policymakers.

    September 2, 2014
    J Fam Plann Reprod Health Care
  • In studies of black men who have sex with men, the exclusive use of self-reported data is likely to overestimate the true lack of awareness of HIV status in this population, according to recent study results published in Open Forum Infectious Diseases. The findings suggest that these men may feel uncomfortable revealing their knowledge of their HIV status. Researchers evaluated data from the InvolveMENt study...in Atlanta.
     

    August 31, 2014
    Healio
  • We review the safety of hormonal and non-hormonal contraceptive methods for women living with HIV and discuss drug interactions between contraceptive methods and antiretrovirals and safety with respect to onward transmission to HIV-negative partners. In general, most methods are safe for most women living with HIV. Further research is needed to understand drug interactions between contraceptives and antiretrovirals better and how to fulfil the contraceptive needs of HIV-positive women.
     

    August 28, 2014
    Best Pract Res Clin Obstet Gynaecol
  • When an experiment fails to produce an interesting effect, researchers often shelve the data....But withholding null results skews the literature in a field, and is a particular worry for clinical medicine and the social sciences. Researchers at Stanford have [found] that most null results in a sample of social-science studies were never published. This bias may cause others to waste time repeating the work, or conceal failed attempts to replicate published research....

    August 28, 2014
    Nature
  • A unique method for delivering compounds that could positively impact the global battle against HIV and AIDS may be possible, American researchers say. A semi-soft vaginal suppository made from the seaweed-derived food ingredient carrageenan and loaded with the antiviral drug Tenofovir provides a woman-initiated, drug-delivery vehicle that can protect against the spread of sexually transmitted infections during unprotected heterosexual intercourse, they report.

    August 28, 2014
    Science Daily
  • Applying the benefit of hindsight, researchers at Duke Medicine have reanalyzed the findings of two historic pediatric HIV vaccine trials with encouraging results. The vaccines had in fact triggered an antibody response -- now known to be associated with protection in adults -- that was previously unrecognized in the infants studied in the 1990s.

    August 28, 2014
    Science Daily

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