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8 AUGUST VOLUME 15 ISSUE 32

Media Coverage

  • Transformative change is afoot among men and boys throughout Southern and East Africa. Millions have bravely stepped up to protect themselves and their partners from HIV. What started quietly in a few communities now spans nations, and could grow into one of the greatest achievements towards ending the AIDS epidemic on our continent.

    August 8, 2014
    Mail & Guardian
  • Once touted as the success story of not just the continent, but the world, Uganda seems to be slipping further off that decorated wagon and paving way for new golden girls such as Kenya.

    Having brought HIV prevalence rates down from double digits in the 1980s and 1990s to just five per cent at the turn of the millennium, Uganda's prevalence rates have since shot back up to 7.3 per cent from 6.4 per cent in 2005. In contrast, Kenya's universal access prevalence now stands at 5.6 per cent, down from 7.2 per cent in 2007, according to the 2012 AIDS Indicator Survey.

    August 8, 2014
    all Africa
  • Former President George W. Bush made a rare return to the nation’s capital on Wednesday to rally world leaders behind a public health campaign to conquer killer diseases in Africa and to forecast what he called “the beginning of the end of AIDS"...., saying at this stage the effort can be focused with better data, better treatment options and better prevention approaches to “reach and help the highest-risk regions and groups.” He also urged African leaders to avoid discrimination that makes public health efforts harder….
    August 7, 2014
    New York Times
  • "Stepping up the pace" -- the theme of AIDS 2014 -- will require a new focus on key populations and geographical concentrations of HIV, as well as intensified efforts to expand coverage of HIV testing and treatment, according to Prof. Salim Abdool Karim, director of CAPRISA, who reviewed the global state of the epidemic and treatment access at the 20th International AIDS Conference held recently in Melbourne.
    August 7, 2014
    HIV and Hepatitis
  • Tope Tayo’s marriage broke up 11 years ago after she tested positive for HIV....The runaway man who abandons his HIV positive wife and children is a common feature in Nigeria, says Rosemary Hua, coordinator of the First Step Action for Children.... “Fathers withdraw their support because they feel there is no need to invest in a child that is likely to die young,” Hua told IPS....Only Chad ranks lower than Nigeria in treatment coverage of HIV positive pregnant women.
    August 7, 2014
    IPS
  • HIV activist groups have a history of rocky relations with the city of New York. From its beginning in 1987, ACT UP/NY attacked then-Mayor Ed Koch for his refusal to commit significant resources and political capital to a health crisis that was decimating New York City neighborhoods.

    August 7, 2014
    The Body
  • There’s no shortage of evidence linking intimate partner violence to inconsistent condom use. In a 2011 study of over 500 heterosexual men in New York City, researchers found that men who are physically violent with their partners are half as likely to report consistent condom use compared with men who aren’t. And another study, published in 2013, showed that women who were physically abused by their partners in the three months prior to answering the survey were more likely to have had sex without a condom than women who hadn’t experienced that type of violence....

    August 7, 2014
    The Dish
  • Improve the data on young people with HIV: More needs to be done and researched on vertical infection, especially now that the uptake of mother-to-child-transmission prevention services is much higher than in the first decade of 2000. There is little data on young people who were born with HIV.

    August 7, 2014
    Mail & Guardian
  • The world must learn from the fight against AIDS to help beat the deadliest-ever outbreak of Ebola, the new global head of the Red Cross said Wednesday. While strict measures are needed to defeat Ebola in West Africa, dishing out blame will not help, said Elhadj As Sy, chief of the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies.
    August 6, 2014
    Global Post
  • Drugmakers' use of the tobacco plant as a fast and cheap way to produce novel biotechnology treatments is gaining global attention because of its role in an experimental Ebola therapy.
    August 6, 2014
    Reuters
  • Ugandan parliamentarians are launching a campaign to revive a recently invalidated anti-gay measure and hope to have it passed within weeks, a lawmaker said Wednesday. About 150 lawmakers have promised to vote in support of the bill when parliament emerges from a recess later this month, said parliamentarian Latif Ssebaggala, who is collecting signatures from lawmakers who support the anti-gay measure....
    August 6, 2014
    New York Times
  • It's getting harder for the United States to keep its secrets when it comes to democracy-promotion programs in Cuba. The Associated Press revealed this week a US International Development Agency-funded operation to spur antigovernment activism among Cubans, this time through an HIV-prevention program. US lawmakers and health advocates are lambasting USAID's use of a health program for political ends, saying it puts the US's other global health and development programs at risk....
    August 5, 2014
    International Business Times
  • A few months ago, the CDC recommended Truvada, the HIV prevention pill, to anyone at risk of infection. The Verge and other media outlets — including the New York Times, the Washington Post, and Slate — covered the news in a big way, because it meant that government officials were not only urging doctors to prescribe the drug to queer men or individuals whose partners have HIV, but to anyone at risk — including sex workers, heterosexuals, and transfolk.

    August 5, 2014
    The Verge
  • Billions have been spent to bring AIDS medicines to patients in Africa, but a technology with just as much lifesaving potential can be had for pennies: the text message. As African leaders gather for a summit with President Barack Obama this week, U.S. health agencies are beginning to invest in programs to help expand mobile health technology, which has the potential to dramatically improve life for millions in sub-Saharan Africa....
    August 4, 2014
    Politico
  • A few years ago,... I wrote an article for a well-known general interest magazine about the HIV epidemic among gay men in developing countries....I waited for an email gushing with praise for my thorough reporting and nimble prose. Instead, my editor informed me that what I’d written was awful....I nursed my wounds, then reviewed what I’d sent her and understood exactly what she meant....
    August 4, 2014
    New York Times
  • When African leaders arrive in Washington this week to meet with President Obama, one of the most politically sensitive issues expected to be discussed is the future of the US commitment to global efforts to deal with HIV/AIDS....Congress is still debating the program’s allocation for fiscal 2015, a situation that has created deep concern among some health officials and activists in Africa.
    August 3, 2014
    Washington Post
  • Children living with HIV in Senegal suffer because of the taboo associated with this disease in a country which is, however, praised for its fight against the pandemic....One of the consequences of the silence weighing on these children is that their access to antiretroviral treatment is more limited than adults.  Despite free treatment since 1997, three quarters of adults in need benefited in 2011 in contrast to only one third of children....
    August 2, 2014
    IPS
  • An antigay law passed earlier this year in Uganda despite the protests of activists and scientists has been nullified by one of the nation’s courts, which ruled that the legislation had been improperly approved by the country’s Parliament....The legislation could be passed again, or the government may appeal the ruling to the country’s Supreme Court.
    August 1, 2014
    Science
  • Venezuela is gearing up to pass a new law to combat discrimination against people living with HIV/AIDS, in a country where the epidemic claims nearly 4,000 lives and infects 11,000 mainly young people every year, including increasing numbers of women. In the first debate in the single-chamber legislature, where the bill was introduced by ombudswoman Gabriela Ramírez, it received unanimous backing from both the governing majority and the opposition....
     
    July 30, 2014
    IPS
  • Some institutes within the US National Institutes of Health (NIH) are considering a move away from grants for a specific research plan to no-strings support based on an investigator's promise. The idea of funding "people, not projects" is popular among some nonprofit, private biomedical research funders, but until now has not caught on widely at the $30 billion NIH....NIH officials and others acknowledge that such an approach should be phased in with care to avoid shutting out some scientists.
    July 24, 2014
    Science
  • The projected demand for antiretroviral therapy (ART) will increase to 16.8 million person-years by the end of 2016 in low- and middle-income countries, according to a study presented on behalf of the global ARV Forecasting Technical Working Group at the AIDS 2014 Conference in Melbourne.... Scaling up HIV treatment under the 2013 WHO Guidelines will have a significant impact on the epidemic, but there is a lack of evidence on the resources required for implementation....
    July 23, 2014
    AIDSmap

Published Research

  • Incomplete use of condoms and condom failures were especially common among black MSM. Our findings indicate that condoms likely offered them less protection against HIV/sexually transmitted infection when compared with white MSM. More interventions are needed, particularly addressing the use of oil-based lubricants and suboptimal fit/feel of condoms.
    August 30, 2014
    Sex Transm Infect.
  • Phambili, the Merck (MRK)-Adenovirus Type 5 (Ad5) HIV-1 gag/pol/nef subtype B vaccine study, conducted in South Africa, suspended enrollment and vaccination when companion study, Step, was found non-efficacious. Although the vaccine did not prevent HIV-1 infection or lower viral-load setpoint, immune responses recognized clades B and C HIV-1 subtypes. We investigated predictors of the vaccine-induced antigen-specific immune responses.

    August 8, 2014
    PLOS ONE
  • Integrating intimate partner violence (IPV) prevention strategies into HIV prevention programming led to a significant reduction in HIV incidence and in women's experience of physical and sexual violence from intimate partners in Rakai, Uganda, delegates heard last month at the 20th International AIDS Conference in Melbourne. Significant reductions in risk behaviours including spousal rape and increased HIV disclosure were reported in this cluster randomised trial comprising over 11,000 men and women aged between 15 and 49 years.
    August 7, 2014
    aidsmap
  • In west Africa, key populations engage in high-risk practices for the acquisition of HIV and other sexually transmitted infections. Available HIV prevalence data fluctuate across and within countries for both MSM and female sex workers and may be five to ten times as high as that of the general population....Important data gaps exist, including key populations size estimations in several countries as well as HIV prevalence, incidence and other biomarkers of HIV risk.
    August 7, 2014
    Current Opinion in HIV & AIDS
  • Across 16 clinics, 1,890 HIV+ patients on ART completed an audio computer-assisted self-interview. Results demonstrated that 62% of HIV-positive patients’ recent unprotected sexual acts involved HIV-negative or HIV status unknown partners.
    August 7, 2014
    AIDS and Behavior
  • A cross-sectional sample of 9,367 MSM was recruited via the Internet in 2010. MSM who met partners both online and offline appeared to be the riskiest group in that they were more likely to have multiple male sex partners,  engaged in UIAI, and consumed alcohol before sex. These findings suggest that social networking websites alone do not facilitate greater HIV risk taking among MSM. Rather, they provide additional venues for MSM who already engage in HIV-related high risk behaviors to seek sex partners.
    August 7, 2014
    AIDS and Behavior
  • The authors describe development of HIV prevention messages through integration of previously collected formative data, translation into Public Service Announcements for the Latino MSM community, and defining critical factors for HIV prevention messages for young Latino MSM who do not identify as gay.
    August 7, 2014
    AIDS Research and Treatment
  • Women continue to bear a disproportionate burden of the HIV epidemic's impact. The last three years have witnessed the explosive emergence of pre-exposure prophylaxis as a viable, woman-initiated, and woman-controlled candidate for the primary prevention of HIV in women. These developments have proven particularly significant for at-risk women in environments where negotiation of safe sex is difficult.

    August 7, 2014
    AIDS Rev
  • The HIV-preventing benefits of circumcision were not just restricted to men, researchers said. In a region of South Africa where HIV prevalence is high, women whose only sexual partners were circumcised had a significantly lower prevalence of HIV, according to Kevin Jean of the French National Institute for Health and Medical Research reported at the International AIDS Conference [this week]....
    July 26, 2014
    MedPage Today
  • The pilot phase of a trial in South Africa that aims to treat everyone living with HIV in a community and compare the effect of this with standard treatment has found that the trial intervention is acceptable to communities. However, the proportion of people who attended clinics and started treatment was somewhat lower than researchers had expected.
    July 23, 2014
    AIDSmap
  • A study from Zambia has found that a programme of couples voluntary counselling and testing (CVCT), in which male/female couples are counselled together before testing for HIV and again after testing, was more effective in itself in reducing transmission within couples than the partner living with HIV starting antiretroviral therapy (ART) without any element of couples work. The study also found that CVCT greatly enhanced the preventive effect of antiretroviral treatment and was highly cost-effective.
    July 23, 2014
    AIDSmap

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