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8 September 2017 VOLUME 18 ISSUE 36

Media Coverage

  • Carmen Hernandez, diagnosed with HIV in 2013, lives in Catia, a Caracas slum. Experts fear Venezuela's surging HIV/AIDS crisis could become the worst in Latin America in years....During the 14-year rule of President Hugo Chávez, a charismatic socialist who died in 2013, oil-rich Venezuela was praised by health experts for its HIV prevention programs and free treatment. But the national health system is now buckling.

    September 7, 2017
    Washington Post
  • The Lasker-DeBakey Clinical Medical Research Award goes to two researchers at the National Cancer Institute—Douglas Lowy and John Schiller—for developing a vaccine against HPV, a virus that can cause cancers...[that] kill more than 250,000 people every year....At first most drug companies showed no interest in the duo’s discovery, because previous attempts at developing a vaccine had been unsuccessful. “They’re probably kicking themselves now because it’s a multibillion-dollar drug,” Schiller said in a Lasker Foundation interview.

    September 7, 2017
    Science
  • The Africa CDC, officially launched in January of this year, is a growing partnership that aims to build countries' capacity to help create a world safe and secure from infectious disease threats. Just as Americans made the formation of their CDC a priority, Africans have a responsibility to ensure the funding and development of our CDC to keep diseases from further altering the course of our socioeconomic transformation.

    September 7, 2017
    Scientific American
  • After successfully piloting a study that showed an oral drug taken by HIV negative persons can reduce their risk of infection before exposure, Uganda will experiment with an injectable version of the same drug.

    September 7, 2017
    East African
  • UNAIDS country representative to Uganda, Ms Karusa Kiragu said that if religious leaders continue with the false claims, people living with the disease would stop taking drugs and resort to pastors' prayers which will eventually lead them to death. "People who are propagating such [miraculous healing] messages are doing a disservice to the nation," she said. She said this is a challenge which churches should look into and resolve immediately.

    September 6, 2017
    The Monitor
  • Impediments at both the Secretariat and country level are leaving many Global Fund recipients unable to fully absorb their funding, and are raising alarms over the resulting reductions in service coverage and quality. This is the first of a three-part series in which we discuss some of the reasons behind these absorption failures, as well as some of the solutions being proposed....Poor absorption also has implications for future funding.

    September 6, 2017
    Global Fund Observer
  • States are re-examining laws that date to the early days of the epidemic that criminalize people living with HIV.... Now some states are looking to either repeal such laws or reduce their severity. At issue is the balance between protecting public health and protecting the civil rights of individuals living with HIV. The laws, which date to the 1980s and ’90s, vary greatly from state to state.

    September 6, 2017
    Pulitzer Center
  • The Lasker Awards, among the most prestigious in medicine [and sometimes referred to as "America's Nobels"], will go to two National Cancer Institute researchers, [Douglas Lowy and John Schiller,] whose work led to the development of [HPV] vaccines that prevent cervical cancer, and to Planned Parenthood,...in recognition of its role as a critical provider of women’s medical services from breast-cancer screenings to tests for sexually transmitted diseases.

    September 6, 2017
    Washington Post
  • Africa was the only continent to report a continent-wide increase of its index generosity score when compared to its five-year average. The score is a combined measure of respondents in 139 countries asked whether they had given money to a good cause, volunteered time, and helped a stranger....From the USA to Switzerland and Singapore to Denmark, the index showed that the planet's 10 richest countries by GDP per capita...saw declines in their generosity index score.

    September 5, 2017
    Reuters
  • Tantine was developed by [medical students] Sylvie Uhirwa and Sylvain Muzungu Uhirwa from the University of Rwanda after the pair saw a need to educate teenagers about [sexual and] reproductive health....The application will work with a team of medical professionals and psychologists to deliver reproductive health education, mentorship and counselling services to young people.

    September 5, 2017
    IT News Africa
  • A pill that protects against HIV can be safely used by young men who have sex with men....In a diverse group of teen boys at high risk for HIV infection, PrEP, in the form of a pill that combines the drugs emtricitabine and tenofovir disoproxil fumarate was well tolerated, researchers found....[L]ead author Sybil Hosek hopes the new data will be submitted to the FDA and encourage the agency to approve the pill for use by younger people.

    September 5, 2017
    Reuters
  • Cutbacks to HIV services driven by diminishing donor dollars would result in reductions of no more than 30 percent of current spending, while inflicting individual and public health costs out of any proportion to the money saved, a study in the Annals of Internal Medicine found....In contrast to the humanitarian successes, public health and development advances, and dividends in diplomatic goodwill...since the advent of meaningful and focused investments in global HIV responses, the authors present a bleak scenario.

    September 5, 2017
    Science Speaks
  • A new issue brief from the Kaiser Family Foundation provides a snapshot of access to health care for people with HIV today as a marker for gauging coverage changes going forward....While some of the variables are applicable to the general population, the brief identifies a subset of four variables which have the greatest bearing on access to care and coverage for people with HIV.

    September 5, 2017
    Kaiser Family Foundation
  • The study, conducted by the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, examined the impact of Gavi, the global vaccine initiative launched in 2000 to provide vaccines to children in the world's poorest countries. Gavi - whose donors include governments, the WHO, and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation – has contributed to the immunisation of 580 million children in the 73 countries the team analysed.

    September 4, 2017
    IB Times
  • An Ohio law requiring HIV-infected individuals to tell sexual partners of their status before having sex or risk criminal charges is unconstitutionally based on outmoded stigmas against the gay community and doesn’t take into consideration current survival rates for people with HIV, say lawyers challenging the law in a case before the state Supreme Court...on behalf of an Ohio man convicted of failing to tell his girlfriend he had HIV after they started having sex.

    September 4, 2017
    AP
  • The project is all about digital health, but doesn’t employ flashy new technology....[T]his no-frills, behind-the-scenes project — the blandly named Data Use Partnership — has the potential for radically improving public health in...Tanzania and beyond....A unified system could dramatically improve efficiency, accountability and cost savings for a country of 45 million people that struggles with infectious diseases including HIV/AIDS.

    September 3, 2017
    GeekWire
  • While acknowledging that momentum was picking to moves towards universal health coverage, Minister of Health Chitalu Chilufya urged the WHO and other partners to ensure coherence in policies and programs are put in place to ensure quality health service delivery. Zambia, he said, would like to see integration of all policies and programs that will work towards attaining universal health coverage in Africa.

    September 2, 2017
    Xinhua
  • HPV vaccination rates continue to increase steadily, but the problems associated with its uptake could spell trouble for other vaccines in the future. For example, researchers for years have been working on a vaccine that would protect people from contracting HIV....If a vaccine for HIV were ever to be successful, it could run into the same problems. HIV’s risk factors—unprotected sex and intravenous drug use—make it even more taboo.

    September 1, 2017
    MIT Technology Review
  • Despite suppressive ART, T-cell activation and elevated markers or inflammation remain hallmarks of HIV infection and may contribute to adverse outcomes. Translocation of gut microbes into the bloodstream is a major driver of these early abnormalities. University of Toronto researchers conducted a substudy of a randomized double-blind trial to see whether adding raltegravir (Isentress) and maraviroc (Selzentry, Celsentri) to a standard three-drug regimen in the first months of HIV infection would correct these harmful changes.

    August 30, 2017
    BodyPRO
  • The most popular form of contraception in South Africa may be linked to an increased vulnerability to HIV infection, but health professionals have no guidance on what to do about it....[A] WHO guidance note, issued this year, expresses concern and recommends women be told about a possible increased risk. It does not, however, suggest withdrawal of Depo-Provera.

    August 29, 2017
    News Deeply
  • “These findings indicate that current self-reported HIV testing levels among transgender women and men are inconsistent with their HIV risk profiles,” researcher Marc A. Pitasi and colleagues wrote [in the CDC's Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report].... “Innovative, tailored approaches might be needed to reach transgender persons who are not being reached by existing HIV prevention strategies that focus on other key populations, such as gay, bisexual and other men who have sex with men.”

    August 28, 2017
    Healio

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