Monthly Archives: November 2010

WHO Launches Guidelines for Health Workers

By on .

The World Health Organization (WHO), UNAIDS, and the International Labor Organization (ILO) recently launched new guidelines aimed to protect health workers from occupational exposure to HIV/AIDS and TB.  Health care workers are often at the frontlines of the fight against HIV, TB, and other deadly infectious diseases, yet they often lack adequate access to protection and treatment themselves.

“These guidelines directly aim to ensure that health workers have access to universal and standard precautions, preventive therapy for tuberculosis, HIV post-exposure prophylaxis, treatment, compensation schemes for occupational infection, and social security or occupational insurance at the workplace,” said Asne Diop, ILO Executive Director for the Social Protection Sector, in a WHO press release.

Pope Benedict Speaks Out on Condom Use

By on .

The Associated Press reported earlier this week that in a new book about Pope Benedict XVI, the pontiff says condom use can be justified for male prostitutes seeking to stop the spread of HIV. Vatican spokesman Reverend Federico Lombardi clarified the Pope’s statement Tuesday, stating that condom use is acceptable prevention against HIV transmission for women and transsexual […]

iPrEx results are in; Six experts offer thoughts

By on .

Today The New England Journal of Medicine released the positive results of the Pre-exposure Prophylaxis Initiative (iPrEx) trial, which looked at whether daily oral dosing of two FDA-approved antiretroviral (ARV) medications used to treat HIV/AIDS — tenofovir and emtricitabine, combined in one tablet (Truvada) — can prevent HIV transmission in high-risk populations. This study looked specifically at men who have sex with men (MSM) who are at high-risk of infection. Trial investigators found that daily dosing indicated a 44 percent reduction in the incidence of HIV, with detectable levels of the study drug in participants’ blood strongly correlating with the prophylactic effect. The study enrolled nearly 2500 HIV-negative MSM at 11 locations across the globe, including Brazil, Ecuador, Peru, South Africa, Thailand and two locations in the United States.

The Center gathered responses to the trial results from leaders in the field of HIV/AIDS medicine, policy and advocacy.

Group raises awareness of forced sterilization among HIV positive women

By on .

The following is a guest post by Professor Sofia Gruskin and Sarah MacCarthy. Gruskin is director of the Program on International Health and Human Rights (PIHHR) at the Harvard School of Public Health, and Faculty Chair of the Group on Reproductive Health and Rights (GRHR). MacCarthy is a doctoral candidate working at PIHHR and coordinating the GRHR.

In early September, the case of three HIV-positive women who filed suit saying they were sterilized at public health facilities without their consent resumed in the High Court of Namibia, garnering substantial international attention. In partnership with the International Community of Women Living with HIV/AIDS, women’s groups in Namibia have been at the forefront of a global movement to document and raise awareness of the alarming levels of forced sterilization occurring among HIV-positive women around the globe.

What We’re Reading

By on .

The December issue of Journal of Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndromes (JAIDS) has a supplement on HIV/AIDS among drug using populations. Articles include analyses of the link between drug use and HIV epidemics and antiretroviral therapy treatment and prevention in drug users. There is also one article that looks at tuberculosis and hepatitis C co-infection with HIV/AIDS, examining how these deadly combinations affect drug users worldwide.

On the ONE blog, Julie Walz from the Center for Global Development writes about their annual “Commitment to Development Index,” which ranks countries on their commitment to aid and development. The United States is No. 11. Sweden is No. 1, and South Korea comes in last.

MSF report demands urgent response to HIV, TB in Swaziland

By on .

Twenty years ago, the average person in Swaziland could expect to live 60 years. Today, the ravages of the tuberculosis and HIV epidemics have dropped that number to 31 years, according to a new report “Fighting a dual epidemic” released today by Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF). Swaziland has the highest rate of HIV infection among […]

Results out soon for iPrEx study on PrEP effectiveness among MSM

By on .

When will we see the efficacy results from the iPrEx study on Pre-Exposure Prophylaxis (PrEP) effectiveness among men who have sex with men (MSM)? “Sooner than you think,” said Pedro Goicochea, an iPrEx trial investigator, during a conference call this afternoon convened by AVAC. The trail data is currently being analyzed, but there have been some […]

The TB crisis in children

By on .

The Global Center’s David Bryden reported from the 41st Union World Conference on Lung Health, last week in Berlin.

Tuberculosis is often thought of as a disease that mainly affects adults. However, at the Union World Conference on Lung Health in Berlin, Dr. Anneke Hesseling of the Desmond Tutu TB Centre in South Africa presented some startling information showing that the level of infection among children is actually quite significant, and that TB is an important issue for maternal and child health advocates.

XDR TB – a glimmer of hope

By on .

The following is a story from Health-e news reporter Lungi Langa. The story appeared in South African newspapers on Oct. 21, 2010.

Khayelitsha’s Nolungile Clinic yesterday celebrated the first patient to successfully complete the harrowing treatment for Extensively Drug Resistant (XDR) TB, and be cured.

Xoliswa Majola *(37) is living proof that XDR TB can be cured and that a patient can been successfully treated on an outpatient basis – Majola remained at home for the largest part of her two year treatment and went to the clinic every day to receive her treatment.

TAG reports TB R&D investment increases in 2010; still not enough

By on .

The Treatment Action Group (TAG) has released the 2010 Report on Tuberculosis Research Funding Trends, 2005-2009, which shows a “dramatic increase” of $122.5 million in research & development (R&D) spending between 2008 and 2009, with a total spending level of $614 million. The National Institutes of Health, the European Commission, the U.K. Medical Research Council, […]