Monthly Archives: March 2011

UN Secretary-General outlines bold new targets for global AIDS by 2015

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United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon released a report today on the global AIDS epidemic outlining the progress against the pandemic to date and calling on all stakeholders to endorse the report’s recommendations and use them to work towards six global targets by 2015: Reduce by 50 percent the sexual transmission of HIV – including among key […]

World TB experts convene, work to blaze the trail to slow disease spread

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U.S. Agency of International Development (USAID) Administrator Dr. Rajiv Shah spoke at the opening session of the Stop TB Partnership Coordinating Board Meeting Thursday, addressing an audience of physician-scientists, industry representatives, advocates and government officials in addition to the ministers of health from Lesotho, Swaziland and South Africa. Shah commented on the current status of TB control efforts around the world, noting that, “we won’t meet the overall Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) unless we make some fundamental changes.”

A ‘dance’ before a trial begins

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Nelson L. Michael is a medical doctor, has a doctorate in molecular biology, holds the rank of colonel in the U.S. Medical Corps and his day job is huge: He is in charge of the U.S. Military HIV Research Program at the Walter Reed Army Institute of Research in Rockville, Md. He oversees 750 people and his budget this year was $180 million.

But Michael is low-key to the core, and much of his job escapes public notice, even if he now is following multiple leads that resulted from a Thailand HIV vaccine study, which showed in 2009 for the first time that a preventive HIV vaccine was possible.

Often his job is figuring out how to make things work for research, and that has led him to Mozambique a couple of times in recent months to talk about starting a clinical trial site for HIV vaccine research…

Video: Dr. Hesseling on opportunities to impact childhood TB crisis

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Anneke Hesseling, MD, of the Desmond Tutu TB Centre at Stellenbosch University in South Africa, visited the U.S. to attend the National Institutes of Health (NIH) 4th Annual Science of Dissemination and Implementation conference last week. While in town, she visited legislators on Capitol Hill to discuss the importance of global health funding, and gave a presentation to physician-scientists and advocates at the United Nations Foundation entitled “TB in Children: A Global Crisis and a South African Perspective.” Science Speaks had the opportunity to speak with her after the presentation regarding integrating TB and HIV testing and services, the potential impact of the Gene Xpert rapid TB test on children, and hot other topics.

International travel grants available for HIV investigator abstracts – IDSA 2011

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The Infectious Diseases Society of America (IDSA), HIV Medicine Association (HIVMA) and the Center for Global Health Policy are calling for abstracts in the category of HIV/AIDS for presentation at the 49th Annual Meeting of IDSA, Oct. 20-23, 2011 in Boston.  The Annual Meeting provides outstanding opportunities to have your research viewed by leaders in the field. IDSA, […]

What We’re Reading: World TB Day coverage

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In a special edition of What We’re Reading, the following is a compilation of reports, news stories and statements released in honor of World TB Day, March 24, 2011. Content includes a response from Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, a report from Médecins Sans Frontières highlighting the fight against drug resistant tuberculosis and the need for new drugs, and a call to make TB vaccine development a priority in the Decade of Vaccines.

Images of tuberculosis: An interview with photographer David Rochkind

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Continuing our series in recognition of World TB Day, Science Speaks interviewed David Rochkind, a celebrated photographer whose work has appeared in numerous international publications such as The New York Times, The Guardian and Newsweek. After getting his undergraduate degree from the University of Michigan, he moved to Caracas, Venezuela where he worked for six years as a photographer for various U.S. and European news outlets. He has been in Mexico City for the past two years. David has done three photo exhibits on tuberculosis; the most recent of which will be on display today (Friday March 25) from 10 am to 4 pm, and Tuesday March 29 from 5:30 – 8:30 pm at Eastern Market in Washington, DC. His work will also be showing at Monmouth University in New Jersey for the month of April as part of their Global Understanding Conference.

In this interview, David talks about his most recent project covering multidrug-resistant TB in Eastern Europe.

Special post from WHO discussing new report on drug-resistant TB

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Continuing our World TB Day series, the following is a guest blog post by Ernesto Jaramillo, Paul Nunn and Mario Raviglione of the Stop TB Department at the World Health Organization (WHO) discussing WHO’s new report issued today: Towards universal access to diagnosis and treatment of multidrug-resistant and extensively drug-resistant tuberculosis by 2015 – WHO progress report 2011.

“Major progress has been made in TB control over the past 15 years, with 41 million people cured and up to 6 million deaths averted thanks to the wide implementation of proper TB control practices since 1995. The global TB incidence rate peaked in 2004 and has since started a slow decline. However, despite these achievements, TB is far from being conquered globally, with 1.7 million people dying of this curable disease every year. In addition, the emergence of multidrug-resistant TB and extensively drug-resistant TB in many countries worldwide is a serious threat to the progress achieved…”

Dr. Hamilton: All of us have a role in the battle against tuberculosis

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As part of our series honoring World TB Day, the following is a commentary by Carol Dukes Hamilton, MD, senior scientist of Health and Developmental Sciences at FHI and associate professor of medicine at Duke University Medical Center.

“Today is the day that we acknowledge the progress and the ongoing challenges associated with the second leading infectious disease killer in the world today—tuberculosis (TB). This ancient disease continues to take a tremendous human toll of 1.8 million lives annually. Without dramatic increases in funding and political commitment, the World Health Organization (WHO) estimates that more than 10 million additional lives will be lost between now and 2015 to this preventable, curable disease – 4 million of them will be women and children…”

New website offers TB vaccination info for more than 180 countries

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In time for World TB Day on March 24, researchers from McGill University and the Research Institute of the McGill University Health Center launched the BCG World Atlas: a searchable website that offers free detailed information on current and past TB vaccination policies and practices for more than 180 countries.  A paper about the BCG […]