Monthly Archives: June 2011

A peek into the TB vaccine discovery pipeline at Aeras

By on .

Curious about what’s happening in the field of tuberculosis (TB) vaccine development?

Science Speaks took a trip to the Aeras TB vaccine testing and manufacturing facility in Rockville, Maryland to speak with one of their vaccine discovery scientists – Michele Stone, PhD – about what vaccine candidates they are currently working on, which look the most promising, how they are researching TB vaccine candidates for HIV-infected persons, and when we can expect the successful candidates to deploy.

Global vaccine and immunization scale up: A challenge to keep the momentum

By on .

At the inaugural pledging conference of The Global Alliance for Vaccines and Immunization (GAVI) on June 13, a record $4.3 billion in donations was secured from private and public donors, including a $450 million multi-year pledge from the United States. Now that the international community has shown GAVI the money, securing the resources to potentially surpass the goal of immunizing an additional 250 million children by 2015, next steps to show results and keep the movement’s momentum are key. In that vein, the Center for Global Development (CGD) and the Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS) hosted a panel discussion Monday exploring GAVI going forward with representatives from key global entities.

The current momentum behind GAVI is unquestionable, said event moderator Lisa Carty from CSIS, seldom does an organization set a pledge goal and comes away with $600 million more than they requested. But the panelists were sure to point out that this momentum was garnered through targeted advocacy from a broad base of supporters, and sustaining this momentum will be challenging but essential…

Living with MDR-TB, ten great public health achievements, and more…

By on .

The following selection of “What We’re Reading” is a compilation of recent articles and reports making headlines in HIV and TB news. Real Stories of People Living with MDR-TB: Medecins Sans Frontieres has a new blog project – TB and ME – for patients worldwide being treated for multidrug-resistant tuberculosis (MDR-TB) to share their stories […]

“In it to save lives”

By on .

To the sound of a ticking metronome, Dr. Caroline Ryan of the Office of the Global AIDS Coordinator gave an update on the scale up of voluntary medical male circumcision in sub-Saharan Africa Wednesday morning at the premiere of the new short film “In It to Save Lives: Scaling Up Voluntary Medical Male Circumcision for HIV Prevention for Maximum Public Health Impact.”

The metronome was timed to tick once for each of the five new HIV infections that occur every minute worldwide, 3.5 of which occur in sub-Saharan Africa…

New microbicide trial set to launch; Shorter Hep C treatment for people with HIV; and more…

By on .

The following “What We’re Reading” collection is a compilation of recent articles making headlines in HIV and TB news. “Facts” vaginal tenofovir gel study set to launch: The Follow-on African Consortium for Tenofoivr Studies (Facts) study is set to launch in South Africa, following up on the Caprisa 004 trial that found a 59 percent […]

UN AIDS Declaration sets some ambitious goals, fails to address others

By on .

The United Nations General Assembly adopted the ‘Political Declaration on HIV/AIDS: Intensifying our Efforts to eliminate HIV/AIDS’ Friday at the conclusion of the three-day High-Level Meeting on AIDS in New York City. The ambitious goals set forth in the declaration include putting 15 million people on life-saving antiretroviral therapy in low and middle-income countries by 2015 (about twice the number currently on therapy) and halving the number of tuberculosis-related deaths among people with HIV. The plan includes a “push towards” ending HIV in children in the next five years, and Member States also agreed to increase AIDS-related spending to reach between $22 billion and $24 billion in low- and middle-income countries by 2015…

Global Health advocates discuss urgent need for new vaccines

By on .

When John Lusingu began working as a doctor in southern Tanzania in the mid-1990s, he immediately grew frustrated from the lack of resources, human capital, basic equipment, and other necessities required to run a healthcare system. With many of his patients dying from AIDS, the young doctor quickly realized new solutions were needed to fight diseases like HIV/AIDS, tuberculosis, and malaria, which were ravaging communities.

A decade later he began to research HIV/AIDS epidemiology, and now serves as a co-principal investigator for the RTS,S malaria vaccine trial in Tanzania. Lusingu joined with other global health advocates to highlight the urgent need to develop vaccines for the deadliest global epidemics…

Global Fund hosts meeting on HIV financing challenge at UN

By on .

Speakers including Global Fund and UNAIDS officials, two African health ministers, a U.S. State Department official and a Nigerian woman living with HIV addressed a packed room on the thorny issue of finding the financial resources for universal access to HIV treatment, prevention and support. A number of speakers lauded the progress in the AIDS response to date and the instrumental role of the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria in that response. State Department official John Monahan assured the audience that the United States was “more committed than ever” to the global AIDS response and also articulated a commitment to use every American tax dollar wisely and to coordinate efforts with the Global Fund to avoid duplication of effort and services. But he also noted the need to be realistic and the need for other donors and the private sector to do more to get the job done…

PEPFAR, UNAIDS call for an end to mother-to-child transmission of AIDS

By on .

The second day of United Nations (UN) High-Level Meeting on AIDS activities culminated with an announcement by the head of the U.S. President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR) program representatives along with UNAIDS that they have set the goal of virtually eliminating mother-to-child transmission of AIDS by 2015.

At the star-studded afternoon session where the announcement was made, President Bill Clinton, Nigerian President Goodluck Jonathon, actress Naomi Watts, musical artist and UNAIDS Goodwill Ambassador Annie Lenox and others gathered to speak up for pregnant mothers and children affected by and infected with and at risk of HIV.

Peace Corps’ Buck Buckingham: AIDS at 30

By on .

Warren W. Buckingham III – best known as Buck – is director of the Office of AIDS Relief at the Peace Corps. In his career he has played critical roles in fighting AIDS domestically and globally. Most recently he had a major impact as the Kenya country coordinator for the U.S. President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR) program for six years, overseeing a budget that grew from $30 million in 2003 to nearly $600 million today. He began his work in AIDS some 26 years ago in writing a proposal that secured funding from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation to establish the AIDS Arms Network in Dallas, Texas, one of the first domestic demonstration projects for enhanced care of people living with AIDS in the U.S. (These grants are largely viewed as having provided the foundation for the Ryan White CARE Act, and Buck worked for a period of time in the early 90s at the U.S. Health Resources and Services Administration in the Ryan White Program). Soon after Buck started on that project, he was diagnosed with HIV. For years, he has spoken publicly about living with the disease, helping to erase stigma and shame both in America and Africa. John Donnelly interviewed Buckingham for the final interview in a Science Speaks series on 30 years of AIDS.