A platform to end AIDS, new approaches to disease detection, and more . . .

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AIDS Foundation of Chicago President David Ernesto Munar’s testimony to the Democratic National Committee’s Platform group: This and the accompanying proposed platform recommendations lay out both the realities of AIDS now, and policies to address them, at home and around the world. His remarks review the disproportionate impact of the American epidemic on members of minority and marginalized populations — African American, Latino, gay, female — and point to failures in treatment access, with  fewer than a third of those living with HIV in America having effectively suppressed viral loads, fewer than half under continuous care. He hails the potential for the Affordable Care Act to address those and says addressing HIV care access issues makes economic sense, with each averted infection saving an estimated $300,000 in healthcare costs. The platform recommendations take apart the components of health care access, inequities, funding, and planning, calling for the reauthorization and increased appropriations for the Ryan White CARE Act, addressing unemployment, housing, reproductive rights, and other issues, investing $50 billion in Global AIDS responses, and much more. It is an unflinching look at the policies behind the data and a call for commitment to solutions.

Tuberculosis and mining: Large numbers of people living with HIV living and working crowded together, breathing lung-damaging dust —  all enhance the risks for tuberculosis disease, not just for those working in the mines but for the families they travel back to.  Later this week, leaders of countries that comprise the  Southern African Development Community   will sign their declaration on TB in the mining industry, committing to zero TB deaths among miners and their families. This fact sheet spells out what must be done and why, saying governments need support to deliver an employee database to track patients and facilitate medical referrals, develop a regional plan, and continue an economic analysis of the impact on TB in mines.

Challenges and solutions to tuberculosis disease detection: While free tuberculosis screening and treatment is offered in most of the crowded urban areas where rates of disease are highest, the disease continues to kill an estimated 1.45 million people worldwide each year because more than a third of those who become ill go undiagnosed, untreated, or incorrectly treated, this Lancet article says. The article, “Engaging the private sector to increase tuberculosis case detection: an impact evaluation study,” analyzes a set of effective responses in Karachi, Pakistan and in looks at a need to incorporate multiple approaches to heighten awareness among both patients and private sector health care providers to get more people into effective treatment.

The Global Fund Observer looks at GF “Next 5 Years” AIDS 2012 session: Even if you were there, this breakdown of the issues addressed in the session — by panelists and protesters — is a chance to revisit issues raised in the last two years and get an idea where they will lead.

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