UNAIDS HIV data update, Sec. Kerry revisits disabilities treaty, TB treatment advocates wait for bedaquiline trial: What we’re reading is a stroll down memory lane

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NewWWRSec. Kerry on the Convention of the Rights of People With Disabilities – Remember last year when the Senate chose not to ratify a treaty to help protect the rights of disabled people around the world? We noted it here at the time, because it’s a human rights issue, because it also is one that impacts people living with HIV, and because the treaty addresses barriers to services for people living with HIV. Secretary of State John Kerry, a Senator at the time remembers it, too, and as the Senate Foreign Relations Committee met to revisit the decision, he revisited the Senate to say “I don’t want to see us continue to take ourselves out of the game.”

Ahead of World AIDS Day 2013 UNAIDS reports sustained progress in the AIDS Response . . . but . . . As UNAIDS head Michel Sidibe says in this release, “If we are going to keep our pledge of leaving no one behind — we have to make sure HIV services reach everyone in need.” Progress in many parts of the world continues to steam ahead, while spending on harm reduction efforts to reach people who inject drugs, for prevention services reaching men who have sex with men, for outreach to people in sex work, continue to lag, and children are still being left behind, this update says.

TB treatment advocates waiting for bedaquiline trial – Remember the excitement at the end of last year when the FDA gave accelerated approval to bedaquiline? A treatment for multidrug- resistant tuberculosis patients who had run out of other options, the drug’s potentially serious side effects prompted Treatment Action Group to call on drug-maker Janssen to carry out the next phase of studies quickly, and ensure bedaquiline (now also known as Sirturo) could safely reach as many people in need as possible. In the time since, no move toward a Phase 3 trial, this update from South Africa’s Treatment Action Campaign says. The group, citing the delay since, expresses concern that the country’s Medicine Control Council could reject the pharmaceutical company’s application to register the drug.

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