AVAC’s latest PxWire – News at March’s Conference on Retroviruses and Opportunistic Infections that monthly injections of antiretroviral drugs offered monkeys protection against vaginal and rectal HIV exposure paved the way for investigating if the approach would work for people too, and raised expectations that long-acting PReP, or pre-exposure prevention of HIV is possible, AVAC notes in its April-June PxWire. With an “Introduction to Long-Acting Injectables” and infographics showing the path of development for potential candidates, the newsletter gives background for a discussion that is sure to be ongoing. The latest newsletter also reviews issues surrounding daily use of the antiretroviral Truvada as PrEP in the nearly two years since the U.S. Food and Drug Administration approved it, and concludes that the next few years have the potential to bring change. For details, research, media coverage and more on PrEP, AVAC directs readers to its PrEPWatch site.
Global Fund updates on new funding model, viral load testing – The Global Fund News Flash accentuates the positive, with updates in the latest issue focusing on success stories in Honduras and India, as well as promising news on a multi-partner effort to develop HIV viral load testing that can be more widely used. It also brings news that talks are happening this month with partners in countries from “Namibia to Ecuador, high up in the Andes” to help set strategies and priortize needs with the new funding model. “Governments, civil society, technical partners, faith-based organizations and people affected by the diseases are all taking part,” the update says, but as the next article (Dialogue in Dakar) notes, such discussions can be compared to a jazz score “where the execution is as important as the text.” That the outcome of these discussions is the thing to watch was highlighted this week by articles published in two partner countries. One, from Nigeria’s Vanguard raises concerns that the Nigerian government’s failure to release funds for second-line TB drugs is leading to a rise in untreated cases of multidrug-resistant disease. The other, from Uganda describes allocation of more than $400 million going to the country, but notes concerns about the new funding model voiced by civil society leaders, including “It is not flexible enough to cater for key populations and does not pay much attention to human rights issues.” Together they suggest the need to ensure that the new funding model has a place on the ground, as well as at the table for civil society.
A road map for the new U.S. global AIDS Coordinator – This Global Post commentary by Planned Parenthood Vice President Latanya Mapp Frett calls for bold leadership from Ambassador Deborah Birx as she becomes the first woman to take on the role of U.S. Global AIDS Coordinator. That includes integrating family planning and HIV services. The commentary calls on Ambassador Birx to reverse the decision prohibiting PEPFAR funding for contraception, and adds that it would be a cost-effective and comprehensive approach to tackling the epidemic and improving health outcomes.
Reminder that Moms matter – How do you sum up the role mothers play in their families, communities, the world? A word, a thought, a photo — it’s up to you, as the Elizabeth Glaser Pediatric AIDS Foundation rallies support for its work to keep mothers and their babies healthy worldwide. The group is inviting you to share your favorite “MOMento” here. And yes, there will be winners, selected at random from eligible entries, and notified by email on Friday May 16, 2014.