In stories of Ebola survivors, of MDR TB and poverty, of employment and HIV treatment success . . . We’re reading why science can’t do it alone

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NewWWR“It never occurred to me I was going to survive . . .”  In a video that is part of a West African multimedia campaign highlighting Ebola survivor’s stories to disseminate information about the virus and its continuing spread, a Guinean woman tells of how six members of her family became sick, how three survived, and how even after learning she was cleared of disease she remained bereft of hope. “When you are suffering from Ebola, you are more convinced of your death than your life,” Camara Fantaoulen recounts. She also tells how her ordeal and recovery convinced her that she had a unique chance to make a difference in the crisis. She is one of the survivors highlighted in the #ISurvivedEbola campaign, which launched an interactive mobile app today to help those recovering from the disease to link with each other and share their experiences. Supported by Vulcan Productions, PCI Media Impact and UNICEF, the campaign seeks to spread word of effective Ebola prevention and treatment practices to raise awareness and break chains of transmission in Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone.

“Americans can no longer afford to be indifferent . . .”  This op-ed piece by Patrick Adams tells why with costs associated with tuberculosis treatment that include transportation, isolation and unemployment along with brutal side effects from drugs, barriers to cures are feeding multidrug resistant strains of tuberculosis, threatening global health, undermining gains against HIV, and demanding a greater response than either the 19 percent TB budget cut proposed by President Obama or level funding that was the response from Congress.

Association between antiretroviral therapy adherence and employment status . . .  Greatly expanded access to antiretroviral treatment for people living with HIV in low and middle-income countries has inspired optimism, the authors of this WHO Bulletin review note. But, in the midst of UNAIDS call for 90-90-90 — striving for at least 90 percent of those living with HIV to know it, for at least 90 percent of those people to be treated, and for treatment to succeed in suppressing the virus in at least 90 percent of those — an analysis has found that only 55 percent of more than 17,000 patients in North America and only 77 percent of more than 12,000 patients in Africa are able to be more than 80 percent adherent to antiretroviral treatment. With social supports, finances, and knowledge among the factors affecting patients’ abilities to maintain treatment in the face of side effects, treatment fatigue and stigma, employment has been assumed — and seen — to improve patients’ odds.This article reveals findings from a review of 28 studies involving more than 8000 people living with HIV in 14 countries. The analysis found that employed individuals in low-income and high-income countries were likelier to maintain antiretroviral treatment than unemployed individuals and the article calls for further study on whether creating employment opportunities could bolster treatment maintenance.

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