Author Archives: Antigone Barton

“I wish we knew more . . . I wish we could do more,” a White House request, and more, We’re reading about Zika virus, and the questions it raises

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With confirmation that the Zika virus was transmitted sexually in Dallas, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention on Friday updated its guidelines to protect pregnant women from infection to include recommendations that men who have traveled to areas where the virus has surfaced use condoms or abstain from sex with pregnant partners. At […]

PEPFAR releases technical considerations for country, regional HIV responses

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With a focus on both scaled up goals and limited funding, PEPFAR released its Technical Considerations for COP/ROP 2016 this week, outlining strategies necessary to provide access to testing and effective treatment to more people immediately, while maintaining efforts to confront tuberculosis and deliver other essential prevention and health services. Changes to the document reflect […]

Advisory group aims to close gap between men who have sex with men and “fast-tracked” HIV responses

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If can be difficult to imagine a world suddenly so equitable that in the next four years 90 percent of all people living with HIV have had a chance to learn they have the virus, 90 percent of those are receiving treatment, and the quality and consistency of that treatment is good enough to make […]

Zika virus’ possible link to microcephaly, Guillain-Barré is a public health emergency of international concern, panel says

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On its own, the Zika virus, with mild, if any effects for most people would not be a public health emergency of international concern, experts from a World Health Organization Panel said today. But although causal links between the spread of the virus, and possible neurological impacts of the virus, including the paralyzing Guillain-Barré syndrome and clusters […]

Rural Tanzania study cites multiple failures in treatment of pediatric HIV patients

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” . . . after a decade of successful rollout of [antiretroviral treatment] in Africa, children and adolescents still represent an underprivileged population.” A study examining the effectiveness of treatment for HIV among children and adolescents in Tanzania found gaps in meeting their needs that led to acquired resistance to available drugs. The study, reported in […]

Zika across the Americas, Ebola’s long goodbye, antiretroviral treatment stockouts in Uganda . . . We’re reading about realities on the ground

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WHO Director General briefs Executive Board on Zika – “Questions abound. We need to get some answers quickly,” World Health Organization Director General Margaret Chan told the agency’s executive board in Geneva today. Actually, in the view of some experts acquainted with patterns of global pandemics, the answers on the Zika outbreak that will be provided […]

TB: With a plan on the table, an outbreak at home, U.S. Senators, UN Envoy urge White House to fund tuberculosis programs

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With health services out of reach and unprepared to meet public health crises, an impoverished population more familiar with stigma and exploitation than with medical care and cures, the tuberculosis outbreak reported by the New York Times last week reads like a familiar dispatch from a distant and resource limited setting in need of support from wealthier and […]

HIV treatment retention study indicates weight of distance barriers, opportunity costs, value of peer-based interventions

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A study exploring why people enrolled in antiretroviral treatment programs across three African countries are “lost to follow-up” reveals obstacles to reaching the third “90” of UNAIDS recipe for success against the global HIV pandemic, and points to answers that can lie within communities where rates of HIV are high. The study, Retention in Care and Patient-Reported […]

Ebola offers another lesson for WHO: It’s not over until it’s over

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At the press conference Thursday announcing the latest official end of Ebola in Liberia and with it the end of all known chains of virus transmission in West Africa, representatives of the World Health Organization did emphasize that, as the virus has turned out to be more persistent than previously realized, further transmissions and infections, […]