Author Archives: Antigone Barton

116th Congress: Senate HELP gets new Democrat, two new Republicans

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With jurisdiction over most of the agencies, institutes, and programs of the Department of Health and Human Services, including the Food and Drug Administration, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the National Institutes of Health, the U.S. Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor and Pensions — HELP — is pivotal in crafting policies […]

116th Congress: Senate Foreign Relations Committee gets new Chair, three new Republican members

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The 116th Congress brings significant change to the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, in a new chair whose record offers few — but significant — clues to his global health leanings, to three well-known, but new Republican members, all of who indicated varying views on the value of foreign aid. Sen. Jim Risch (R-ID) – In […]

Lower age of consent for HIV testing linked to higher adolescent testing rates, study finds

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Sub-Saharan African countries where adolescents 15 or younger could be tested for HIV without sign-off by parents or guardians show 11 percent higher rates of testing for the virus among those from 15 to 18 years old than in countries where the legal age of consent for testing is 16 or older, according to a […]

Stalled funding, policies of 2018 pose continuing challenges to infectious disease responses ahead

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A year that started with a shutdown of the U.S. government is ending the same way, demonstrating ongoing instability in American policy, funding and global health leadership. At the same time, from events dividing the ranks of global HIV responders, to the first Ebola outbreak fought in a war zone, the year has highlighted needs […]

What we’re reading: Saying goodbye to gay sex bans, providing safe injection, following WHO guidelines, preventing HIV, treating TB

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In the midst of stalled funding and politicized policies, we’re reading about answers to infectious diseases that remain just out of reach . . . Inspired by India, Singaporeans seek to end gay sex ban – Anti-gay laws imposed across the British Empire remain one of the key barriers to controlling HIV as a global […]

WHO releases updated drug-resistant TB guidelines, removing toxic injectables from recommended treatments

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With the release of a “pre-final text” of updated guidelines for treatment of multidrug- and rifampicin-resistant tuberculosis, the World Health Organization made official substantial changes to its recommendations that the agency first announced in August. The changes, announced in a “rapid communication,” which the WHO said was intended to give TB programs time to plan for […]

Study finds HIV care, diagnosis barriers for men fueling epidemic among young women

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The following is a guest post by Zahra Reynolds, MPH, of MEASURE Evaluation Young women who have sexual relationships with older men often are dealing with inequitable power dynamics, little capacity to negotiate safe sex or to refuse sex, and—therefore —a greater risk of acquiring HIV. In sub-Saharan Africa, adolescent girls and young women are disproportionately […]

Marburg finding in Sierra Leone identifies threat — without an outbreak

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The discovery of active, transmittable Marburg virus in fruit bats caught in three Sierra Leone locations marks the first time the virus has been found in West Africa and has identified a potential public health threat without a single known case of human illness, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control announced today. The Marburg virus, […]

Study highlights “missed opportunities” to prevent HIV infections with PrEP

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In the three years following the U.S. Food and Drug Administration’s approval of a daily oral antiretroviral medicine to prevent HIV infection, records show that 885 South Carolina residents older than 13 were diagnosed with HIV. About two-thirds of them had visited health care facilities before their diagnoses — for a combined total of more […]

Medical tourism brings antibiotic-resistant infections home

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So many lessons are offered in a recent communication from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention about antibiotic-resistant infections among patients returning to the U.S. after undergoing surgical procedures in Tijuana, Mexico. The CDC learned about the first of the carbapenem-resistant  infections at the end of September through its Antibiotic Resistance Laboratory Network. In […]