Survey found pregnant women in Puerto Rico concerned about spread of Zika, took some, but not consistent or comprehensive precautions

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By August 2016 the connection between Zika virus infection during pregnancy and severe debilitating neurological birth defects among infants had been confirmed by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention four months earlier, and experts had termed the spread of the virus in Puerto Rico “explosive.” The needs to confront the virus effectively on […]

Bedaquiline effective, safe, manageable across wide range of settings, five-continent data show

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Data on patients treated with one of the two newest tuberculosis medicines in 15 countries across five continents show that the treatment, which represents a last resort for hundreds of thousands of people with drug-resistant strains of disease, can be administered safely in a wide range of settings, and bring greatly improved outcomes compared to […]

Advanced illness at HIV treatment start is dropping in some countries surveyed, still seen in a third of new patients

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The prevalence of advanced HIV among people beginning antiretroviral treatment has declined in eight of 10 resource-constrained countries surveyed, while median immune cell counts went up — indicating less weakened immune systems — in six countries, indicating improved access to testing and treatment, but still, about one third of patients starting treatment during the time […]

We’re reading about climate change policy, global disease funding and international research — and how decisions in Washington hit home, around the world

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Infectious disease collides with changing climate – After two dry years, the rains that flooded the forests and plantations of Brazil’s countrysides unleashed a bumper crop of mosquitos, speeding the spread of the country’s deadliest outbreak of yellow fever on record. Impacts of the outbreak, and the contributions of climate events to an epidemic the […]

Tracking patients raises numbers returning to antiretroviral treatment — but tracking the right patients would be better still

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When community health workers went looking for patients who had started antiretroviral treatment but had stopped showing up for care at 14 clinics across Uganda, Kenya and Tanzania, 13 percent of those sought returned to treatment. That represented a significant, if still small improvement over the 10 percent who returned for care when no effort […]

Office of AIDS Research gets a shout out — and a $544 million cut in NIH budget “justification”

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Citing priorities of HIV research slated to lose hundreds of millions of dollars, dispatching the Fogarty International Center while extolling its contributions, document released by National Institutes of Health director tallies steep and devastating cuts without explanation ” . . .the HIV epidemic represents the most serious health crisis of our time, a critical and […]

It’s time for a new question in disease outbreaks

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The following is a guest post by Brittany Iskarpatyoti, MPH, of MEASURE Evaluation. Diseases are not blind to gender. Many of them biologically prefer or are more in contact with one sex over another: be it male rice field workers occupationally exposed to leptospirosis[i] or school-age girls exposed to schistosomiasis when fetching water.[ii] Unfortunately, the […]

We’re reading about a new WHO leader with a vision of health care for all, and a very different vision in the White House budget proposal

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The World Health Assembly election this week of Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus to be the next Director General of the World Health Organization followed the release of the Trump administration’s budget proposal by one day. That led to overlapping discussions of two starkly irreconcilable views of the role that access to health care plays in a […]

Global gag rule spelled out, restricting services, support and resources, turning recipients into enforcers across the foreign aid spectrum

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The foreign-aid restricting policy known as the Global Gag Rule for its intended impact on medical services offered to women in resource-limited countries, re-emerged this week in its new, sweeping form with restrictions to funding and activities of a greatly expanded range of health, and health-related service providers spelled out in detail in USAID’s Standard Provisions for […]

Trump budget proposes to gut research, responses that counter disease threats at home and around the world

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Administration details deep cuts to CDC domestic and global health programs, steep drops in National Institutes of Health funding, and a retreat from efforts to find and control outbreaks where they start . . . and calls it “Putting America’s Health First” Work led by the United States to prevent, detect, treat and control diseases, […]