Monthly Archives: February 2011

House bill threatens global health funding

By on .

The House Appropriations Committee, led by Harold Rogers (R-KY), has proposed a bill that would set funding levels for fiscal year (FY) 2011— the current fiscal year ending September 30, 2011 —called a Continuing Resolution. It would cut total discretionary spending by $61 billion compared with FY2010 base levels and fall $100 billion below the […]

USAID Administrator discusses “transformational goals” to include curing 2.4 million infected with TB

By on .

In a prestigious lecture to the National Institutes of Health (NIH) scientific community Tuesday, U.S. Agency on International Development (USAID) Administrator Rajiv Shah spoke about efficiencies that can be gained under the Global Health Initiative (GHI) and a renewed focus on “facilitating a continuum of invention and innovation from bench to bush,” at the agency.

USAID describes impact of possible TB funding cuts

By on .

In a presentation made to TB advocates and implementers, representatives from the U.S. Agency for International Development’s (USAID) Bureau for Global Health described the range of cuts its TB programs would experience if flat funded at the fiscal year (FY) 2010 level,  or a reduction to the FY 2008 level. These budgetary scenarios were presented as […]

USAID report outlines priorities in TB research and development

By on .

The U.S. Agency on International Development (USAID) issued a report to Congress entitled “Health Related Research and Development Activities at USAID – An Update on the Five-year Strategy, 2006 – 2010” and has been releasing the report to the public in increments since October. Science Speaks reported on the release of the AIDS research chapter […]

Gates on HIV/AIDS: We need a higher sense of urgency

By on .

Bill Gates recently released his third annual letter, in which he discusses many of the global health causes close to his heart, namely polio, vaccination, malaria and HIV/AIDS among others. In the letter, Gates writes regarding HIV and the 33 million people living with HIV today, “Given all the lives that are at stake, I am impatient enough about this that I am willing to be viewed as a troublemaker by people who are happy with the status quo.”

In this video clip, Gates discusses the progress being made in the fight against HIV/AIDS, while stressing that much remains to be done and a higher sense of urgency is needed. “We are making progress… but the rate of progress in reducing treatment costs, honing in on prevention tools, creating the ultimate prevention tool, an AIDS vaccine, is going slower than I think it should…” Gates said.

Extended iPrEx study looks at long-term safety, behavior change and medication adherence

By on .

In a conference call convened by AVAC Tuesday, government representatives, scientists and advocates discussed the particulars of the Pre-Exposure Prophylaxis Initiative (iPrEx) open label study set to launch at some trial sites in March 2011. The study continues on the infrastructure of the original iPrEx study trial, which determined that daily oral dosing of Truvada among […]

Groundbreaking GeneXpert may evolve to measure HIV viral load in addition to TB diagnostic capacity

By on .

Cepheid, a California-based molecular diagnostics company, and the Foundation for Innovative New Diagnostics (FIND) announced a new collaboration to accelerate the development of a rapid HIV viral load test.  This viral load test will run on the platform of Cepheid’s GeneXpert, the ground-breaking rapid test to diagnose drug-susceptible and drug-resistant tuberculosis.  Given the high rates […]

Bipartisan foreign aid, and Obama’s Global Health Initiative

By on .

The following is a collection of recent articles and news pieces making headlines in HIV/TB and global health:

A call for more effective foreign assistance: An opinion piece in The Daily Caller calls for more effective foreign assistance programs and bipartisan efforts to strengthen U.S. global leadership. Mark Green, Jim Kolbe, and Rob Mosbacher argue that the new Congress should make a bipartisan effort to improve foreign aid – just 1% of the federal budget – rather than slash budgets.

Condom gap “quite disturbing” according to PEPFAR

By on .

There is a pervasive pattern of stockouts of condoms, both male and female condoms, in African countries confronting HIV/AIDS, according to Carolyn Ryan, MD, MPH, director of technical leadership at the Office of the Global AIDS Coordinator (OGAC).

She called the condom gap “really quite disturbing,” given that condoms are a crucial tool for HIV prevention. While HIV incidence has fallen in recent years, in 2009 there were an estimated 2.6 million people newly infected with HIV, meaning that about 7000 people are acquiring the infection each day.