Category Archives: HIV/AIDS

A threat to winning the war on AIDS: neglect of injection drug users

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First, the good news. HIV prevalence around the world is starting to stablize, with overall growth in numbers of new infections slowing in most areas. But not all populations are experiencing this trend. “In Kenya and Tanzania, overall HIV incidence is stable, but the number of HIV infections among injection drug users (IDUs) is rising,” […]

Updated: FEM-PrEP HIV prevention study halted

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FHI issued a statement Monday morning announcing that the FEM-PrEP trial – looking at once-daily administration of the antiretroviral drug Truvada (emtricitabine and tenofovir) versus a placebo among high-risk heterosexual, HIV-negative women for preventing HIV infection – has been halted due to inability to determine effectiveness.

**Update: On a conference call convened by AVAC Tuesday, FHI representatives explained that self-reported adherence to the study drug was approximately 95 percent, excluding external factors such as stopping medication due to pregnancy. Trial investigators have blood specimens from partipants at certain intervals during the trial that they are testing for drug levels. Results from those tests will be reported in the coming months.

Hearing on U.S. budget for Africa includes look at AIDS response

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The Senate Subcommittee on Africa hosted a hearing on the President’s fiscal year (FY) 2012 budget for Africa Thursday, at which the Asst. Secretary of State for Africa Johnny Carson and Global AIDS Ambassador Eric Goosby testified. Testimony included discussion about the $7.8 billion requested by the Obama Administration for the African region for FY 2012, an overview of PEPFAR and Global Fund activity and progress in the area, and potential for certain countries to manage their own HIV responses within the next five to 10 years. Read More…

Civil society compiles ‘asks’ for UN AIDS meeting; Orgs urge Obama to personally attend

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A group of national, regional, global and constituency-based organizations have developed a civil society “zero draft” declaration to assist in coordinated advocacy with United Nations (UN) participating governments in advance of the upcoming UN high-level meeting on AIDS.  Organizations intend the draft to be used during negotiations with governments in New York and in the national […]

Ask an Expert: Breast feeding vs formula and mother-to-child HIV transmission

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In our first Ask-an-Expert submission, Emily Blynn from Washington, DC, writes: I have read in various places that for HIV positive mothers, if formula is not consistently available for some reason, be it financial or physical access or otherwise, consistent breastfeeding is less likely to transmit the virus to the infant than switching off and […]

Civil society speaks out at UN in advance of AIDS high-level meeting

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“This year is a moment of truth in the global AIDS response… We are on the brink of real success but funding has flat-lined,” said United Nations (UN) Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon Friday at an informational interactive hearing for members of civil society in advance of the High-Level Meeting (HLM) on HIV/AIDS, set to take place in New York City June 8-10.

“HIV continues to spread – five people are infected every minute of every day,” Ki-moon said, reflecting on the last high-level meeting on AIDS in 2001, where targets such as universal access to treatment for all HIV-infected persons and the virtual elimination of mother-to-child transmission by 2010 were declared. “The targets we set in 2001 remain valid but the deadlines we set for meeting them have passed…” (Read more)

Arming Africa with rectal microbicides: Project ARM

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The following is a guest blog post by Jim Pickett, chair of International Rectal Microbicides Advocates (IRMA) and director of Prevention Advocacy and Gay Men’s Health at the AIDS Foundation of Chicago.

Since 2005, our network of more than 1,000 scientists, advocates, policymakers, and funders from six continents that makes up International Rectal Microbicide Advocates (IRMA), has advocated for the accelerated research and development of safe, effective, acceptable and accessible rectal microbicides for the women, men, and transgender individuals around the world who engage in anal intercourse…. (Read More)

Medicines Patent Pool launches searchable patent status database

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The Medicines Patent Pool launched a new resource this week – a database with searchable patent information on 23 antiretroviral (ARV) drugs, including some pipeline products, in 67 countries. Developed in collaboration with the World Intellectual Property Organization and 29 national and regional patent offices, making information on who is legally able to manufacture or […]

A great crisis and greater measures: Transforming the South African health system

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In front of a packed audience at the Kaiser Family Foundation, South African Minister of Health Dr. Aaron Motsoaledi painted a picture of South Africa showing that while significant progress is being made, the war against AIDS is far from over.

In some districts of KwaZulu-Natal (KZN) province, HIV prevalence is as high as 46 percent. The death rate in the country doubled from 1997 to 2006 – six out of 10 deaths in 2006 were AIDS-related. And maternal mortality is getting worse – 59 percent of women who died during childbirth were posthumously tested for HIV from 2005-2007, 79 percent of those tested were HIV infected. Among HIV-negative women in South Africa, 34 out of every 100,000 live births result in the mother dying. Among HIV-positive women, that number jumps nearly 10 times… (Read More)