“Facts” vaginal tenofovir gel study set to launch: The Follow-on African Consortium for Tenofoivr Studies (Facts) study is set to launch in South Africa, following up on the Caprisa 004 trial that found a 59 percent reduction in the risk of HIV infection among women who consistently used the vaginal microbicide gel. Facts is the first South African-led multi-site trial, and the Times of India reports that investigators will also determine whether participants find enhanced sexual pleasure when using the gel, as was found in earlier microbicidal gel studies.
Shorter therapy for HIV positive patients infected with Hep C: A retrospective study involving 50 HIV-positive gay men with acute hepatitis C in Amsterdam found that 24 weeks of therapy, versus the standard 48-week treatment, might be enough to clear the infection. The findings were published in a recent issue of the journal AIDS, which noted an ongoing epidemic of sexually transmitted hepatitis C in HIV-positive gay men in northern Europe.
U.S. Global Health Investments: The Evidence on Health, Diplomatic, and Economic Impact: The Foundation for AIDS Research (amfAR) released a new issue brief reviewing the evidence of the various impacts of U.S. investments in global health. The brief looks at the U.S. President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief, the President’s Malaria Initiative, the Global Health Initiative, as well as U.S. contributions to the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria – looking beyond alleviating disease burden to evaluate the national security, economic and diplomatic benefits of these programs.
The End of AIDS?: This article in The Economist takes the findings from the HPTN 052 study results announced in May – which shows that putting HIV-infected persons on antiretroviral therapy reduces their risk of sexually transmitting the disease to an HIV negative partner by more than 96 percent – along with other recent research findings, to map a way to the end of the global AIDS epidemic with strategic investments in proven-effective interventions. Several outlets had great articles commemorating the 30 years since the first scientific reports of what would become HIV/AIDS, including this comprehensive timeline from CNN.com.
Global Fund Identifies Stock-Out Risks in 20 Countries: According to a recent AllAfrica.com article, Executive Director of The Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria Michel Kazatchkine recently reported to the Fund’s Board that they have identified drug stock-out risks in 20 countries. This includes one unnamed country that has already experienced stock-outs of several antiretroviral drugs.