Monthly Archives: June 2011

The road to ensuring access to affordable, effective HIV meds for 15 million in poor countries

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Just as we have reached the point where universal access is no longer an unattainable dream, there are market forces afoot that could make access to effective, affordable antiretroviral therapy (ART) more challenging than it has been for a number of years, said Chairman of the UNITAID Executive Board Phillippe Douste-Blazy at the opening of a United Nations (UN) High-Level Meeting side event in New York City Thursday afternoon.

Pharmaceutical companies are seeking more patents than ever before, including in places like India where the majority of generic HIV drugs are manufactured, Douste-Blazy said. There is also a concern that some companies are withdrawing from the market—at least the market relevant to developing countries…

Opening Day: United Nations negotiates how to win the AIDS battle

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“It is too soon to halt our efforts and to be put off by the cost of treatment and budget cuts,” said United Nations (UN) President Joseph Deiss to the packed general assembly hall Wednesday morning at the opening of the 2011 UN High-Level Meeting on AIDS. Ten million still lack access to treatment and far too many men, women and children are still being infected with HIV, he said, and we have to continue to take care, treatment, prevention and support measures.

“I call on each and every one of you to take on the responsibility for the success of the battle against AIDS.”

Delegates from around the world convened in New York City for the meeting, which many predict will be the last UN meeting on AIDS.

Ready to launch: “ADAPT” study looks at intermittent dosing of PrEP

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Investigators at the HIV Prevention Trials Network (HPTN) Annual Meeting Monday received an update on a study looking to ease the pill burden on those wishing to benefit from pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP). Inspired by studies of non-human primates over the past seven years at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the HPTN 067 “ADAPT” […]

HPTN 052: An update

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Mike Cohen, principal investigator of the remarkable clinical trial that demonstrated “biological and clinical plausibility” that antiretroviral therapy (ART) offers prevention as well as treatment benefits, offered an update to a packed crowd at the annual meeting of the HIV Prevention Trials Network (HPTN). He began by acknowledging the 13 site teams in nine countries […]

Dr. Wafaa El-Sadr: This would be the epidemic of our generation

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Wafaa El-Sadr, MD, MPH, is one of the world’s leading experts in HIV and tuberculosis care and treatment. An infectious disease specialist, she directs the International Center for AIDS Care and Treatment Programs (ICAP) and the Center for Infectious Disease Epidemiologic Research at the Columbia University Mailman School of Public Health, and is chief of the Division of Infectious Diseases at Harlem Hospital Center. Dr. El-Sadr has led early trials studying antimicrobial gels that aim to inhibit HIV transmission, and is known internationally for her leadership in preventing mother-to-child transmission of HIV. She is a 2008 MacArthur Foundation fellow and has held several leadership posts at the Infectious Diseases Society of America and the HIV Medicine Association.

Thirty years ago this past Sunday, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reported the first cases of what would become HIV in its publication Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report. Science Speaks interviewed Dr. El-Sadr as part of its special series commemorating 30 years of AIDS, and she discusses the parallels in treating populations in the U.S. and in Africa, the greatest achievements in the epidemic’s 30 years, and what drew her to the cause.

Investment model outlines the way forward on global AIDS

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Key changes to the way global HIV/AIDS investments are made, with an accompanied boost to investment by 2015, could dramatically change the future trajectory of the AIDS pandemic. That’s according to Dr. Bernhard Schwartländer and other members of the Investment Framework Study Group convened by the Joint United Nations Program on HIV/AIDS (UNAIDS), who developed […]

Dybul on PEPFAR: ‘The sky was the limit’

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Ambassador Mark R. Dybul co-directs the Global Health Law Program at Georgetown University Law Center’s O’Neill Institute for National and Global Health Law, where he is also a Distinguished Scholar. He is the inaugural Global Health Fellow of the George W. Bush Institute. Dybul served as the U.S. Global AIDS Coordinator from 2006 to the end of the George W. Bush administration. In that role, he led the implementation of the President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR), the largest international health initiative in history for a single disease. Prior to assuming the post of ambassador, he was acting, deputy and assistant coordinator, and was a member of the Planning Task Force that created PEPFAR. Dybul also led President Bush’s International Prevention of Mother and Child HIV initiative for the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS).

Dybul spoke with John Donnelly about the start of PEPFAR and some of the most memorable moments directing it, continuing Science Speaks’ series on 30 years of AIDS.