What we’re reading

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The following “What We’re Reading” collection is a compilation of recent articles making headlines in HIV and TB news.

Voluntary Medical Male Circumcision for HIV Prevention – The Cost, Impact, and Challenges of Accelerated Scale-Up in Southern and Eastern Africa: In this collection of nine new articles – four reviews and five research articles – in PloS Medicine highlights how scaling up voluntary medical male circumcision for HIV prevention in sub-Saharan Africa can help prevent HIV at the individual, community and population level, as well as leading to substantial cost savings for countries as a result of averted treatment and care costs.

Neglected tropical diseases and the HIV prevention agenda:  This op-ed piece in The Lancet by Drs. Jennifer Manne and Karolina Maciag makes the case for integrating neglected tropical diseases into the HIV prevention agenda. “…Preliminary research has shown a three-fold increase in sexual transmission and incidence of HIV/AIDS in women with genital ulcers caused by [female urogenital schistosomiasis], as well as a substantial geographical overlap between areas of high HIV prevalence and regions where FUS is endemic. Evidence also suggests that deworming reduces HIV viral load and that maternal helminth infection increases risk of mother-to-child HIV transmission.”

HIV Risk among MSM in Senegal — A Qualitative Rapid Assessment of the Impact of Enforcing Laws That Criminalize Same Sex Practices: This article published in PLoS ONE recently, looks at men who have sex with men in Senegal – a population that has an HIV prevalence of 21.5 percent – and the impact enforcing laws that criminalize same-sex practices has had on HIV risk in this group. “In December 2008, nine male HIV prevention workers were imprisoned for “acts against nature” prohibited by Senegalese law. This qualitative study assessed the impact of these arrests on HIV prevention efforts,” according to the study abstract. In-depth interviews and focus group discussions turned up widespread fear and hiding among MSM as a result of these imprisonments, as well as a decrease in prevention services provided for and attended by this population.

2010 NIAID Year in Review – Summary of HIV/AIDS Research Accomplishments:  Published by the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID) at the National Institutes of Health, the fiscal year 2010 year in review describes the institutes’ scientific accomplishments and details the HIV/AIDS research activities from the year. These include new directions in HIV prevention, recent successes in developing an HIV vaccine, reducing the impact of HIV, and reducing the transmission of HIV. The report also includes information on the budget for NIAID-supported initiatives and programs.

Updated “HIV among Youth” fact sheet: The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has updated its fact sheet on HIV/AIDS among youth in the United States, focusing on HIV infection among people 13 to 29 years old. “Prevention challenges in this population, including sexual risk factors, substance use, and a lack of awareness are detailed. The fact sheet also includes information on CDC programs and research that focuses on reducing the risk of HIV infection among young people,” according to AIDSinfo.nih.gov.

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