Amb. Goosby on President’s Budget, Treatment as Prevention, New WHO Guidelines, and more

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The following is a compilation of recent articles and releases making headlines in HIV, TB and global health news.

G-FINDER Public Search Tool: The G-FINDER Project sponsored by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation is an annually updated database of global investment into neglected disease research and development.  Datasets for 2007, 2008, 2009 and 2010 global funding are now available. One can search by diseases and HIV and tuberculosis are included, as well as look at resources for diagnostic platforms and service delivery technologies and devices.  Click here to begin:

Treatment and Prevention of HIV through Highly Active Antiretroviral Therapy: This article published in International Business Times makes a strong case for expanding highly active antiretroviral therapy (HAART) coverage in resource-limited countries.  “The evidence is clear: treatment prevents morbidity, mortality, and transmission.”  Implementing HAART as an HIV prevention method not only reduces morbidity and mortality and increases quality-adjusted life years, it is also cost effective.  The author notes that HAART is also highly effective in preventing tuberculosis infection, and has a positive effect on productivity.

President’s Budget Request Reflects Strong Commitment to Global AIDS: This opinion piece written by Global AIDS Ambassador Dr. Eric Goosby outlines the successes of the President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR) while praising President Obama’s FY 2013 budget request for PEPFAR, which calls for a cut of nearly $543 billion from the program, or a reduction of almost 13 percent.  Ambassador Goosby claims that they will be able to meet the President’s stated goals for the program with a reduced budget, by continuing to employ successful methods, like “using generic drugs, shipping commodities more cheaply, task-shifting to nurses and community health workers as appropriate, and linking AIDS services to other programs.”  Read more about the Administration’s budget request here.

FDA Grants Priority Review for Truvada® for Reducing the Risk of Acquiring HIV Infection: This press release from the pharmaceutical company Gilead Sciences, Inc., announces that the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has accepted a supplemental New Drug Application for once-daily Truvada for pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP) to reduce the risk of HIV-1 infection among uninfected adults.  The FDA has also granted a six-month Priority Review, which they grant to drug candidates that provide major advances in treatment or provide a treatment where no adequate therapy exists.

WHO upholds guidance on hormonal contraceptive use and HIV: In this press release, the World Health Organization (WHO) concludes that women living with HIV or at high risk of HIV can safely continue to use hormonal contraceptives to prevent pregnancy.  Experts on the WHO’s Guidelines Review Committee recommended that women living with HIV, or at high risk of HIV, continue to use hormonal contraceptives to prevent pregnancy, but emphasized the need to also use condoms to prevent HIV acquisition and transmission.

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