The Global Fund to Fight AIDS Tuberculosis and Malaria releases a new handbook: The new Governance Handbook reviews the mission, workings and what is next for the decade-old Geneva, Switzerland-based charity. Coming off a tumultuous few years that saw the fund reorganized in the wake of a series of audits showing misspent and missing money, the fund promises money will be provided in “more flexible, more predictable and more effective ways,” and that the fund “will become more engaged in supporting grant implementation success” in its 2012-2016 strategy. The strategy includes what the handbook describes as a “shift to a new model of ‘investing for impact’” which a chart laying out the strategy says includes focusing on “the highest-impact countries, interventions and populations while keeping the Global Fund global.” The success of that, and all of its goals, the handbook overview adds, depends on “enhanced partnerships,” and reforms to the fund’s governance, operations and financial controls.
The Global Forum on MSM & HIV announces a pre-International AIDS Conference event: From Stigma to Strength: Strategies for MSM, Transgender People and Allies in a Shifting AIDS Landscape, will include Rep. Barbara Lee (D-CA), director of CDC’s National Center for HIV/AIDS, Viral Hepatitis, STD and TB Prevention Dr. Kevin Fenton, United Nations Development Fund Human Rights, Gender & Sexual Diversities cluster leader Dr. Mandeep Dhaliwal, among speakers in a daylong event from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m., Saturday, July 21 at 1825 Connecticut Ave NW, Washington, D.C.. With standing colonial-era laws criminalizing homosexuality in many AIDS-impacted countries, data on the prevalence of HIV among those populations remains sparse, but event organizers cite data showing that HIV affects at least one in four men who have sex with men in Mexico and nearly one in three men who have sex with men in Zambia and Jamaica, and that more than 60 percent of new infections in the United States are among men who have sex with men.
A clinic opens its doors to gay clients in Uganda: Ugandan legislators’consideration of the Anti-Homosexuality Bill of 2009 raised fears of arrest among doctors caring for gay patients, in this country where an estimated 64,000 people died of AIDS in 2009, this article notes. A new clinic in Uganda’s capital, opened by gay rights activists, will focus on HIV/AIDS, other sexually transmitted diseases, and will offer free and confidential treatment to lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender patients, the article says. But it adds, Ugandan legislators now are weighing a bill that would require health care workers to report gay clients to police. The original Anti-Homosexuality Bill, said to be inspired by American evangelicals, was abandoned after international pressure.
Inaccurate TB test banned in India: A commercial tuberculosis diagnostic testing kit that was notorious for giving inconsistent, inaccurate results has been banned in India, a country where it was widely used in private medical practices. The test, which was the subject of an unprecedented World Health Organization negative advisory, was responsible for both false positive results – leading to patients being put on unnecessary treatment, contributing to future treatment failure, and for false negative results – leading to infected and contagious patients going untreated. Tuberculosis treatment advocates say the ban is welcome, but warn that without adequate public access to effective and accurate testing in public health settings, patients are likely to continue to get substandard care and diagnosis.