Monthly Archives: May 2016

An imperative for secrecy, a barrier to services, a driver of an epidemic . . . We’re reading about a public health hazard commonly called stigma

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‘The mercurial piece of the puzzle’: Understanding stigma and HIV/AIDS in South Africa – The role of stigma in challenges to HIV responses, including adequate funding, sound policies, access to services, the numbers of people diagnosed, the numbers of people for whom treatment is uninterrupted, and more, is difficult to assess because the word, used […]

WHO recommendations aim to speed diagnosis, treatment of MDR-TB

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The two years of toxic medicines that make up the common course of treatment for drug-resistant tuberculosis is so grueling and discouraging, as one Médecins Sans Frontières physician put it, that it causes “teenagers to abandon their ambitions, adults to decide between providing for their family or getting healthy and the elderly to wish for […]

Science moves faster than funding for Zika, while virus moves faster still

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A little more than three months since the World Health Organization recognized the spread of Zika virus and accompanying rising rates of microcephaly and other neurological disorders as a public health emergency of international concern, policymakers Thursday will consider once again the reasons President Obama asked in February that $1.9 million in emergency funding be […]

UN Secretary-General AIDS report lauds advances, notes failures, wades into accounting . . . and then encourages a cut in funding

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While summing up progress, document notes rising rates among people who inject drugs, concentrated epidemics among other marginalized populations, poor rates of viral suppression, “appallingly low” treatment access for children, but suggests caps on international spending, limits on treatment While the United Nations website posting the most recent global HIV report from the body’s Secretary-General […]

Malaria vaccine candidate shows longer protection, promise, direction of next steps

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The quest for a vaccine that provides lasting protection against malaria took another step forward today with the release of study results showing a candidate made from a weakened version of the parasite that causes the disease offered protection to five trial participants more than a year after it was administered. The results, while still […]

A year — or two — of Zika in the Western Hemisphere . . . We’re reading about how pandemic preparedness begins

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One year into the Zika outbreak – “As so often happens in public health, when a disease subsides the control programme dies.” This observation, from part three of the World Health Organization’s accounting of how the Zika virus emerged from obscurity to become an unprecedented global health threat, refers to the shutdown of mosquito control […]

With biomedical research driven by profit rather than need, MSF examines why innovation fails to address world’s biggest health problems

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Report proposes new and focused approaches to developing drugs, diagnostics and vaccines A pharmaceutical company develops a long-awaited drug that represents the last hope for hundreds of thousands of people sick with drug-resistant tuberculosis, but doesn’t register it in any of the countries where the burden of the disease is greatest. While the World Health […]

As Senate breaks without writing a “blank check” for Zika responses, CDC and WHO itemize some of the shopping list

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As of last week, 55 countries and territories, including Puerto Rico were reporting ongoing local transmission of Zika virus, a cause of severe neurological birth defects, a virus associated with increased rates of paralyzing illness, and now, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, a cause of at least one death. The […]

China study indicates bias against men who have sex with men spurs migration, potential spread of HIV, stalls services, responses

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Study highlights role of dating website in filling gaps The quest is for anonymity, but the result is closer to invisibililty. While the numbers of men who have sex with men remain a guess in China, a country that only in the last 20 years decriminalized same-sex intimacy, and only in the last decade and […]