Today is National HIV Testing Day; every day can be — This opinion piece by Dr. Carlos del Rio, a physician who is chairman of the HIV Medicine Association and of the Rollins School of Public Health’s Department of Global Health, comprehensively rounds up current obstacles to the first step to personal and public health that HIV testing represents for many people and many places. While he is looking at barriers and disincentives to getting tested for HIV in the U.S., the issues he looks at are pervasive worldwide — including unaffordable and inaccessible health services that make routine checkups luxuries, laws specifically targeting people with HIV (in the numbers of which the U.S. leads the world) incarceration and discrimination.
Moving on from a High-Level Failure — The Global Forum on MSM and HIV, the Global Network of Sex Work Projects and others break down the political declaration that came out of the recent United Nations High Level Meeting on Ending AIDS along its fault lines, from its use of the well-worn “leaving no one behind” without specifying who to include, to its continued failure throughout to name populations, including men who have sex with men, transgender women, people who use drugs, people who earn income through sex work, and others whose rights to health care are violated by law, policy and practice.
Double Standards in Global Health: Medicine, Human Rights Law, and Multidrug-Resistant TB Treatment Policy — If, in many countries with high rates of tuberculosis prevalence, second-line drugs to treat disease that doesn’t respond to the most common drugs are unaffordable, does that suggest that drug-resistant TB is untreatable in those countries, or that treatment is unacceptably inaccessible? The first means letting people with drug-resistant disease remain sick, infectious and die, the second means tackling an inequity that is both a human rights issue and a public health problem. Authors of this article examine the ramifications of what they say was the World Health Organization’s decision to take the first approach.
A yellow fever epidemic in Angola could turn into a global crisis — “Almost 80 years after the yellow fever vaccine was created. . .a massive outbreak of the disease has killed hundreds of people in this country, where most were never immunized,” this Washington Post article begins. With heart-wrenching photographs the article examines the local and global fallout from gaps in infectious disease preparedness.