What we’re reading: In health security and health rights, the costs of abandoning progress are high

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Advocacy to End Peace Corps HIV Dismissals – Last week we covered an effort by HIVMA and the National Alliance of State and Territorial AIDS Directors to learn more about, and to provide expertise to inform, current Peace Corps policies regarding volunteers living with HIV. The Peace Corps has since responded to a letter which may signal the start of a dialogue. In the meantime, the Treatment Action Group is seeking signers to this letter to Peace Corps officials, explicating the details of the new reports, and expressing concerns that the agency’s practices amount to a “Catch 22” that essentially bars volunteers with HIV from serving.

Global community has to keep the Ebola outbreak from spreading — don’t cut funds – This piece in The Hill notes the ongoing benefit of funding allocated in response to the 2014-2016 West Africa Ebola outbreak in controlling the current outbreak in the Democratic Republic of the Congo. Cutting that funding, the author writes, leaves us less prepared for the next, inevitable outbreak.

The latest Ebola outbreak: What has changed – This Kaiser Family Foundation brief lays out the advances, and also the new concerns setting the Ebola crisis that erupted in West Africa four years ago, and the latest Ebola outbreak apart. While the advances include WHO reforms, an investigational vaccine, and an example set by U.S. leadership in 2014, the concerns include the absence of U.S. leadership now, highlighted by the disbanding of global health security efforts at the National Security Council, and the departure of Admiral Tim Ziemer.

How prison conditions fuel the tuberculosis epidemic – From Port-au-Prince, where the nonprofit Health through Walls has laid down a foundation and worked with local institutions to sustain protocols of TB screening, diagnostics and treatment that saves the lives of prisoners and stops transmissions, to the ironically named “La Esperanza,” or “Hope,” prison in Colombia, where the rates of multidrug-resistant tuberculosis is double that of outside the prison’s walls, David Bryden of RESULTS reports how “correctional” settings fuel the spread of tuberculosis, within their walls — and ultimately outside.

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