Author Archives: Antigone Barton

New TB drug approval a milestone, all agree — with caveats, some add

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The announcement Wednesday of U.S. Food and Drug Administration approval of pretomanid, a new tuberculosis drug that has been part of a ground-breaking treatment regimen against the deadliest and most resistant form of the disease represented a major step forward on multiple fronts, international treatment advocates agree. One of only three new drugs receiving regulatory […]

Amid other challenges, Burundi begins front-line, health worker Ebola vaccinations at border

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DRC neighbor boosts preparedness for spread of virus while grappling with increasing malaria cases, continued cholera outbreak Burundi’s health ministry Tuesday launched a campaign to vaccinate  health workers and others on the front line of a Democratic Republic of Congo border crossing Tuesday, the most recent in a series of steps preparing for the eventuality […]

Improved Ebola survival rates with study treatments raise hopes, challenges

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Announcing favorable results from two of four Ebola treatment candidates being used in a randomized clinical trial among patients in the ongoing Democratic Republic of Congo outbreak, officials from the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, the World Health Organization, and a veteran Democratic Republic of Congo researcher today heralded preliminary data as yielding […]

When viral suppression didn’t last, lowering barriers to HIV treatment and care made a difference

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The goals of controlling HIV sound like a straight forward series of three consecutive steps, one following another, when discussed in global and domestic epidemic-ending plans. If 90 percent of all people living with the virus knew it, 90 percent of them access antiretroviral treatment, and 90 percent of those on treatment — that is […]

A year into DRC Ebola outbreak, control eludes the response while funding remains in question

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On the eve of the day marking one year since recognition of the current Democratic Republic of Congo Ebola outbreak, in measured, if largely familiar words, two of the World Health Organization’s response leaders discussed the ongoing spread of the virus and the state of the response. That included confirmation of the virus in a […]

IAS 2019: While plans for HIV control innovations accelerate, community input remains an afterthought

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MEXICO CITY – “What HIV has pointed out is that building it does not make them come,” Ambassador Dr. Deborah Birx noted at an opening night press event that highlighted persisting gaps in HIV testing, treatment, prevention access across the globe. When services don’t reach clients and communities, she said, people offering them have to […]

IAS 2019: With new data, WHO updates DTG guidelines including women in strong, preferred recommendation

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MEXICO CITY – Responding to expanded data gathered in Botswana and Brazil, and to input from communities of women living with HIV, the World Health Organization announced updated guidelines for the use of dolutegravir, restoring the agency’s recommendation that the antiretroviral medicine with fewer side effects, lower resistance, and quicker viral suppression than alternatives is […]

IAS 2019: Recency testing opens doors to faster, focused HIV responses, raises questions of community involvement

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MEXICO CITY – On Sunday here in a preconference session, U.S. PEPFAR leader Ambassador Dr. Deborah Birx extolled the value of HIV recency tests – a diagnostic advance that can tell if a person newly diagnosed with HIV was infected in the last year, or before. That information can help identify new clusters of transmissions, […]

DRC Ebola outbreak now a PHEIC, WHO committee says following fourth meeting

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Citing recent cases that highlighted risks of international Ebola spread, and the killing earlier this week of two more responders working to control the ongoing outbreak of  the disease in the Democratic Republic of Congo, a World Health Organization-convened committee today recommended that the agency declare the now year-long crisis in that country a Public […]

Amid declining donor dollars, resource gaps threaten HIV goals, reports say

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Progress seen in recent years against the HIV pandemic, including in rising numbers of people diagnosed and treated accompanied by dropping rates of incidence and death, is slowing while populations long facing the most daunting obstacles to services remain at highest risk, according to a UNAIDS report released today. The data, including numbers showing that […]