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U.S. Investments In HIV Treatment Internationally, Domestically ‘Should Pay Off’

“We welcome the Obama administration’s announcement of a farsighted effort to treat millions more [people living with HIV] abroad, especially in sub-Saharan Africa,” a New York Times editorial writes. “The administration expects that the expanded treatments can be paid for with existing resources, by pushing for greater efficiencies and more financing from recipient nations. But if that effort stalls, the administration should re-evaluate quickly whether to ask Congress for money,” the editorial states.

People In Swaziland Protesting Shortages Of ARVs Amid Government Financial Crisis

In Swaziland, where a “deepening financial crisis is taking a toll on service delivery, and the country is experiencing an unprecedented number of protests over issues such as school closures and a lack of HIV treatment,” “[a] new wave of HIV activism is rising … as people living with HIV take to the streets in protest, many for the first time in their lives, over continued shortages of antiretroviral (ARV) treatment,” PlusNews reports.

Donors Must Continue Funding R&D To Bring New Global Health Technologies To Patients

In this post in the Hill’s “Congress Blog,” Kaitlin Christenson, the coalition director of the Global Health Technologies Coalition; Jim Connolly, president and CEO of Aeras; and Mel Spigelman, president and CEO of the TB Alliance, respond to a recently released G-FINDER report that shows “overall global investment in the research and development (R&D) of [new global health technologies] has declined for the first time since 2007, when the tracking of such funding began,” writing, “This decline is especially troubling given that there are more than 100 products in [the Product Development Partnerships' (PDPs)] pipelines.”

HIV Testing Remains Important Amid Push For Expanded Treatment In Africa

“With a needle puncture on your finger and a drop of blood, the magic of modern science can give you a rapid HIV test in seconds, and so, knowing your status, you are better able to negotiate the rocky road of surviving HIV where timely detection is key,” Farai Sevenzo, a columnist and filmmaker, writes in this BBC News opinion piece, part of a series from African journalists. “But human nature is not so straightforward and despite hundreds of rapid HIV test centers in many capitals, the knee-jerk response is not to want to know,” he continues, adding, “It is this attitude which may account for the continuing high rates of infection.”

BMJ News Reports On S. Africa’s HIV Prevention, Treatment Efforts

BMJ News reports on South African Health Minister Aaron Motsoaledi’s visit to the U.S. last week, where he spoke at a forum in Washington, D.C., on the efforts the government is making to promote HIV prevention and treatment and improve the country’s health system. The publication notes that the health ministry has set a goal of testing the HIV status of 15 million people in the country by the end of the year – “nearly a third of its population of 50 million.”

Also In Global Health News: Radiation Risk, Aid Delivery In Japan; HIV/AIDS In PNG; Counterfeit Drugs; Health Spending In Myanmar

Radiation’s Effect On Health; Aid Distribution In Japan In light of the damage to nuclear reactors at Japan’s Fukushima Daiichi power plant, the New York Times examines how increased radiation exposure affects human health. “Certain levels of radiation exposure are known to increase the risk of cancer, but scientists disagree about…

Health Experts Release Recommendations For Fighting Breast Cancer In Low-, Middle-Income Countries

“Worldwide breast cancer incidence and mortality are expected to increase by 50 percent from 2002 and 2020 – and those rates will be highest in developing nations,” according to a review article published Friday in Lancet Oncology that describes several challenges low- and middle-income countries face in diagnosing and treating such conditions, the Huffington Post reports. The review features a series of recommendations, generated from discussions and reports presented during the Breast Health Global Initiative (BHGI) meeting last year, which drew together more than 150 health experts from 43 countries to discuss breast cancer management in low- and middle-resource countries (LMCs).

Opinions: Budget Talks, Foreign Aid; Making Drugs More Accessible To Poor

Federal Government Shutdown Would Be Over Ideological Demands Of GOP, Not Spending “If the federal government shuts down at midnight on Friday – which seems likely unless negotiations take a sudden turn toward rationality – it will not be because of disagreements over spending. It will be because Republicans are refusing to…

Marking World Health Day, WHO Warns Misuse Of Antibiotics Undermining Global Fight Against Infectious Diseases

U.N. officials on Thursday marked World Health Day with a warning that “the misuse and irrational use of antibiotics has undermined the global fight against tuberculosis and malaria, warning of a possible return to the days before the drugs were developed,” and called for urgent action to control the spread of drug resistance, Reuters reports. In addition to growing resistance to TB and malaria treatments, “treatment for gonorrhea was threatened by growing resistance to the last-line treatment, and the WHO said hospital-acquired superbugs, resistant to major antibiotics, were becoming increasing frequent,” the news service writes (Mogato, 4/7).