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Daily Oral Antiretroviral Reduces HIV Infection Risk In MSM By 44%, Study Finds

A study that included nearly 2,500 HIV-negative men and transgender women who have sex with men has shown that a daily dose of Truvada, a pill containing the AIDS drugs emtricitabine and tenofovir, “can reduce risk of contracting [HIV] by an average of 44% – and by more than 70% if the subjects” follow the regimen closely, Los Angeles Times reports (Maugh, 11/23).

UNAIDS Report Finds New HIV Infections Dropped By 20% Over 10 Years, Deaths From AIDS-Related Illness Dropped By 20% Over 5 Years

The number of new HIV infections “has dropped by about one-fifth over the past decade but millions of people are still missing out on major progress in prevention and treatment,” according to the annual UNAIDS report released Tuesday, Agence France-Presse reports. “In 2009, 2.6 million people contracted the HIV virus that causes AIDS, a decline of 19 percent over the 3.1 million recorded in” 1999 the report found, according to the news service (11/23).

WHO Report Calls For Countries To Improve Access To Health Services

“Tens of millions of people are pushed into poverty each year as a result of rising costs for health care, the World Health Organization said Monday” as the agency released a report on financing health systems and universal coverage, Deutsche Presse-Agentur/M&C reports. It also highlights the vulnerability of populations without access to health care services and outlines the steps countries can take to move toward universal health care, according to the article (11/22).

First Global Symposium On Health Systems Research Kicks Off In Switzerland

The First Global Symposium on Health Systems Research bringing together researchers, policymakers and donors kicked off in Montreux, Switzerland, on Tuesday, with conference attendees calling for African leaders to do more to promote health progress in their countries, PANA/Afrique en ligne reports.

U.N. Report Highlights Gaps In Global Social Security Programs, Including Health Care

“Though basic social security is critical for mitigating the dire consequences of economic crises, it remains out of reach for most people across the world, above all in poorer countries,” according to a report (.pdf) released by the U.N. International Labour Organization (ILO) on Tuesday, IDN-InDepthNews reports. The report documents “gaps in access to social security programmes in vital areas such as health care, pensions, social assistance, and unemployment benefits,” according to the news service (Johnson, 11/16).

Report Documents Doctor Shortages In Africa

Africa is facing “an acute shortage of doctors,” as trained professionals are lured away by higher salaries and benefits, according to a report released last week, New Vision reports. The study, carried out by researchers from African Centre for Global Health and Social Transformation, George Washington University and the steering committee…

Also In Global Health News: Male Circumcisions In Zimbabwe; Ruling On China’s First HIV Discrimination Case; Business And Global Health; HIV/AIDS In Africa

USAID-Backed Program Facilitates Male Circumcisions In Zimbabwe The Canadian Press reports on how a USAID-backed program operating in Zimbabwe is helping provide male circumcision services. Despite what the article describes as tension between Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe and the U.S., the “program, begun in May 2009, has carried out 12,000 circumcisions. The U.S.…