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PBS’ NewHour Examines Health Insurance For ‘Urban Poor’ In Pakistan

PBS’ NewsHour special correspondent Saima Mohsin on Monday reported from Pakistan on “an innovative health insurance plan for the urban poor.” In Pakistan, 99 percent of the country’s low-income population does not have health insurance, and this plan, called Naya Jeevan, “hopes to change that. … The equivalent of just $2.50 a month provides access to private health care and, crucially, regular health checks for contagious or infectious diseases as a preventive measure for a country that is still battling polio, malaria and hepatitis.”

EDITORIAL: Study Results Show Need For More Data On HIV Prevention Economics

A recent study showing a “near-perfect way to halt sexual transmission of the AIDS virus has the potential to change the way international agencies and nations cope with the epidemic. But that can only happen if troubling issues of cost and practicality can be surmounted,” a New York Times editorial says.

AIDS Mortality In China Drops By Nearly Two Thirds Since 2002 When Country Began Free Treatment Program

China’s HIV/AIDS-related mortality has dropped from 39.3 per 100 person-years in 2002 to 14.2 in 2009, or 64 percent, since the nation began providing free antiretroviral therapy (ART) in 2002, according to a study conducted by researchers from the Chinese Center for Disease Control and Prevention and published online Wednesday in Lancet Infectious Diseases, the New York Times reports (McNeil, 5/18).

Sanofi Hopes To Launch Dengue Vaccine In 2014

France’s Sanofi-Pasteur, the world’s largest vaccine maker, said Friday it hopes to introduce a dengue vaccine in 2014 to some high-risk nations, AlertNet reports.

Scientists ‘Tinker’ With HIV Drug Chemistry Hoping To Reduce Costs

The Clinton Health Access Initiative, founded by former President Bill Clinton, with funding from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and the U.K. government, has hired former pharmaceutical company scientists “to tinker with the chemistry used to synthesize a key [HIV] drug, tenofovir, reducing the cost of manufacturing,” the Wall Street Journal reports.

Early HIV Treatment Can Reduce Transmission Risk By 96%, Study Results Show

Results from a multicountry clinical trial, sponsored by the National Institute for Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID), show that HIV-positive people who take combination antiretroviral therapy (ART) can reduce the risk of transmitting the virus to their HIV-negative partners by 96 percent, U.S. researchers announced on Thursday “[i]n what is being hailed as a breakthrough in HIV prevention,” the Los Angeles Times reports (Maugh, 5/13).