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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.”

U.N., U.S. Re-Evaluate HIV/AIDS Treatment Targets

Ahead of the U.N. High Level Meeting on AIDS, scheduled for June 8-10 in New York, “public-health leaders face a paradox: New evidence suggests the epidemic can finally be controlled, but that would demand increased spending at a time of severe global budget restraints,” the Wall Street Journal reports. Preliminary estimates from the Kaiser Family Foundation and UNAIDS show last year donor funding for HIV/AIDS fell for the first time since the beginning of the epidemic, according to the newspaper.

UNAIDS Director Says Pope’s Comments On Condoms Open Dialogue For HIV Prevention

UNAIDS Executive Director Michel Sidibe on Saturday “told a Vatican conference [Pope Benedict XVI] had opened the door to greater dialogue with his groundbreaking comments on condoms and HIV prevention – even as Vatican officials stressed abstinence and marital fidelity as the best prevention,” the Associated Press reports.

AIDS 2010 Opinions: U.S. Funding for Global HIV/AIDS Programs; Empowering Women, Girls In Fight Against HIV/AIDS

Global Health Leaders Respond To Recent New York Times’ Opinion Pieces Two global health leaders respond to AIDS-related opinion pieces in the New York Times letters section. The first letter, Ambassador Eric Goosby, U.S. Global AIDS Coordinator, addresses an opinion piece by Desmond Tutu, archbishop emeritus of Cape Town and honorary chairman of the Global AIDS…

Global Fund Director Calls On Emerging Countries To Invest More In Programs To Reduce HIV/AIDS, TB And Malaria At AIDS 2010

On the final day of the International AIDS Conference-AIDS 2010 Friday, Michel Kazatchkine, executive director of the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria called upon “China, India and other fast-growing economies” to chip in to help close the funding gap in efforts to battle HIV/AIDS, Agence France-Presse reports. “Until now, these countries have been recipients of AIDS funds, not donors,” the news service writes.

New HIV Treatment Strategy Could Reduce HIV-Related Deaths By 10M In 15 Years, UNAIDS Says

UNAIDS on Tuesday outlined a new strategy, called “Treatment 2.0,” to simplify the provision of HIV treatment and improve global access to antiretrovirals (ARVs), Reuters reports. The agency says the plan could prevent up to 10 million AIDS-related deaths by 2025 and reduce the number of new HIV infections annually by up to one million, if all people in need receive treatment, according to the news service.

AP Further Examines How PEPFAR Helped Inform New U.S. Domestic HIV/AIDS Strategy

“The national strategy for combatting HIV and AIDS the Obama administration released Tuesday credits the Bush-era international campaign against AIDS for setting clear targets and ensuring a variety of agencies and groups worked together smoothly to achieve them,” the Associated Press writes in a piece that examines how PEPFAR served to inform the national strategy.

Also In Global Health News: Ill Russian Prisoners; Afghan Drug Users Risk Awareness; China’s AIDS Activists Face Pressure; Foreign Aid Documentary; World Bank Africa Strategy

More Than Half Of Russian Prisoners Ill, Many With HIV, TB “Almost half of inmates in Russia’s notorious prison system are ill, many infected with HIV or with tuberculosis, the country’s Federal Prison Service said late Tuesday,” Reuters reports. Out of 846,000 prisoners, 55,000 are infected with HIV and 40,000…