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PEPFAR Releases 2012 Country Operational Plan Guidance

PEPFAR recently released its 2012 Country Operational Plan Guidance, “which highlights seven program priorities: increasing prevention of mother-to-child transmission (PMTCT) coverage and effectiveness; improving and refining the country’s approach to treatment; programming for prevention impact; TB/HIV integration; testing and counseling; training new health care providers; and capacity building,” according to…

Showing PEPFAR Effectiveness And Value Important In Face Of Budget Negotiations

With “[l]ooming budget cuts for FY2012 and recent reports about the decline in AIDS funding from the USG in FY2010 relative to FY2009 … now, more than ever, PEPFAR needs to better demonstrate the effectiveness and value of its programs,” Nandini Oomman, director of the HIV/AIDS Monitor at the Center…

Haitian Women Crossing The Border To Give Birth Overwhelm Dominican Health Care System

“Dominican hospitals and clinics are being overwhelmed by Haitian women … who make up roughly half of the patients giving birth in Dominican hospitals, officials here say,” the Washington Post reports. “They come because they don’t have access to health care in Haiti, especially since last year’s earthquake. They come because they can get free health care in the Dominican Republic each year, and so that they can have their babies in hospitals instead of on the floors of their homes,” the newspaper writes.

PrEP Raises Questions Regarding 'Risk Disinhibition' And Drug Resistance

Nature News reports on “the possibility of unintended public-health consequences” of pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP) for HIV and pharmaceutical company Gilead’s plan to ask the FDA to evaluate its combination antiretroviral (ARV) drug Truvada for use in healthy people.

MSF Warns Global Shortage Of Drug-Resistant TB Treatment Likely

As countries increase the use of the GeneXpert test, a two-hour molecular TB test released in 2010, “enabl[ing] them to diagnose more patients with drug-resistant tuberculosis (DR-TB), a worldwide shortage of the drugs to treat these patients is likely, Medecins Sans Frontieres (MSF) warns,” according to PlusNews.

Bayer Healthcare To Provide Over 600,000 Moxifloxacin Tablets To Fight MDR-TB In China

Bayer Healthcare announced on Monday it “has agreed to support the World Health Organization (WHO) and the Stop TB Partnership in the fight against multidrug-resistant tuberculosis (MDR-TB) by making 620,000 tablets of the antibiotic moxifloxacin available to WHO,” according to a Bayer press release. The WHO will provide the antibiotics to China’s…

Dutch Government To Release $143M In Frozen Qaddafi Funds To Buy Medicine For Libya

In response “to an urgent appeal from the WHO,” Dutch Foreign Minister Uri Rosenthal said on Monday that the country’s government is releasing $143 million “in frozen funds from Moammar Qaddafi’s regime and sending the money to the World Health Organization to buy medicine for the Libyan population,” according to Associated Press/Forbes. “Rosenthal said Monday he was able to free up the money only after [the] United Nations approved the plan, which will see medicines distributed to civilians in towns and cities held by both rebels and forces loyal to Qaddafi,” the AP writes (8/15).

East African Profiles New GAVI Alliance CEO Seth Berkley

The East African profiles Seth Berkley, the new CEO of the GAVI Alliance and founder and former CEO of the International AIDS Vaccine Initiative. “‘In my time at GAVI, I would like to see the vision of polio eradication and measles elimination come to pass. We want all the existing childhood immunizations and new generation vaccines, including those for malaria, TB and HIV, to be available to all children that need them,’ Dr. Berkley said,” the newspaper writes (Mwangi, 8/14).

PlusNews Examines Challenges To Burundi's PMTCT Program

“A shortage of health facilities and health workers, frequent drug shortages and a weak government policy mean HIV-positive pregnant women in Burundi often give birth without taking any precautions to prevent transmission of the virus to their children,” PlusNews reports.

South Africa Expands AIDS Program To Allow Earlier ARV Treatment

The South African National AIDS Council (SANAC) on Saturday endorsed a new National Health Council policy to expand the country’s AIDS program “to allow people living with HIV to start antiretroviral [ARV] treatment earlier” by raising the CD4 count necessary to access treatment from 200 to 350, Agence France-Presse reports (8/14). Health Minister Aaron Motsoaledi “said the plan would be integrated into the proposed National Health Insurance system,” SAPA/News24 writes (8/13).