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Top South Africa Aims To Close Drug Patent Loophole That Allows For ‘Ever-Greening’

“South Africa plans to overhaul its intellectual property laws to improve access to cheaper medicines by making it harder for pharmaceutical firms to register and roll-over patents for drugs, a senior official said on Monday,” Reuters reports. The efforts to close “a loophole known as ‘ever-greening,’ whereby drug companies slightly…

MAMA Initiative Using Mobile Technologies To Help Mothers, Newborns In South Africa

PBS Newshour’s “The Rundown” blog examines “the Mobile Alliance for Maternal Action, affectionately known as MAMA — a global movement that uses mobile technologies to improve the health and lives of mothers in developing nations.” According to the blog, “MAMA provides pregnant women and new mothers with vital information and…

Decline In AIDS-Related Deaths In S. Africa Attributed To Expanded Treatment Program

“One in 10 South Africans is HIV-positive but AIDS-related deaths are falling as ramped-up treatment begins to have an impact, the country’s official statistics agency said Tuesday,” Agence France-Presse reports. According to data from Statistics South Africa’s mid-year report, HIV/AIDS “will be responsible for 32 percent of all deaths this…

CSIS Releases Compilation Of Papers On China’s Health, Foreign Aid Engagement In Africa

The Center for Strategic & International Studies (CSIS) released a compilation of papers “[f]ocusing specifically on China’s health and foreign aid engagement in Africa,” which “includes contributions by U.S. and Chinese experts.” According to the organization’s website, the papers “were written for the Conference on China’s Emerging Global Health and Foreign Aid Engagement,…

GlobalPost Examines U.S. Response To HIV/AIDS ‘Scientific Advances, Economic Realities’

GlobalPost examines the “collision of scientific advances vs. economic realities” in the fight against HIV/AIDS in a special report as part of its “Healing the World” series. “Thirty years after the discovery of AIDS, scientists believe for the first time that they now have the tools to beat back the deadly virus. … But the gloomy global economic situation, and recent scale-backs in HIV funding around the world, have cast great doubt as to whether policymakers will take advantage of the combination of new prevention tools to fight AIDS,” the article states, noting that “President Obama is expected on Thursday — World AIDS Day — to talk about his administration’s next steps on AIDS, … his first major speech on AIDS as president” (Donnelly, 11/30).

Prioritizing HIV/AIDS Prevention And Treatment

In his ForeignPolicy.com column, Charles Kenny, a senior fellow at the Center for Global Development and a Schwartz fellow at the New America Foundation, writes that despite an “abundance of tools to fight the global AIDS epidemic,” including male circumcision and treatment as prevention, “the breakthroughs don’t amount to a global reprieve.” The Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria’s announcement it is postponing Round 11 grants, “on top of news that donor funding for HIV/AIDS leveled in 2009 and then declined 10 percent in 2010, should be a wake-up call to focus on cost-effective responses,” he writes.

16th International Conference On AIDS, STIs Opens In Ethiopia

The 16th International Conference on AIDS and Sexually Transmitted Infections (STIs) in Africa (ICASA) opened Sunday in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, “with mixed messages of hope and fear,” Afrique en ligne reports, adding, “With about 7,000 people in attendance, the opening ceremony witnessed the celebration of past successes and fear over future uncertainties in funding for HIV/AIDS” (12/4). According to Next, the conference “will provide a platform for effective African solution toward defeating the scourge once and for all” (12/5).

Incorporate Other Diseases Into Fight Against AIDS

“The public and private sectors have achieved remarkable success in Africa in the battle against AIDS, and the question now is: Where do we go from here?” James Glassman, founding executive director of the George W. Bush Institute and former under secretary of state for public affairs and public diplomacy, writes in this Forbes opinion piece. Noting the “incredible accomplishment” made in fighting HIV/AIDS over the past decade, Glassman says “the first answer to where we go from here is more of the same, and then some,” and states that the UNAIDS targets of “Zero new HIV infections” and “Zero AIDS-related deaths” “soun[d] right.”

PlusNews Examines African Government Funding For, Engagement In HIV Research

“Unless African governments increase their funding for and engagement in HIV research, the continent cannot hope to attain equal status in determining its research agenda and priorities, speakers said at the 16th International Conference on AIDS and Sexually Transmitted Infections (STIs) in Africa,” PlusNews reports. “Donor-driven funding often means that research starts and ends on the say-so of funders, rather than being based on a country’s needs,” the news service writes. The article includes comments from researchers, funders, and representatives of research initiatives (12/9).