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Recent Releases In Global Health

Developing World Access To Medication: “Access to life-saving, essential medicines must be improved,” Josh Ruxin, founder and director of the Access Project and director of Rwanda Works, writes in a Forbes’ “Science Business” blog. After looking at the debate over whether the free market can help improve access and examining programs,…

One-Third Of Malaria-Endemic Countries Are Complying With WHO Malaria Drug Efficacy Monitoring Standards, Report Says

Thirty-four percent of malaria-endemic countries are complying with WHO guidelines to monitor artemisinin resistance within their borders, the agency said in a report on Thursday, CBS News reports (11/18). Reuters reports that artemisinin “is the best drug available against malaria, especially when used in artemisinin combination therapy (ACT), which combines it with other drugs that finish off the [malaria] parasite” (Nebehay, 11/18).

New York Times Examines HIV Prevention Products Undergoing Clinical Trials

The New York Times examines several products being studied in clinical trials that researchers hope will one day prevent sexual transmission of HIV. The newspaper describes the ongoing trials of a vaginal microbicide gel containing the antiretroviral tenofovir which was found to reduce the risk of HIV infection in women by 39 percent, writing, “[o]ther clinical trials will report their results in 2011 and 2012 and, if all goes well, researchers hope to have a product or two ready to enter the market by 2013.”

To Reduce Spread Of HIV/AIDS, IFRC Calls For More Focus On IDU Programs

Ahead of World AIDS Day, the International Federation of the Red Cross on Friday released a report (.pdf) calling for governments around the world to do more to help stop the spread of HIV/AIDS among populations of injecting drug users (IDUs), the Associated Press reports (Heilprin, 11/25).

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).

NIH Announces It Will Share IP Rights To Some AIDS Drugs In UNITAID Patent Pool

The NIH announced Thursday “it will share intellectual property rights on some AIDS drugs in a patent pool designed to make treatments more widely available to the poor,” Reuters reports. The move makes the NIH the “the first research institution to join an HIV medicines patent pool launched by UNITAID, a health financing system funded by a tax on airline tickets which was co-founded by Brazil, Britain, Chile, France, and Norway in 2006,” the news service adds (Kelland, 9/30).

Also In Global Health News: Flooding, HIV Treatment Adherence, and Economic Growth In Africa; China Detects Superbug; U.S. Aid To Myanmar; Cash-Transfer Programs

1.8M Now Affected By Flooding In West And Central Africa; Hardest Hit-Benin Struggles With Disease, Damaged Health Centers Flooding continues to devastate Central and West Africa – more than 1.8 million people have been affected and 400 killed, according to the U.N., United Press International reports. “The nation of Benin has…

Also In Global Health News: Foreign Aid In Ethiopia; Elizabeth Glaser Pediatric AIDS Foundation; Health In Myanmar; Poverty In Zambia; Rwanda’s Progress on MDGs; Men Involved In PMTCT Of HIV

Ethiopian Government Restricting Opponents’ Access To Development Aid, Report Says Ethiopia’s government has been restricting access to food and other types of foreign aid among opposition supporters, Human Rights Watch (HRW) said in a report on Tuesday, Reuters reports (Malone, 10/19). The report is based on more than 200 interviews, conducted over…