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OPINION: To See An End To AIDS, International Community Must Put An End To TB

In this Politico opinion piece, Desmond Tutu, archbishop emeritus of Cape Town, South Africa, and Gerry Elsdon, a South African businesswoman and television host — both tuberculosis (TB) survivors — write that one priority at the XIX International AIDS Conference (AIDS 2012) in Washington, D.C., this week “should be spearheading a joint global effort against HIV and tuberculosis.” They write, “The rationale for a joint effort is clear,” adding, “Where HIV and TB are most common, the epidemics have merged, or are in the process of merging, into a single co-epidemic,” and “[t]hose whose immune systems are weakened by HIV are at extreme risk of dying from TB.” They conclude, “Thanks to a series of recent scientific breakthroughs, this week’s conference is the first in 30 years that has activists seriously contemplating the end of AIDS. Yet to see a real end to AIDS, we must put an end to TB. So let’s combine our efforts to reach these two goals” (7/24).

Lawmakers Call For Bipartisan Support For AIDS Funding At AIDS 2012 Panel Discussion

Rep. Barbara Lee (D-Calif.) and Sens. Chris Coons (D-Del.), Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) and Mike Enzi (R-Wyo.) on Wednesday at the XIX International AIDS Conference (AIDS 2012) in Washington, D.C., joined former Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist (R-Tenn.) for a panel discussion on bipartisanship “focusing on sustaining the engagement of the U.S. Congress in order to demonstrate and encourage continued U.S. leadership in the fight against global AIDS,” the Center for Global Health Policy’s “Science Speaks” blog reports (Mazzotta, 7/25). During the session, Rubio “expressed strong support for foreign aid, especially funding to combat HIV/AIDS,” and Lee “recounted with Frist the history of U.S. efforts to provide global funding,” CQ HealthBeat reports (Adams, 7/25). “‘We have to keep our eyes on the prize,’ and focus on moving forward and figuring out how to work together in a bipartisan way. It happened in the past, [Lee] said, and we can do it again,” “Science Speaks” writes (7/25). Coons “recommended the United States ‘double down’ on investments for AIDS,” in order to “‘innovate and cure our way out of this. That, I think, is in keeping with the optimism and the entrepreneurship of the American character,’ added Mr. Coons,” the Washington Times notes. The discussion was “punctuated by protesters with red umbrellas and signs calling for an end to the ‘criminalization’ of sex workers, drug addicts and other marginalized groups with AIDS,” the Washington Times writes (Wetzstein, 7/25).

NPR Interviews First Lady Of Haiti About Country's Progress Against HIV

As delegates from around the world convene for the XIX International AIDS Conference (AIDS 2012), NPR correspondent Michel Martin “speaks to Haiti’s First Lady Sophia Martelly about the Caribbean island’s progress against the epidemic and challenges that persist” in this interview from NPR’s “Tell Me More.” “I think the first thing I really would like people — not even to do, but to remember that, as I said previously, we are moving forward,” she says, adding, “It’s not about HIV. It’s not about earthquake. We are real. We are beautiful and we are making tremendous progress,” according to the interview transcript (7/25).

RECENT RELEASE: HHS Officials Discuss Take Away Messages From AIDS 2012

The AIDS.gov blog provides video footage of a conversation between Howard Koh, assistant secretary for health for the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) and Nils Daulaire, director of the Office of Global Affairs at HHS, which took place at the XIX International AIDS Conference. According to the blog, Daulaire discusses his role at the department and some of his take away messages from AIDS 2012 (7/25).

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.

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…

Also In Global Health News: Drought In Thailand; $2M To Trinidad And Tobago For HIV; Cultural Debate In Uganda HIV Prevention; Infectious Disease And IQ

FAO Predicts Drought Will Greatly Reduce Thailand’s Rice Export “Rice production in Thailand, the largest exporter of the grain, may drop to the lowest in eight years as drought and the spread of plant hoppers damage crops, according to the Food and Agriculture Organization,” Bloomberg reports (Suwannakij, 6/29). “For Thailand,…