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Report Examines Political History Of International AIDS Conferences

In this post in the Center for Strategic & International Studies’ (CSIS) “Smart Global Health” blog, Katherine Bliss, deputy director and senior fellow at the CSIS Global Health Policy Center, discusses a report — titled, “The International AIDS Conference Returns to the United States” — that “examines the political history of the international AIDS conferences from 1985 to the present.” She writes, “The report finds that the most significant conferences from participants’ point of view have featured either major scientific breakthroughs, such as the 1996 Vancouver meeting, or substantial sociopolitical breakthroughs, as in Durban in 2000, when unprecedented civil society engagement helped generate momentum for the development of an international consensus to institute and scale up treatment for HIV-infected populations in resource-limited settings” (3/29).

CDC Director Provides Update On AIDS Epidemic In Anticipation Of AIDS 2012 Conference

In anticipation of the AIDS 2012 conference, to be held in Washington, D.C., from July 22-27, CDC Director Thomas Frieden spoke at the Washington-based Center for Strategic & International Studies, where he provided an update on the epidemic in the U.S. and abroad, VOA News reports. Frieden provided statistics on HIV infection and death rates; recounted “trying to treat hundreds of patients in the early days of the epidemic,” before treatment was available; and said that “around the world, … HIV/AIDS remains the biggest infectious disease challenge more than 30 years into the epidemic,” the news service writes.

U.S. Global AIDS Coordinator Discusses AIDS 2012 Conference

“For the first time in over 20 years, the biennial International AIDS Conference will be hosted on American soil,” U.S. Global AIDS Coordinator Ambassador Eric Goosby writes in this post in the AIDS.gov blog. “From July 22 to 27, AIDS 2012 will convene scientists, health professionals, policymakers and those affected by AIDS in Washington, D.C., to assess progress to date and identify next steps in the global response,” he writes. He notes, “The conference theme, Turning the Tide Together, underscores the pivotal moment in which AIDS 2012 is taking place,” and discusses the role that the U.S. has played in achieving scientific progress in the fight against AIDS since it was identified 30 years ago (3/15).

Blueprint For AIDS-Free Generation Must Allow HIV Funds To Be Used For Family Planning

In the Huffington Post’s “Politics” blog, Serra Sippel, president of the Center for Health and Gender Equity, notes that Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton said at the XIX International AIDS Conference in July that all women should be able to decide “when and whether to have children” and that PEPFAR, in a guidance [.pdf] released last week, said, “Voluntary family planning should be part of comprehensive quality care for persons living with HIV,” and referred to family planning as a human right. “Then, in bold type, they punctuated it with, ‘PEPFAR funds may not be used to purchase family planning commodities,'” she writes. “They take it a step further with a caveat that before anyone decides they’d like their program to have anything to do with family planning, they had best consult relevant U.S. legal counsel first,” she adds. “To be fair, they do say that PEPFAR programs can just refer women to a different program that offers family planning,” but those programs are not always available, Sippel writes, adding, “So the suggestion is flawed from the start.”

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,…