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Universal HIV Screening In ERs Not Practical, French Study Suggests

Universal HIV screening in the ER is not a practical option, researchers from France’s Emergency Department HIV-Screening Group write in a study published in the Archives of Internal Medicine on Monday, Reuters reports. According to the study, “[m]ore than 1,100 people would have to be offered HIV tests in the emergency room to find just one new infection,” Reuters notes.

Tenofovir Gel Confirmed To Be Effective Against Herpes In Lab Experiment, Study Shows

Data from lab experiments published online by the journal Cell Host and Microbes last week show that the gel form of the antiretroviral tenofovir, which is being investigated as an HIV prevention method, works to inhibit the reproduction of herpes virus in tonsil and cervical tissue, the New York Times reports.

JAMA Examines KFF/UNAIDS Analysis On Global HIV/AIDS Funding

A news and perspectives piece in the current issue of JAMA examines a recent funding analysis from the Kaiser Family Foundation and UNAIDS showing that “[g]overnments that support treatment and services for people with HIV/AIDS in low- and middle-income countries cut their annual contributions in 2010 by 10 percent,” spending $6.9 billion last year compared with $7.6 billion in 2009. The article quotes Bernhard Schwartlander, the UNAIDS director for evidence, strategy, and results; Drew Altman, president and CEO of the Kaiser Family Foundation; and Sharonann Lynch, HIV/AIDS policy adviser with the Campaign for Access to Essential Medicines of Medecins Sans Frontieres (Voelker, 10/19).

HIV/AIDS Clinic In Pakistan Working To Fight Stigma, Provide Treatment

Inter Press Service reports on the Family Care Centre for people living with HIV/AIDS in Pakistan, which opened in Peshawar on September 1 “in the hope of breaking the stigma surrounding HIV/AIDS” in a region where myths surrounding the disease and its transmission are prevalent. “The first of its kind in South Asia, the Centre will serve as a diagnostic and treatment facility for people living with HIV/AIDS, as well as offer counseling services to affected family members,” according to IPS. “The center already has 600 registered patients including 175 from neighboring Afghanistan, all of whom will receive free antiretroviral treatment (ART) imported from the WHO in India,” the news service writes (Yusufzai, 10/21).

E-Voucher Program Providing Food To Malnourished Zimbabweans Living With HIV, TB

An electronic voucher system, introduced by the World Food Programme (WFP) and implemented by the health ministry and non-governmental organizations, is helping Zimbabweans living with HIV/AIDS and tuberculosis (TB) and their families obtain food and fight malnutrition, PlusNews reports. “The program supports about 5,000 patients and their families with essential food items and is operating at seven health facilities in the capital [Harare] and has been extended to the second-largest city, Bulawayo,” the news service writes.

Treating TB, HIV Co-Infections Early, Aggressively Can Save Lives, Multiple Studies Show

“Treating tuberculosis (TB) and HIV infections at the same time can be a challenge for patients and their doctors, but attacking both diseases early and aggressively isn’t harmful and could save the lives of those who are sickest,” according to a global study led by researchers from the University of California, San Francisco (UCSF) and published Wednesday in the New England Journal of Medicine (NEJM), the San Francisco Chronicle reports. The study found that patients whose immune systems have been most damaged by HIV were 40 percent less likely to die or develop AIDS if they began antiretroviral treatment (ART) “two weeks after starting TB treatment, instead of waiting eight to 12 weeks, as is commonly done now,” the newspaper writes.

Study Examines Potential Benefits Of Discordant Couple HIV Therapy

A new study published online in the journal AIDS uses mathematical models to predict the potential impact of treating discordant couples with antiretroviral therapy, according to a Columbia University Mailman School of Public Health press release. Researchers from ICAP at the Mailman School and UCLA’s Center for Biomedical Modeling made predictions…

Kenya Aims To Reduce Preventable Deaths By 50% By December 2012

GlobalPost’s “Global Pulse” blog examines how Kenya is working to decrease the number of preventable deaths under a “recently launched … campaign called ‘Let’s Live,’ which sets a target of reducing preventable deaths in Kenya by 50 percent by December 2012.” Achieving that goal “would be an historic feat. But the country could seriously decrease numbers of preventable deaths if it used currently available health tools, such as the rotavirus vaccine,” the blog writes (Donnelly, 10/18).

HIV Advocates In Uganda 'Losing Faith' As Country Works To Prevent, Treat New Infections, PlusNews Reports

PlusNews examines how “corruption scandals, frequent treatment shortages and accusations of a misguided prevention program” have undermined progress in the fight against HIV/AIDS in Uganda, a country that had “won plaudits in the early days of the epidemic for the aggressive stance taken by President Yoweri Museveni.” Uganda “lowered its HIV prevalence from 18 percent in the early 1990s to about six percent in 2000,” the news service notes. According to PlusNews, “Some of Uganda’s most active campaigners in its 30-year fight against HIV are losing faith in the government’s ability to effectively counter the epidemic as the country struggles to provide treatment and prevent more than 100,000 new infections every year.”