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PlusNews Examines Shortages Of HIV Treatment Supplies In Swaziland

PlusNews examines Swaziland’s national shortages of antiretroviral (ARV) stocks, HIV tests, and lab tests necessary to initiate and manage HIV patients on treatment, and the country’s efforts to find funding to prevent stock-outs of these supplies. “Despite several bail-outs this year by international donors, neighboring countries and international NGOs, Swaziland remains in the grips of a months-long shortage of lab reagents needed for CD4 count testing, which measures the immune system’s strength and is needed to start patients on ARVs, as well as toxicity testing important in monitoring patients’ responses to treatment,” the news service writes, noting that funding received in April from PEPFAR will help supply first-line ARVs through April 2012 (11/15). According to BBC News, about 65,000 of the country’s 230,000 people living with HIV relies on state hospitals for ARVs (Simelane, 11/15).

Malawi Government Addressing Drug, Medical Supply Shortages In Wake Of Aid Withdrawals

As international donors “remain reluctant to release aid meant for the health sector” in Malawi “amid allegations of pilfering and corruption in the procurement of drugs,” “patients seeking medical treatment at government-run medical facilities are unable to access medication such as antiretrovirals (ARVs), anti-malarial drugs and even painkillers,” Inter Press Service reports, adding, “Health facilities are also experiencing a shortage of medical equipment such as gloves, and malaria and HIV/AIDS testing kits.”

Austerity Measures In Europe May Cause Rise In Drug-Related HIV Infections, Report Says

“Austerity measures brought in to tackle Europe’s economic crisis may cause a rise in drug-related HIV infections as stretched health services struggle to cope, the E.U.’s narcotics agency said on Tuesday,” Reuters reports. “Greece, which is facing huge cutbacks, reported a large outbreak of HIV infections among drug users in July, the Lisbon-based agency said in its yearly report,” the news agency writes, noting, “New infections were also reported in Bulgaria, Estonia and Lithuania, it added.”

IAVI Policy Brief Examines HIV Vaccine Funding

A new policy brief from the International AIDS Vaccine Initiative (IAVI) “summarizes data on HIV vaccine R&D funding trends originally published by the HIV Vaccines and Microbicides Resource Tracking Working Group in 2011,” according to the IAVI website. “The crucial addition of a preventive HIV vaccine to [a comprehensive biomedical HIV prevention]…

PEPFAR’s Commitment To Eliminating Gender-Based Violence

In anticipation of the Sixteen Days of Activism Against Gender Violence, a campaign which starts on the International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women on November 25, Daniela Ligiero, senior adviser for gender at the Office of the Global AIDS Coordinator, reports on PEPFAR’s commitment to address gender-based…

Clinton’s Speech Prioritizing Creation Of ‘AIDS-Free Generation’ May Shape Future Of U.S. Global Health Strategy, Analysts Say

U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s November 8 speech at the NIH, in which she called for the creation of an “AIDS-free generation” through the use of combination prevention strategies, “could be more than just political lip-service: it may also shape the next several years of U.S. global health programming and funding, analysts say,” PlusNews reports. “‘It’s the first time the U.S. has outlined a policy goal on how to reach an AIDS-free generation,’ explained Jennifer Kates,” vice president and director of Global Health & HIV Policy at the Kaiser Family Foundation, the news service writes. “Natasha Bilimoria, president of the Friends of the Global Fight Against AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria, … says she hopes Clinton’s ‘incredibly strong message’ will be backed by strong funding commitments for the next financial year,” the news service writes (11/14).

Study Examines Abortion Services For Women Living With HIV In Brazil, Namibia, S. Africa

In this paper published in the Journal of the International AIDS Society, researchers from South Africa, Namibia, Brazil, and the U.S. “explore the existing evidence related to global and country-specific barriers to safe abortion for all women, with an emphasis on research gaps around the right of women living with HIV…

Experts Discuss Treatment As Prevention At USAID-, World Bank-Sponsored Debate

In this post in the Center for Global Development’s “Global Health Policy” blog, Amanda Glassman, director of Global Health Policy and a research fellow at the center, reports on last week’s USAID- and World Bank-sponsored debate on treatment as prevention, “where debaters were asked to support or oppose the proposition…

Increased Access To PMTCT Needed To End Pediatric AIDS, Build An ‘AIDS-Free Generation’

In this post in the Huffington Post’s “Impact” blog, Charles Lyons, president and CEO of the Elizabeth Glaser Pediatric AIDS Foundation, responds to Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s speech at the NIH last week in which she called for an “AIDS-free generation,” writing, “As Secretary Clinton pointed out, we’ve never before had as many tools to get ahead of the disease as we do now,” such as male circumcision and treatment as prevention, “[b]ut one of the cornerstones of her strategy to create an AIDS-free generation is a tool we’ve actually had in our arsenal for a long time: the ability to prevent mother-to-child transmission of HIV.”

Annual European CDC Report Says Infectious Diseases, Drug Resistance Are Concerns

“Europe’s health is suffering, with around 80,000 cases of tuberculosis infection a year and serious problems with measles, HIV and threats from ‘superbug’ infections, an annual health report” from the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC) said Thursday, Reuters reports. The report said infectious diseases and antibiotic resistance, especially multi-drug resistance, are major concerns, according to the news service. The “report also identified several emergent diseases in Europe it said might pose a risk to public health,” including West Nile virus, malaria, dengue fever and chikungunya, Reuters notes.