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South African HIV Cases Fall Slightly To 5.4M, But New Infections Continue To Outpace Prevention Efforts

“The number of people living with HIV in South Africa has dropped slightly to 5.38 million, and the number of AIDS deaths is finally starting to fall, Deputy President Kgalema Motlanthe said Thursday … in a written reply to a question from parliament, where lawmakers had asked for an update on the success of the anti-AIDS fight,” Agence France-Presse reports. “South Africa has more HIV infections than any country in the world, previously estimated at 5.6 million by the United Nations in its global report on HIV in 2009, released late last year,” the news agency writes (8/25).

Forum For Collaborative HIV Research Discusses PrEP

Following an August 19 meeting convened by the Forum for Collaborative HIV Research to explore recent findings showing the success of pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP), “conference participants urged healthcare providers and the public to await further guidance from the CDC and FDA before considering using PrEP. However, if providers believe that initiating…

IRIN Reports On HIV-Positive Kenyans' Struggle To Reach Food Aid

IRIN reports on the difficulties some people living with HIV in Kenya face in accessing food. “Partly because of a prolonged dry spell, some 3.6 million Kenyans need emergency food assistance,” and, while there is food aid available in Kenya, poor roads prevent the aid from reaching some villages, according to IRIN.

Global Fund To Resume Suspended Grants To China

The Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria, which “froze disbursements of its AIDS grant to China in November and all other grants in May over suspected misuse of the money and the government’s reluctance to involve community groups, … said Tuesday that it was lifting the freeze on financing to ensure that AIDS work in China continued while it worked with government officials, representatives from United Nations agencies and private groups to resolve the dispute,” the Associated Press reports.

Showing PEPFAR Effectiveness And Value Important In Face Of Budget Negotiations

With “[l]ooming budget cuts for FY2012 and recent reports about the decline in AIDS funding from the USG in FY2010 relative to FY2009 … now, more than ever, PEPFAR needs to better demonstrate the effectiveness and value of its programs,” Nandini Oomman, director of the HIV/AIDS Monitor at the Center…

NPR Interviews Author Of Study On Emerging HIV Epidemic Among MSM In MENA

NPR’s health blog “Shots” interviewed Laith Abu-Raddad of the Weill Cornell Medical College in Qatar, co-author of a recent study published in PLoS Medicine that showed “[m]ore than five percent of men who have sex with men are infected by HIV in” the Middle East and North Africa (MENA), about “the challenges of researching such a taboo topic.” Abu-Raddad discusses his motivations for pursuing the study, data collection challenges and surprises in the data, the blog notes (Thrasybule, 8/19).

Isolation of HIV Antibodies Advances Search For AIDS Vaccine

A team of researchers has “identified 17 potent antibodies whose discovery opened up valuable pathways in the search for an AIDS vaccine,” Agence France-Presse reports (8/17). The researchers “at and associated with the International AIDS Vaccine Initiative (IAVI), the Scripps Research Institute, the biotechnology company Theraclone Sciences and Monogram Biosciences Inc., a LabCorp company, report in the current issue of Nature” that the antibodies are “capable of neutralizing a broad spectrum of variants of HIV, the virus that causes AIDS,” according to a joint press release (8/17).

PrEP Raises Questions Regarding 'Risk Disinhibition' And Drug Resistance

Nature News reports on “the possibility of unintended public-health consequences” of pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP) for HIV and pharmaceutical company Gilead’s plan to ask the FDA to evaluate its combination antiretroviral (ARV) drug Truvada for use in healthy people.

Global AIDS Funding In 2010 Down Nearly 10% From Previous Year, Kaiser/UNAIDS Report Says

“Spending on the global fight against AIDS fell significantly in 2010 for the first time since the U.S. and other governments began making major donations,” according to an annual funding analysis released Monday by the Kaiser Family Foundation and UNAIDS, the Wall Street Journal reports. “All told, governments donated about $6.9 billion in 2010, down 9.7 percent from about $7.6 billion in the prior year, the report said,” the newspaper writes (McKay, 8/16).

Examining The Use Of The 'ABC Safe Sex' Campaign In Botswana

In this World Policy Blog post, Julie Mellin, editorial assistant at the World Policy Journal, reflects on her experience as a Peace Corps volunteer in Botswana to examine the “ABC (Abstain, Be Faithful and Condomize) … safe sex” campaign, “[o]ne of the campaigns most highly funded by the international community (especially…