PEPFAR on Wednesday “announced awards for a new initiative totaling $45 million over four years to examine the effectiveness of combination approaches to HIV prevention. These evaluations of combination prevention will be the largest and most robust to date. Data gathered will help partner countries to strengthen their efforts to…
Gender Disparities In Developing Countries Relatively Small At Birth But Grow In Adolescence, UNICEF Report Says
A UNICEF report (.pdf) released on Tuesday suggests that gender disparities between boys and girls in developing countries are relatively small in children’s early years, but as children approach adolescence, gaps widen in areas such as education, health, nutrition and protection, Xinhua reports (9/13). According to the report, “[h]ealth and education disparities between boys and girls in developing countries tend not to emerge until adolescence, when girls face increased risks of child marriage, HIV/AIDS infection and domestic violence,” TrustLaw writes.
European Development Commissioner Andris Piebalgs announced during a visit to South Africa on Monday that the European Union (E.U.) “will contribute 126 million euros to South Africa’s fight against AIDS and tuberculosis (TB),” money that “will be used to improve South Africa’s primary health care system, increasing access for patients,” Reuters reports (9/12).
When the only community health care center providing medical and psychosocial care for people living with HIV/AIDS in India’s northernmost state of Jammu and Kashmir “closed down [six months ago] for lack of patients, it was a sure sign that the north Indian state had beaten back dire forecasts,” Inter Press Service reports.
After a landmark study published in May “showed major reductions in HIV transmission among discordant couples due to early treatment,” Rwanda has decided to begin treating people in discordant relationships with antiretroviral therapy as soon as they test HIV-positive “as part of a plan to boost national HIV prevention and treatment efforts,” PlusNews reports. “According to the government, an estimated 7.1 percent of cohabiting couples seeking voluntary counseling and testing services in the capital, Kigali, are HIV discordant,” and “[i]nfections within stable relationships have been identified as one of the main sources of new cases in Rwanda,” according to the news agency.
“An acute government funding crisis in Swaziland, Africa’s last absolute monarchy, is disrupting supplies of HIV/AIDS drugs and hampering the fight against the virus in the country with the world’s highest infection rate, Medecins Sans Frontiers (MSF) said Friday,” Reuters reports. “Stocks of testing kits and related chemicals were ‘almost dry,’ making it next-to-impossible to chart the progress of the 70,000 patients on therapy or more than 130,000 other people carrying the virus, the aid agency said,” according to Reuters.
“Having to contend with U.S. army drones and the crossfire between the Taliban and the Pakistani army, the residents of Pakistan’s tribal areas find access to treatment for HIV/AIDS harder than in most other parts of the world,” Inter Press Service reports. People with HIV/AIDS living “in the Federally Administered Tribal Areas (FATA) must cross the porous border into Afghanistan and take a circuitous route to Peshawar, capital of the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province, to get timely anti-retroviral treatment (ART),” at a family care center established by the Pakistan government and the WHO, the news service writes.
Transitioning Lead Responsibilities From U.S. To South Africa In The Countries' Partnership Against HIV/AIDS
In this CSIS “Smart Global Health” blog post, J. Stephen Morrison, senior vice president of CSIS and director of the Global Health Policy Center at CSIS, outlines “five key steps that the U.S. can take, in close partnership with South Africa, to reduce … risks and raise the prospects of success” as the countries undergo a transition in lead responsibilities from the U.S. to South Africa in their partnership against HIV/AIDS in South Africa, a transition that Morrison writes is “highly fraught with risks.”
“There is no doubt that” a 10 percent reduction in funding from donor governments for the AIDS response in low- and middle-income countries in 2010 from the previous year’s levels “is linked to economic strain felt by countries across the globe,” a VOA News editorial says. “UNAIDS estimates that an investment of at least $22 billion will be needed by 2015 in order to avert more than seven million deaths,” the editorial states, adding, “It is clear that continued support to HIV prevention and treatment is a necessary investment, even in these difficult times.”
“Burundian NGOs say at least 20 people have died” as a result of a “months-long shortage” of antiretroviral drugs (ARVs), although “Ministry of Health officials could not be reached to confirm the number of people affected,” PlusNews reports. “More than 60,000 Burundians need HIV treatment, but only about 25,000 have access to ARVs,” according to the news agency, which adds, “The shortage has been blamed on dwindling donor funds and a disorganized health ministry.”