“Cash-strapped Swaziland’s state hospitals have only two months’ supplies of AIDS drugs, the country’s health minister has told parliament in an assessment that AIDS patients and activists took as a death sentence,” the Associated Press/Seattle Times reports. More than 60,000 Swazis receive antiretroviral medicine at no cost from state-run hospitals.
Emmanuel Njeuhmeli, a senior biomedical prevention advisor in the USAID Office of HIV/AIDS, discusses efforts to raise awareness about male circumcision as a “cost saving and effective form of HIV prevention” in a post on USAID’s “Impact Blog.” Njeuhmeli highlights a video that “examines the expansion of male circumcision as an HIV prevention intervention and tells the story of how governments and communities in Kenya and Swaziland have embraced [voluntary medical male circumcision] in their countries. The goal of the film is to show that VMMC services can be replicated and expanded to reach the critical mass needed for maximum public health impact” (6/27).
NPR’s Morning Edition on Monday examined how a circumcision program in South Africa’s Kwa-Zulu Natal, run by the Society for Family Health at the Boom Street Community Health Clinic, “is gaining momentum” because of a decree issued last year by King Goodwill Zwelithini kaBhekuzulu about the importance of circumcision in helping to reduce the risk of HIV infection.
“Long heralded as a model for the global response to HIV/AIDS, Brazil is intensifying its actions, at home and abroad, in the face of potential setbacks including an arising need for new treatment regimens, the resultant increase in drug prices and the debate over intellectual property rights,” Inter Press Service…
UNAIDS’ Programme Coordinating Board, the agency’s governing body, this week unanimously endorsed the Unified Budget, Results and Accountability Framework 2012-2015, which “will ensure accountability in both programmatic results and in delivering value for money,” according to a UNAIDS press release. “The Board requested the UNAIDS Secretariat to produce annual reports on the implementation of the framework” and discussed how food and nutrition security can be integrated into HIV programming, the press release notes (6/23).
In its Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report, the CDC describes “global public health achievements â€¦ that occurred outside of the United States during 2001-2010.” Gains in public health efforts, such as preventing child mortality, malaria, and neglected tropical diseases, have improved longevity and “resulted from improved living conditions overall, advances in medical science, and a number of population-level interventions. However, major disparities persist. During the past decade, in low-income countries, average life expectancy at birth increased from 55 to 57 years (3.6%), while increasing from 78 to 80 years (2.6%) in high-income countries,” the article notes (6/24).
U.S. Global AIDS Coordinator Ambassador Eric Goosby writes about First Lady Michelle Obama’s trip to Africa and her focus on “youth leadership, education, health and wellness,” including HIV/AIDS, in this Office of National AIDS Policy blog post. “The Obama Administration is more committed than ever to build on the successes of the last decade and to continue to work with other governments and partners as we all work toward our shared goal of a world without HIV/AIDS. And we hope the millions of lives saved to date will inspire youth in Africa and around the world to continue their fight for an HIV-free future,” he writes (6/23).
First Lady Michelle Obama’s trip to Africa this week “is focusing national attention on the serious U.S. strategic interests on the continent,” Steve Morrison, director of the Global Health Policy Center at the Center for Strategic and International Studies, and Lisa Carty, deputy director of the CSIS center, write in a Politico opinion piece.
“Michelle Obama on Friday began the second leg of her weeklong visit to Africa by wielding a brush to help paint a mural” at the Botswana-Baylor Children’s Clinical Center of Excellence in the capital city of Gaborone, the Associated Press reports. The clinic serves 4,000 children and their families who have been affected by HIV/AIDS, according to the news service (Superville, 6/24).
First Lady Michelle Obama, who is on a trip to Africa, “urged young Africans on Wednesday to fight for women’s rights and battle the stigma of AIDS, using her husband’s ‘yes, we can’ campaign slogan to motivate youth across the continent,” Reuters reports.