“The World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) launched a consortium on Wednesday that would allow the public and private sector to share intellectual property to promote the development of new drugs to treat diseases such as malaria,” Reuters reports (10/26). “Under the agreement between [WIPO], … the companies and the non-profit BIO Ventures for Global Health (BVGH), public and private sector organizations will share valuable intellectual property (IP) and expertise with the global health research community on WIPO Re:Search, a virtual platform,” the U.N. News Centre writes (10/26).
Disconnecting Global AIDS From Reproductive Health Stalled Efforts to Expand Family Planning Services, UNFPA Head Says
Babatunde Osotimehin, the executive director of the U.N. Population Fund (UNPFA), said in an interview with the Guardian that “efforts to expand family planning services in the developing world stalled for a decade while global health organizations turned their energies to fighting HIV/AIDS. ‘We made a mistake. We disconnected HIV from reproductive health. We should never have done that because it is part and parcel,’ he said.” The newspaper adds, “Osotimehin said the international community was regaining momentum in its efforts to make family planning services available to women in all countries” and “argued it was crucial for developing countries to devote a larger share of their own resources to family planning and health.”
A study published Wednesday in the Journal of the International AIDS Society assessed how the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria’s “investments in HIV programs were targeted to key populations in relation to disease burden and national income,” concluding, “There has been a sustained scale up of the Global…
Focus On Global HIV/AIDS Epidemic Distracted From Family Planning Efforts, U.N. Population Fund Head Says
“The international community has ‘made a mistake’ with the intensity of its focus on the global HIV/AIDS epidemic and lost ground on family planning issues as a result,” Babatunde Osotimehin, the executive director of the U.N. Population Fund (UNPF), said in an interview with the Guardian. “Osotimehin said the international community was regaining momentum in its efforts to make family planning services available to women in all countries” and “argued it was crucial for developing countries to devote a larger share of their own resources to family planning and health,” the newspaper adds.
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.
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.
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).
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).
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 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.