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Also In Global Health News: Profiles Of CDC, USAID Leaders; HIV/AIDS In Kenya; Food Aid In Tanzania; Hunger In North Korea; Food Self-Sufficiency In Africa

New York Times Features Profiles Of USAID’s Shah, CDC’s Frieden The New York Times examines the recent changes at the CDC – “considered one of the world’s premier public health agencies, responsible for tracking the spread of infectious disease, distributing vaccines and monitoring the causes of sickness and deaths” – since Director Thomas…

Sidibe Calls For A ‘Prevention Revolution’ To Fight HIV/AIDS

UNAIDS head Michel Sidibe on Monday called for a “prevention revolution” to fight HIV/AIDS and addressed laws he says make high-risk groups more vulnerable to the disease, the Associated Press reports. Speaking to a group of journalists in New York, Sidibe “said ‘it is unacceptable’ that 85 countries still have laws criminalizing same sex relations among adults, including seven that impose the death penalty for homosexual practices,” the news service writes.

EU-India Free-Trade Negotiations Could Limit Access To Affordable, Generic Drugs, Advocacy Group Says

The advocacy group Medecins Sans Frontieres (MSF) recently warned that free-trade negotiations between the EU and India could limit access to “affordable generic drugs” for people in India and the rest of the developing world, Reuters reports. “Back in 2005 India granted patents on medicines to respect international trade rules and MSF said a new free-trade agreement now under negotiation would tighten these rules,” the news service writes. The EU said it has not requested that India stop producing low-cost generic drugs.

Opinions: Discrimination Against Sexual Orientation; WFP In Somalia; Haiti’s Recovery; WHO’s Policy Role

Discrimination Against Sexual Orientation Are ‘Backward Steps’ For Human Rights In Africa In a Washington Post opinion piece, Desmond Tutu, archbishop emeritus of Cape Town, South Africa, and Nobel Peace Prize recipient, speaks out against efforts to deny individuals “their fundamental rights and freedoms” based on their sexual orientation. Tutu cites cases in…

Experts Discuss PEPFAR Funding In Congressional Hearing

At a recent hearing of the House Subcommittee on Africa and Global Health, “[i]nternational health organisations working to help check the spread of AIDS in Africa said meagre increases in funds from the U.S. government this year would be a step backwards. Some experts also emphasised that prevention must get appropriate attention in any fight against the disease,” Inter Press Service reports.

Recent Releases In Global Health

Lancet Comment Asks: What’s Next For Global Fund? Reflecting on the recent annual report by the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria, a Lancet comment writes, “Two big challenges remain [for the Global Fund]: first, to show, reliably and independently, that the Fund’s investments have delivered the benefits that it…

AIDS 2010 To Highlight Epidemic In Eastern Europe, Central Asia Regions

AIDS 2010, the International AIDS Conference to be held July 18-23 in Vienna, Austria, will “highlight the situation in Eastern Europe and Central Asia, regions experiencing fast growing [HIV/AIDS] epidemics largely through unsafe injecting drug use,” conference organizers announced Wednesday, Agence France-Presse reports. Though the number of new cases of HIV worldwide has declined since 1996, “infection rates are continuing to rise in some parts of the world, especially Eastern Europe and Central Asia. Here, HIV prevalence has almost doubled since 2001,” the AFP writes.

Congress Works On Tariff-Lowering Legislation For Haiti As Preval Meets With U.S. Leaders In Washington

The Senate Finance Committee’s chair, Max Baucus (D-Mont.), and top Republican, Charles Grassley (Iowa), are working with colleagues in the House on legislation that would lower tariffs in an effort to help Haiti’s apparel industry and help the country recover from the major January earthquake, CQ Politics reports. “The bipartisan effort comes as Senate Finance leaders consider ramping up their work to broadly overhaul multiple U.S. trade preference programs, which lower or eliminate U.S. tariffs on a wide range of products from many developing countries,” according to the publication (3/9).

British Government, HIV/AIDS Advocates Warn Decreased Aid Budgets Could Lead To Reversals In HIV/AIDS Treatment Progress

Recent gains in the global fight against HIV/AIDS could be reversed as the “global economic downturn pinches poor countries’ budgets and donors show signs of backing away from their promise to provide universal access to AIDS treatment,” the British government together with Medecins Sans Frontieres (MSF) warned Tuesday, Reuters AlertNet reports.