This post in the Center for Global Health Policy’s “Science Speaks” blog reports the results of a Zambia-South Africa TB and AIDS Reduction (ZAMSTAR) program study, released Monday, which “demonstrate that household counseling — defined as the unpacking of concerns about TB and HIV within households and facilitating prompt diagnosis and treatment…
This post in the Center for Global Health Policy’s “Science Speaks” blog reports on a presentation at the Union World Conference on Lung Health in France on Saturday by Evelyne Kibuchi, a senior tuberculosis (TB) advocacy officer at the Kenya AIDS NGOs Consortium (KANCO), writing, “HIV stakeholders have been slow to…
Exclusion Of Family Planning, HIV Prevention From Pink Ribbon Red Ribbon Partnership Is ‘Counter-Intuitive’
In this Huffington Post opinion piece, Serra Sippel, president of the Center for Health and Gender Equity, examines the Pink Ribbon Red Ribbon partnership, which was launched last month by PEPFAR in conjunction with the George W. Bush Institute, Susan G. Komen for the Cure, and UNAIDS with the aim of “integrat[ing] cervical and breast cancer education, screening, and treatment with HIV services.” She continues, “Given that women living with HIV are at an increased risk of developing cervical cancer, it makes sense. It’s a logical and critical part of what PEPFAR is calling care and support services.” But while the initiative “has the potential to reduce the number of cancer deaths among women living with HIV and improve their overall health,” the fact “that planning a family and preventing further HIV transmission is not part of what PEPFAR is calling care and support” is “counter-intuitive and counter-productive,” Sippel writes.
In this CNN opinion piece, Julian Zelizer, an author and professor of history and public affairs at Princeton University, reports on how, “[a]s the super-committee deliberates over how to reduce the deficit and other congressional committees struggle to cut spending, the fate of important programs,” such as PEPFAR, “hangs in the balance.”
“Ugandan men have been seeking medical male circumcision in droves since the government launched a national policy in 2010, but the health system is not equipped to handle the caseload, slowing down the potential HIV prevention benefits of the campaign,” PlusNews reports. A recent WHO report found that “just 9,052 circumcisions were carried out in Uganda in 2010, against more than four million men who would need to be circumcised for the country to reach its 80 percent target,” a goal that, if reached within five years, could potentially avert close to 340,000 new HIV infections, according to WHO estimates, the news service notes.
The Guardian’s “Poverty Matters Blog” examines how religious leaders on the island of Zanzibar, a semi-autonomous part of Tanzania, are using the Qur’an to shift attitudes about the issues of sex, contraception, and HIV/AIDS in an effort to reduce HIV infection, improve maternal health and curb rapid population growth. “Their aim is to shift deep-rooted views in their devout Islamic society that contraception is a sin,” according to the blog. “Compared with the Tanzanian mainland, Zanzibar has half the rate of use of contraception — just 13 percent in fertile women in 2011 — and more than double the proportion of Muslims, at 95 percent,” the blog notes, adding that imams’ work to educate the population is working, as “contraceptive use has crept up from nine percent to 13 percent in the past four years” (Carrington, 10/31).
Tanzania Becomes First Country To Use Self-Destructing Syringes; Designer Hopes Others Will Follow Suit
“Tanzania is to become the first country in the world to move exclusively to using syringes that self-destruct after a British entrepreneur played the health minister undercover footage of children being injected with used needles,” the Guardian reports. “Marc Koska, the designer of an auto-disable syringe and founder of a charity called Safe-Point,” who went to the Tanzanian government with the video, “hopes to persuade four other countries in east Africa to follow suit — Kenya, Uganda, Burundi and Rwanda — before he takes on the rest of the world,” the newspaper writes.
Women living with HIV in Swaziland “fight a tireless tripartite battle against HIV, the stigma it places on them, and their inferior status in Africa’s last absolute monarchy,” freelance journalist Gary Nunn writes in the Guardian’s “Poverty Matters Blog.” Nunn recounts the story of Siphiwe Hlophe, who founded Swaziland for Positive Living (Swapol) in 2001, and writes, “Women operate at grassroots level in tackling HIV because they’re rarely trusted with real responsibility. But they are increasingly making their voices heard.”
“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.”