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U.N. Progress Report On AIDS Stresses Advances In Treatment, Prevention, Warns About Declining Funding

“Global progress in both preventing and treating HIV emphasizes the benefits of sustaining investment in HIV/AIDS over the longer term,” according to a new report from the WHO, UNICEF and UNAIDS, which also “indicates that increased access to HIV services resulted in a 15 percent reduction of new infections over the past decade and a 22 percent decline in AIDS-related deaths in the last five years,” a WHO press release reports (11/30). The report, titled “Progress report 2011: Global HIV/AIDS response,” notes that “[a]s capacity at all levels increases, programs are becoming more effective and efficient,” but “financial pressures on both domestic and foreign assistance budgets are threatening the impressive progress to date. Recent data indicating that HIV funding is declining is a deeply troubling trend that must be reversed for the international community to meet its commitments on HIV” (11/30).

GlobalPost Examines U.S. Response To HIV/AIDS ‘Scientific Advances, Economic Realities’

GlobalPost examines the “collision of scientific advances vs. economic realities” in the fight against HIV/AIDS in a special report as part of its “Healing the World” series. “Thirty years after the discovery of AIDS, scientists believe for the first time that they now have the tools to beat back the deadly virus. … But the gloomy global economic situation, and recent scale-backs in HIV funding around the world, have cast great doubt as to whether policymakers will take advantage of the combination of new prevention tools to fight AIDS,” the article states, noting that “President Obama is expected on Thursday — World AIDS Day — to talk about his administration’s next steps on AIDS, … his first major speech on AIDS as president” (Donnelly, 11/30).

NIAID Director Fauci Discusses Moving Forward In AIDS Fight

In this interview with GlobalPost’s John Donnelly, Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases at NIH, discusses “his perspective of the fight against AIDS at this moment, and how discoveries by scientists can now be best used.” Speaking about the “convergence of prevention approaches,” Fauci said, “There is now an enthusiasm and an excitement if we can implement some of these scientific advances, we can have a major impact in turning around the trajectory of the epidemic. The bottom line is we are pushing these advances in implementation so that we see the light at the end of the tunnel” (11/30).

Prioritizing HIV/AIDS Prevention And Treatment

In his column, Charles Kenny, a senior fellow at the Center for Global Development and a Schwartz fellow at the New America Foundation, writes that despite an “abundance of tools to fight the global AIDS epidemic,” including male circumcision and treatment as prevention, “the breakthroughs don’t amount to a global reprieve.” The Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria’s announcement it is postponing Round 11 grants, “on top of news that donor funding for HIV/AIDS leveled in 2009 and then declined 10 percent in 2010, should be a wake-up call to focus on cost-effective responses,” he writes.

AIDS ‘Tipping Points’ Could Prompt Discussion On Effectiveness, Efficiency

In this post on the Center for Global Development’s “Global Health Policy” blog, Jenny Ottenhoff, policy outreach associate at the Center, examines the prospects for U.S. spending on global AIDS programs. She writes “it seems we have reached a ‘tipping point’ where the science, technology and know-how are available to…

Treatment Cost Savings Under PEPFAR Can Be Re-Invested To Increase ARV Reach

In this post in the “Health Affairs Blog,” Matthew Kavanagh, director of U.S. policy and advocacy at Health Global Access Project (GAP), and Marguerite Thorp, a research assistant at Harvard Medical School, examine how HIV/AIDS treatment funding under PEPFAR has “fallen significantly since 2008 in both absolute dollars and as…

PLoS, PEPFAR, UNAIDS Publish Collection Of Articles Examining Voluntary Medical Male Circumcision For HIV Prevention

This post in the “PLoS Blog” announces the publication, in conjunction with UNAIDS and PEPFAR, of a collection of articles titled, “Voluntary Medical Male Circumcision for HIV Prevention: The Cost, Impact, and Challenges of Accelerated Scale-Up in Southern and Eastern Africa” (Hawxhurst, 11/29). According to a PLoS press release, the collection of nine articles…

South Africa ‘Witnessing First Steps Of AIDS-Free Generation’

In this Business Day opinion piece, Donald Gips, the U.S. ambassador to South Africa, examines progress made in the country’s fight against HIV/AIDS, writing that, through the coordination of governments, civil society, nongovernmental organizations (NGOs), educational institutions, and researchers from around the world, “we now have the tools that allow us for the first time to set the goal of achieving an AIDS-free generation — when virtually no children are born with the virus; we have effective and comprehensive education and prevention strategies that help to reduce risk; and those who are infected with HIV have access to treatment that helps prevent them from developing AIDS and transmitting the virus.”

Xinhua Examines HIV/AIDS In China

Xinhua posted several articles examining HIV/AIDS in China. The first looks at HIV/AIDS among the general population. The article notes that 346,000 people are living with HIV in China, and the “number is predicted to hit 780,000 by the end of 2011, according to an expert panel … [c]onsisting of members from China’s Ministry of Health (MOH), the World Health Organization and UNAIDS,” the MOH reported in a statement released on Tuesday (11/29). A second article discusses HIV/AIDS among the country’s older population, especially men, and college students (11/30).

Number Of New HIV Cases In Saudi Arabia Declined By 9% In 2010 From Previous Year, Health Ministry Official Says

“The number of new HIV cases in Saudi Arabia declined by 9 percent to 1,121 in 2010 from the previous year, the official Saudi Press Agency said, citing a Health Ministry official,” Bloomberg reports (Carey, 11/29). “The official Saudi Press Agency quotes deputy health minister Ziyad bin Ahmed as telling an HIV/AIDS conference Monday that the new cases include 439 Saudi citizens and 682 non-Saudis,” the Associated Press writes, adding, “Bin Ahmed said that since 1984, 16,334 people have tested positive for HIV” (11/28).