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Guidance Needed On Recent HIV Prevention Findings

“In the absence of the anticipated guidance from WHO, the euphoria felt by participants at Rome that the latest science can allow us for the first time to consider eliminating HIV was tempered by utter confusion among program managers as to what to do next,” Nathan Ford, medical coordinator for…

Rwanda Testing Non-Surgical Circumcision Device In National Campaign

BBC News on Sunday looked at how Rwanda’s national circumcision campaign, which began in December 2010 to help lower the incidence of HIV in the country, is testing a new “device called a PrePex, a three-piece mechanism consisting of two plastic rings and an elastic mechanism.” The device “is clamped onto the penis without any need for sutures or anesthesia” to remove the foreskin.

Medicines Patent Pool Can Help Many But Has Potential Limitations For AIDS Drug Access In Middle-Income Countries

In a post on the New York Times’ “Opinionator” blog, author and journalist Tina Rosenberg writes about the Medicines Patent Pool (MPP) and describes how it can help purchase AIDS drugs for “vast numbers of people.” She also notes “its most serious potential weakness” – that drug companies join because they hope that giving earlier drug access to more countries will reduce pressure for access in middle-income countries. Rosenberg highlights a recent agreement with Gilead Sciences, which “only covers very poor countries. It leaves out Egypt, China, Brazil, plus dozens of other developing countries. Current AIDS drug prices in these countries are six or seven times the price of drugs in sub-Saharan Africa. Without help from the patent pool, these countries have little hope of expanding antiretroviral coverage” (7/21).

IAS Conference Concludes With Mostly Positive News On HIV Prevention

“Scientists on Wednesday wrapped up their biggest forum in the 30-year history of AIDS, unveiling stunning weapons to prevent the spread of HIV,” Agence France-Presse reports about the 6th International AIDS Society Conference on HIV Pathogenesis, Treatment and Prevention in Rome. The article summarizes study findings presented at the conference, including research on treatment as prevention, pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP), male circumcision, and flushing out latent reservoirs of HIV in the “quest for a cure” (Ingham, 7/20).

Maintaining And Increasing AIDS Funding Critical

A new report showing “research funding for four key HIV prevention options – preventive vaccines, microbicides, PrEP and operations research related to medical male circumcision” – increased in 2010 compared with 2009 “is certainly good news, but we cannot rest on our laurels,” Margaret McGlynn, president and CEO of the…

Experts At IAS Conference Suggests Ways To Increase Funding For HIV/AIDS

“Scientists have now provided revolutionary tools to roll back HIV but only a major funding boost, supported especially by emerging giant economies, will determine the outcome,” according to experts speaking in Rome at the 6th International AIDS Society Conference on HIV Pathogenesis, Treatment and Prevention, Agence France-Presse reports.

IAS Conference Opens With Push For Treatment As Prevention

The 6th International AIDS Society (IAS) Conference on HIV Pathogenesis, Treatment and Prevention taking place in Rome this week “started optimistically as the hype surrounding the use of antiretroviral treatment to prevent HIV infection gained momentum. But the focus of much discussion … will undoubtedly be on how to transform the recent promising research findings into workable policy,” PlusNews reports (7/18).

HIV Vaccine Discovery Requires ‘Open Mind’

In response to Washington Post columnist Michael Gerson’s July 5 piece in which he highlighted several scientific “breakthroughs” in the search for an AIDS vaccine, Robert Gallo, director of the Institute of Human Virology at the University of Maryland School of Medicine, writes in a Post letter to the editor, “Although Mr. Gerson correctly noted that these discoveries are unrelated, he misperceived their relative significance.”

UNAIDS’ Sidibe Calls For Increased Access To HIV Drugs At IAS Conference Opening

UNAIDS Executive Director Michel Sidibe on Sunday at the opening of the 6th International AIDS Society (IAS) Conference on HIV Pathogenesis, Treatment and Prevention in Rome “called … for an increase in access to drugs that help treat or prevent the spread of the disease, saying it is ‘morally wrong’ to keep millions of people off lifesaving medication,” the Associated Press/Boston Globe reports (7/18).

Swaziland’s King Mswati Urges Men To Get Circumcised To Prevent HIV Infection

Swaziland’s King Mswati III on Friday called on men in the kingdom to get circumcised to help reduce their risk of contracting HIV, Agence France-Presse reports. “Urging his nation to ‘take care of your lives – stay away from activities that could give you the disease,’ the king struck a very different note from his pronouncement to parliament a decade ago that HIV-positive people should be ‘branded and sterilized,'” the news agency writes.