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PEPFAR Scientific Advisory Board Report Offers Six Recommended Research Priorities

This post in the Center for Global Health Policy’s “Science Speaks” blog examines a report (.pdf) by the PEPFAR Scientific Advisory Board (SAB) that offers six recommended treatment and prevention research priorities to U.S. Global AIDS Ambassador Eric Goosby and the Office of the Global AIDS Coordinator (OGAC) to guide future…

Recent Scientific Progress In Developing New HIV/AIDS Interventions

Kaitlin Christenson, coalition director for the Global Health Technologies Coalition, “reflects on recent progress made by the scientific community in developing new interventions to combat HIV/AIDS as a result of leadership from the U.S. government” in this ONE blog post. She highlights promising research currently underway in the areas of…

South African Public Health Experts Urge Countries To Use TRIPS To Produce Generic Drugs, IPS Reports

South African public health experts from Medecins San Frontieres (MSF) South Africa and the Treatment Action Campaign (TAC) “are calling on governments to use legally available mechanisms to promote the production or import of generic drugs in their countries,” Inter Press Service reports. The article examines how countries can alter their patent acts under the Doha Declaration — a World Trade Organization declaration on the Agreement on Trade-related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights (TRIPS) and Public Health that “exists to ensure that patents do not undermine the ability of countries to achieve the right to health” — “to access generic versions of otherwise patented medicines in cases where prices are prohibitively expensive, the organizations say.”

Examining Funding In Light Of New Evidence On HIV Prevention, Treatment Strategies

In this Huffington Post opinion piece, Nancy Birdsall, president of the Center for Global Development, reports on a World Bank- and USAID-sponsored debate she moderated last week as part of a series on HIV/AIDS issues, the topic of which was “Countries should spend a majority of what is likely to be a flat or even declining HIV prevention budget on ‘treatment as prevention.'” She notes several of her reactions to the debate and asks with regard to global health spending, “What about the pie? Even if it grows, there will be tradeoffs.”

Efforts To End AIDS Could Also Reduce TB Burden With Proper Funding

In response to Michael Gerson’s November 11 column in which he said the end of AIDS is possible because of combination prevention and treatment innovations, David Bryden, the Stop TB advocacy officer at RESULTS, writes in a Washington Post letter to the editor, “Another benefit of [HIV] treatment is that it sharply reduces deaths from tuberculosis [TB], which is the primary killer of people living with HIV/AIDS.” He says that “to fully succeed in Africa, where TB and HIV/AIDS are often two sides of the same coin, we have to quickly identify people who have TB or who are vulnerable to it and get them the services they need,” which also means developing an accurate quick test for the disease.

Future Research Critical To Ending AIDS Epidemic

Mitchell Warren, executive director of AVAC: Global Advocacy for HIV Prevention and a founding member of the Global Health Technologies Coalition, writing in The Hill’s “Congress Blog,” welcomes Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton’s November 8 announcement of “an additional $60 million for implementation of a combination of prevention strategies in four sub-Saharan African countries and evaluation of their impact,” adding that “this funding can only be viewed as a down payment on the work that needs to be done.” He says the Obama administration and the governments of other countries “need to add specific commitments, milestones, and strategies to the vision,” as well as “commit to the long haul.”

Swaziland Government Failed To Pay More Than $10M To Children Orphaned By AIDS, IMF Official Says

“Swaziland’s government has failed to pay more than $10 million … in grants to AIDS orphans because of its financial crisis, an IMF official has said” in a statement after visiting the country, BBC News reports. The IMF official, Joannes Mongardini, “told the BBC that the government had ‘owed’ $10 million in grants to orphans and $4 million to elderly people since September,” the news service writes. Swaziland, which “has the world’s highest HIV/AIDS rate, leaving some 69,000 orphans,” “has not yet accepted a $355 million bailout from neighboring South Africa after Pretoria set a series of conditions — including political and economic reforms,” according to the BBC.

AIDS-Related Donations From U.S., European Philanthropies Decreased In 2010, Reports Show

Two recently released reports “show that AIDS-related funding from United States and European philanthropic donors totaled US$612 million in 2010, a combined seven percent decrease (US$44 million) from 2009,” according to a joint press release from Funders Concerned About AIDS (FCAA), the European HIV/AIDS Funders Group (EFG), and UNAIDS. The reports, “U.S.…

PlusNews Examines Shortages Of HIV Treatment Supplies In Swaziland

PlusNews examines Swaziland’s national shortages of antiretroviral (ARV) stocks, HIV tests, and lab tests necessary to initiate and manage HIV patients on treatment, and the country’s efforts to find funding to prevent stock-outs of these supplies. “Despite several bail-outs this year by international donors, neighboring countries and international NGOs, Swaziland remains in the grips of a months-long shortage of lab reagents needed for CD4 count testing, which measures the immune system’s strength and is needed to start patients on ARVs, as well as toxicity testing important in monitoring patients’ responses to treatment,” the news service writes, noting that funding received in April from PEPFAR will help supply first-line ARVs through April 2012 (11/15). According to BBC News, about 65,000 of the country’s 230,000 people living with HIV relies on state hospitals for ARVs (Simelane, 11/15).