In this post in the Huffington Post’s “Impact” blog, Sheila Nix, U.S. executive director of ONE, summarizes progress in the global fight against HIV/AIDS in the 30 years since the first cases were documented and writes that “as budgets constrict and leaders turn their attention inward, it’s easy to see why a renewed push on global AIDS doesn’t seem possible. Yet 2011 marks a critical inflection point in our fight against AIDS.”
Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton, speaking at the NIH on Tuesday, “called on the world to create the first ‘AIDS-free generation’ by using antiviral drugs, condoms, circumcision and other approaches to stem the spread of HIV,” the Washington Post reports. “Taken together, mathematical models show that these strategies could significantly reduce the spread of the virus by another 40 percent to 60 percent, she said,” the newspaper writes (Stein, 11/8).
Clinton Expected To Urge U.S., Other Countries To Intensify HIV/AIDS Prevention Efforts In Speech On Tuesday
In a speech to be delivered at the NIH, “Secretary of State Hillary Clinton is expected to call Tuesday for a new push by the U.S. and other countries to harness recent science to stem the HIV/AIDS pandemic,” the Wall Street Journal reports. She is expected to call for preventive tools “to be widely implemented in countries where the pandemic continues to rage, and to ask donors to step up aid to intensify the response, according to people briefed on the speech,” the newspaper writes.
The Guardian profiles Brian Brink, chief medical officer at Anglo American, South Africa’s largest private-sector employer, and the company’s efforts to treat and prevent HIV among its employees. According to the newspaper, “HIV affects 12,000 of its employees, or 16 percent of its 70,000-strong permanent staff.” The Guardian continues, “For Anglo, a healthy workforce is a more loyal and productive one,” which is why it offers HIV testing and treatment free-of-charge to employees, runs HIV prevention programs, and promotes gender equality. “Not only is it a moral imperative to get on top of the AIDS problem, it’s also good for business, and the wider South African economy. The prevalence of AIDS and HIV [the virus that leads to AIDS] probably lops one percent off the country’s GDP,” Brink said (11/3).
Media Coverage Of Potential Link Between Hormonal Contraception, HIV Risk Needed More ‘Critical Thinking’
In a Nature News opinion piece, James Shelton, science adviser for USAID’s Bureau for Global Health, discusses media coverage of recent findings from the journal Lancet Infectious Diseases showing that women’s use of hormonal contraception (HC) may increase the risk of HIV acquisition or transmission. “Whether HC influences HIV risk is a serious concern, and has been the subject of numerous studies. But these studies have been observational and not randomized, and thus potentially biased by who chooses to use HC,” Shelton writes. He uses “causality criteria laid down by British epidemiologist Austin Bradford Hill” to analyze the results, adding, “I find the evidence far from persuasive.”
In this Hill opinion piece, John Castellani, CEO and president of the Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America, writes, “Over the past three decades, more than 30 treatments have been approved to treat HIV/AIDS,” but he adds, “While this is remarkable progress, it’s not enough.” He continues, “In order for scientific progress in these areas to continue, the substantial financial investments in medicines created in America’s biopharmaceutical labs — medicines that take years and billions of dollars to develop — must be protected by international patent laws.”
“The cost of HIV/AIDS medicine is expected to drop by 30 percent in Kenya, enabling more people to access life-prolonging drugs, after the World Health Organization (WHO) gave the green light to a local company manufacturing generics, The Star newspaper reported on Wednesday,” AlertNet reports. Universal Corporation received WHO prequalification status for its generic combination antiretroviral Lamozido, which “will enable the company to bid for international tenders to supply drugs to governments and non-governmental organizations, who in turn give them to people living with HIV/AIDS,” the news service writes (Migiro, 11/2).
PlusNews Reports On Importance Of Cost-Effectiveness Of ZAMSTAR Study For Policymakers, Donors Amid Economic Downturn
PlusNews reports on the results of the Zambia-South Africa TB and AIDS Reduction (ZAMSTAR) study released on Monday at the International Lung Health Conference in Lille, France, which show that “[h]ome-based tuberculosis (TB) education and testing reduced community TB prevalence by about 20 percent.” Noting that “the trial cost US$27 million [and] the interventions it piloted cost about $0.80 per patient,” the news service writes that while “the cost-effectiveness of household outreach has not yet been calculated, … [t]his will be of particular interest not only to national policymakers but also donors, who continue to tighten purse strings amid a global economic downturn” (11/1).
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…