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HIV Testing Remains Important Amid Push For Expanded Treatment In Africa

“With a needle puncture on your finger and a drop of blood, the magic of modern science can give you a rapid HIV test in seconds, and so, knowing your status, you are better able to negotiate the rocky road of surviving HIV where timely detection is key,” Farai Sevenzo, a columnist and filmmaker, writes in this BBC News opinion piece, part of a series from African journalists. “But human nature is not so straightforward and despite hundreds of rapid HIV test centers in many capitals, the knee-jerk response is not to want to know,” he continues, adding, “It is this attitude which may account for the continuing high rates of infection.”

Discrimination Against LGBT Population Undermining HIV Prevention Efforts In Guatemala, IPS Reports

Inter Press Service examines discrimination against lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) people in Guatemala, where advocates and non-governmental organizations (NGOs) say such discrimination is undermining HIV prevention and treatment. Carolos Valdez of the NGO Proyecto Unidos “said the country has taken ‘few steps’ for preventing the spread of HIV among vulnerable groups,” including “opening five clinics catering to members of sexual minorities,” IPS writes.

Potential Budget Cuts Threaten U.S. Military HIV Research Program

This post in the Center for Global Health Policy’s “Science Speaks” blog examines how potential budget cuts are threatening the Walter Reed Army Institute of Research (WRAIR) Military HIV Research Program (MHRP), “a $175 million program supported by the Department of Defense and other entities that is vulnerable to cuts…

People In Swaziland Protesting Shortages Of ARVs Amid Government Financial Crisis

In Swaziland, where a “deepening financial crisis is taking a toll on service delivery, and the country is experiencing an unprecedented number of protests over issues such as school closures and a lack of HIV treatment,” “[a] new wave of HIV activism is rising … as people living with HIV take to the streets in protest, many for the first time in their lives, over continued shortages of antiretroviral (ARV) treatment,” PlusNews reports.

U.S. Investments In HIV Treatment Internationally, Domestically ‘Should Pay Off’

“We welcome the Obama administration’s announcement of a farsighted effort to treat millions more [people living with HIV] abroad, especially in sub-Saharan Africa,” a New York Times editorial writes. “The administration expects that the expanded treatments can be paid for with existing resources, by pushing for greater efficiencies and more financing from recipient nations. But if that effort stalls, the administration should re-evaluate quickly whether to ask Congress for money,” the editorial states.

Use Of Rapid Male Circumcision Tool Will Help Africa Reach HIV Prevention Goals

In order for Rwanda to reach its HIV prevention goals, the country “need[s] to reach two million men in two years to benefit from the protective effect of [voluntary medical male circumcision] in order to achieve this as part of a comprehensive, combination HIV prevention strategy,” Agnes Binagwahois, Rwanda’s minister of health, writes in a Washington Post opinion piece. However, “the only method widely approved for funding is the surgical method, which is expensive and impractical for countries lacking physicians and surgical infrastructure,” and it would take more than 12 years to reach the country’s goal, she says.

Canadian Researchers Develop Portable Device To Monitor HIV In Rural Areas

A team of Canadian researchers has “created a portable device that uses a computer chip with software capable of analyzing blood tests outside the lab … that could make it easier, faster and cheaper to track the progression of HIV in patients living in the developing world,” Postmedia News/Vancouver Sun reports. According to the news service, “The team’s portable cell analyzer makes it possible for health care workers to monitor HIV patients in remote areas by testing their blood on the spot and receiving results within minutes, [University of Toronto lead researcher Rakesh] Nayyar explained.”

Central African Republic In State Of ‘Chronic Medical Emergency,’ MSF Report Says

“The Central African Republic (CAR) is in the grips of a chronic medical emergency, according to a report released today by the international medical humanitarian organization Doctors Without Borders/Medecins Sans Frontieres (MSF),” an MSF press release states. “Four mortality studies carried out by MSF over the past 18 months reveal crude mortality rates in some regions of CAR at three times the emergency threshold of one death per 10,000 people per day, which, according to the World Health Organization, is considered a humanitarian crisis,” the press release adds (12/13).

HIV/AIDS Prevention, Treatment Efforts Should Include Care For Other Diseases, Experts Say

“Global HIV/AIDS prevention and treatment efforts are missing a major opportunity to significantly improve health conditions in poor countries by simply adding low-cost care for the many other chronic and disabling diseases routinely afflicting and often killing these same patients, according to a panel of disease experts who spoke at…

Globe And Mail Reports On Potential Factors Leading To Increasing HIV Incidence In Uganda

After experiencing a decline in the number of new HIV infections in the 1990s, Uganda’s “HIV [incidence] rate is creeping back up again. New infections are increasing, and the sense of urgency has vanished,” the Globe and Mail reports, adding that the country “has become an early warning signal to the rest of the world: If the fight against AIDS fades into complacency and neglect, the disease can roar back again.” The article discusses how complacency among the general population, as well as government policies of Uganda and the U.S., “have contributed to the rise in HIV infections here, analysts say” (York, 12/9).

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