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HIV/AIDS Clinic In Pakistan Working To Fight Stigma, Provide Treatment

Inter Press Service reports on the Family Care Centre for people living with HIV/AIDS in Pakistan, which opened in Peshawar on September 1 “in the hope of breaking the stigma surrounding HIV/AIDS” in a region where myths surrounding the disease and its transmission are prevalent. “The first of its kind in South Asia, the Centre will serve as a diagnostic and treatment facility for people living with HIV/AIDS, as well as offer counseling services to affected family members,” according to IPS. “The center already has 600 registered patients including 175 from neighboring Afghanistan, all of whom will receive free antiretroviral treatment (ART) imported from the WHO in India,” the news service writes (Yusufzai, 10/21).

E-Voucher Program Providing Food To Malnourished Zimbabweans Living With HIV, TB

An electronic voucher system, introduced by the World Food Programme (WFP) and implemented by the health ministry and non-governmental organizations, is helping Zimbabweans living with HIV/AIDS and tuberculosis (TB) and their families obtain food and fight malnutrition, PlusNews reports. “The program supports about 5,000 patients and their families with essential food items and is operating at seven health facilities in the capital [Harare] and has been extended to the second-largest city, Bulawayo,” the news service writes.

Treating TB, HIV Co-Infections Early, Aggressively Can Save Lives, Multiple Studies Show

“Treating tuberculosis (TB) and HIV infections at the same time can be a challenge for patients and their doctors, but attacking both diseases early and aggressively isn’t harmful and could save the lives of those who are sickest,” according to a global study led by researchers from the University of California, San Francisco (UCSF) and published Wednesday in the New England Journal of Medicine (NEJM), the San Francisco Chronicle reports. The study found that patients whose immune systems have been most damaged by HIV were 40 percent less likely to die or develop AIDS if they began antiretroviral treatment (ART) “two weeks after starting TB treatment, instead of waiting eight to 12 weeks, as is commonly done now,” the newspaper writes.

Study Examines Potential Benefits Of Discordant Couple HIV Therapy

A new study published online in the journal AIDS uses mathematical models to predict the potential impact of treating discordant couples with antiretroviral therapy, according to a Columbia University Mailman School of Public Health press release. Researchers from ICAP at the Mailman School and UCLA’s Center for Biomedical Modeling made predictions…

Kenya Aims To Reduce Preventable Deaths By 50% By December 2012

GlobalPost’s “Global Pulse” blog examines how Kenya is working to decrease the number of preventable deaths under a “recently launched … campaign called ‘Let’s Live,’ which sets a target of reducing preventable deaths in Kenya by 50 percent by December 2012.” Achieving that goal “would be an historic feat. But the country could seriously decrease numbers of preventable deaths if it used currently available health tools, such as the rotavirus vaccine,” the blog writes (Donnelly, 10/18).

HIV Advocates In Uganda 'Losing Faith' As Country Works To Prevent, Treat New Infections, PlusNews Reports

PlusNews examines how “corruption scandals, frequent treatment shortages and accusations of a misguided prevention program” have undermined progress in the fight against HIV/AIDS in Uganda, a country that had “won plaudits in the early days of the epidemic for the aggressive stance taken by President Yoweri Museveni.” Uganda “lowered its HIV prevalence from 18 percent in the early 1990s to about six percent in 2000,” the news service notes. According to PlusNews, “Some of Uganda’s most active campaigners in its 30-year fight against HIV are losing faith in the government’s ability to effectively counter the epidemic as the country struggles to provide treatment and prevent more than 100,000 new infections every year.”

Russia Pledges Money To Support HIV, TB Programs In Neighboring Countries

“Russia plans to step up its international role in fighting infectious disease across eastern Europe and central Asia, in what some observers see as the latest effort by the Kremlin to reassert its political influence over its former Soviet neighbors,” the Financial Times reports. “Arkady Dvorkovich, economic aide to President Dmitry Medvedev, pledged money for a new international development agency to support programs against HIV and tuberculosis (TB)” at the Millennium Development Goal 6 Forum hosted in Moscow last week, the newspaper notes.

Rep. Lee Asks Obama To Take Leadership Role In Fight Against HIV/AIDS

According to the Center for Global Health Policy’s “Science Speaks” blog, Rep. Barbara Lee (D-Calif.) on Thursday sent a letter to President Barack Obama asking for “his leadership in launching a renewed global effort to end the AIDS pandemic on World AIDS Day, December 1.” The letter asked the president…

Globe And Mail Reports On Death Of Zambian HIV/AIDS Advocate Winstone Zulu

Toronto’s Globe and Mail reports on the death on Thursday of Winstone Zulu, an HIV/AIDS advocate from Zambia who lived with the virus for two decades. “His death has devastated the international community of AIDS activists,” the newspaper writes, adding, “Winstone was a one-man force who played a key role in reshaping the global response to HIV/AIDS and (tuberculosis) TB. He personally lobbied every G8 leader; he spoke to mass rallies on five continents; he inspired audiences at schools and in churches and in parliaments in dozens of countries.”

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