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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).

Malawi Government Addressing Drug, Medical Supply Shortages In Wake Of Aid Withdrawals

As international donors “remain reluctant to release aid meant for the health sector” in Malawi “amid allegations of pilfering and corruption in the procurement of drugs,” “patients seeking medical treatment at government-run medical facilities are unable to access medication such as antiretrovirals (ARVs), anti-malarial drugs and even painkillers,” Inter Press Service reports, adding, “Health facilities are also experiencing a shortage of medical equipment such as gloves, and malaria and HIV/AIDS testing kits.”

Austerity Measures In Europe May Cause Rise In Drug-Related HIV Infections, Report Says

“Austerity measures brought in to tackle Europe’s economic crisis may cause a rise in drug-related HIV infections as stretched health services struggle to cope, the E.U.’s narcotics agency said on Tuesday,” Reuters reports. “Greece, which is facing huge cutbacks, reported a large outbreak of HIV infections among drug users in July, the Lisbon-based agency said in its yearly report,” the news agency writes, noting, “New infections were also reported in Bulgaria, Estonia and Lithuania, it added.”

IAVI Policy Brief Examines HIV Vaccine Funding

A new policy brief from the International AIDS Vaccine Initiative (IAVI) “summarizes data on HIV vaccine R&D funding trends originally published by the HIV Vaccines and Microbicides Resource Tracking Working Group in 2011,” according to the IAVI website. “The crucial addition of a preventive HIV vaccine to [a comprehensive biomedical HIV prevention]…

PEPFAR’s Commitment To Eliminating Gender-Based Violence

In anticipation of the Sixteen Days of Activism Against Gender Violence, a campaign which starts on the International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women on November 25, Daniela Ligiero, senior adviser for gender at the Office of the Global AIDS Coordinator, reports on PEPFAR’s commitment to address gender-based…

Clinton’s Speech Prioritizing Creation Of ‘AIDS-Free Generation’ May Shape Future Of U.S. Global Health Strategy, Analysts Say

U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s November 8 speech at the NIH, in which she called for the creation of an “AIDS-free generation” through the use of combination prevention strategies, “could be more than just political lip-service: it may also shape the next several years of U.S. global health programming and funding, analysts say,” PlusNews reports. “‘It’s the first time the U.S. has outlined a policy goal on how to reach an AIDS-free generation,’ explained Jennifer Kates,” vice president and director of Global Health & HIV Policy at the Kaiser Family Foundation, the news service writes. “Natasha Bilimoria, president of the Friends of the Global Fight Against AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria, … says she hopes Clinton’s ‘incredibly strong message’ will be backed by strong funding commitments for the next financial year,” the news service writes (11/14).

Study Examines Abortion Services For Women Living With HIV In Brazil, Namibia, S. Africa

In this paper published in the Journal of the International AIDS Society, researchers from South Africa, Namibia, Brazil, and the U.S. “explore the existing evidence related to global and country-specific barriers to safe abortion for all women, with an emphasis on research gaps around the right of women living with HIV…

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