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Opinions: Global Health Top Foreign Policy Issue; Global Food Security; Opiate-Substitution Programs In Eastern Europe; Feed The Future; Foreign Aid Lessons

Global Health Is A Top Foreign Policy IssuesFor 2011 In response to a story examining 2011’s top foreign policy issues, Serra Sippel, president of the Center for Health and Gender Equity, writes in a letter to the editor, published in The Hill, that “[g]lobal health was disturbingly absent from” the story. “Global…

New York Times Examines Russia’s ‘Inadequate Fight’ Against HIV/AIDS

Russia’s HIV/AIDS epidemic “has defied worldwide trends, expanding more rapidly year by year than almost anywhere else,” the New York Times writes in an article that examines how the country has become a symbol of “one of the world’s low points in the effort to fight the spread of HIV,” in large part due to the government’s failure to reach out to injecting drug users (IDUs) and sex workers – the groups “at the heart” of the epidemic.

Also In Global Health News: Humanitarian, Development Aid; North Korea Asks For Food Aid; HIV/AIDS In Afghanistan; Peru’s Dengue Outbreak

Oxfam Report Says Aid Money Being Used To Promote Military, Security Objectives Donor countries “are ‘increasingly concentrating’ both humanitarian and development aid on countries and regions seen to threaten their own immediate security interests, while neglecting other equally insecure, impoverished and conflict-afflicted places,” the humanitarian group Oxfam said in a report…

Also In Global Health News: Global Alcohol-Related Deaths; Pentavalent Vaccine Plant To Resume Operations; Harm-Reduction In Russia; IDUs In Tanzania; MDG Tracking Program In Kenya

Alcohol Kills 2.5M Annually, WHO Report Says “Alcohol abuse is killing 2.5 million people each year,” according to a report from the WHO, which said that about “4 percent of all deaths worldwide are attributable to alcohol,” the Associated Press/Washington Post reports. “The main causes of alcohol-related deaths are injuries incurred…

Recent Releases In Global Health

The Importance Of Investing In Adolescent Girls: A Lancet editorial examines the challenges adolescent girls living in developing countries face and the work of the U.N. Adolescent Girls Task Force (UNAGTF) to help young women overcome these barriers. “This International Women’s Day, we recognise that investment in today’s population of…

Greek Health System Suffers Amid Growing Economic Crisis

Reuters examines how a worsening economic crisis in Greece is affecting the country’s health system, highlighting a 36 percent decrease in health spending by Greeks this year, according to the National School of Public Health, and an increase of more than 50 percent in new cases of HIV from the first five months of 2010 to the same period this year. The news service also notes a rise in depression and suicide, writing, “Greeks are swallowing 35 percent more antidepressants than they did five years ago, according to the National School of Public Health. The health ministry says suicides are up 40 percent so far this year.”

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.”

Regional HIV/AIDS Conference Opens In Russia

A regional conference kicked off Wednesday in Moscow with experts calling upon Russian authorities to change their approach to preventing the spread of HIV among injection drug users [IDUs], Deutsche Presse-Agentur reports (10/28). “The calls came in the face of a doubling in the number of HIV infections in Russia in the past eight years,” the Associated Press reports.

WHO Retracts Claims That ‘About Half’ Of Greek HIV Infections Are Self-inflicted

The WHO has “retract[ed] claims that crisis-hit Greeks are intentionally injecting themselves with [HIV] to collect state benefits almost two months after the shocking allegation was revealed in a report [.pdf] that triggered global media coverage,” The Guardian reports (Smith, 11/26). “The startling claim was contained in a single sentence…