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Scientists At Retrovirus Conference Present Findings on Microbicide Gel, Truvada, Male Circumcision, ART Care By Nurses

At the annual Conference on Retroviruses and Opportunistic Infections (CROI) in Boston on Monday, researchers “suggested the potential” of a gel containing the antiretroviral drug tenofovir to reduce the risk of anal HIV transmission, TIME’s “Healthland” blog reports. With previous trials showing the gel reduced HIV vaginal infection risk, “[r]esearchers have wanted to know whether the gel could protect against anal transmission of the virus, since the risk of infection from unprotected anal sex may be more than 20 times that of unprotected vaginal sex,” according to the blog (Melnick, 2/28).

IPS Examines HIV In The Caribbean, Highlights Challenges In Addressing At-Risk Populations

Inter Press Service examines HIV in the Caribbean, where “the HIV burden varies considerably among and within countries” in the region. “‘I think the prevention programs in many countries are not reaching the right people,’ Michel de Groulards, regional program adviser of the UNAIDS Caribbean Regional Support Team, told IPS,” the news service writes, adding, “One factor, de Groulards believed, may be that after 25 years of providing treatment, some countries have reached a plateau. In other cases, people considered at risk, including [men who have sex with men], are not targeted.” IPS writes that “even as Caribbean politicians, scientists, researchers, academics and other stakeholders continue to examine ways of dealing with the virus, 30 years after the first case was recorded in the region, there is growing recognition that cuts in overseas funding could seriously hamper future success” (Richards, 11/21).

UNAIDS Report Says 50M Women In Asia At Risk Of HIV Infection From Intimate Partners

A UNAIDS report released Tuesday at the 9th International Congress on AIDS in Asia and the Pacific (ICAAP) in Bali, Indonesia, estimates that more than 90 percent of the 1.7 million HIV-positive women living in Asia were infected by husbands or long-term partners who engaged in “high-risk sexual behaviours,” Agence France-Presse reports.

Also In Global News: Drug-Resistant TB, Circumcision

Overuse Of Fluoroquinolones Contributing To Spread Of Drug-Resistant TB, Study Says “Widespread overprescribing” of a class of antibiotic drugs called fluoroquinolones is fueling the spread of drug-resistant strains of tuberculosis and diminishing hopes that the drug could be used more widely to treat the disease, according to a study published…

Kenya To Launch MSM Survey To Help Control Spread Of HIV

TIME examines the Kenyan government’s upcoming survey of gay men and other men who have sex with men (MSM) in the country’s “three biggest cities” in an effort to fight the spread of HIV/AIDS. The survey, which will launch next year, “is considered a landmark because the government and the vast majority of Kenyan people have long refused to address homosexuality in the fight against AIDS,” the magazine writes.

Blog Discusses Need For New Approach To Transgender Health

Noting November 20 is the Transgender Day of Remembrance, Aysa Saleh-Ramirez, AIDSTAR-One senior technical adviser at John Snow, Inc., writes in USAID’s “IMPACTblog,” “Working alongside transgender women on needs assessments, trainings for health providers, and in the development of a blueprint (.PDF) for comprehensive transgender services, opened my eyes to…

Compassion Necessary Component For Ending AIDS

In an Atlantic opinion piece, singer and songwriter Sir Elton John writes about his experiences with HIV/AIDS and recounts the work of several organizations, including the Elton John AIDS Foundation. “I’ve seen the difference these heroes are making. … I’ve seen with my own eyes what’s possible when compassion is…

IRIN Examines Efforts To Improve HIV Prevention, Treatment Access For Key Groups

“Around the world, the most marginalized groups in society — from Roma to HIV-positive people to sex workers to drug users — are reluctant to access basic health services because they fear arrest, intimidation and harassment,” IRIN reports. “While donors and governments spend vast amounts to put these critical services…

UNAIDS’ ‘Zero Discrimination’ Campaign Discourages Criminalization Of HIV Transmission

UNAIDS’ “Zero Discrimination” campaign, launched this week, “among other goals, seeks to discourage countries from criminalizing the transmission of HIV,” Slate reports. “Over 63 countries have laws on the books, mandating criminal penalties for HIV-positive people who engage in sex without disclosing their status, according to the organization,” the news…