A two-day gathering in The Hague of religious leaders to discuss the role people of faith can play in the fight against HIV/AIDS concluded Tuesday with a pledge to prevent discrimination against those living with the disease, the Associated Press reports.
LGBT/MSM/Gay and Bisexual
Goosby, Emanuel Address Progress, Potential Roadblocks Ahead For Introduction Of Microbicides In Developing Countries
The growing evidence supporting the promise of new HIV prevention products, like microbicides, requires that groups start planning now for how best to roll-out prevention interventions in the future, U.S. Global AIDS Coordinator Eric Goosby and Special Advisor on Health Policy to the Director of the White House Office of Management and Budget Ezekiel Emanuel said Monday during a USAID Microbicide Stakeholders Meeting in Washington.
“Pope Benedict XVI says in a new book that condoms can be justified for male prostitutes seeking to stop the spread of HIV, a stunning comment for a church criticized for its opposition to condoms and for a pontiff who has blamed them for making the AIDS crisis worse,” the Associated Press/Washington Post reports. The pope’s comments were made public on Saturday, when a Vatican newspaper ran excerpts from Benedict’s book-length interview with German Journalist Peter Seewald for “Light of the World: The Pope, the Church and the Signs of the Times,” due out Tuesday, the news service writes (D’Emilio/Winfield, 11/21).
“Despite the gains associated with antiretroviral treatments (ART) over the last decade, HIV/AIDS remains the leading cause of death among young and middle-aged adults in the Caribbean, warns a new U.N. report” that was released during the 10th Annual General Meeting of the Pan Caribbean Partnership Against HIV and AIDS (PANCAP) that concluded on Tuesday, Inter Press Service reports (Richards, 11/3).
A study that included nearly 2,500 HIV-negative men and transgender women who have sex with men has shown that a daily dose of Truvada, a pill containing the AIDS drugs emtricitabine and tenofovir, “can reduce risk of contracting [HIV] by an average of 44% â€“ and by more than 70% if the subjects” follow the regimen closely, Los Angeles Times reports (Maugh, 11/23).
Media outlets continued to track the major developments in HIV/AIDS this week, including: prevention research using an antiretroviral; new UNAIDS estimates of HIV/AIDS around the world; and Pope Benedict XVI’s stance on condoms for HIV prevention.
Reuters reports that the developers of a vaginal microbicide gel containing the antiretroviral tenofovir which has been found to reduce “HIV infections in women by 39 percent,” said that during meetings last week the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) granted fast track approval designation to the gel, which expedites the review of drugs by the agency.
The U.N. Development Program (UNDP) together with UNAIDS on Thursday announced a commission formed to examine how legal environments affect HIV/AIDS efforts, VOA News reports (DeCapua, 6/24).
“‘Getting to Zero’ has been the slogan for World AIDS Day (Dec. 1) since 2011 and will remain so through until 2015, coinciding with the Millennium Development Goal target of halting and beginning to reverse the spread of HIV/AIDS,” Francoise Barre-Sinoussi, director of the Regulation of Retroviral Infections Unit at the Institut Pasteur in Paris, and Adeeba Kamarulzaman, director of the Center of Excellence for Research in AIDS and dean of the Faculty of Medicine at University of Malaya in Kuala Lumpur, write in a New York Times opinion piece. “This offers a starting point for some more sanguine reflection on how, amid generalized talk of zeros, targets and goals, we can so easily lose sight of the extraordinary barriers that prevent them being reached in the first place,” they continue.
UNAIDS’ new World AIDS Day report: Results, released on Tuesday, “shows that unprecedented acceleration in the AIDS response is producing results for people,” according to a UNAIDS press release. Between 2001 and 2011, “a more than 50 percent reduction in the rate of new HIV infections has been achieved across 25 low- and middle-income countries — more than half in Africa, the region most affected by HIV,” the press release states, adding, “In addition to welcome results in HIV prevention, sub-Saharan Africa has reduced AIDS-related deaths by one third in the last six years and increased the number of people on antiretroviral treatment by 59 percent in the last two years alone.” According to the press release, “The area where perhaps most progress is being made is in reducing new HIV infections in children,” and the number of AIDS-related deaths has dropped because of increased access to antiretroviral treatment.