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).
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).
“Washington is in an era of budget-cutting, so we frequently hear calls to shrink or eliminate U.S. foreign-assistance programs,” which is why “several religious groups … are highlighting how these programs reduce global poverty and hunger, saving millions of lives,” Richard Stearns, president of World Vision USA, writes in a Wall Street Journal opinion piece. However, he says “evangelical Christians [are] largely absent from this religious coalition” and notes that “a Pew survey earlier this year found that 56 percent of evangelicals think ‘aid to the world’s poor’ should be the first thing cut from the federal budget.”
Leia Isanhart Balima of Catholic Relief Services writes in this ONE blog post about the successes of the AIDSRelief program in Rwanda, and how that country’s Ministry of Health has taken ownership over operations. The program is funded by PEPFAR, and Catholic Relief Services is the lead agency for AIDSRelief in…
In this Washington Post opinion piece, columnist Michael Gerson recaps advances in the science of HIV/AIDS prevention over the last 18 months and the projected benefits of using combination preventive tools. He writes, “After 30 years and 30 million funerals, the end of the global AIDS epidemic is suddenly, unexpectedly, within sight. It would be a final victory for this clever killer if America were too preoccupied and inward-looking to notice and act.”
In this post in the Huffington Post’s “Impact” blog, U.S. Global AIDS Coordinator Ambassador Eric Goosby responds to Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton’s speech on HIV/AIDS given at the NIH on Wednesday, in which she called for an “AIDS-free generation,” writing that “her vision was an affirmation of the progress made over the past decade, and a mandate to redouble our efforts with global partners to bring the latest scientific advances to bear in order to save lives.”
In this post in the Huffington Post’s “Impact” blog, Sheila Nix, U.S. executive director of ONE, summarizes progress in the global fight against HIV/AIDS in the 30 years since the first cases were documented and writes that “as budgets constrict and leaders turn their attention inward, it’s easy to see why a renewed push on global AIDS doesn’t seem possible. Yet 2011 marks a critical inflection point in our fight against AIDS.”
Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton, speaking at the NIH on Tuesday, “called on the world to create the first ‘AIDS-free generation’ by using antiviral drugs, condoms, circumcision and other approaches to stem the spread of HIV,” the Washington Post reports. “Taken together, mathematical models show that these strategies could significantly reduce the spread of the virus by another 40 percent to 60 percent, she said,” the newspaper writes (Stein, 11/8).
Exclusion Of Family Planning, HIV Prevention From Pink Ribbon Red Ribbon Partnership Is ‘Counter-Intuitive’
In this Huffington Post opinion piece, Serra Sippel, president of the Center for Health and Gender Equity, examines the Pink Ribbon Red Ribbon partnership, which was launched last month by PEPFAR in conjunction with the George W. Bush Institute, Susan G. Komen for the Cure, and UNAIDS with the aim of “integrat[ing] cervical and breast cancer education, screening, and treatment with HIV services.” She continues, “Given that women living with HIV are at an increased risk of developing cervical cancer, it makes sense. It’s a logical and critical part of what PEPFAR is calling care and support services.” But while the initiative “has the potential to reduce the number of cancer deaths among women living with HIV and improve their overall health,” the fact “that planning a family and preventing further HIV transmission is not part of what PEPFAR is calling care and support” is “counter-intuitive and counter-productive,” Sippel writes.