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Potential Cuts To Global Health Spending Threaten Vision Of ‘AIDS-Free Generation’

The vision of an “AIDS-free generation” presented in a speech earlier this month by Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton “is under threat in Congress,” as “[t]he House and the Senate are discussing significant cuts to the 2012 Obama administration request for global health funding,” Jeanie Yoon, a physician with Doctors Without Borders/Medecins Sans Frontieres (MSF), writes in a Baltimore Sun opinion piece. Yoon describes an MSF program in Zambia working to prevent mother-to-child HIV transmission (PMTCT), saying such programs “provide an opportunity for mothers be tested for HIV (as well as other dangerous conditions for pregnant women) and to take the steps needed for them and their babies to live healthy lives; as well as for communities to gain productive members instead of incurring yet more losses.”

PEPFAR Announces Nursing Education Partnership Initiative For Health In Africa

The U.S. government on Thursday “formally announced the Nursing Education Partnership Initiative (NEPI) in Lilongwe, Malawi,” according to a State Department press release. The PEPFAR initiative aims to “strengthen the quality and capacity of nursing and midwifery education institutions, increase the number of highly skilled nurses and midwives, and support innovative…

Cuts To U.S. Global Health Spending Would Mean ‘Stark Future’ For Millions

Disregarding advances “that have the potential to significantly reduce the death toll from HIV/AIDS, malaria, malnutrition, and other insidious killers, … both the House and the Senate are pushing significant cuts to the 2012 Obama request for global health funding,” Matthew Spitzer, president of the U.S. section of Doctors Without Borders/Medecins Sans Frontieres, writes in an opinion piece on the Huffington Post’s “Impact” blog. “This debate is about much more than economy; it is about the vulnerable, about people sick, even dying, right now in the poorest corners of the earth,” and if proposed cuts to global health spending are enacted, “millions of patients and families who rely on U.S.-funded health programs [will] face a stark future,” he writes.

GAVI Alliance To Fund Roll-Out Of Vaccines Against Cervical Cancer, Rubella in Developing Countries

The GAVI Alliance “has agreed to fund the roll-out of vaccines against cervical cancer in developing countries, offering protection against a disease that kills one woman every two minutes,” Reuters reports (Hirschler, 11/17). The group is continuing negotiations with pharmaceutical companies to lower the price of the vaccine, NPR’s health blog “Shots” notes. “By 2015, GAVI expects that two million girls in nine countries will have received the HPV vaccine,” but the shot will not be given to boys unless the WHO recommends they also receive the immunization, according to the blog (Husted, 11/17).

Recent Scientific Progress In Developing New HIV/AIDS Interventions

Kaitlin Christenson, coalition director for the Global Health Technologies Coalition, “reflects on recent progress made by the scientific community in developing new interventions to combat HIV/AIDS as a result of leadership from the U.S. government” in this ONE blog post. She highlights promising research currently underway in the areas of…

Examining Funding In Light Of New Evidence On HIV Prevention, Treatment Strategies

In this Huffington Post opinion piece, Nancy Birdsall, president of the Center for Global Development, reports on a World Bank- and USAID-sponsored debate she moderated last week as part of a series on HIV/AIDS issues, the topic of which was “Countries should spend a majority of what is likely to be a flat or even declining HIV prevention budget on ‘treatment as prevention.'” She notes several of her reactions to the debate and asks with regard to global health spending, “What about the pie? Even if it grows, there will be tradeoffs.”

Efforts To End AIDS Could Also Reduce TB Burden With Proper Funding

In response to Michael Gerson’s November 11 column in which he said the end of AIDS is possible because of combination prevention and treatment innovations, David Bryden, the Stop TB advocacy officer at RESULTS, writes in a Washington Post letter to the editor, “Another benefit of [HIV] treatment is that it sharply reduces deaths from tuberculosis [TB], which is the primary killer of people living with HIV/AIDS.” He says that “to fully succeed in Africa, where TB and HIV/AIDS are often two sides of the same coin, we have to quickly identify people who have TB or who are vulnerable to it and get them the services they need,” which also means developing an accurate quick test for the disease.

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.”

Bridging The Gap Between Global Health NGOs And Local Governments

In a post on Global Health Hub, blogger and medical student Abraar Karan examines the roles of global health non-governmental organizations (NGOs) and local governments in the countries where they work with regard to development initiatives, writing, “While it is true that NGOs are responsible for a large portion of health…

Report By Aid Watchdog Group Finds Many International Donors Lack Transparency

IRIN examines the results of a report by the aid watchdog group Publish What You Fund that examines “whether donors publish information about their budgets, their allocation and procurement policies, or audit reports on their own performance” and “finds that most international aid donors are still not open enough about their aid programs, and some offer no information at all.” The report, which “ranks 58 aid-giving countries and organizations according to their openness about 37 aspects of their aid programs,” was released in anticipation of the fourth High Level Forum on Aid Effectiveness to be held in Busan, South Korea, at the end of the month, where “transparency will be up for discussion,” according to IRIN. Some of the organizations ranked in the report include the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria, the GAVI Alliance, the World Bank’s International Development Association (IDA) and the African Development Bank, according to IRIN (11/16).