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IPS Explores What Efforts To Reduce U.S. Federal Deficit Could Mean For Global Health Funding

Inter Press Service explores some advocates’ concerns over how the “new emphasis in Washington on reducing government spending” could affect U.S. funding for global health programs, including HIV/AIDS. Come January, “Republicans will take control of the U.S. House of Representatives and have made it clear that reducing government spending in order to close the government’s budget deficit will be a top priority,” the news service writes.

Daily Oral Antiretroviral Reduces HIV Infection Risk In MSM By 44%, Study Finds

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% – and by more than 70% if the subjects” follow the regimen closely, Los Angeles Times reports (Maugh, 11/23).

UNAIDS Report Finds New HIV Infections Dropped By 20% Over 10 Years, Deaths From AIDS-Related Illness Dropped By 20% Over 5 Years

The number of new HIV infections “has dropped by about one-fifth over the past decade but millions of people are still missing out on major progress in prevention and treatment,” according to the annual UNAIDS report released Tuesday, Agence France-Presse reports. “In 2009, 2.6 million people contracted the HIV virus that causes AIDS, a decline of 19 percent over the 3.1 million recorded in” 1999 the report found, according to the news service (11/23).

Haiti Cholera Death Toll Increases, U.N. Boosts Estimate For Number Of Expected Cases

“The cholera epidemic in Haiti is gathering pace and some violence is expected when the country holds elections this week, U.N. officials warned Tuesday,” Agence France-Presse reports. The official death toll from cholera is now above 1,400, but “experts believe that the real toll is close to 2,000 dead and the number of cases is between 60,000 and 70,000 rather than the 50,000 given by the authorities, Nigel Fisher, the U.N. humanitarian coordinator in Haiti said,” according to the news service (11/23).

Also In Global Health News: Access To ARVs In Mozambique; HIV/AIDS In Bolivia; Sierra Leone’s Food Security Plan

NewsHour Looks At ARV Programs In Mozambique PBS NewsHour examines “how policy decisions made in Washington affect people in the Southern African nation of Mozambique,” where one in eight adults is HIV-positive. With antiretroviral drugs (ARVs) paid for by the U.S. keeping millions across Africa alive, NewsHour looks at the debate that “has emerged:…

USAID’s Shah Announces Bureau For Food Security; Bread For The World Releases 2011 Hunger Report

USAID Administrator Rajiv Shah announced on Monday the creation of a Bureau for Food Security within the agency “to manage the Obama administration’s Feed the Future initiative, which Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton plans to turn over to USAID,” National Journal Daily reports. According to the article, Shah said, “This bureau will lead a whole-of-government effort to implement President Obama’s Feed the Future initiative, a multibillion-dollar international effort led by USAID to develop the agricultural sectors of a number of countries throughout the developing world.”

Media Outlets Look Ahead To Next Week’s Global Fund Replenishment Meeting

Ahead of next week’s replenishment meeting of the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria in New York, IRIN/PlusNews examines the challenges associated with trying to ramp up programs worldwide to meet global health targets. “After years of steady increases in funding for the HIV/AIDS response, the global economic downturn of the last two years has seen most donor countries cut or flat-line their contributions,” the news service writes.