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Bloomberg BusinessWeek Explores Growing Trend In Pharma To License, Donate HIV Drugs

“Pharmaceutical companies, once blasted as uncaring or downright greedy for charging thousands of dollars for a year’s worth of AIDS medicines … in poor countries, lately have been slashing prices and licensing their drugs for free or nominal cost to nonprofits or local manufacturers in the developing world,” Bloomberg BusinessWeek writes in an analysis piece that examines how this trend, combined with a growing capability among aid agencies to distribute drugs, has the potential to increase access to HIV/AIDS drugs worldwide.

Also In Global Health News: WHO HIV/AIDS Treatment Guidelines In Malawi; U.S., Nigeria To Collaborate On HIV Vaccine Research; Water Scarcity

IRIN PlusNews Reports On Possible Effects Of Adopting WHO HIV/AIDS Treatment Guidelines In Malawi IRIN PlusNews examines the outcomes of a WHO-supported study in Malawi to assess what adopting the new WHO HIV/AIDS treatment guidelines would mean for the country. “According to the feasibility study, [adopting the guidelines would increase] the number…

ART Associated With Reduced Risk Of HIV Transmission To Sexual Partners, Study Shows

Research published in the Lancet online Thursday “provides the strongest evidence to date” that antiretroviral therapy (ART) might also be used to prevent transmission of HIV, Agence France-Presse reports. The observational study found that treating HIV-positive patients with ART reduced the risk of HIV transmission to their sexual partners by 92 percent (5/26).

Recent Releases In Global Health

Adopt Draft Code Of Health Personnel Recruitment At WHA, Lancet Comment Says As the 193 WHO member states gather at next week’s World Health Assembly (WHA) “a draft global code of practice on the international recruitment of health personnel will be on the agenda. Negotiation and adoption of a WHO…

Researchers Present More Findings For Microbicides, PrEP At M2010 Conference

Researchers on Monday at the International Microbicides Conference (M2010) in Pittsburgh continued to present data on HIV prevention research, Reuters reports. The news service outlines several prevention methods being researched, including an intravaginal ring that over time releases two antiretrovirals (ARVs) – dapivirine and maraviroc – for up to a month, and a vaginal tablet that time-releases the antiretrovirals dapivirine and DS003 for up to 12 hours. Both methods have yet to reach clinical trials.

AP Examines HIV Microbicides, PrEP Research

“Try after try to make vaginal creams that could repel the AIDS virus have failed. Now researchers are testing if a drug used to treat HIV infection finally might give women a tool to prevent it – by infusing the medicine into vaginal gels and contraceptive-style rings,” the Associated Press reports in a piece that examines researchers’ latest efforts to create effective HIV microbicides, ahead of the biennial International Microbicides Conference next weekend.

New York Times Examines Global Fight Against HIV/AIDS

Several articles in the New York Times examine the global fight against HIV/AIDS. “Uganda is the first country where major clinics routinely turn people away” because of funding, the newspaper writes in an article that reports “money for [HIV/AIDS] treatment has stopped growing.” According to the newspaper, “American officials who spoke on the condition of anonymity confirmed the financing freeze” in Uganda. The article explores reasons for the U.S. funding cap there, including corruption.

The New York Times notes that other countries in Africa have reported not being able to enroll new HIV patients into treatment programs. “I’m worried we’ll be in a ‘Kampala situation’ in other countries soon,” the U.S. Global AIDS Coordinator Ambassador Eric Goosby said.

Recent Releases In Global Health

Lancet Study Finds Level Of HIV Services For IDUs ‘Is Poor In Many Countries’ A Lancet study performed a systematic review of HIV prevention and treatment services targeting injecting drug users (IDUs) globally based on the availability of “core interventions for IDUs: needle and syringe programmes (NSPs), opioid substitution therapy (OST) and other drug…

UNAIDS Director Cautions Against Funding Cuts To Global Fund

During an appeal to government and private donors to pledge money to the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria on Monday, UNAIDS Executive Director Michel Sidibe warned of the repercussions tightening budgets could play in the global fight against HIV/AIDS, the Associated Press reports. “An estimated 94 percent of patients on anti-retroviral treatment in Africa count on external donor funds to provide their medications, Sidibe said,’ according to the news service. “If we stop now, if we reduce the financing, the people who are on treatment today … we will transform their hope for universal access into a universal nightmare, because they will start dying,” Sidibe told the AP.