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.
US Global Health Policy
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.”
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).
In this post in the Center for Global Development’s “Global Health Policy” blog, Amanda Glassman, director of Global Health Policy and a research fellow at the center, reports on last week’s USAID- and World Bank-sponsored debate on treatment as prevention, “where debaters were asked to support or oppose the proposition…
Push For Experimental Smallpox Drug Contract By Obama Administration Raises Questions, L.A. Times Reports
“Over the last year, the Obama administration has aggressively pushed a $433 million plan to buy an experimental smallpox drug, despite uncertainty over whether it is needed or will work,” the Los Angeles Times reports. “Senior officials have taken unusual steps to secure the contract for New York-based Siga Technologies Inc., whose controlling shareholder is billionaire Ronald Perelman, one of the world’s richest men and a longtime Democratic Party donor,” including “replac[ed] the government’s lead negotiator for the deal” and “blocked other firms from competing,” the newspaper adds.
“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.”
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.”
The November/December issue of USAID’s Frontlines focuses on the agency’s 50th anniversary and food security in the Horn of Africa. In his “Insights” column, USAID Administrator Rajiv Shah writes, “As we continue to shape a brighter future for generations to come, we must rededicate ourselves to continually improve the way we…
Global Health Service Corps Essential To Improve African Health Systems, Achieve ‘AIDS-Free Generation’
“A notable feature of Secretary [of State Hillary Rodham] Clinton’s ‘AIDS-free generation’ initiative is to strengthen health care systems in sub-Saharan Africa, … a view echoed by many eminent voices in the global health community,” Anand Reddi of the University of Colorado Medical School writes in a post on Huffington Post’s “Impact” blog. “To address the African health care workforce shortage, I encourage Secretary Clinton to adopt the principles of the” Global Health Service Corps (GHSC), which would be composed of U.S. health professionals who could “provide medical education and technical assistance to enhance the health care workforces in low-income countries,” Reddi says. In addition, the GHSC would focus on “infrastructure development, knowledge transfer, and capacity building,” Reddi writes.