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Kaiser Daily Global Health Policy Report

In The News

Laws Criminalizing HIV Transmission Threaten AIDS Efforts, Progress

Reuters: ‘Bad’ laws hurt sex workers, gays from Uganda to Nepal, AIDS meeting told
“…[O]ne of the major concerns of the gathering of 12,000 AIDS activists, scientists, and people living with HIV is how the criminalization of groups at high risk of HIV — such as gay men, sex workers, and transgender people — is threatening progress in the global effort to fight AIDS…” (Nguyen, 7/21).

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Report Shows Mixed Results For HIV Funding In 2013

Devex: ‘A mixed story’ for HIV funding in 2013
“…While support for HIV and AIDS interventions over the years has been significant, a lot still needs to be done to reverse the spread of the disease. Global funding commitments [by donor governments] to HIV and AIDS in 2013 fell three percent year on year to $8.07 billion, mainly as a result of decreasing commitments from the United States, a recent report from the Kaiser Family Foundation and UNAIDS noted…” (Valerio, 7/21).

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Number Of AIDS, TB Deaths Down, Report Shows

NBC News: AIDS and TB Down Globally, Study Finds
“Dedicated efforts to fight the AIDS virus and tuberculosis are paying off: both infections are on the decline, according to new research published Monday. And while more people are being infected with malaria, fewer people are dying from it, especially children…” (Fox, 7/21).

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Researchers Aim To Find Cure For AIDS, Focus On Infants

VOA News: Building Hope for Babies Born With HIV
“Hope and commitment motivate Deborah Persaud. An infectious disease expert, she’s among researchers worldwide who are ‘on a mission to find a cure for AIDS,’ she says. ‘But this is going to be a very long road’…” (Simkins, 7/21).

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Cambodia's HIV/AIDS Efforts Face Challenges, Future Financial Gaps

VOA News: Cambodia Faces Key Challenges in Effort to Tackle HIV/AIDS
“Cambodia’s efforts to tackle HIV/AIDS over the past 15 years have won it praise, and put it well ahead of many other low-income countries. But some of those most involved in the fight against AIDS are worried that an array of challenges could see some of those gains undone…” (Carmichael, 7/21).

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Culturally Appropriate HIV/AIDS Programs Needed For Indigenous People, Experts Say

Inter Press Service: Indigenous Communities Say Education, Funding Key to Fighting HIV/AIDS
“…With HIV and AIDS disproportionately affecting indigenous people across the world, there is a strong need for culturally appropriate programs designed, championed and delivered by indigenous people, activists and experts say…” (Bhandari, 7/21).

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Experts Warn Child Marriage, FGM Threaten Development Progress

News outlets discuss a new report from UNICEF on child marriages and genital mutilation, as well as the first summit to end child marriages.

Associated Press: Britain, U.N. host 1st summit to end child marriages
“More than 700 million women alive today were married before they turned 18, the United Nations’ children agency said Tuesday, as it co-hosts a London summit calling for more progress to end child marriages and the practice of female genital mutilation…” (Hui, 7/21).

The Guardian: Child marriage: one in three brides under 18 wed before 15th birthday
“…As activists, politicians and campaigners gather for the first Girl Summit on child marriage and female genital mutilation (FGM), a report by UNICEF, the U.N.’s children’s agency, reveal the devastating situation of millions of women…” (Topping, 7/21).

Thomson Reuters Foundation: “No time to lose” in tackling FGM and child marriage — UNICEF
“Booming population growth in regions where child marriage and female genital mutilation are common threatens to undermine progress on tackling both abuses, which blight the lives of hundreds of millions of girls, experts say…” (Batha, 7/22).

TIME: 700 Million Women Were Child Brides, UNICEF Says
“UNICEF released staggering new data Tuesday outlining the prevalence of child marriage and genital mutilation that continues to impact hundreds of millions of girls and women around the world…” (Stampler, 7/22).

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Nearly 22M Infants Went Unvaccinated In 2013, Report Shows

GlobalPost: U.N. reports 21.8 million infants weren’t vaccinated in 2013
“Nearly 22 million infants around the world were not vaccinated last year that should have been, according to a report released last week by the World Health Organization and UNICEF. The startling number underscores the need for innovations in vaccination storage and a critical re-think of existing vaccine aid programs, health advocates said…” (Basu, 7/21).

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WHO Warns Obesity In Children Will Reach 70M By 2025

VOA News: Childhood Obesity Weighs on WHO
“If current trends continue, the World Health Organization warns there will be 70 million obese children globally by 2025…”(Schlein, 7/18).

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Media Reports Examine Aspects Of West African Ebola Outbreak

News outlets continue coverage on the Ebola outbreak in West Africa.

Reuters: Ebola outbreak not hurting investment in Sierra Leone: foreign minister
“The Ebola outbreak has not hurt foreign investment in Sierra Leone but will inevitably require more spending to fight it, the country’s foreign minister said on Monday…” (Cohn/Vellacott, 7/21).

Reuters: Sierra Leone religious leaders criticize government handling of Ebola
“Religious leaders in Sierra Leone have criticized the government’s handling of an Ebola outbreak that has killed 194 people in the West Africa country, saying a lack of information was prompting rural communities to shun medical help…” (Fofana, 7/21).

U.N. News Centre: U.N. agency warns of fruit bat risk in West African Ebola epidemic
“The United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) is urging increased efforts to improve awareness among rural communities in West Africa about the risks of contracting the Ebola virus from eating certain wildlife species, including fruit bats…” (7/21).

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Polio Nearly Eradicated; Last Cases Originate In Pakistan, Afghanistan, Nigeria

Forbes: World Looks Anxiously To Pakistan, Afghanistan, And Nigeria To Eradicate Polio
“…The Global Polio Eradication Initiative hopes to see the final case of polio either late this year or early next year. All polio cases, regardless of where they are found, now originate from three countries: Pakistan, Afghanistan, and Nigeria. You can count the number of cases this year in Afghanistan or Nigeria on your fingers; the end of polio there is clearly within reach…” (Thorpe, 7/21).

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MERS Virus Detected In Air Samples Of Camel Barn Suggests Disease Is Airborne

Reuters: MERS virus detected in air samples from Saudi camel barn
“Saudi scientists have found gene fragments of the deadly Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS) virus in air from a barn housing an infected camel and say this suggests the disease may be transmitted through the air…” (Kelland, 7/22).

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Editorials and Opinions

Overcoming Stigma, Discrimination Key To Ending AIDS

Devex: Redoubling efforts to fight stigma and discrimination key to ending AIDS
Anne Stangl, senior behavioral scientist at the International Center for Research on Women

“…As the world’s attention turns to HIV and AIDS this week, we must redouble our efforts to ensure that sufficient attention is focused on how to reduce and overcome the stigma and discrimination that are impeding efforts to end AIDS. When we work together to end stigma and discrimination, we will be able to ensure that all people — regardless of their sexual orientation, race, age, gender, or class — have access to vital HIV prevention, care, and treatment services” (7/21).

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Reaching Goal Of Universal 'Undetectable' Viral Load Requires More Effort

Huffington Post: “Undetectable” HIV: A New Goal for the Global AIDS Response?
Matthew Kavanagh, AIDS and human rights researcher and activist

“…Leading groups from the AIDS movement throughout the world [this week] demanded a bold new focus on enabling every person with HIV to achieve an ‘undetectable’ viral load and challenged political leaders to set national and global targets to deliver on the means to achieve that goal by 2020. … Meanwhile, there’s an important additional message the activists delivered [at the International AIDS Conference] in Melbourne: ending AIDS and allowing all people living with HIV the opportunity to achieve an ‘undetectable’ viral load is possible — but it means redoubling efforts and refocusing on the politics of the AIDS response…” (7/21).

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More Investment In Harm Reduction Needed To Achieve AIDS-Free Generation

Huffington Post: AIDS-Free Generation Will Not Be Achieved Without More Investment in Harm Reduction
David Olson, global health communications expert

“…To coincide with the 20th International AIDS Conference in Melbourne, Australia, Harm Reduction International, the International Drug Policy Consortium, and the International HIV/AIDS Alliance are publishing a report that says that due to changing donor policies, HIV prevention services for [people who inject drugs (PWID)] are not being prioritized and this failure to invest will bring an exponential rise in HIV transmission which will impose much higher costs on governments and donors. … The bottom line: The AIDS-free generation we all want will not happen if we neglect the critical but unpopular group of people who inject drugs…” (7/21).

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Opinion Pieces Address Ending Child Marriage, FGM

The following opinion pieces discuss the Girl Summit taking place this week in London.

The Guardian: As long as it exists, child marriage will stand in the way of gender equality
Heather Hamilton, global coordinator of Girls Not Brides

“…The Girl Summit is an opportunity for governments to make commitments that will enable this change to come about, from committing to establish and enforce laws that set 18 as a minimum age of marriage to pledging long-term funding and programs that make a difference in the life of girls. … Child marriage has hindered progress on six of the eight Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) — poverty, education, gender equality, maternal and child health, and HIV/AIDS. When the summit ends, we hope governments will take this information into discussions on what will replace the MDGs when they expire next year, and make sure that ending child marriage is a standalone target in the framework…” (7/22).

Thomson Reuters Foundation: Family Planning for Adolescents: The Missing Ingredient?
Suzanne Petroni, senior director of gender, population, and development at the International Center for Research on Women

“This week in London, several hundred advocates and allies, including myself, will join government officials from around the world, led by U.K. Prime Minister David Cameron, to rally a global movement to end female genital mutilation (FGM) and child, early and forced marriage for girls within a generation. … Whether married or not, adolescents must have access to gender-equitable and rights-based comprehensive sexuality education that enables them to expand their knowledge and their understanding of their bodies, their rights and the services that should be accessible to them. … It’s a tall order, but we know the approaches that can work in making it happen…” (7/21).

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Recent Releases

Birx Discusses AIDS 2014, Importance Of PEPFAR In Interview

AIDS.gov blog: Ambassador Birx Shares Highlights from AIDS 2014 and Introduces PEPFAR Dashboards
Miguel Gomez, director of AIDS.gov and a senior communications adviser in the Office of HIV/AIDS and Infectious Disease Policy at HHS, interviews Ambassador-at-Large and U.S. Global AIDS Coordinator Deborah Birx about the first days of the International AIDS Conference and the importance of PEPFAR (7/21).

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Call To Action Issued To Integrate Holistic Approach For AIDS-Free Generation

UNAIDS: Global Partners Forum: a holistic approach needed to keep children and young people safe from HIV
UNAIDS reports on discussions in the Global Partners Forum on Children and HIV and AIDS, which took place on the first day of the 20th International AIDS Conference in Melbourne, Australia. “A call to action issued at the end of the forum charted the way forward to the integration of health and social service sector interventions and to achieving an AIDS-free generation…” (7/20).

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Report Examines Efforts To Scale Up TB-HIV Response

ACTION: From Rhetoric to Reality: An analysis of donor and implementing country efforts to scale up the TB-HIV response
The report shows leading donors and affected countries are failing to implement WHO guidelines on TB-HIV, TB-HIV activities are neglected by HIV programs, and joint disease programs are often carried out by TB initiatives. The report also provides recommendations and findings regarding major donors and national TB and HIV programs (July 2014).

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Reports On TB Testing, HIV Treatment Pricing Released At AIDS 2014

The Center for Global Health Policy’s “Science Speaks” is live-blogging this week from the AIDS 2014 conference in Melbourne, Australia.

Science Speaks: AIDS 2014: GeneXpert with clinic-based care reduced time to treatment for MDR TB patients in Khayelitsha, South Africa
“…On Monday, Helen Cox from the University of Cape Town reported on a study aimed at evaluating the impact of the rapid diagnostic, GeneXpert with providing care in primary care clinics rather than hospitals and the difference in timely treatment access…” (Lubinski, 7/21).

Science Speaks: AIDS 2014: Médecins Sans Frontières releases viral load and antiretroviral drug pricing reports
“Médecins Sans Frontières released a study of viral load monitoring in five countries along with the organization’s annual report on antiretroviral drug pricing…” (Lubinski, 7/21).

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GHTC Provides Roundup Of Recent Global Health Research News

Global Health Technologies Coalition’s “Breakthroughs”: Research Roundup: Smart power, TB research, female condoms, HIV resource tracking, and more
Nick Taylor, GHTC’s senior program assistant, highlights “some of the most interesting reads in global health research from the past week” (7/21).

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AIDS 2014 Provides Several Ways To Follow Conference Proceedings

International AIDS Conference: Stepping Up The Pace
The AIDS 2014 Media Centre is updated daily with press releases and conference highlights, including the Daily Bulletin and a press briefing available on the official conference YouTube channel. For information on upcoming AIDS 2014 sessions and speakers, download the Daily Programme Highlights document (.pdf) (7/21).

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special notice

Check out AIDS2014.org for the latest information on the 20th International AIDS Conference taking place this week in Melbourne, Australia.

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