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Russia Will Not Use HIV Spending To Fund Needle Exchange, Methadone Therapy, Reuters Reports

Though Russia is doubling its budget for HIV in 2012 over 2010 levels, “no money will go to such internationally recognized efforts as needle exchanges” and methadone replacement therapy, Reuters reports. “Moscow doesn’t believe these approaches help slow the spread of HIV/AIDS,” and “[s]ome health workers and global HIV authorities are angered and baffled by Russia’s approach, which they say will only aggravate the problem,” the news service writes. The article examines how government spending for HIV will be used, with only three percent of about $600 million expected to go toward prevention programs in 2012, and how non-governmental organizations are coping with cuts in funding from international donor programs (Ferris-Rotman/Koppel, 12/21).

AVAC Report Outlines Science-Based Agenda For Ending AIDS Epidemic

AVAC’s annual report, titled “AVAC Report 2011: The End?,” “is intended as a vision and a challenge to the field, and a first step in holding all of us — civil society, researchers, governments, and funders — accountable for progress” toward ending AIDS, according to the AVAC website (12/22). In the report, “the advocacy…

PBS NewsHour Examines Role Of Religious Leaders In Morocco’s Fight Against HIV/AIDS

In this post in PBS NewsHour’s “The Rundown” blog, journalist Ray Suarez reports on the role of religious leaders in Morocco’s battle against HIV/AIDS and stigma. Suarez examines social and cultural factors influencing HIV/AIDS prevention programming in Morocco, speaks with HIV/AIDS activists in the country, and highlights an HIV educational program that utilizes Muslim imams to spread HIV prevention messages. He concludes, “In many ways the country is on the road to a successful response to AIDS. There are still thousands of new infections annually in this country of more than 30 million, guaranteeing the response to HIV must stretch for decades into the future” (12/21). The article is accompanied by a video report (Suarez, 12/21).

Examining The Proposed Federal Global Health Appropriations

In this post on the Center for Global Development’s (CGD) “Global Health Policy” blog, Denizhan Duran and Amanda Glassman of CGD review the proposed FY12 federal global health appropriation approved recently by Congress. They state that “this year’s budget is a missed opportunity in a period defined by budget pressures: global…

Global Fund Board Must ‘Sound Alarm’ To Renew Funding Commitments

In an opinion piece on the Medecins Sans Frontieres (MSF) website, MSF International President Unni Karunakara writes that with the cancellation of the Global Fund To Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria’s Round 11 grants, “The Board of the Global Fund must raise the alarm. Instead of accepting rationing, and cancelling ambitions, we…

CNN Examines HIV Clinic In Myanmar

CNN examines an HIV clinic in Myanmar, where the disease “is little understood” and “many of the patients here have nowhere else to go after being ostracized by their families.” The clinic — “started by pro-democracy leader Aung San Syi Kyi’s party, the National League for Democracy,” and run “on donations…

‘Money Well Spent Today Means Less Money Spent Tomorrow’ On HIV/AIDS

This Lancet Infectious Diseases editorial responds to the Global HIV/AIDS Response 2011 progress report (.pdf) launched by the WHO, UNICEF, and UNAIDS on November 30, writing that the report “contains much good news on treatment and prevention, but the gains made by past efforts are jeopardized by the ongoing global financial crisis and dwindling funds.”

A Call For Continued Investment In Global Health, Development

In this Politico opinion piece, former Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist (R-Tenn.), who chairs the non-profit Hope Through Healing Hands, writes, “Continued investment in the fight to end global AIDS is more than an investment in the lives of families and communities in developing nations — it is an investment in security, diplomacy and our moral image worldwide.” He says the goals announced by President Barack Obama on World AIDS Day — including providing antiretroviral treatment to a total of six million people by the end of 2013 — “must have the support of Congress.” Frist continues, “Under the current budget cuts, more than four million people will likely lack mosquito nets, a cheap way to prevent malaria. More than 900,000 children will lack access to vaccinations for measles, tetanus and pertussis.” He stresses the “need for accountability, transparency and results,” citing the Millennium Challenge Corporation as “a good example of promoting aid effectiveness from ‘input to impact.'” He concludes, “Foreign aid is less than one percent of our national budget, so cutting it would have a miniscule effect on our deficit reduction” (12/14).

Balancing Optimism And Realism In Battle Against HIV/AIDS

In his monthly column “Pulling It Together,” Kaiser Family Foundation President and CEO Drew Altman discusses a recent conversation between The Daily Show host Jon Stewart and U2 lead singer Bono that “captures the tension between the opportunity for new optimism and the continuing need for realism about the AIDS…

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