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HIV-Negative Babies Born To HIV-Positive Mothers Have Lower Antibody Levels For Some Infections, Study Finds

“Babies who are exposed to HIV at birth but don’t become infected with the virus have lower levels of antibodies to diseases such as whooping cough, tetanus and pneumococcus,” according to a study published in the Feb. 9 issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA), HealthDay News/U.S. News & World Report (2/8). The findings “might explain in part why uninfected babies born to women with HIV have a higher risk of illness and death early in life,” according to a press release by the Imperial College of London, whose researchers helped lead the study.

Also In Global Health News: Zimbabwe’s HIV Prevalence Declines; Sri Lanka Flooding; Online Tool To Track Outbreaks; U.S. Recognition Of S. Sudan; TB In Swaziland

Study Examines Reasons For Zimbabwe’s HIV Prevalence Decline Reuters reports that an article published in PLoS Medicine “said Zimbabwe’s [HIV] epidemic was one of the biggest in the world until the [prevalence of people] infected with HIV almost halved, from 29 percent of the population in 1997 to 16 percent in 2007.”…

Also In Global Health News: Reproductive Health In Philippines; Microfinance Debt In India; HIV/AIDS In Kenya; Google’s DotOrg

Reproductive Health Bill Is Approved By Philippines House Of Representatives IRIN reports a “hotly debated” bill “that proposes national funding for, and access to, reproductive healthcare services and products,” cleared “a major hurdle on [Monday] after being approved by a committee of the Philippines House of Representatives” (2/1). Biliran Rep. Rogelio…

Also In Global Health News: Medical Tourism In Southeast Asia; Cholera, Yellow Fever In Ivory Coast; U.S. Aid To Egypt; Universal Coverage In Mexico; Pneumonia’s Evolution

IRIN Examines Medical Tourism’s Affect In Southeast Asia IRIN examines how “rapid growth in medical tourism” in southeast Asian countries is affecting health systems in the region. According to the WHO, “medical tourism is leading to some highly skilled specialists, as well as other trained medical staff, leaving public health…

Recent Releases In Global Health

Innovative Health Financing Can Benefit Global Health, Pharma: “The launch of pneumococcal vaccination in Nicaragua under AMC [advance market commitment] has shown that innovative approaches to health financing can benefit both global health and pharmaceutical companies,” according to a Lancet Infectious Diseases editorial that describes how the roll-out of GAVI initiative…

BMJ News Examines Ongoing Investigation Of WHO’s Handling Of H1N1

BMJ News reports on the ongoing external investigation of the WHO’s handling of the 2009 H1N1 (swine flu) pandemic, following recent statements to the WHO’s executive board meeting by review committee chairman, Harvey Fineberg. Despite initial expectations that the external review committee would produce a draft of its findings in January, Fineberg “said the panel was planning a meeting on 28-30 March, and it would distribute in advance to all WHO member nations copies of a draft summary of its principal findings, conclusions, and recommendations, for comments and reactions, before it finalises the report.”

Scientists Create GM Chicken That Does Not Spread Bird Flu To Other Chickens

“Scientists have developed genetically modified [GM] chickens that don’t transmit bird flu [H5N1] to other chickens,” HealthDay News/Bloomberg Businessweek reports. “This achievement could stop bird flu outbreaks from spreading within poultry flocks and possibly reduce the risk of bird flu epidemics that could lead to flu virus epidemics in humans, according to the researchers at the Universities of Cambridge and Edinburgh in the United Kingdom,” whose findings appear in the Jan. 14 issue of the journal Science, according to the news service (Preidt, 1/13).

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