Disease Diagnosis/Detection

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Kenya National AIDS Program Considering Mandatory HIV Testing

VOA News examines how Kenya’s National Aids Control Council and STI Control Program (NASCOP) is considering proposing mandatory HIV testing for adults and children who seek medical care for other conditions, noting that some AIDS organizations are expressing ethical concerns because of continuing stigma and discrimination. For now, “fears of mandatory testing in Kenya are premature, as Kenyan law currently bans such practices,” the news service writes (Onyiego, 9/30).

Multi-Drug Resistance In First-Time TB Patients Shows 'Substantial' Transmission Of MDR-TB, Study Says

Nearly half of patients diagnosed with multi-drug resistant tuberculosis (MDR-TB) at a Chinese hospital had not had the disease before, showing “‘substantial’ transmission of the deadly superbug,” according to a study conducted by researchers from the Chinese Center for Disease Control and Prevention and published in the journal Emerging Infectious Diseases, Bloomberg reports.

Increased Communication Needed For TB Diagnostics Development

In this post on the PLoS “Speaking of Medicine” blog, Madhukar Pai, a professor and tuberculosis (TB) researcher based at McGill University, co-chair of the Stop TB Partnership’s New Diagnostics Working Group, and a consultant to the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, describes a recent conference on TB diagnostics at…

Strides Being Made Against Trypanosomiasis

Rachel ter Horst, medical advocacy adviser at Medecins Sans Frontieres, describes findings presented at the recent 31st biennial International Scientific Council for Trypanosomiasis Research and Control in Bamako, Mali, in this “BMJ Group Blogs” post. Noting that the annual reported incidence of human African trypanosomiasis (HAT) is decreasing but still…

Increased Focus On Vaccine For Dengue Fever Is Critical To Curb Spread Of Disease

In this GlobalPost opinion piece, Zulfiqar Bhutta, Husein Laljee Dewraj professor and head of the Division of Maternal and Child Health at the Aga Khan University Medical Center in Karachi, Pakistan, and Ciro de Quadros, executive vice president of the Sabin Vaccine Institute and former director of the Division of Vaccines and Immunization at PAHO, examine the need for a dengue fever vaccine as Pakistan struggles to curb an outbreak of the disease that to date has killed 60 people and has infected more than 8,000. “The need for a dengue vaccine is clear,” and “[w]ithout a vaccine to prevent dengue, we must redouble our efforts to effectively treat this infectious threat, starting with improving diagnostics,” they write.

Aborigines Have Higher STD Rates Than General Australian Population

Aborigines in Australia have higher rates of sexually transmitted diseases such as gonorrhea, syphilis, and chlamydia than the country’s general population, according to research by the University of New South Wales’ Kirby Institute and reported on Tuesday at a sexual health conference, the Associated Press/Seattle Times reports.

New York Times 'Small Fixes' Section Examines Multiple Low-Cost Interventions For Global Health Problems

The New York Times on Monday published a special section, titled “Small Fixes,” containing several articles examining how low-cost innovations could help save thousands of lives. The articles examine issues as diverse as using circumcision to reduce the risk of HIV infection among men to a water-filtering straw that can provide one person with clean drinking water for up to one year. Other articles examine paper diagnostic tests for liver damage, using vinegar to diagnose precancerous cervical lesions, nectar poisons to kill disease-carrying mosquitos, a wetsuit-like compression suit that can save a woman experiencing hemorrhaging after giving birth, and scratch-off labels on medicines that allow a user to text message a code and discover whether the drugs are counterfeit, among others (Various authors, 9/26).

Immediate Action Needed To Curb Spread Of TB, Especially Among Children

In this entry in the Huffington Post’s “Impact” blog, Kolleen Bouchane, director of ACTION, an international partnership of advocates working to mobilize resources to treat and prevent the spread of tuberculosis (TB), examines the need for improved TB vaccines and diagnostics in order to curb the spread of multidrug-resistant TB, especially among children, and highlights ACTION’s new report (.pdf), “Children and Tuberculosis: Exposing a Hidden Epidemic,” which she says “exposes the link between TB and orphaned and vulnerable children, malnourished children or children living with HIV.”

2M Pakistanis Affected By Diseases Related To Widespread Flooding In Southern Region

Two million Pakistanis have become ill from malaria, diarrhea, skin diseases or snake bites “since monsoon rains left the southern region under several feet of water, the country’s disaster authority said Thursday,” Agence France-Presse reports. “More than 350 people have been killed and over eight million people have been affected this year by floods that officials say are worse in parts of Sindh province than last year,” the news agency reports.

Polio Spreads From Pakistan To China; WHO Warns Of Further Spread

“Polio has broken out in China for the first time since 1999 after being imported from Pakistan, and there is a high risk of the crippling virus spreading further during the annual Haj pilgrimage, the World Health Organization said on Tuesday,” Reuters reports (9/20). Nine cases of wild poliovirus type 1 have been recorded in China’s western province of Xinjiang, which borders Pakistan, WHO spokesperson Oliver Rosenbauer said, according to Daily News and Analysis, GlobalPost notes (9/21). A genetic link has been confirmed between the virus detected in China and a strain circulating in Pakistan, according to the Associated Press/USA Today (9/20). BBC News reports that “Chinese authorities are now investigating the cases, and a mass vaccination campaign has been launched in the region” (9/20).