Treatment and Prevention Strategies

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UNAIDS Director Calls For ARV Production In Africa

“Executive Director of UNAIDS Michel Sidibe Wednesday called for the production of anti-retroviral drugs [ARVs] in Africa to make the life-saving medicines against AIDS accessible to patients and boost the medicines manufacturing sector on the continent,” PANA/AfriqueJet reports. Speaking at the 16th West African Economic and Monetary Union (UEMOA) Summit in Lome, Togo, “Sidibe said it was time for the continent to negotiate strong partnerships with emerging countries, including India and Brazil, to support the local production of ARVs in Africa,” the news service writes, adding, “According to [Sidibe], Africa accounts for only one percent of the medicine manufacturing sector that is expected to generate as much as $1 trillion by 2015” (6/7).

Ethiopian Government, PEPFAR To Run 5-Year HIV Prevention Program Aimed At High-Risk Groups

“More than 100 million condoms will be distributed annually to sex workers, men who have sex with men, and other groups vulnerable to HIV as part of a new five-year program to be run by the Ethiopian government and the U.S. President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR),” PlusNews reports. “Dubbed MULU, the Amharic word for comprehensive, the $70 million program — implemented by the NGOs Population Services International and World Learning — will also target day laborers in the booming construction industry, migrant workers and their partners,” the news service notes.

Gilead Sciences Signs Deals With 3 Indian Pharmaceutical Companies To Promote Low-Cost HIV Drugs In Developing Countries

Gilead Sciences Inc. announced Thursday that it plans to partner with Mylan Inc., Ranbaxy Laboratories Ltd. and Strides Arcolab Ltd. “to promote access to high-quality, low-cost generic versions of Gilead’s HIV medicine emtricitabine in developing countries,” the Wall Street Journal reports (Stevenson, 8/2). Gilead signed deals with the three Indian companies “to drive sales and reduce manufacturing costs of low-cost generic versions of its HIV drug emtricitabine in developing countries,” Reuters reports, noting that under the deals, Gilead “will provide technology and funding to help reduce manufacturing costs of the drug, the companies said” (Kuber, 8/2).

Malawi Launches Week-Long Campaign To Test 250,000 People For HIV

“Malawi on Monday launched a week-long campaign to test 250,000 people for HIV in what health authorities called a crucial intervention in a country ravaged by AIDS,” Agence France-Presse reports. “The week would give Malawians ‘a chance to access antiretroviral therapy if found HIV positive,’ said Deputy Health Minister Halima Daudi at the launch,” the news service writes, noting, “People will take tests in 810 sites in the southern African nation’s 28 districts.” Approximately 10 percent of Malawi’s 14 million residents are living with HIV, according to AFP (8/6).

Voters Need More Information On Free Trade Agreement That Could Impact Drug Prices

In an opinion piece in the Guardian’s “Comment is Free” blog, Dean Baker, co-director of the Center for Economic and Policy Research, discusses potential policies contained within the “Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement (TPP), a pact that the United States is negotiating with Australia, Canada, Japan and eight other countries in the Pacific region.” However, “[a]t this point, it’s not really possible to discuss the merits of the TPP since the governments are keeping the proposed text a secret from the public,” he says. Noting “[a] few items that have been leaked give us some insight as to the direction of this pact,” he discusses how the “pharmaceutical industry is … likely to be a big gainer” from the TPP if the pact includes “stronger and longer patent protection and also increased use of ‘data exclusivity.'”

African Countries Aim To Educate People About Tobacco’s Harmful Effects

Phys.org: Six African Countries Gather to Improve Tobacco Counter Marketing “Health Ministry Representatives from Botswana, Kenya, Nigeria, Rwanda, South Africa and Uganda [Tuesday] joined a regional workshop to improve warnings on cigarette packs and anti-tobacco public education campaigns. … Every country represented at the workshop is a party to WHO’s…

Gates Blog Examines Cryptosporidium

Ibrahim Khalil, senior program officer at the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation on the Enteric & Diarrheal Diseases team, highlights Cryptosporidium in the Foundation’s “Impatient Optimists” blog. “Cryptosporidium (Crypto) is an intracellular protozoan parasite that causes mild to severe infection known as cryptosporidiosis (crypto). Those infected with Crypto can develop…

Crimea Should Continue Its Successful Drug Treatment Programs After Russian Annexation

Huffington Post: ReSovietizing Crimea? What the Vote Means for the Twin Epidemics of Drug Use and HIV Richard Elovich, research scientist at Columbia University “…In choosing affiliation with Russia, Crimea should not reject the needs of the socially vulnerable and some of the helpful responses emerging from within. HIV and…

‘Impatient Optimists’ Blog Publishes TB-Related Posts

The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation’s “Impatient Optimists” blog published several posts on tuberculosis in recognition of World TB Day on March 24. In one, Mandy Slutsker, a senior project associate for ACTION, summarizes conversations with “advocates and experts from Kenya, Malawi, South Africa, Tanzania, and Zambia on the challenges…

2.4M S. Africans On ARVs, Accounting For 30% Of Those Worldwide, Health Minister Says

Health24: South Africans make up a third of those on ARVs “There are currently 2.4 million people in South Africa on [antiretroviral drugs (ARVs)], and this makes up 30 percent of the eight million people worldwide on ARVs, according to SA’s Minister of Health, Dr. Aaron Motsoaledi…” (Erasmus, 3/27).

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