KFF Daily Global Health Policy Report

In The News

Girl Thought Functionally Cured Of HIV Shows Signs Of Active Infection, Health Officials Report

Media sources report on the news that the Mississippi girl thought to be functionally cured of HIV infection now shows signs of viral rebound.

ABC News: Girl ‘Cured’ of HIV at Birth Now Has Virus, Doctors Say
“A girl believed to be ‘cured’ of HIV at birth now has detectable levels of the virus, health officials said today. The unnamed girl, dubbed the ‘Mississippi baby’ after being born to an HIV-positive mother in 2010 and quickly treated with an intense dose of antiretroviral medication, showed no signs of the virus for roughly four years, according to the National Institute for Allergy and Infectious Diseases…” (Mohney, 7/10).

Agence France-Presse: Baby thought cleared of HIV has virus again
“…The girl’s story had raised hopes that doctors may have found a way to cure young children who are born HIV-positive, simply by giving them strong antiretroviral drugs shortly after birth…” (7/10).

Associated Press: Girl hoped to have been cured of HIV has relapsed
“…[O]n Thursday, doctors said they were surprised last week to find the virus in her blood, and there were signs that it was harming her immune system. She is now back on treatment and is responding well, they said…” (Marchione, 7/10).

New York Times: Evidence of HIV Found in a Child Said to Be Cured
“…The report in March 2013 that the child had apparently been cured raised the possibility that aggressive early treatment might be able to reverse infections in newborns — and perhaps even in newly infected adults…” (McNeil, 7/10).

NIH: “Mississippi Baby” Now Has Detectable HIV, Researchers Find
“…In light of the new findings, researchers must now work to better understand what enabled the child to remain off treatment for more than two years without detectable virus or measurable immunologic response and what might be done to extend the period of sustained HIV remission in the absence of antiretroviral therapy…” (7/10).

NPR: Mississippi Child Thought Cured Of HIV Shows Signs Of Infection
“…Based on the child’s story, the National Institutes of Health had planned a huge study involving more than 700 other HIV-infected newborns. The strategy is to treat them with a powerful drug combination at birth and, assuming they show no signs of infection, take them off drugs altogether at the age of two…” (Harris, 7/10).

Reuters: Mississippi baby thought cured of HIV no longer in remission
“…[NIAID Director Anthony] Fauci in May had announced plans to study more children using that same technique, but he will be taking a ‘hard look’ at the design of that study now…” (Steenhuysen, 7/10).

ScienceInsider: HIV Resurfaces in “Mississippi Baby” Many Presumed Cured
“…After the girl went 27 months with no detectable virus in her blood, the sobering news ‘felt very much like a punch to the gut,’ said her pediatrician, Hannah Gay of the University of Mississippi Medical Center in Jackson, who spoke at a media teleconference [Thursday]…” (Cohen, 7/10).

Scientific American: HIV detected in ‘cured’ Mississippi Baby, Creating Huge AIDS Therapy Setback
“…Currently, there are no guidelines about how HIV-positive infants should be treated — whether with an aggressive early drug treatment or with prophylaxis. The [planned] study aims to help answer that question…” (Maron, 7/10).

USA TODAY: HIV infection returns in Mississippi girl thought cured
“…From the beginning, experts noted that the girl’s story was unique — involving a string of unusual events — and wouldn’t immediately lead to a cure for the 34 million people living with HIV worldwide…” (Szabo, 7/10).

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Experimental Dengue Vaccine Shows Positive Results In Study Among Asian Children

News outlets report on a study that finds an experimental dengue vaccine shows promising results in clinical trials.

Bloomberg Businessweek: Dengue Vaccine Shows Promise Against 3 Out of 4 Viruses
“The most advanced experimental vaccine against dengue protected some children against the disease in a study, though a more effective weapon may still be needed to curb the most widespread mosquito-borne infection…” (Bennett, 7/11).

HealthDay News: Dengue Fever Vaccine Shows Some Promise in Trial
“…While the vaccine only prevented dengue fever in 56 percent of the 10,000 kids who got the full series of three shots, it protected more than 88 percent of them from severe disease. In the worst-case scenarios, dengue fever can lead to hospitalization, and sometimes death…” (Reinberg, 7/10).

Reuters: Sanofi dengue vaccine promising but questions remain
“…The late-stage trial involved 10,275 healthy children aged 2-14 across five countries in Asia, a region that accounts for over two-thirds of the mosquito-borne disease’s global burden. Sanofi had already disclosed in April that its vaccine reduced the incidence of dengue fever by 56 percent in the Asian study, without giving details. The full findings were published online on Friday in The Lancet medical journal…” (Huet, 7/10).

VOA News: Vaccine And Other Strategies May Soon Control Dengue Fever
“…Another large scale study is taking place in Latin America. Sanofi Pasteur, the manufacturer, says the vaccine could be available by 2015…” (Pearson, 7/10).

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Key Populations Need Better Access To HIV Services, WHO Warns

News outlets report on new guidelines released by the WHO on preventing and treating HIV in key at-risk populations.

Reuters: Key high-risk HIV groups threaten AIDS progress, warns the WHO
“Five key groups, including gay men, prostitutes, and prisoners, have stubbornly high rates of HIV that are threatening progress in the global AIDS battle, the World Health Organization (WHO) said on Friday…” (Nebehay/Kelland, 7/11).

Voice of America: Discrimination Against Gays Threatens Spread of HIV/AIDS
“The World Health Organization says discrimination, stigmatization, and laws that criminalize homosexual and transgender behavior are hampering these people from getting the health services they need. The WHO is also warning HIV/AIDS will spread if gays and other people at high-risk fail to get access to HIV prevention and treatment…” (Schlein, 7/11).

WHO: People most at risk of HIV are not getting the health services they need
“Failure to provide adequate HIV services for key groups — men who have sex with men, people in prison, people who inject drugs, sex workers, and transgender people — threatens global progress on the HIV response, warns WHO…” (7/11).

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WHO Warns More Action Needed To Address NCDs, Especially In Poorer Countries

News outlets report on a new WHO report showing a lack of national-level action and commitment to controlling non-communicable diseases (NCDs).

Newsweek: Deaths From Cancer and Heart Disease Surge in Developing Countries, But Funding Hasn’t Caught Up
“Noncommunicable diseases like heart disease, cancer, and diabetes killed 38 million people last year, most of them in developing countries, but the majority of donor dollars for poorer countries are still being pumped into the targeting of infectious diseases…” (Westcott, 7/10).

U.N. News Centre: World’s poor hardest hit by chronic diseases, says top U.N. health official
“At a high-level review and assessment by the United Nations General Assembly of progress achieved in the prevention and control of non-communicable diseases, U.N. World Health Organization (WHO) Director-General Margaret Chan [Thursday] expressed deep concern about projected trends, especially as poor populations, the least able to cope, will be hit the hardest…” (7/10).

U.N. News Centre: Health officials weigh national efforts to tackle non-communicable diseases, as U.N. launches new report
“With world leaders gathered today in New York for the United Nations General Assembly’s review of efforts made since 2011 in controlling non-communicable diseases like heart disease, cancer, diabetes, and chronic lung disease, the organizations’ top health official launched a new report that shows progress at the national level has been insufficient and uneven…” (7/10).

VOA News: WHO: 38 Million Die Annually From Chronic Diseases
“…A new report from the WHO warns that nearly half of those who die from non-communicable diseases — about 16 million people — do so prematurely, before the age of 70. The majority of people who die from these illnesses reside in developing countries…” (Besheer, 7/10).

Xinhua/GlobalPost: WHO calls for scaled-up action on noncommunicable diseases
“…Although many countries have made progress in tackling the ‘epidemic’ of NCDs, including heart disease, cancer, diabetes, and chronic lung disease, current global mortality from NCDs remains ‘unacceptably high and is increasing,’ said a new WHO report…” (7/10).

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Malaria Interventions During Pregnancy Help Prevent Cases, Deaths, RBM Report Shows

News outlets discuss a new report from the Roll Back Malaria Partnership on the impact of malaria interventions on maternal and child health.

The Guardian/IPP Media: Roll Back Malaria campaign averts 94,000 newborn deaths
“A newly released report by the Roll Back Malaria (RBM) partnership [shows malaria interventions during pregnancy have] averted nearly 94,000 newborn deaths … between 2009 and 2012 in areas of high transmission incidence…” (7/11).

New Times: Maternal, childhood malaria cases down
“Malaria cases among pregnant women and children aged under five have significantly declined, a report by the Roll Back Malaria Partnership (RBM) shows…” (Gorlova, 7/11).

Roll Back Malaria: Malaria Prevention during Pregnancy Improves Health of Mothers and Babies
“A new report highlighting the impact of malaria interventions on maternal, newborn, and child health was launched [Thursday] alongside the annual High-Level Segment of the United Nations Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC) in New York. The Contribution of Malaria Control to Maternal and Newborn Health is the latest in the Roll Back Malaria (RBM) Partnership’s Progress & Impact Series to help assess progress towards targets set out in the Global Malaria Action Plan (GMAP) and the United Nations Millennium Development Goals (MDGs)…” (7/10).

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Most People Live In Cities, U.N. Report Shows

News outlets highlight a new U.N. report on human habitation of cities and the challenges presented.

New York Times: U.N. Finds Most People Now Live in Cities
“More than half of humanity now lives in cities, and even more will soon. The world will have to confront how to make cities more fit for human habitation. Those are the conclusions of a report released Thursday by the United Nations, raising new challenges including cholera, classrooms, and food production…” (Sengupta, 7/10).

U.N. News Centre: More than half of world’s population now living in urban areas, U.N. survey finds
“An additional 2.5 billion people are predicted to live in urban areas by 2050, the United Nations today reported, highlighting the need for a successful urban planning agenda and greater attention to be given to smaller cities where nearly half of all people currently reside…” (7/10).

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IPS Series Highlights Reproductive Health Issues On World Population Day

Inter Press Service publishes several articles as part of a series on world population and challenges to the Sustainable Development Goals on the occasion of World Population Day on July 11.

Inter Press Service: Reproductive Rights to Take Center Stage at U.N. Special Session
“As the United Nations continues negotiations on a new set of Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) for its post-2015 development agenda, population experts are hoping reproductive health will be given significant recognition in the final line-up of the goals later this year…” (Deen, 7/10).

Inter Press Service: Putting Population Management in Pacific Women’s Hands
“Populations of many Melanesian countries in the southwest Pacific Islands region are expected to double in a generation, threatening regional and national efforts to improve low economic and human development indicators…” (Wilson, 7/10).

Inter Press Service: Pakistan: Where Mothers Are Also Children
“…Dr. Tauseef Ahmed, Pakistan country director of Pathfinder International, a non-profit organization working to improve adolescent and youth access to sexual and reproductive health services in more than 30 countries, says that early pregnancy is not uncommon among teenage brides…” (Ebrahim, 7/11).

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Combining Two Polio Vaccines Could Speed Eradication, Research Suggests

Reuters: Combining vaccines may help eradicate polio
“Combining two types of polio vaccine, including one that is injected rather than given orally, appears to give better immunity and could speed efforts to eradicate the crippling disease, scientists said on Friday…” (Kelland, 7/10).

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Antibiotic Use Rises Worldwide, Study Shows

NPR: Last-Resort Antibiotics In Jeopardy As Use Rises Globally
“The total doses of antibiotics sold in clinics and pharmacies around the world rose 36 percent from 2000 to 2010, scientists reported Wednesday. The finding, published in The Lancet Infectious Disease, comes from the first study to look at global antibiotic consumption in the 21st century…” (Doucleff, 7/9).

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Sierra Leone, Liberia Experience Surge In Ebola Cases, WHO Reports

Reuters: Ebola deaths surge in Sierra Leone and Liberia: WHO
“Ebola continues to spread in Sierra Leone, Liberia, and to a lesser extent in Guinea, with a combined 44 new cases and 21 deaths between July 6-8, the World Health Organization (WHO) said on Friday…” (7/11).

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Chikungunya Deaths In Antilles, French Guiana Prompt Warnings From France

Agence France-Presse: France issues warning over chikungunya deaths in Antilles, Guiana
“France’s health minister warned Thursday of a serious epidemic in the Antilles and French Guiana after 33 deaths were reported in connection with the chikungunya virus…” (7/10).

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Asian Nations Should Remain Alert On MERS Though Spread To Region Unlikely, WHO Says

Agence France-Presse: MERS unlikely to spread in Asia: WHO expert
“Asian countries should keep their guard against the deadly Middle East respiratory virus, although it is unlikely to spread to the region, a World Health Organization expert said Thursday…” (7/10).

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Science Publishes Special Section On HIV/AIDS In Australia, Neighboring Nations

Science: Strategies against HIV/AIDS
“Science’s special section on HIV/AIDS focuses on the success of Australia’s approach to combating HIV and its neighbors’ (Malaysia, Indonesia, and Papua New Guinea) efforts emulating some of Australia’s methods to stem their own epidemics. However, critical issues remain unresolved about how to develop even more effective responses against HIV than now exist…” (Cohen, 7/11).

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Editorials and Opinions

Financial Commitments To Improve Agriculture Can Help Prevent Food Crises

Devex: We can prevent another food price crisis
Josh Lozman, deputy director of program advocacy at the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation

“…This year, African leaders have recommitted to investing in agriculture at their annual leaders’ summit, but there is currently a significant financing gap toward these plans. The support of programs like [the Global Agriculture and Food Security Program] to complement countries’ domestic resources remains critical to prevent a future global food crisis. The U.S. government is one of the donors that has stepped up to the plate. … Reducing funding for agriculture now could have a dramatic impact on farmers … by limiting their ability to improve the fertility of their soil, boost their yields and earn an income. The repercussions globally are even more staggering — the neglect of agriculture has been blamed by some for the recent food crisis and ongoing epidemic of chronic hunger. It is in our hands to prevent another food price crisis…” (7/10).

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SDGs Must Address Corruption

Huffington Post: The Devil, the Detail, and the Future of Development
Dana Wilkins, lead campaigner for aid policy at Global Witness

“Corruption is a disaster for development. It wastes the resources that can build sustainable economies, guts confidence in government, and fuels inequality and conflict. So common sense dictates that massive global efforts to end poverty must find a way to fight corruption, or they will fail. The world missed its last big chance to do this when it set the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) … [T]he international community now has a golden opportunity to correct this oversight when they set their goals for the next 15 years, known as the ‘Sustainable Development Goals’ (SDGs)…” (7/10).

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Smallpox, Anthrax Biosafety Scares Are Troubling

Foreign Policy: It’s 10 o’Clock — Do You Know Where Your Bubonic Plague Is?
Laurie Garrett, journalist and senior fellow for global health at the Council on Foreign Relations

“The revelation that smallpox vials have gone unnoticed inside the NIH for more than half a century is gobsmacking. … [I]t was shattering — or ironically amusing, depending on one’s point of view — to learn that anthrax research at the CDC as recently as June may have resulted in lab slips that exposed about 85 employees to the microbe. … Last year I proposed a series of measures governments ought to follow to improve biosafety, not only for the old standbys of smallpox and anthrax but for the new and man-made organisms. … While advocating in no uncertain terms that synthetic biology work ought to go forward, I called for less cavalier attitudes in both the scientific and government regulatory communities. … For more than 30 years, I have listened to the biosecurity debate in meetings large and small. Assurances have been made. … My worries are not appeased, my nerves are not calmed, and yours ought not be, either” (7/10).

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From the Global Health Policy Community

Gates Foundation Committed To Finding Safe, Accessible Dengue Vaccine

Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation’s “Impatient Optimists”: A Potential Breakthrough in the Fight against Dengue Fever
Lance Gordon, director for neglected infectious diseases in the Gates Foundation’s Global Health Program, discusses the news that a Sanofi Pasteur experimental dengue vaccine showed positive clinical trial results and the foundation’s commitment to assisting global partners in finding an effective vaccine against the disease (7/10).

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Evaluation Helps Understand Factors Influencing Child, Maternal Mortality

Humanosphere: Child mortality worldwide is down, but it’s not always clear why
Katie Leach-Kemon, a Humanosphere contributor and policy translation specialist at the University of Washington’s Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation, discusses the importance of evaluation to help understand the factors contributing to reductions in child and maternal mortality (7/10).

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Kenya's President Pledges Continued Cooperation With UNAIDS On AIDS Funding

UNAIDS: President of Kenya commits to ensure sustainability of the AIDS response in Kenya
“The President of Kenya, Uhuru Kenyatta, pledged to continue working with the United Nations for the effective utilization of available resources in the national AIDS response during a meeting with UNAIDS Executive Director Michel Sidibé on 7 July in his office at Harambee House in Nairobi, Kenya…” (7/9).

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EDCTP Forum Discusses Health Technologies

Global Health Technologies Coalition’s “Breakthroughs”: European and African countries meet to advance health technology development for poverty-related diseases
In an interview, Anne Hradský, advocacy coordinator for global health research and development at Deutsche Stiftung Weltbevoelkerung, discusses the focus of this year’s European & Developing Countries Clinical Trials Partnerships (EDCTP) Forum in Berlin, Germany (7/10).

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