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Kaiser Daily Global Health Policy Report

In The News

Global HIV/AIDS Progress 'Inadequate And Fragile,' U.N. SG Ban Says, Urging Improved Access To Treatment, More R&D

Associated Press: Global AIDS gains ‘inadequate and fragile,’ U.N. chief says
“Actress Charlize Theron, singer Elton John, and Prince Harry are joining researchers, activists, and policymakers at a global AIDS conference in South Africa this week to debate ways to better treat and prevent the disease. The gains the world has made against AIDS are ‘inadequate and fragile,’ U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon told reporters Monday. More than half the people around the world infected with HIV, or 20 million people, still don’t have access to treatment, he said…” (7/18).

U.N. News Centre: Addressing AIDS conference in South Africa, Ban calls for scaling up global response
“… ‘To end this epidemic, we must close the gaps that keep people from accessing services and living with dignity. We have to expand resources, science, and services,’ [Ban] added, stressing the need to protect and promote the rights of people living with HIV, gay men and other men who have sex with men, transgender people, sex workers, people who inject drugs, and prisoners. ‘When we do this, we can end stigma and discrimination, prevent the spread of HIV, and save lives,’ he added…” (7/18).

Washington Post: United Nations chief: Progress in fighting AIDS is ‘inadequate — and fragile’
“…Ban also took the scientific community to task for the lack of research on neglected and rare diseases. Tuberculosis, he noted, is the leading cause of death for people living with HIV, but there haven’t been any new medications to treat it in years. In essence, Ban’s words were a plea against complacency, and he emphasized how important it is to look at AIDS in the context of other global health threats…” (Cha, 7/18).

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Officials Express Concern Over Drop In Donor Government Funding For AIDS In Low-, Middle-Income Countries Found In UNAIDS/Kaiser Family Foundation Report

Eyewitness News: UNAIDS concerned by ‘funding crisis’ in fight against AIDS
“The Joint United Nations Programme on HIV and AIDS (UNAIDS) says it’s concerned about what it calls a funding crisis in the fight against the deadly virus. … UNAIDS and the Kaiser Family Foundation say new data show that 13 of 14 donor governments have reduced funding for AIDS in low- and middle-income countries. … The Kaiser Family Foundation’s Jennifer Kates said, ‘This is an analysis we have been doing for a decade in partnership with the UNAIDS. Every year we look at bilateral disbursements and multilevel contributions. This year, for the first time in five years, we found a drop’…” (Rahlaga, 7/19).

Humanosphere: AIDS 2016: International conference opens with one ubiquitous question
“The 21st International AIDS Conference began with the question: ‘What will it really take to achieve the end of AIDS?’ … [Peter Piot, director of the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine] cited a 12 percent drop in funding for AIDS-related services and medications. Piot’s comments are underscored by a recent report from UNAIDS and the Kaiser Family Foundation. That report notes funding from government sources to support HIV efforts in low- and middle-income countries fell for the first time in five years in 2015, decreasing from $8.6 billion in 2014 to $7.5 billion…” (Owen, 7/18).

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PEPFAR Welcomes Return Of International AIDS Conference To African Continent; Pledges Continued Efforts To End Epidemic

Independent Online: #AIDS2016: PEPFAR committed to ending AIDS by 2030
“The U.S. President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR) in a statement on Monday said it was happy that the 21st International AIDS Conference had returned to Africa after 16 years and it remained committed to ending AIDS by 2030. U.S. Global AIDS Coordinator and Special Representative for Global Health Diplomacy Deborah Birx said the conference’s return to the African continent was significant as it coincided with the 35th anniversary of the ‘first reported cases of AIDS, a moment that would change the lives of millions of people around the globe’…” (Ngwenya, 7/18).

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Youth, Adolescents Infected With HIV, Die Of AIDS At High Rates, UNICEF Director Warns

U.N. News Centre: Adolescents are dying of AIDS at an alarming rate, U.N. agency warns
“An average of 29 adolescents between the ages of 15 and 19 are infected with HIV every hour, according to the United Nations Children’s Fund, which is calling for a redoubling of prevention and treatment efforts. ‘After all of the saved and improved lives thanks to prevention, treatment and care; after all of the battles won against prejudice and ignorance about this disease; after all of the wonderful milestones achieved, AIDS is still the number two cause of death for those aged 10-19 globally — and number one in Africa,’ Anthony Lake, the executive director of the U.N. Children’s Fund (UNICEF) said from Durban, South Africa, the site of the 21st International AIDS Conference…” (7/18).

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Researchers At AIDS 2016 Approach Ending AIDS Epidemic, Finding Cure With Caution, Hope

Agence France-Presse: Researchers warn of no quick HIV cure
“Researchers on Tuesday praised progress made towards developing an HIV cure, but said it was impossible to tell when or even if a cure for the devastating epidemic would be found. … Last week, scientists unveiled an aggressive strategy to develop an outright cure, but many of those in Durban warned it was still a young field of research. ‘A true cure is an aspirational goal,’ said principal author of the strategy Professor Sharon Lewin. She said remission — the ability of a patient to stop taking antiretroviral treatment and remain healthy — was the intermediate goal…” (7/19).

Devex: Step by step: The road to ending the AIDS epidemic
“…While achieving these 90-90-90 goals would set the world on course to end the AIDS epidemic by 2030 — in line with the Sustainable Development Goals — the reality is that only 51 percent of people know their status and of the 37 million people living with HIV, 17 million are on ART. As the 21st International AIDS Conference opens this week in Durban, South Africa, activists are calling for treatment for all. … Devex sat down with [UNAIDS Executive Director Michel] Sidibé at AIDS 2016 to discuss the road ahead…” (Cousins, 7/18).

Financial Times: Gains in global fight against AIDS being threatened by complacency
“…[Director of the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine Peter] Piot says the disease will not be beaten without an effective vaccine, the discovery of which has proved elusive. Drug resistance is another problem, particularly in countries where sudden halts in the supply of antiretrovirals give the virus a chance to rebound in patients. More worryingly, because HIV is no longer considered a death sentence, people have become more careless about avoiding infection, particularly through unsafe sex…” (Pilling/Mahr, 7/19).

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Vaginal Microbiome Could Play Role In Women's Susceptibility To HIV Infection, Studies To Be Presented At AIDS 2016 Show

PBS NewsHour: How vaginal bacteria could be stoking HIV cases and blocking prevention
“…At the International AIDS Conference in Durban …, researchers at the Center for the AIDS Programme of Research in South Africa (CAPRISA) will unveil startling new evidence of a bacterial culprit that could be responsible for as many as two out of every five new cases of HIV among women. They’ll also reveal how another bacteria blocks the effectiveness of [pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP)] pills…” (Boerner, 7/18).

Science: Vaginal bacteria species can raise HIV infection risk and undermine prevention
“…The new findings all come from follow-up studies of women who participated in a PrEP study of a vaginal gel that contained the anti-HIV drug tenofovir. Conducted by the Centre for the AIDS Programme of Research in South Africa (CAPRISA) based in Durban, the trial took place in a region where 66 percent of 30-year-old women are infected. … Until now, however, no one had clearly linked specific vaginal microbiomes to an increased risk of HIV infection. ‘Now we have actual data,’ says CAPRISA’s director, epidemiologist Salim Abdool Karim…” (Cohen, 7/18).

Wall Street Journal: Studies Offer Fresh Hope in Fight Against HIV/AIDS in South Africa
“…The findings were striking, and could help chart a path to reduce the number of new infections in young women and girls — one of the greatest challenges for health officials combating HIV in Southern Africa, the epicenter of the global epidemic, according to Salim Abdool Karim, director of the consortium and leader of the research team. ‘These three studies give us new insight and new evidence in how to improve our HIV prevention program for women in southern Africa,’ he said in an interview. The research will be presented at the 21st International AIDS Conference in Durban, South Africa, on Tuesday…” (McKay, 7/18).

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Studies' Results Show Successes In Using HIV Treatment As Prevention, Pre-Exposure Prophylaxis

Thomson Reuters Foundation: Drugs almost eliminate risk of sex with HIV-positive partner, African study shows
“A daily dose of anti-HIV medication almost eradicates the risk of infection for people in a relationship with an HIV-positive partner, a study showed on Tuesday, raising hopes of reducing HIV rates among one of Africa’s highest risk groups. More than 1,000 Kenyan and Ugandan couples took part in the two-year project where the HIV-positive partner, two-thirds of whom were women, took antiretroviral therapy (ARV) and the HIV-negative one took pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP). … The results were announced on Tuesday at the Durban International AIDS Conference in South Africa, where delegates are discussing the U.N. target of ending AIDS as a global health crisis by 2030…” (Migiro, 7/19).

Washington Post: HIV patients with undetectable virus unlikely to infect partner
“When HIV drugs suppress the virus in the blood to very low levels, patients are unlikely to infect their partners during condom-less sex, suggests a new study. After following nearly 900 heterosexual and gay couples for an average of 16 months, researchers found no evidence that uninfected partners became infected after having condom-less sex with an HIV-positive partner with viral suppression. This good news bolsters the role of HIV treatment as a form of prevention, said lead author Alison Rodger of the University College London…” (Seaman, 7/15).

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MSF Calls For Development, Implementation Of Action Plan To Improve Access To HIV Treatment In West, Central Africa

Xinhua News: MSF calls for action plan to address lack of access to HIV treatment
“Doctors Without Borders (MSF) on Monday called for greater efforts to develop and implement an action plan to address the critical lack of access to HIV treatment in West and Central Africa where coverage remains below 30 percent. The call was made at the ongoing 21st International AIDS Conference taking place in Durban…” (7/18).

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After Congress Adjourns Without Approving Zika Funding, Concerns Rise Over U.S. Public Health Preparedness, Possible New Transmission Routes Of Virus

The Atlantic: A Threat Bigger Than Zika
“…[W]hen members of Congress embarked on a seven-week recess last week, they failed to resolve the question of whether to approve money to combat Zika. … [E]ven if the United States avoids a serious outbreak this summer, the fight over Zika funding reveals a much larger problem with the way Congress thinks about the role of the United States in public health emergencies. Even if the United States didn’t have a moral obligation to use its substantial resources and global standing to fight diseases like Zika, several public health officials [said], protecting U.S. citizens requires looking beyond the country’s borders…” (LaFrance, 7/18).

CQ HealthBeat: Monday: Zika Funding Decision Waits for a New Fiscal Year
“…The start of the new fiscal year on Oct. 1 offers a new deadline for action on added Zika virus response funding, along with continuing spending for all federal programs and agencies. The administration’s Zika funding request, prepared in February, likely envisioned action well before October. A second Senate attempt last week to clear a supplemental funding agreement (HR 2577) failed to muster either Democratic support or Republican acceptance of new negotiations. A third vote on the matter is planned for when the Senate returns in September…” (7/18).

New York Times: Zika Virus Case in Utah Baffles Health Officials
“In another puzzling twist to the Zika epidemic, the Utah Department of Health on Monday reported the diagnosis of a new case of the virus that did not appear to have been contracted through either of the known sources of transmission: a mosquito bite or sexual contact…” (Tavernise, 7/18).

Wall Street Journal: Son of Utah Man With Zika-Related Death Contracted the Virus
“The latest medical surprise surrounding the Zika virus surfaced Monday in Salt Lake City, Utah, where the son of a man who died after becoming infected with Zika contracted the virus himself. Health authorities acknowledged they have no idea how the son got infected. The case, which health officials called ‘unique,’ is the first in the U.S. in which the source of infection isn’t known. The son, who was ill but recovered quickly, had no exposure that authorities have been able to tie to known modes of transmission…” (McKay, 7/18).

Washington Times: CDC: In a first, woman passed Zika to man through sex
“A New York City woman infected a man with Zika through sex, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said Friday, adding a new layer to what scientists know about the latest public health scare. … The New York episode is the first documented case of sexual transmission from a woman to a male sexual partner. … About nine in 10 Americans say they’ve heard or read about the virus, although a majority of them are not worried that they or someone in their families will become infected, according to a poll released [June 30] by the nonpartisan Kaiser Family Foundation…” (Howell, 7/15).

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U.N. Officials, Health Agency Urge More Action On Commitments To Reach Global Goals

U.N. News Centre: U.N. officials spotlight need to move from commitments to results on Global Goals
“Every country must accelerate the implementation pace of the ‘ambitious and transformative’ development agenda adopted by United Nations Member States nearly one year ago, by boosting efforts to overcome persistent challenges, new obstacles, and unforeseen setbacks in today’s turbulent world, the U.N. Deputy Secretary-General Jan Eliasson [Monday] declared … at the opening of a three-day ministerial meeting of the High-Level Political Forum on Sustainable Development at U.N. Headquarters in New York…” (7/18).

U.N. News Centre: U.N. health agency urges speeding up efforts on noncommunicable diseases
“Governments must make greater efforts to protect people from heart disease, cancers, diabetes, and lung disease — the leading causes of death among the elderly — the United Nations health agency [Monday] said. Without greater effort, the majority of countries will also fail to meet their Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) of reducing premature mortality from noncommunicable diseases by one-third. The findings come from the World Health Organization’s (WHO) global survey, ‘Assessing national capacity for the prevention and control of non-communicable diseases’…” (7/18).

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Private Sector Funding Necessary To Bolster Efforts To Reach Sustainable Development Goals, OECD Report Says

Public Finance International: Public sector cannot go it alone on aid financing, says OECD
“The involvement of the private sector is urgently needed to fill the substantial gap left by public money in funding the Sustainable Development Goals, according to the OECD [in its annual Development Cooperation Report]. While public funding sources delivered a record $132bn in 2015, estimates for achieving the ambitious SDGs by 2030 range as high as $4.3tn per year. As well as a new source of funds, the OECD highlighted that the private sector can bring efficiencies, innovation, jobs, and infrastructure with their investments. Although private sector support is sorely needed, the OECD said the public sector will have to approach its attempts to bring the private sector on board carefully to ensure success…” (Rumney, 7/18).

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Progress Made Worldwide To Improve Access To Medicines But Challenges Remain, Devex Reports

Devex: Bringing medicines to the world
“An estimated two billion people lack access to essential medicines, most of them living in Asia and Africa, according to the World Health Organization. While progress has been made in the past three decades, thanks in part to a renewed focus placed on diseases such as HIV and AIDS, malaria, and polio, much remains to be done to ensure access to treatment for all. … Governments, intergovernmental organizations, development organizations, and pharmaceutical companies therefore have no choice but to work together to achieve results…” (Halais, 7/18).

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Nearly 50K Children At Risk Of Starvation, 250K Malnourished In Nigeria's Borno State, UNICEF Says

Newsweek: Boko Haram: 50,000 Nigerian Children Risk Death by Starvation in Militant Group’s Home State
“Almost 50,000 children are at risk of starving to death in northeast Nigeria, as the country reels from the impact of Boko Haram’s almost-seven-year insurgency…” (Gaffey, 7/19).

TIME: Boko Haram Has Left 250,000 Children Suffering from ‘Severe Malnourishment’
“Almost one in five children in an area formerly occupied by the terror group will die if they do not receive treatment, a new UNICEF report says. Boko Haram’s onetime control over Nigeria’s northeastern Borno state has left an estimated quarter of a million children suffering from severe malnourishment, UNICEF announced in a report on Thursday…” (Quackenbush, 7/19).

Washington Post: U.N.: Nearly 50,000 kids at risk of starvation due to Boko Haram campaign
“…According to the UNICEF report, about 50,000 of the children will die if they don’t receive food and medical attention soon. The report focused on Borno state, which has suffered the worst of Boko Haram’s attacks and mass kidnappings. Yet while those crimes are well known — particularly the kidnapping of more than 200 schoolgirls from the town of Chibok — the immense humanitarian impact of the group’s campaign has received much less attention…” (Sieff, 7/18).

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Editorials and Opinions

Philanthropy Can Play Powerful Role In Funding HIV-Related Human Rights Efforts

Devex: Durban then and now: Human rights funding in the AIDS response
John Barnes, executive director of Funders Concerned About AIDS

“Policymakers, scientists, and implementers agree that an effective HIV response must be viewed through the lens of human rights. Yet overall AIDS funding for human rights is remarkably low. Resources in some countries are woefully inadequate, and harmful legislation aims to further marginalize and oppress those at greatest risk of HIV. The most marginalized groups — women, young people, sex workers, gay men and other men who have sex with men, transgender people, people who use drugs, prisoners, and migrants — are often directly and indirectly excluded from lifesaving health services. Without adequate funding, not only will we halt further advancements, we may backslide. … The philanthropic response in the global fight against HIV and AIDS is just a small part of total resources. But it is mighty. When public, private, and philanthropic resources are brought collectively to bear on the global response to HIV and AIDS, remarkable progress is possible. … Philanthropic funders also have a history of providing critical support for people and issues that are under- or unfunded by governments. Because private donors are subject to far fewer restrictions in what and where they are able to fund, theirs are often the only resources available to support advocacy. Dollars spent at the intersection of HIV and advocacy, bolstering efforts to keep national and international funders accountable, is money well spent. Advocacy yields tangible results in financing, policy change, and service delivery…” (7/15).

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Achieving Access, Equity, Rights For All, Promoting HIV Prevention Critical To Reaching Global AIDS Goals

Huffington Post: Moving The HIV Trajectory To Access And Equity For All
Tewodros Melesse, director general of International Planned Parenthood Federation

“The response to the global HIV epidemic has made significant strides towards stabilizing it. But can we say we’ve seen the end of it? No, that would be premature. If anything, with funding decreasing and attention given to other health priorities, progress is slow. … If we are to reach the 20 million who are without treatment, not only do we require approaches that are rights-based and inclusive, but there also needs to be funding to match ambition. As a leading sexual and reproductive health and rights advocate and service provider, we [at International Planned Parenthood Federation] call on donors to support the full replenishment of the Global Fund and meet the target of $13 billion at the replenishment meeting in Canada in September. The human rights of key populations, people living with HIV, and women and girls must be the fundamental principle on which our response is predicated. It is only then efforts to achieve access, equity, and rights now can become a reality” (7/18).

STAT: Prevention must be at the forefront to meet global HIV goals
Peter Piot, director and professor of global health at the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine and founding executive director of UNAIDS, and Mitchell Warren, executive director of AVAC

“…Proven [HIV] prevention strategies exist. … But there is a massive failure to deliver effective prevention, especially among young women …; people who use drugs …; and … gay men and other men who have sex with men. … Clearly, we need a huge shift in both mentality and approach. … We all need to … [use] every tool and every bit of useful data, while tackling stigma, drug abuse, gender violence, and other factors that put some people at much higher risk than others. Meanwhile, researchers need to keep up the search for new tools, including vaccines and cures. Today’s prevention methods can go a long way if we use them well, but they’re still not enough to close the door on the epidemic. Big endeavors need ambitious goals. The 90-90-90 strategy has prompted a huge and welcome outpouring of energy, enthusiasm, and investment into treating HIV/AIDS. It’s now time to commit to bringing the rest of HIV prevention into the foreground” (7/18).

Devex: Why we can’t treat our way out of the AIDS epidemic
Anne Stangl, senior behavioral scientist at the International Center for Research on Women (ICRW)

“…As we head into the 21st International AIDS Society conference, it is critical that we sharpen our focus on human rights. After more than three decades combating HIV, it is clear that we can’t simply treat our way out of this epidemic. We must make certain that those most vulnerable to HIV infection have equal access to high-quality prevention, care, and treatment options, and are supported to actively engage in these services. We can only accomplish this by using a human rights-based approach — one that places people who are marginalized, excluded, or discriminated against as the central focus — to design, implement, and evaluate human rights programs and national policies. Only then will we truly be able to end AIDS in a generation” (7/18).

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Editorial, Opinion Piece Discuss U.S. Responses To Zika

Palm Beach Post: Editorial: Zika meets Congressional dysfunction
Editorial Board

“Congress has left the building. And in its dysfunctional wake, it leaves yet another failed effort at passing crucial emergency funding to fight the spread of the dreaded Zika virus. … According to a new Kaiser Family Foundation poll, 72 percent of Americans — including majorities of Democrats, independents, and Republicans — support allocating more federal funds to study the Zika virus and prevent its spread. … [However, even] a reported 11th-hour plea from the Obama administration — which had clung to its original request for $1.9 billion in Zika funding — went nowhere. The letter to GOP leaders made no mention of the ‘poison pill’ provisions, but urged only ‘a funding plan that enjoys the bipartisan support needed to secure this critical funding during the short time remaining in the July session.’ It’s unbelievable that this matter failed, much less was up for debate. It’s disheartening that our Congress has reached this level of dysfunction” (7/17).

The Hill: Obama administration’s double standard on Zika
Rep. Bob Gibbs (R-Ohio)

“…[A]erial spraying should be a last resort, as the best way to combat Zika is to prevent it from proliferating. This can be done with the ground application of life-saving pesticides that kill mosquito larvae before they can spread the virus. But as a result of a bad court decision in 2009, unnecessary and duplicative permits are hampering the efforts of municipalities and local mosquito control districts to eradicate mosquitoes before they hatch. … [These measures are] just another layer of regulatory red tape. Compliance costs eat into the budgets of agencies in charge of mosquito eradication and abatement. Every dollar spent on compliance is a dollar not spent protecting the public from Zika. … The objections to using this critical tool in the continental United States reek of partisan politics when members of the administration encourage increased pesticide use in U.S. territories. All Americans should be protected against the spread of Zika. The president’s and Senate Democrat’s opposition to this legislation is irresponsible and is unnecessarily putting millions of Americans at risk this summer” (7/18).

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European Commission Should Promote Gender Equality, Increase Investment In Family Planning

EurActiv: Commission must prioritize access to contraception in development policy
Heidi Hautala, Finnish Green MEP in the Greens/European Free Alliance group, and co-chair of the European Parliament Working Group on Reproductive Health, HIV/AIDS, and Development (EPWG)

“…[T]he international community can make an enormous difference in increasing access to family planning when it acts with clear intent. … If we are to meet the [Family Planning] 2020 goal, investment in and commitment to family planning needs to be ramped up. The European Commission should give equal priority to family planning as to access to water, food, or education. In the context of the overseas development health spending, the Commission’s financial commitment to family planning is modest. To be a leader in giving 225 million women access to contraception, the Commission must increase its investment. We don’t highlight enough that promoting gender equality and women’s and girls’ human rights in Europe have been a landmark achievement of the E.U. By combining this with an effective overseas development policy, the E.U. can make a powerful impact on liberating and empowering women and girls worldwide. I am convinced that supporting access to family planning is the best way to achieve it” (7/19).

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From the Global Health Policy Community

PEPFAR, Partners Announce $85M To Support DREAMS Innovation Challenge Winners In Sub-Saharan Africa

PEPFAR: PEPFAR and DREAMS Partners Announce Winners of the $85 Million DREAMS Innovation Challenge
“[Monday], the U.S. President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR); Janssen Pharmaceutica NV (Janssen), one of the Janssen pharmaceutical companies of Johnson & Johnson; and ViiV Healthcare announced a combined $85 million investment to support 56 DREAMS Innovation Challenge [provisional] winners in 10 sub-Saharan African countries. Of this investment, $40 million is focused on keeping girls in secondary school, which dramatically reduces their vulnerability to HIV infection, and nearly half of these education-focused resources are directed to Malawi…” (7/18).

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Humanosphere Discusses How Presumed GOP Presidential Nominee Trump's Pick For V.P. Could Impact U.S. Contributions To AIDS Efforts

Humanosphere: Trump’s choice of VP sparks concern over AIDS funding
Humanoshphere journalist Lisa Nikolau discusses the potential impacts of presumed Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump’s pick for vice president, Indiana Governor Mike Pence, writing, “Indiana Gov. Mike Pence, has spent his lengthy political career building a reputation for his conservative stance on social issues, especially gay rights. In light of Trump’s announcement, his reputation is elevating fears that a Trump candidacy could diminish U.S. contributions to the fight against HIV/AIDS. … What most media outlets have ignored, however, is that Pence has since adopted a different stance on funding HIV/AIDS initiatives — at least internationally. As a senior member of the Foreign Affairs Committee, Pence played a leadership role in supporting programs to fund the U.S. response to HIV/AIDS, malaria, and tuberculosis and voted for the President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR) in 2003 and 2008” (7/18).

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Study Aims To Enable USAID, Other Organizations To Make Data-Driven Decisions Around Food Aid

Woodrow Wilson Center’s Environmental Change and Security Program’s “New Security Beat”: Inside a Data-Driven Attempt to Fight Spoilage in U.S. Food Aid
Mark Brennan, a researcher at the Massachusetts Institute for Technology Center for Transportation and Logistics and the Comprehensive Initiative on Technology Evaluation, discusses a study examining the trial procurement of new packaging options for food aid distributed by USAID’s Office of Food for Peace. Brennan writes, “At the conclusion of the study, we hope to better understand the cost-effectiveness of a wide range of packaging options to enable USAID and similar organizations to make data-driven decisions about which will work best in a variety of contexts” (7/19).

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Wilson Center Event Panelists Discuss Complexities Of Connection Between Family Planning, Environmental Sustainability

Woodrow Wilson Center’s Environmental Change and Security Program’s “New Security Beat”: Family Planning and Environmental Sustainability: Assessing the Evidence
Cara Thuringer, intern at the Wilson Center’s Environmental Change and Security Program, discusses an event held at the Wilson Center in late June, during which panelists discussed findings from a new Worldwatch Institute report titled Family Planning and Environmental Sustainability: Assessing the Science. The panelists talked about the challenges and complexities of understanding the interactions between family planning and the environment (7/18).

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