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Kaiser Daily Global Health Policy Report

In The News

Annual Worldwide HIV Incidence Steady After Years Of Decline, Global Burden Of Disease 2015 Study Shows

CNN: HIV cases rise in 74 countries in last decade
“Over the past decade, the rate of new HIV infections has increased in 74 countries, according to a new study presented Tuesday at the 21st International AIDS conference in Durban, South Africa. While the total number of new infections declined globally from 2005 to 2015, certain countries saw a rise in numbers of people becoming infected, calling for better targeting of prevention programs in order to end AIDS by 2030…” (Senthilingam, 7/19).

HealthDay News: Mixed Progress in Worldwide Fight Against HIV/AIDS
“…Deaths from HIV/AIDS fell to 1.2 million in 2015 from 1.8 million in 2005. Though the number of new HIV infections has decreased since a peak of 3.3 million in 1997, it has been relatively stable at about 2.5 million a year for the past decade. Worldwide, new HIV infections fell just 0.7 percent a year between 2005 and 2015, compared to 2.7 percent a year between 1997 and 2005, the study found…” (Preidt, 7/19).

VOA News: Study: 2.5 Million People Infected with HIV Each Year
“…The report, which analyzes findings of the Global Burden of Disease 2015 study, was published in the Lancet HIV Journal to coincide with the launch of the International AIDS [Conference] in Durban, South Africa. According to the GBD 2015 study, 75 percent of the new HIV infections occurred in sub-Saharan Africa, while South Asia accounted for 8.5 percent, and Southeast Asia for 4.7 percent…” (7/19).

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Loss In Donor Funding Threatens Progress Toward 90-90-90 Targets, U.N. Workshop Panelists Say

aidsmap: Progress towards 90-90-90 targets is promising, but funding is the critical step, says UNAIDS leader
“The 90-90-90 targets for testing, treatment, and viral suppression are achievable by 2020 in many high-burden countries, but donor retreat is now the biggest threat to widespread success, delegates at the U.N. 90-90-90 Target Workshop ahead of the 21st International AIDS Conference (AIDS 2016) in Durban agreed [on July 17]…” (Alcorn, 7/18).

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Collaborative Efforts Needed To Achieve AIDS-Free Generation, Former African Leaders, Activists Say At AIDS 2016

ANA/SABC News: Political leadership is not enough in HIV fight: African leaders
“Political leadership is important in combating HIV and AIDS, but it is not sufficient. To take control of the disease in Africa, society’s leaders, communities, and religious organizations needed to be involved. This was the consensus reached by former African leaders and activists, who met during a session for Champions for an AIDS-Free Generation on Tuesday at the second day of the International AIDS Conference in Durban…” (7/19).

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AVAC Report, Bill Gates Stress Need For Better Data To Make HIV, Global Health Progress

SciDev.Net: Data gaps hide pockets of HIV
“Large pockets of HIV infection are not acknowledged, due to a lack of data on HIV occurrence and prevention efforts around the globe, a study [from AVAC] has found. In particular, existing data fail to account adequately for adolescent girls, young women, as well as homosexual men and transgender people in HIV/AIDS-affected countries, says the report issued last month…” (Vesper, 7/20).

Scientific American: Bill Gates Views Good Data as Key to Global Health
“…Bill Gates … has a well-established knack for sifting through complex data sets to find the right pathways for making progress around the globe in health, education, and economic development. Scientific American contributing editor W. Wayt Gibbs sat down with Gates to learn more about how he views the world…” (Gorman, 8/1).

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At AIDS 2016, Researchers Announce Large Clinical Trial Of Experimental HIV Vaccine In South Africa

Agence France-Presse: Early HIV vaccine results lead to major trial: researchers
“Promising results from an early safety trial with a potential HIV vaccine have paved the way for a major new study, researchers announced at the International AIDS Conference in Durban on Tuesday. An 18-month trial with a candidate vaccine dubbed HVTN100 drew on 252 participants at six sites in South Africa, one of the countries hardest-hit by an epidemic that has claimed more than 30 million lives worldwide since the 1980s…” (7/19).

CNN: New HIV vaccine to be trialed in South Africa
“… ‘This [small study] was precautionary to see if the vaccine looks promising,’ said Linda Gail Bekker, deputy director of the Desmond Tutu HIV Centre in Cape Town, South Africa, and president-elect of the International AIDS Society, who is leading the vaccine trials. The vaccine stems from a landmark trial in Thailand in 2009 that was the first to show any protection against HIV, with 31 percent protection against the virus. This was enough to get experts in the field excited after years with no success…” (Senthilingam, 7/19).

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Seattle Times Feature Examines Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center's Role In HIV Vaccine R&D

Seattle Times: ‘We have only one shot’: Fred Hutch’s quest to wipe out AIDS in South Africa
“A Seattle Times reporter and photojournalist traveled to South Africa to show you how Seattle scientists are working with residents of the country’s poorest townships. The goal: an HIV vaccine…” (Shapiro/Schultz, 7/18).

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TB2016 Conference Leads To Calls For Greater Political Leadership, Funding To End Disease

aidsmap: TB2016 demands a global commitment to end TB
“While much of TB2016, held on the eve of the International AIDS Conference (AIDS 2016) from 16-17 July 2016 was devoted to the rapidly evolving science in the fight against TB, the meeting also highlighted the failure of the world, including the international HIV community, to adequately respond to the TB epidemic — which last year surpassed HIV as the leading infectious cause of death in the world. This has led to a series of calls for a paradigm shift to move beyond TB control to actually ending TB…” (Smart, 7/19).

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ODI, U.N. Reports Assess Progress Toward Sustainable Development Goals

Inter Press Service: Implementing the Sustainable Development Goals: The Sooner, the Better
“The first 1,000 days after the adoption of the Sustainable Development Goals are critical, according to a report published last week, urging U.N. member states to take action quickly. … The [Overseas Development Institute (ODI)] compared current progress on some of the development goals with the goals and targets and showed that a delay of six years in sub-Saharan Africa can almost double the effort that have to be put into achieving goals such as universal birth registration…” (Kaeding, 7/19).

Los Angeles Times: Hunger, poverty, disease … the U.N. takes a look at where the world stands. And it’s not pretty
“…On Tuesday, the U.N. released its inaugural report offering an overview of where the world stands. Some noteworthy progress has been documented since 2000, when the Millennium Development Goals were formally adopted, according to U.N. statistics. For example, the proportion of the global population suffering from hunger fell, the number of people living below the extreme poverty line dropped, [and] the mortality rate of children under age five went down … But as far as attaining the plan laid out for 2030, it’s going to be an uphill battle, judging by the data in Tuesday’s report…” (Simmons, 7/19).

U.N. News Centre: U.N. chief launches first report to track Sustainable Development Goals
“Launching the first-ever Sustainable Development Goals report on the new global development agenda adopted last year, Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon [Tuesday] said that the 15-year undertaking is ‘off to a good start’ but will require all parts of the U.N. family and its partners to work together. ‘We have embarked on a monumental and historic journey,’ the secretary general told the U.N. High-level Political Forum on Sustainable Development (HLPF), which opened on 11 July and ends on 20 July, at the U.N. Headquarters in New York…” (7/19).

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Senate Majority Leader Blames Democrats For Senate's Failure To Pass Emergency Zika Funding In Republican Convention Speech

STAT: In convention speech, McConnell blames Democrats for Zika standoff
“Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell used his Republican convention speech Tuesday night as a platform to blame the Democrats for the Senate’s failure to approve emergency funds to fight the Zika virus. … McConnell’s speech before a prime time, national audience was an escalation of his efforts to blame the standoff on the Democrats. It came after two failed attempts in the Senate — including one right before the recess — to end a filibuster over the final Zika funding bill, which was negotiated by House and Senate Republicans and passed by the House…” (Nather, 7/19).

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Amid Zika Epidemic, Women's Groups Set To Challenge Brazil's Abortion Law In Country's Supreme Court

The Guardian: Zika emergency pushes women to challenge Brazil’s abortion law
“Women’s groups in Brazil are set to challenge the abortion laws this summer in the hope of making a safe and legal termination possible for women at risk of delivering a baby born with defects after exposure to the Zika virus. … Lawyers for the organizations will present a legal challenge at the supreme court in the first week of August, when the court sits again after the winter break. They are coordinated by Anis Instituto de Bioética, which campaigns for women’s equality and reproductive rights…” (Boseley, 7/19).

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WFP Appeals For $204M To Provide Food Aid To Millions Affected By El Niño-Induced Drought In Southern Africa

Associated Press: U.N. appeals for $204 million for hungry in Southern African
“The U.N. food agency has declared its highest-level emergency in drought-stricken Southern Africa and is appealing for $204 million immediately to purchase food and transport it to the region to help millions of hungry people. World Food Programme Executive Director Ertharin Cousin told reporters in a telephone briefing from hard-hit Malawi on Tuesday that the El Niño-induced drought — which also affected South America and Ethiopia — has devastated crops and caused harvests to fail in Southern Africa…” (Lederer, 7/20).

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Pricing Dispute In Pakistan Over Novartis TB Drug Raises Concern Over Supply Shortfall

Reuters: Pricing dispute hits supply of TB drugs in Pakistan
“Swiss pharmaceuticals firm Novartis AG said it has stopped making tuberculosis drugs in Pakistan in a dispute over pricing, prompting fears of a health crisis due to a shortage of drugs in a country with the world’s fifth-highest TB rates…” (Hashim, 7/19).

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Editorials and Opinions

Both Democrats, Republicans At Fault For Delaying Zika Response Efforts

Post and Courier: Zika aid first, politics later
Editorial Board

“Predictably but sadly, Congress left Washington last week without approving funding to fight the deadly Zika virus. Members are pointing to those on the other side of the aisle as the culprits. But voters should see it as a colossal failure of both sides. … A recent Kaiser Family Foundation poll shows that 72 percent of Americans (including majorities of Democrats, Republicans, and independents) want more federal funds allocated to study the Zika virus and prevent its spread. Is it any wonder Americans hold in such low esteem a Congress that is unwilling to get the job done? … Congress is playing politics with people’s lives. … It is shameful that Congress has been unwilling to take measures to protect its constituents. Both Democrats and Republicans need to understand that saving lives is far more important that scoring political points” (7/19).

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Financial Gaps Threaten Achievement Of 90-90-90 HIV Targets

The Conversation: It will take more than $36 billion every year to end AIDS
Charles Wiysonge, professor of clinical epidemiology at the Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences at Stellenbosch University

“…Current epidemiological and financial trends suggest there’s a major risk of a substantial shortfall in the funds required to sustain life-saving antiretroviral programs. … UNAIDS and other international development agencies hope that the growing need for funding will be partly solved by expanded health spending in low-income countries. But the scarcity of adequate funds to provide antiretrovirals to people living with HIV — together with the possibility of rising drug resistance to existing antiretroviral treatments — will make achieving the goal to end AIDS by 2030 extremely difficult. … Meeting the needs of people living with HIV will require a combination of the following evidence-informed strategies: concentrating development assistance for HIV in these low-income countries; improving the efficiency of HIV programs; increasing domestic financing; lowering the cost of treatment (including the prices of antiretrovirals); and reducing future incidence through more concerted efforts…” (7/19).

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International Community Must 'Anticipate, Not React To,' Humanitarian Emergencies Like El Niño

Thomson Reuters Foundation: Leaders must act now to stop hunger in Southern Africa
Alexander Matheou, director of programs and partnerships at the British Red Cross

“…[G]overnments cannot deal with El Niño alone. We must forge partnerships between humanitarian and development actors, as well as the international community, national, and local governments to strengthen our immediate relief efforts. … In the longer term it is resilience that will enable vulnerable people to better withstand future challenges: we need to anticipate — not react to — crises like this. … If we are to stay ahead of these growing humanitarian challenges, we need to build resilient communities, by empowering people to break the vicious cycle of disaster-response-recovery-disaster. … Leaders must act now to address the underlying causes of this emergency. So that when the next El Niño comes, it does not carry the catastrophic consequences it does today” (7/20).

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5 Organizational Changes Needed To Achieve Global Water Security

The Guardian: Water security for all? We need these five organizational changes
Nick Hepworth, director of Water Witness International

“The global water crisis is not driven by absolute water scarcity, but by a scarcity of governance: there’s enough water to go around, we just need to get better at managing it. To meet the sixth Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) we must learn from stagnation in the sector and make sure that water institutions — policies, laws, organizations, and their financing frameworks — actually deliver the goods. If we don’t adopt fresh approaches to debug this institutional software, the global water goal — and the many SDG targets underpinned by better water management — will remain a mirage. Some of the priorities for change are: 1. Evidence-based action, not sector folklore … 2. Accountability and system change, not sticking plasters … 3. Credible water stewardship, not bluewash … 4. Collaborative donor action, not competition … 5. Capacity building, not demolition … Global goals and targets might come and go but the pressing needs for improved water management in the real world don’t change. Let’s make sure that the ways we deliver it do” (7/19).

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Development Banks Should Encourage Human Rights, Participatory Approach To Development

Foreign Policy: It’s Time for Development Banks to Start Listening
Maina Kiai, U.N. special rapporteur on freedom of assembly and association

“…The World Bank and other development finance institutions’ own research points to the importance of public participation for development projects to be effective. Yet too often these institutions fail to ensure basic access to information and participation by the very communities impacted by these projects. … When funds are provided to governments or private companies to implement development projects, banks should always ensure that human rights are respected, particularly the rights central to civic space: the freedoms of assembly, association, and expression. When governments or private developers try to restrict participation in development projects or attack human rights activists, development banks must react strongly. … In some cases, it may be necessary to cut off funding until improvements are made. … Sustainable development requires development banks to actively work to promote an enabling environment for community participation in their activities. Without this, the Sustainable Development Goals will remain mere aspirations” (7/19).

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From the Global Health Policy Community

U.S. State Department Event Helps Build Partnerships For Zika Response Efforts

U.S. Department of State’s “DipNote”: Partnerships Matter: Building the Right Team to #ZAPZika
Amy Pope, deputy homeland security adviser and deputy assistant to the president at the National Security Council, and Heather Higginbottom, deputy secretary of state for management and resources at the State Department, discuss an event in which the “State Department brought together representatives from across governments, non-governmental organizations, and corporations last week to exchange information regarding the best ways to combat Zika. … During focused roundtable sessions at State, representatives from different communities rolled up their sleeves to share partnership strategies to tackle the toughest Zika challenges…” (7/19).

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'Science Speaks' Reports From AIDS 2016 Conference

Center for Global Health Policy’s “Science Speaks”: AIDS 2016: Opening talks celebrate early pivotal action, and those who carry on
Reporting from the International AIDS Conference in Durban, Antigone Barton, senior editor and writer of “Science Speaks,” discusses remarks made by Justice Edwin Cameron, a South African constitutional court judge, and Sunil Suhas Solomon, a doctor, on the history of stigma associated with HIV (7/20).

Center for Global Health Policy’s “Science Speaks”: AIDS 2016: Fund decline, incidence rise present clear, current threats to HIV services, research, ‘ending AIDS,’ response watchers say
Barton discusses a press conference on Tuesday on the first funding decline among major donor governments for the international HIV response in five years (7/20).

Center for Global Health Policy’s “Science Speaks”: AIDS 2016: Plenary talk proposes $90, $90, $90 as cost of HIV and viral hepatitis drugs
Christine Lubinski, executive director of the Center for Global Health Policy, reports on Wednesday’s plenary session at AIDS 2016, during which Dr. Anton Pozniak, director of HIV services at Chelsea and Westminster Hospital NHS Trust in London, proposed a new 90-90-90 goal, “$90 for HIV treatment, $90 for hepatitis B treatment, and $90 for hepatitis C cure” (7/20).

Center for Global Health Policy’s “Science Speaks”: AIDS 2016: Data tells “good, bad, and ugly news” of HIV death rates in East and Southern Africa
Lubinski reports from AIDS 2016 on “a symposium Monday examining household based demographic and surveillance data in six high HIV prevalence countries in Eastern and Southern Africa” (7/19).

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Aidspan Publishes New Issue Of 'Global Fund Observer'

Aidspan: Global Fund Observer
Aidspan, an independent watchdog of the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria, published Issue 292 of the “Global Fund Observer.” The newsletter features articles on various topics including articles on a new report released by the Global Fund Advocates Network and the Free Space Process partnership; the Global Fund’s investments in human rights; and a joint report from the Kaiser Family Foundation and UNAIDS that says donor government funding for HIV declined for the first time in five years (7/20).

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