KFF Daily Global Health Policy Report

In The News

Delegates Hear Warnings Of Complacency, Lack Of Funding At AIDS 2018 Opening; Protesters Walk Out During Sidibé Speech

Agence France-Presse: High risk of ‘losing control’ of AIDS epidemic: experts
“The AIDS epidemic risks resurging and spiraling out of control unless billions of extra dollars are pumped into prevention and treatment, experts warned Sunday on the eve of a major world conference. An alarming rate of new infections, coupled with an exploding population of young people in hard-hit countries, meant the world could be steering for ‘a crisis of epic proportions,’ said Mark Dybul, an American AIDS researcher and diplomat…” (Le Roux, 7/22).

IOL: #AIDS2018: Delegates walk out in protest as UNAIDS boss opens conference
“Hundreds of delegates walked out of the opening of the International AIDS Conference on Monday night in protest when UNAIDS Executive Director Michel Sidibé took the stage. Before the walkout, a group of African women read out a statement in protest against Sidibé’s [h]andling of a sexual assault case against his former deputy, Luiz Loures. The women read out a statement calling for Sidibé to step down for what they say was a cover-up then walked out, followed by a large number of delegates…” (Cullinan, 7/24).

U.S. News & World Report: AIDS Faces New Threat: Complacency
“…[UNAIDS] now faces a precarious situation: Countries around the world have all benefited from an unprecedented international effort to stabilize the spread of HIV and AIDS, treat those who are infected, and prevent future instances. Those efforts, beginning in the early 1990s, yielded historic success and since 2006 have accounted for a steady drop in global AIDS-related deaths as an increasing number of people receive services and many can now live with HIV. Yet those achievements have also led to an air of complacency, scientists and public health leaders say, made worse by some Western countries’ controlling the domestic spread of HIV and AIDS…” (Shinkman, 7/23).

Xinhua News: AIDS 2018 opens in Amsterdam with focus on putting HIV response back on track
“…The International AIDS Conference is the largest gathering on HIV and AIDS in the world. First convened during the peak of the AIDS epidemic in 1985, its 22nd edition gathered more than 15,000 participants under the theme ‘Breaking Barriers Building Bridges.’ The five-day event will feature the latest science on innovations in treatment, cure and prevention and the new on-the-ground strategies to address inequities in HIV policies and programs” (7/23).

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Media Outlets Report On Range Of HIV/AIDS-Related Issues, Developments Emerging From AIDS 2018

Associated Press: AIDS drugs show more promise for preventing new infections (Marchione, 7/24).

Devex: Q&A: Diagnostic tools as the answer to HIV and AIDS (7/24).

Miami Herald: Desperate Venezuela HIV patients, unable to get life-saving drugs, try DIY remedies (Wyss/Weddle, 7/23).

Reuters: Médecins Sans Frontières urges ViiV to speed child access to key AIDS drug (7/23).

Reuters: GSK’s two-drug HIV treatment proves itself in key tests (Hirschler, 7/24).

STAT: Adherence to PrEP, the HIV prevention drug, is low. A new study suggests a pill with a tiny sensor might help (Chen, 7/24).

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STAT Reports On U.S. Push To Remove Trade Language From Draft U.N. Declaration On TB; Advocates Claim Move Will Harm Treatment Access

STAT: U.S. succeeds in removing language in global declaration on TB drugs, upsetting patient advocates
“As talks wrap up at the United Nations over ways to address a global tuberculosis epidemic, the U.S. has succeeded in removing language from a policy document that patient advocacy groups claim will make access and affordability more difficult for poorer countries. Specifically, the U.S. has pressed other nations to change language referring to a World Trade Organization agreement that allows countries to issue compulsory licenses as a way to create lower-cost alternatives to medicines, according to the latest version of the agreement reviewed by STAT…” (Silverman, 7/23).

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Trump Administration Pushes Back On WHO Guidelines To Curb Antibiotic Use Among Livestock Animals To Prevent Drug Resistance

Bloomberg: Trump’s USDA Fights Global Guidelines on Livestock Antibiotics
“The Trump administration is resisting the World Health Organization’s effort to sharply limit antibiotic use in farm animals, a move intended to help preserve the drugs’ effectiveness. Instead, the U.S. is helping draft an alternative approach that appears more favorable to agribusiness…” (Martin/Hopkins, 7/23).

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Devex Examines Global Financing Facility's Progress, Replenishment Efforts

Devex: A look at the Global Financing Facility’s goals, strategies, and learnings
“…Since [the launch of the Global Financing Facility (GFF) in 2015], it has been experimenting with a number of financing models and helping countries develop investment cases for investing in health. It is currently in the midst of a replenishment year. In September, the organization is set to receive a $200 million donation to its trust fund from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, and has a goal of raising $2 billion by the final replenishment event this winter. GFF has been expanding the number of countries it works in, from four in 2015 to 26 today — with a goal of working in 50 countries. Addressing the funding gaps in those 50 countries would account for 96 percent of the total gaps for maternal, newborn, and children’s health…” (Saldinger, 7/24).

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First Global Disability Summit Opens In London With Goal Of Achieving New Commitments To Implementing U.N. Convention

Devex: Global Disability Summit targets faster progress on inclusive development
“More than 800 delegates representing government, civil society, and the development community are convening today for the first Global Disability Summit, hosted by the British and Kenyan governments and the International Disability Alliance with the goal of generating new commitments toward implementing the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities. Discussions will span four themes: Addressing stigma; supporting inclusive education; economic empowerment; and technology and providing better access to devices…” (Anders, 7/24).

The Guardian: People with disabilities failed by dearth of funding worldwide, say campaigners
“People with disabilities worldwide are being let down by underfunding whether they live in poor or wealthy nations. Despite growing recognition of the importance of inclusion, this is not supported by the reality, say disability organizations. … Government officials, the private sector, donor agencies, and NGOs [at the Global Disability Summit] will be asked to support a charter for change endorsing rights, dignity, and inclusion for people with disabilities…” (Lamble, 7/24).

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Researchers Document First Case Of Female Ebola Survivor Likely Passing On Infection One Year After Recovery

Associated Press: Doctors: Woman likely spread Ebola a year after infection
“A Liberian woman who probably caught Ebola in 2014 may have infected three relatives a year after she first fell sick, doctors reported in a study published Monday…” (Cheng, 7/23).

New York Times: For the First Time, a Female Ebola Survivor Infects Others
“…The episode raises new medical questions: Scientists do not know how the virus hid inside the woman for 13 months before re-emerging in lethal form. However, because she fell ill soon after giving birth, experts believe the immune suppression that normally occurs in pregnancy may have triggered a relapse…” (McNeil, 7/23).

Washington Post: Ebola in survivor’s family shows deadly virus’s lasting effects
“…The study, in the Lancet Infectious Diseases journal, is the first indication of transmission from a female Ebola survivor, highlighting the continued risk for a resurgence of cases and the potential for large-scale outbreaks long after there is no longer active disease spread…” (Sun, 7/23).

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South Sudan Detects 3 New Guinea Worm Cases Causing Setback To Eradication Efforts

Associated Press: 3 new Guinea worm cases found in setback for South Sudan
“Three new cases of Guinea worm have been discovered in South Sudan, setting the country back in its efforts to eradicate the debilitating disease. … South Sudan had no reported cases in 2017, a rare success in the young nation deep in a five-year civil war…” (7/24).

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Chinese Authorities Order Investigation Into Vaccines Scandal Affecting Children

Associated Press: Chinese leaders order probe over vaccine scandal
“Chinese leaders are scrambling to shore up public confidence and oversight of the pharmaceutical industry after a rabies vaccine maker was found faking records, the latest in a slew of public health and safety scandals that have outraged Chinese parents…” (Shih, 7/23).

Financial Times: Beijing battles public anger over latest vaccine scandal
“…Regulators said that Changchun Changsheng Biotech had forged data during the production of some 110,000 rabies vaccines and disclosed that the same company had also sold more than 250,000 ‘substandard’ diphtheria, tetanus and pertussis (DTP) vaccines to medical centers last year. … It was not clear how many people had received the faulty vaccines or what the effect of receiving them could be…” (Xueqiao/Hancock, 7/23).

Reuters: Chinese vaccine firm hit with probes as Beijing seeks to tamp down outrage
“…Eager to contain snowballing public outrage over the scandal and maintain confidence in China’s vaccine industry, authorities have responded with sharp condemnation and calls for swift punishment. President Xi Jinping has denounced the scandal as ‘vile and shocking’…” (Jourdan, 7/23).

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More News In Global Health

Devex: Disaster responders ‘not working together’ to address gender-based violence, report finds (Rogers, 7/24).

Devex: Q&A: How the private sector can take WHO recommendations on NCDs forward (Root, 7/23).

Scientific American: Global Warming Linked to Higher Suicide Rates across North America (Smith, 7/23).

VOA News: Official End to Congo Ebola Outbreak Set for Wednesday (Yusuf, 7/24).

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Editorials and Opinions

Sustainable Approach To HIV Requires Recalibration, Targeted Response

The Conversation: The HIV pandemic: time to recalibrate and target the weak spots
Linda-Gail Bekker, professor of medicine and deputy director of the Desmond Tutu HIV Centre at the Institute of Infectious Disease and Molecular Medicine at the University of Cape Town

“…For a sustainable response and looking forward to the next era, it will be important to position our responses to HIV within the broader health agenda. … The message is simple: the epidemic is far from over and it’s not time to disengage. … To ensure we have a sustainable approach we need to recalibrate. The [International AIDS Society-Lancet] commission is calling for a new way of doing business that will seek common cause with other global health issues. We understand that the HIV response will need resources. … We need to sharpen the tip of our response. We must put our responses where we get the biggest bang for buck and call on those resources that offer prevention and treatment…” (7/23).

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HIV Prevention Must Remain Priority To Avoid 'Rebound Effects' From Introduction Of Potential Vaccine

Project Syndicate: Vaccinating Against an HIV Rebound
Christine Stegling, executive director of the International HIV/AIDS Alliance

“…[Even if a successful vaccine is developed], many complex social, economic, and cultural issues will continue to complicate the war on HIV. We must think carefully about how to introduce a vaccine without unintentionally encouraging ‘rebound effects,’ like the re-emergence of practices that expose people to HIV infection. While an HIV vaccine would no doubt be a game changer, it would be only one of a diverse range of tools needed to contain one of mankind’s deadliest pandemics. For a vaccine to have the greatest impact, we must continue to promote other forms of prevention — such as condom use, medical male circumcision, and use of pre-exposure prophylactics for at-risk populations. … With scientists optimistic that a vaccine is forthcoming, there is no better time to ensure that traditional transmission interventions remain a priority for policymakers, politicians, and donors…” (7/23).

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U.K., U.S. Should Attach Countries' Human Rights Efforts To Foreign Aid Receipt

Forbes: Shall There Be Strings Attached to Humanitarian Aid?
Ewelina U. Ochab, human rights advocate and author

“…[B]oth the Department for International Development (DFID) and UKAID in the U.K. and the USAID in the U.S. provide significant assistance to countries in need around the world, with Nigeria, Syria, Iraq, and Pakistan being a few on a longer list. At times, this assistance is given without any strings attached. However, there should be strings attached, but not in the politically diabolical sense like one might imagine. These strings would be used to ensure that states that benefit from such assistance work to uphold human rights and ensure protection for the most vulnerable groups or communities. Balancing aid with human rights protections is a monumental task that both countries have been working on for decades but the U.K. or the U.S. should feel empowered to do more in this regard. … While I am not in favor of removing assistance as this would ultimately hit the people in need and not the state, I am in favor of using their power by way of ensuring they engage in a political dialogue with the states receiving the assistance to up their game on protecting human rights and protecting vulnerable communities…” (7/24).

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Dementia Should Be Managed Like Other NCDs, Viewed As Disability Under U.N. Convention

Devex: Opinion: Why dementia should be treated like all other NCDs
Kate Swaffer, chair, CEO, and co-founder of Dementia Alliance International

“Dementia is one of many conditions within a very large group of noncommunicable diseases that, until recently, has not been given the focus it deserves within this cohort. … [G]lobally, we need a new way of not only viewing dementia, but also managing it. … Everyone with dementia is a rights bearer under the United Nations. The [Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD)] and all states party to it are committed under international law to include persons with dementia in the convention’s implementation. … [H]uman rights must be included in all dementia services, as well as national dementia plans and strategies. … [W]e ask governments, member states, NGOs, disability organizations, and civil society to consider their responsibility to provide the financial support so often needed to enable people living with dementia to attend meetings and conferences on these and other matters affecting them … We ask we leave no one behind through the full implementation of the CRPD, including people with dementia…” (7/23).

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From the Global Health Policy Community

Blogs, U.N. Agencies Discuss Various Issues, Release Reports At AIDS 2018

IDSA’s “Science Speaks”: AIDS 2018: Series of community-wide HIV household surveys have shown directions, possibilities, PEPFAR leader says (Barton, 7/23).

IntraHealth International’s “VITAL”: This Tanzanian Couple Plans Together, Dreams Together, and Fights HIV Transmission Together (Mndeme/Bales, 7/23).

ONE Blog: This just in: AIDS is still a crisis (Ottenhoff, 7/24).

UNAIDS: At AIDS 2018, UNAIDS calls for bold leadership to tackle the prevention crisis (7/24).

UNFPA: HIV prevention efforts must reach most vulnerable — adolescents, young women, LGBTI communities (7/23).

UNICEF: UNICEF and UNAIDS launch report on ending adolescent AIDS in Eastern and Southern Africa (7/23).

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UNDP Chief Calls On G20 Leaders To Mitigate Financial Risks To Reach SDGs

UNDP: With rising financial vulnerability, U.N. Development Chief calls on G20 to reduce risks and curb inequality
“Addressing the G20 finance ministers meeting in Buenos Aires, U.N. Development Programme (UNDP) Administrator Achim Steiner acknowledged the improved momentum for the global economy, but stressed that the risks since the group’s last meeting four months ago had become more pronounced. … The UNDP chief warned that the debt risks have risen rapidly in many developing countries in recent months, making them particularly vulnerable to potential financial shocks. In recognizing the special role of G20 nations, he invited finance ministers to work together to strengthen multilateral action to mitigate risks and create an enabling environment … The timely realization of the 2030 Agenda and the Sustainable Development Goals remain important reference points for the impact of G20 decisions — both on and beyond their own economies — including through appropriate international cooperation and lending policies which can boost resilience to future shocks” (7/23).

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GPEI Article Discusses Importance Of Educating Religious Leaders In Pakistan's Polio Eradication Efforts

Global Polio Eradication Initiative: Strengthening Vaccine Trust in Pakistan
This article discusses the efforts of the Islamic Advisory Group for Polio Eradication (IAG) and similar groups to educate religious leaders about the benefits of polio vaccination. The article states, “By educating religious leaders and scholars about the poliovirus, and explaining religious justifications for vaccine acceptance, the IAG and its national equivalent equip [religious leaders and scholars] with the tools to act as health advocates. The same skills that help scholars engage with parents about the polio vaccine are applicable for wider health, including improving routine immunization, hygiene practices, and maternal and child health…” (7/23).

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India's Response To Nipah Outbreak Offers Lessons For Containing Future Viral Outbreaks

Brookings Institution’s “Future Development”: Containing a deadly virus: Lessons from the Nipah outbreak in India
Vinod Thomas, visiting professor at the Asian Institute of Management, discusses lessons learned from the Nipah outbreak response in the southern Indian state of Kerala. Thomas writes, “In the wake of worldwide threats of new viral outbreaks, Kerala’s experience holds lessons going forward. Disease prevention and rapid response, coupled with environmental protection, should be bigger priorities everywhere” (7/23).

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