KFF Daily Global Health Policy Report

In The News

U.S. Should Reform, Not Cut, Foreign Aid, Development Assistance, Bipartisan Task Force Recommends

Washington Times: Foreign aid task force recommends ‘fixing the plumbing,’ not cutting flow for development
“Any reorganization of U.S. foreign aid should focus on ‘fixing the plumbing’ of international development programs rather than sharply cutting back government funding overall, according to a bipartisan report released this week. A task force organized by the Center for Strategic and International Studies recommended preserving the U.S. Agency for International Development as an independent agency coordinating all U.S. foreign assistance, and not folding the agency into the State Department as some critics of current aid efforts have proposed…” (Zietlow, 7/25).

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Experts, Officials At IAS 2017 Express Concern Over Cuts In Global Funding For HIV/AIDS, Especially In U.S. Budget Proposals

VOA News: If Funding Stays, HIV Epidemic May be put Under Control
“Science seems to be finally starting to win in the war against the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) that causes AIDS. But experts gathered at the Paris conference on the deadly disease say proposed cuts in global funding may delay the final blow. … [Experts and officials] reflected optimism about new treatments and concern about proposed cuts in funding, especially by the U.S. government…” (Putic, 7/26).

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South African Official Expresses Concern Over Proposed U.S. Cuts To Global HIV/AIDS Funding

Business Day: U.S. plan to cut global AIDS funding has SA on edge
“The [South African] Department of Health is anxiously waiting to see if the U.S. Congress approves President Donald Trump’s proposed cuts to global health programs, as its decision could reduce donor support for HIV/AIDS in SA. The US is the world’s biggest contributor to the global fight against HIV/AIDS and in 2016 contributed $4.9bn through bilateral programmes and international efforts such as the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria, according to the Kaiser Family Foundation. … ‘We should all be concerned,’ said the department’s deputy director-general for HIV/AIDS, tuberculosis, and maternal and child health, Yogan Pillay. … The U.S. is the biggest international donor to SA’s HIV/AIDS efforts, via the President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR)…” (Kahn, 7/26).

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amfAR Board Chair Kenneth Cole Discusses Launch Of End AIDS Coalition In Forbes Interview

Forbes: Kenneth Cole: How He’s Fighting Against The Global AIDS Epidemic
“I spoke to Kenneth Cole, who is an American fashion designer, founder of the End AIDS Coalition (EAC), and amfAR chairman of the board, about how and why he’s fighting against the global AIDS epidemic, what he’s trying to accomplish with the EAC, why he leads by example, how he’s kept his brand relevant, and his best career advice. … [On Tuesday,] Kenneth announced the launch of the End AIDS Coalition (EAC), an unprecedented partnership of international AIDS organizations, at the IAS Conference on HIV Science in Paris. These groups are coming together to foster collaboration, transparency, and accountability to eradicate the disease…” (Schawbel, 7/25).

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Case Of 9-Year-Old With Controlled HIV Could Offer Scientists Clues On How To Achieve 'Sustained Viral Remission' Among Other Patients

ScienceInsider: What can science learn from a child who has controlled HIV without drugs for more than 8 years?
“…[T]he case may offer fresh clues to what makes long-term remission possible. In most people living with HIV who stop taking drugs, the virus comes roaring back within weeks. If long drug holidays were possible, it could simplify people’s lives, slash the costs of treatment, and reduce long-term side effects. And the research into what some call ‘sustained viral remission’ could help inform the search for a complete cure…” (Cohen, 7/26).

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Oral PrEP Drug Truvada, Dapivirine Vaginal Ring Safe, Acceptable HIV Prevention Methods Among Adolescents, Researchers Report At IAS 2017

Healio: Dapivirine vaginal ring safe, acceptable for HIV prevention in teens
“A monthly vaginal ring containing the antiretroviral dapivirine has demonstrated efficacy in girls younger than 18 years, according to phase 2a study results presented at the IAS Conference on HIV Science…” (Bortz, 7/25).

International Business Times: Truvada, Vaginal Rings Can Prevent HIV In Adolescents, Study Says
“…[At] the 9th IAS Conference on HIV Science in Paris, two teams of investigators reported that studies showed a monthly vaginal ring and a daily oral tablet, both containing anti-HIV drugs, were safe for use by adolescents. This research marks the first time medication for the prevention of contracting HIV was specifically tailored and evaluated for adolescents younger than 18 years old, says a statement by the National Institutes of Health (NIH)…” (Anuradha, 7/26).

United Press International: Truvada, vaginal ring safe for HIV prevention in adolescents
“… ‘Adolescents and young people represent a growing share of people living with HIV worldwide,’ Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, part of the National Institutes of Health, said in a press release. ‘Science has demonstrated that the HIV prevention needs of adolescents may be different than those of adults, which is why these new study findings are so important’…” (Wallace, 7/25).

Washington Times: Anti-HIV drugs evaluated in adolescents are safe and acceptable, study shows
“…This was the second clinical trial evaluating oral pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP) for the prevention of HIV — marketed as CHAMPS PlusPills but is the PrEP drug Truvada, used in adults but not evaluated for adolescents. The second phase of the clinical trial included study participants from Cape Town and Johannesburg, South Africa. … In a separate study in the U.S., researchers evaluated adherence to and impact of a vaginal ring insert that released PrEP medication into adolescent girls. Scientists recorded high adherence to the ring, adequate levels of the medication in the girls bloodstream, and deemed it safe to the health of the patients…” (Kelly, 7/25).

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Nations, Organizations Pledged Estimated $5B At London Family Planning Summit, Gates Foundation Says

Devex: How significant were the pledges at the London Family Planning Summit?
“Advocates have welcomed the news that an estimated $5 billion was pledged to improve and expand reproductive health services in developing countries at the London Family Planning Summit earlier this month … but say it still falls far short of the sums needed, and that better monitoring systems are required to ensure the commitments materialize. … According to a current estimate from co-host the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, shared in an email with Devex, roughly $4 billion of the total came from recipient countries — with Indonesia and India committing the lion’s share. This is good news, say family planning advocates, who have long argued that greater domestic resource mobilization is needed to address the needs of 214 million women and girls worldwide who want to avoid or delay pregnancy but do not have access to contraception. The bulk of the remaining $1 billion was pledged by the U.K., the Gates Foundation, and Canada…” (Edwards, 7/26).

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New Report Offers Recommendations On How To Make SDG 3 More Inclusive For LGBTI People

NBC News: New Report Provides U.N. With Global LGBTQ Health Recommendations
“A new report issued by two human rights organizations seeks to improve the health and well-being of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and intersex (LGBTI) people around the world. … The paper includes a series of nine recommendations for making Agenda 2030’s Sustainable Development Goal 3 (SDG 3) — ‘Ensure Healthy Lives and Promote Well-Being for All at All Ages’ — more LGBTI-inclusive and better-equipped to address the impact of discrimination, violence, and criminalization on the overall health of the LGBTI community…” (Perez, 7/25).

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Christian Science Monitor Series Examines African Nations' Food Security Challenges, Efforts To Strengthen Community Resilience

Christian Science Monitor: In Ethiopia, model drought defenses are put to the test
“The country’s booming capital, Addis Ababa, sits in stark contrast to rural areas struggling against two severe droughts in three years. But innovative aid has helped farming communities manage the crisis…” (Brown, 7/24).

Christian Science Monitor: Madagascar skirted famine — barely. Now, it’s boosting resilience before drought returns.
“Where persistent drought is the new normal, communities will have to adapt — a challenge across eastern Africa. But Madagascar’s success, and the lessons that it learned from its brush with disaster, point to how crises might be averted elsewhere…” (Ford, 7/25).

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Editorials and Opinions

U.S. Congress Should Continue To Support Or Increase PEPFAR, Global Fund Investments

USA TODAY: Trump budget would set back global AIDS fight just when we’re on track to win it
Rick Warren and Kay Warren, co-founders of Saddleback Church

“…We’re concerned that … reductions [in funding for PEPFAR and the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria] would move us in the wrong direction. … [I]t is difficult to watch programs cut or changed in ways that hurt people with the greatest needs — both here in the U.S. and abroad. While the administration is seeking to streamline government and limit waste, it must do this in ways that reduce suffering and not add to it, that show America’s great compassion and not disinterest. … [W]e have faith that the return on the same or larger investment in HIV will provide vastly greater returns — both in African lives saved and in American lives protected. These decisions should ensure that one of America’s greatest gifts to the world’s most vulnerable stays in place. As Congress debates future budgets, we hope the support of PEPFAR and global health in general continues to reflect the generosity of the American people. … [W]e can’t slow down; we can’t take any backwards steps. It’s a fight we must win. We hope our president will agree” (7/25).

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U.S. House FY18 Budget Proposal Undermines Global Health Priorities, Women's Health

Newsweek: Pro-Life? Trump Administration is Endangering Women’s Lives
Nina Besser Doorley, senior program officer for U.S. foreign policy at the International Women’s Health Coalition​

“Last Wednesday night, the Republican-led House Appropriations Committee finalized a foreign assistance bill that guts funding for women’s health around the world. During a debate over the proposal, which would likely increase unsafe abortions and maternal deaths, Republican legislators boasted on Twitter that their legislation ‘protects the sanctity of life.’ In reality, the funding package does exactly the opposite: It undermines global health priorities and endangers women’s lives. … The bill considered by the House Appropriations Committee last week caps [family planning and] reproductive health funding at $461 million … bars any funding from going to the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) … [and includes] a version of the expanded ‘global gag rule’ announced by the Trump administration earlier this year … Taken together, the funding cuts and policy restrictions in the House bill are an extension of President Trump’s persistent and pernicious assault on women and girls. The effects will be particularly devastating for the poorest and most marginalized women, including those living in rural and hard to reach communities. … The U.S. is the world’s largest funder of global health, and how Congress decides to appropriate money has reverberations across the globe…” (7/25).

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Global Community, U.S. States Must Repeal HIV Criminalization Laws, Discriminatory Practices

STAT: To end HIV, discriminatory laws must be repealed
Chris Beyrer, professor at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health

“…[P]lenty of work remains if we are to end the AIDS epidemic. … [W]e’re … being held back by harmful laws and policies that discourage people from getting tested, and so from getting the treatment they need. More than 30 states have laws that can be used to prosecute people living with HIV. … HIV criminalization isn’t limited to the United States. … In the last five years, countries ranging from Kenya and Panama to the Seychelles have taken steps to reverse HIV criminalization laws and discriminatory practices. Sadly, not much has changed in the United States, with many states’ criminalization laws still in place from decades ago. … Repealing or reforming these antiquated and harmful laws requires the same kind of bipartisan support and collaboration that allowed the Republican and Democratic leadership to create visionary HIV programs like the Ryan White CARE Act and the President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR). We have come together before to address HIV as a nation and a global community and we need to do so again…” (7/26).

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WHO Should Recognize Human Trafficking As Official Medical Diagnosis, Significant Public Health Issue

STAT: Human trafficking must be officially recognized as a medical diagnosis
Abraar Karan, resident physician at Brigham and Women’s Hospital and Harvard Medical School, and Hanni Stoklosa, emergency department physician at Brigham and Women’s Hospital, instructor in emergency medicine at Harvard Medical School, and executive director of HEAL Trafficking

“…As the World Health Organization works toward its 11th iteration of [the International Classification of Disease (ICD)] codes, we urge that ‘victim of human trafficking’ be recognized as an official diagnosis. … The importance of including human trafficking as a billable medical condition by including it in the ICD code system is part of a larger movement to frame trafficking as a significant public health issue that affects millions of vulnerable people around the world. The harms of trafficking to human health are multifold, spanning multiple disciplines of medicine, including emergency medicine, internal medicine, obstetrics/gynecology, infectious disease, pediatrics, and psychiatry. To classify victims of trafficking solely on their presenting medical symptoms would be a failure to identify the true cause of their poor health. … A formal endorsement from the World Health Organization by including ‘victim of human trafficking’ into the ICD codes would be an important step forward…” (7/25).

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Female Vaccinators Critical Component Of Achieving Polio Eradication

Project Syndicate: Helping the Heroines of Polio Eradication
Minda Dentler, 2017 Aspen New Voices fellow and polio survivor

“…[V]ictory over polio is not yet assured. And one factor — the role of female vaccinators — will be a critical determinant of success. … Since UNICEF began emphasizing the hiring of women for its polio program in 2014, the number of female vaccinators has increased dramatically. … As Aidan O’Leary, UNICEF’s chief of anti-polio efforts in Pakistan, has noted, ‘female vaccinators are driving every single operational gain that is being made.’ … [W]omen on the ground know their communities best and are uniquely qualified to finish the job. Completing the last mile will require creativity and tenacity, and governments and donors should support the women who will get the world across the finish line, to a world with zero polio cases — forever” (7/26).

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From the Global Health Policy Community

U.S. Congress Must Uphold Foreign Aid To Maintain Global WASH Progress

U.N. Dispatch: A Trump Administration Proposal Would Put Clean Drinking Water out of Reach for Millions Around the World
In this guest post, WaterAid America CEO Sarina Prabasi discusses a recently released U.N. report on progress on drinking water, sanitation, and hygiene (WASH), and the report’s implications for U.S. policymakers as they make decisions about the foreign aid budget. Prabasi concludes, “As it continues to shape next year’s federal budget, Congress should ensure robust funding for development assistance. And it must protect USAID’s vital role in administering it” (7/26).

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World Politics Review Speaks With NIAID Director Fauci About Ebola Outbreak Response

World Politics Review: Is the World Ready to Respond to Another Large-Scale Ebola Outbreak?
WPR interviews Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases at the NIH, about the response to the Ebola outbreak in West Africa and efforts to prepare for a future outbreak, including Ebola vaccine research (7/25).

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WHO, WFP, UNICEF Joint Statement Discusses Combined Efforts To Provide Humanitarian Assistance To Yemen; WHO Photos Show Individuals With Cholera In Yemen

WHO: Statement by UNICEF Executive Director, Anthony Lake, WFP Executive Director, David Beasley and WHO Director-General, Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, following their joint visit to Yemen
In a joint statement, UNICEF Executive Director Anthony Lake, WFP Executive Director David Beasley, and WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus discuss a recent visit to Yemen to observe the country’s humanitarian situation and “step up … combined efforts to help the people of Yemen” (7/26).

WHO: The life and death struggle against cholera in Yemen
This photo series follows the experiences of individuals affected by cholera in Yemen (July 2017).

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'Science Speaks' Summarizes Findings Presented, Remarks Made At IAS 2017 Conference

Center for Global Health Policy’s “Science Speaks”: IAS 2017: With resources already stretched, cuts will hurt, global health advocates say
Antigone Barton, senior editor and writer of “Science Speaks,” discusses an IAS 2017 event during which participants discussed the implications of proposed U.S. cuts or flat funding for the global HIV response (7/25).

Center for Global Health Policy’s “Science Speaks”: IAS 2017: XDR-TB emerges in 1990s in South Africa fueled by HIV
Christine Lubinski, executive director of the Center for Global Health Policy, discusses a presentation by Tyler Brown, an infectious diseases fellow at Massachusetts General Hospital, on extensively drug-resistant tuberculosis (XDR-TB) in South Africa (7/26).

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