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Kaiser Daily Global Health Policy Report

In The News

Experts Discuss HIV/AIDS Funding, Gaps During AIDS 2018 Press Conference

MedPage Today: Gaps in Global HIV Research Funding Threaten Progress
“…The Miles to Go report from UNAIDS issued last week detailed a $6 billion funding gap between what is required to reach the Fast Track 2020 targets, which require a scaling up in both spending and efficiency. ‘To put it into perspective, $6 billion is the entire amount that the U.S. provides each year, so to fill that gap, the U.S. would have to double what it’s doing and that’s not going to happen,’ Jennifer Kates, PhD, of the Kaiser Family Foundation said at a press conference at the International AIDS Conference…” (Walker, 7/25).

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Researchers, Officials Discuss PEPFAR Successes At AIDS 2018

NPR: Praise For The Global HIV Program That Trump Wants To Cut
“The 22nd annual International AIDS Conference is currently underway in Amsterdam. And several studies are looking at the U.S. government’s largest foreign HIV program: the President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief, or PEPFAR. The multi-billion dollar program to combat HIV and AIDS globally has been slated for cuts by the Trump administration. But researchers and African health officials credit the program started by President George W. Bush with helping to change the trajectory of the AIDS epidemic. … So far, … Congress has resisted those proposed budgetary cuts” (Beaubien, 7/25).

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Public, Private Entities Launch Coalition Focusing On Access To HIV Treatment, Diagnosis For Men

Devex: Launch of $1.2B coalition to expand HIV services for men
“A group of major HIV/AIDS donors, NGOs, and pharmaceutical companies have joined forces to launch a $1.2 billion coalition to expand the diagnosis and treatment of HIV infections among men, who are currently less likely to be accessing these services. The MenStar coalition brings together the Elton John AIDS Foundation; the United States President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief; Unitaid; the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria; the Children’s Investment Fund Foundation; Johnson & Johnson; and Gilead Sciences around the issue of how to get more men, especially those aged between 24-35, accessing HIV testing and treatment…” (Edwards, 7/26).

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

aidsmap: Criminalization of HIV high on agenda at AIDS 2018 (Weait, 7/24).

SciDev.Net: HIV research missing focus on young women (Vesper, 7/25).

Science: ‘It’s sobering’: A once-exciting HIV cure strategy fails its test in people (Cohen, 7/25).

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HIV/AIDS Community Members Split On Discussion To Move Next International Conference Out Of U.S. Because Of Trump Administration Policies

San Francisco Business Times: Citing Trump policies, movement builds to shift important AIDS meeting from Bay Area
“A call to move a biennial international AIDS conference from the Bay Area because of Trump administration policies, including restrictions on potential attendees and the impact of those policies on attempts to halt the spread of HIV globally, is splitting the AIDS community. When organizers of the International AIDS Conference said in March that the meeting was returning for the first time in 30 years to San Francisco and Oakland in 2020, they hailed it as a defining moment in the battle against the AIDS virus. … But a growing number of organizations and individuals say the conference, attended by 15,000-plus HIV researchers, activists, and patients from around the world, should be moved from the United States. They say President Donald Trump’s policies restrict some potential attendees traveling from other countries, hurt transgender people, and threaten prevention and treatment efforts globally…” (Leuty, 7/25).

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VOA's Africa 54 Speaks With MSH Expert About Future Of PEPFAR

VOA News: Africa 54
VOA’s Africa 54 host Vincent Makori speaks with Faustine Wabwire, senior policy and advocacy manager at the Management Sciences for Health, about the future of PEPFAR. The segment begins at minute 3:28 (7/11).

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HuffPost Examines U.S., Advocates' Positions On TRIPS Flexibilities In U.N. Draft Declaration On TB

HuffPost: Global Health Community Says The U.S. Is Picking Big Business Over Patients Again
“The global health community has once again found itself in a familiar position: fighting the U.S. on a policy previously seen as a no-brainer. … Despite being the top single-country funder by far in the worldwide fight against TB, the U.S. is on the defensive as other member nations push standard access-to-treatment language in a proposed declaration on fighting TB. Echoing recent moves by the U.S. delegation — such as its resistance to a breastfeeding resolution this year, and lesser-known fights over livestock antibiotics and sugary-drink taxes — the U.S. has ended up taking a solitary stand for the pharmaceutical industry over TB patients, experts say…” (Weber, 7/26).

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Global Financing Facility's First Annual Report Details Results In Tanzania, DRC, Cameroon

Devex: GFF report shows promising maternal and child health results
“The Global Financing Facility’s first annual report, released Tuesday, shows promising results from its early front-runner countries, including Tanzania, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, and Cameroon. Those three countries are profiled in depth in the report with key results and learning, while core indicator profiles are published for 13 other partner countries in which GFF has been operating but doesn’t yet have enough data. … GFF is currently operating in 27 countries, but 10 of those joined last November and Mali joined last month, so progress data is not yet available for those 11. GFF aims to eventually increase its partnerships to 50 countries…” (Welsh, 7/25).

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Somalia Attorney General To Investigate, Prosecute Those Responsible For 10-Year-Old Girl's Death Following FGM

Thomson Reuters Foundation: Somalia announces first prosecution for female genital mutilation
“Somalia’s Attorney General Ahmed Ali Dahir announced on Wednesday the country’s first ever prosecution against female genital mutilation (FGM) following the death of a 10-year-old girl, an adviser to the government said. Ifrah Ahmed, who advises Somalia on gender issues, said the attorney general was sending a team of investigators to find out more about the death of the girl, Deeqa, who suffered severe bleeding after her mother took her to a traditional cutter…” (Batha, 7/26).

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Media Outlets Continue Coverage Of Chinese Vaccine Scandal

The Guardian: ‘They are devils’: China’s parents demand answers over vaccine scandal
“…[T]housands of parents across China have been scrambling for answers this week after revelations their children may have received faulty immunizations under a state-sponsored vaccine program, using products from Changsheng. The incident has sparked one of the country’s largest public outcries in years, one that officials and censors have struggled to contain…” (Kuo, 7/24).

NPR: Reports Suggest Children Throughout China Likely Injected With Faulty Vaccines
“…As NPR’s Rob Schmitz reports, it’s the latest in a long line of food and health scandals that has people questioning whether China’s government is looking out for their safety…” (Schmitz, 7/24).

Reuters: The unfolding of China’s Changsheng vaccine scandal
“Chinese vaccine maker Changsheng Bio-technology Co. Ltd., accused of fabricating production and inspection data, has become the subject of multiple probes — including investigations by police and the corruption watchdog…” (Jourdan, 7/24).

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More News In Global Health

Al Jazeera: Cancer patients in Yemen struggle to survive as options diminish (Gupta, 7/25).

BBC News: Making a drama out of a TB crisis (Sherriff, 7/25).

The Guardian: Alarm as Ugandan politicians back plans for compulsory HIV testing in schools (Okiror, 7/26).

The Lancet Infectious Diseases: New challenges to eradicating Guinea worm disease (Dumiak, August 2018).

News Deeply: To Boost Global Nutrition, Give Local Advocates More Tools: SUN Champion (Green, 7/25).

STAT: Zika’s power, destructive in fetuses, might be turned against tumors, scientists say (Branswell, 7/25).

Thomson Reuters Foundation: Bodies buried, Congo turns to next Ebola outbreak (Lazareva, 7/25).

U.N. News: Acute lack of funding threatens critical aid for Palestinians : U.N. agency (7/25).

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Editorials and Opinions

Global HIV/AIDS Response Reaches 'Critical Juncture,' Requires 'Reappraisal Of Strategies'

Foreign Policy: Welcome to the Next Deadly AIDS Pandemic
Laurie Garrett, former senior fellow for global health at the Council on Foreign Relations

“…For years, humanity had [HIV] on the run, and death tolls plunged to joyously low levels. But the disease is now poised, for the first time in recent memory, to add massively to its global death toll … since 1981. Three factors are contributing to its runaway resurgence: flawed public health strategy, rapidly shifting demography, and diminished resources. … Humanity’s war with AIDS has reached a dangerous, critical juncture, forcing a collective reappraisal of strategies used to treat the infected and prevent spread of the virus. This should be a pivot point for rethinking the scientific mission — its funding, urgency, and directions — bringing fresh vitality and robust energy to the search for an effective immune system response to the constantly mutating, deadly virus. The treatment strategy now in use … must be seen as an opportunity to buy the world time, saving lives, until a technology that truly vanquishes the HIV threat is discovered and put to use…” (7/25).

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Access To Family Planning Key To Economic Empowerment

Project Syndicate: The Economic Benefits of Family Planning
Natalia Kanem, U.N. under-secretary general and executive director of the United Nations Population Fund

“…[D]espite the many advantages associated with family planning services, too many countries continue to underfund this vital portion of their health care systems. … Fully funding the family planning needs of poor countries would lift millions out of poverty, improve rates of educational attainment, and help close the gender pay gap in the Global South. … By 2030, UNFPA aims to ensure that women everywhere can access family planning services without fear of consequence or cost. But we cannot do this alone. Leaders in government, the private sector, and civil society must join us in working toward this ambitious goal. … In addition to increased spending, new policies, laws, and implementation of existing regulations will be needed to help protect women and to empower young couples. … Fifty years ago, at the International Conference on Human Rights held in Tehran, the global community declared that ‘parents have a basic human right to determine freely and responsibly the number and the spacing of their children.’ At the time, that idea was visionary; we now know that realizing it is a condition of successful development” (7/25).

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WHO Calls For Strengthening Of Efforts To Develop TB Vaccines

The Lancet Infectious Diseases: WHO preferred product characteristics for new vaccines against tuberculosis
Lewis K. Schrager of the WHO Initiative for Vaccine Research and colleagues

“…Given the central role that adolescents and adults with active pulmonary tuberculosis disease have in spreading [Mycobacterium tuberculosis] infection, including to infants and young children, the prevention of the disease in adolescents and adults is a priority strategic target in vaccine development. … A new tuberculosis vaccine intended for administration in early life, providing a superior degree and longer duration of protection than current BCG vaccines, that could be safely administered to infants with HIV infection or other causes of immune suppression, would represent an important public health advance. … Developing new, effective vaccine[s] against tuberculosis represents an important global health imperative. WHO calls for a strengthening of this effort. The [preferred product characteristics (PPCs)] for the development of tuberculosis vaccines targeting adolescents and adults, neonates and infants, as presented here, are offered to help guide this important and challenging initiative” (August 2018).

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From the Global Health Policy Community

AIDS 2018 Press Releases Discuss Research On Sex Work, HIV Criminalization Laws

AIDS 2018: Studies raise concerns about policies seeking to “end demand” for sex work
“Research suggests that ‘end demand’ laws are reducing demand for HIV services, according to panelists sharing the effectiveness of ‘end demand’ policies at a press conference that featured scientific abstracts and input from advocates. … Typically, under these laws, sex workers themselves commit no crime, but clients and any third parties are criminalized. Supporters of ‘end demand’ laws have argued that this approach will increase sex workers’ access to essential services, including HIV prevention and care. But two studies presented at [Wednesday’s] press conference at the 22nd International AIDS Conference (AIDS 2018) poked holes in this assertion, citing evidence from Canada and France…” (7/25).

AIDS 2018: 20 of the world’s leading researchers say scientific evidence does not support HIV criminalization laws
“Twenty of the world’s leading HIV scientists have launched an evidence-based consensus that systematically refutes the rationale for laws that criminalize HIV transmission. The ‘Expert Consensus Statement on the Science of HIV in the Context of Criminal Law’ and an accompanying editorial were published in the Journal of the International AIDS Society (JIAS) [Wednesday]. Concerned that HIV criminalization laws are partly driven by a poor appreciation of the science around HIV, the panel of 20 global experts developed a Consensus Statement describing the best medical and scientific evidence around HIV transmission to inform the justice system…” (7/25).

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'Science Speaks' Highlights Research Presented At AIDS 2018

Antigone Barton, senior editor and writer at “Science Speaks,” and Rabita Aziz, writer at “Science Speaks” and senior global health policy specialist at IDSA, report from the 22nd International AIDS Conference in Amsterdam on “news, updates, and analysis of new research findings, evidence-based responses, and community action for global access to HIV treatment and prevention.”

IDSA’s “Science Speaks”: AIDS 2018: Opioid substitution therapy, outreach to sex workers rank among most cost effective HIV interventions, researchers say (Aziz, 7/25).

IDSA’s “Science Speaks”: AIDS 2018: PARTNER 2 adds to body of validation that U = U (Barton, 7/25).

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U.N. Agencies Discuss Various HIV/AIDS-Related Issues, Release Report At AIDS 2018

UNAIDS: Global HIV Prevention Coalition implements the HIV Prevention 2020 Road Map
“On 23 July, the Global HIV Prevention Coalition brought together HIV prevention leaders in Amsterdam, Netherlands, to discuss the urgency of scaling up HIV prevention services. They shared the progress made and looked at the challenges, including policy barriers and inadequate funding for prevention…” (7/24).

UNAIDS: Leading experts call on the criminal justice system to ensure science informs the application of the law in criminal cases related to HIV
“A group of 20 leading HIV scientists from around the world have issued a scientific consensus statement urging governments and people working in the legal and justice systems to pay close attention to the significant advances in HIV science to ensure that science informs the application of criminal law in cases related to HIV. … The expert group of scientists … warn that an overly broad and inappropriate application of criminal law against people living with HIV remains a serious concern across the globe…” (7/25).

UNICEF: Women: At the heart of the HIV response for children
“UNICEF’s new report, Women: At the heart of the HIV response for children, highlights the sobering fact that, contrary to popular opinion, the AIDS crisis is far from over. Even as the disease beats a slow retreat due to the significant and commendable progress on many fronts in the last decade, it still strikes at people of all ages, including babies, young children, and particularly adolescents. … The report contains 17 essays from women leaders in the fight against HIV, from activists living with HIV to prominent political and corporate figures…” (7/25).

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New Issue Of 'Global Fund News Flash' Available Online

Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria: Global Fund News Flash
The latest issue of the Global Fund News Flash features several pieces discussing topics from the 2018 International AIDS Conference in Amsterdam, including a news release highlighting the Global Fund’s HIV efforts; a blog post written by Global Fund Executive Director Peter Sands on the need for more funding and a better approach to the HIV response; and video messages from the conference (7/25).

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DFID To Increase Support Of Global Community Networks Working With People With HIV

DFID: U.K. aid raises the voices of grassroots HIV organizations
“The U.K. [on Wednesday] has … committed to increase its support to help people in grassroots organizations keep HIV on the agenda in countries around the world. International Development Minister Alistair Burt made the announcement at the International AIDS Conference in Amsterdam … He pledged that DFID will step up its support for the Robert Carr Fund — an organization dedicated to supporting community networks across the world which help people with HIV to realize their human rights, tackle stigma, and advocate for policy change…” (7/25).

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Preventing Child Deaths From Diarrhea Requires Understanding Of Where Caregivers Seek Treatment, Blog Post Says

PATH’s “DefeatDD Blog”: Where Do Parents Go To Help Treat Their Child’s Diarrhea? Why Should We Care?
Margaret Chappell, intern with Sustaining Health Outcomes through the Private Sector (SHOPS) Plus at Abt Associates, writes, “[SHOPS] Plus, USAID’s flagship initiative in private sector health, analyzed the latest Demographic and Health Survey data from 24 USAID priority countries to determine where sick children are taken for treatment or advice. … To prevent child deaths due to diarrhea, we need to understand if and where caregivers seek treatment outside of the home. This information is key to ensuring resources are effectively programmed to improve child survival” (7/25).

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From the U.S. Government

PEPFAR-Supported Surveys Demonstrate Progress Toward HIV Epidemic Control In Namibia, Gaps In Cameroon, Côte d'Ivoire

PEPFAR: New Data Show Dramatic Progress in Namibia Toward HIV Epidemic Control and Substantial Gaps in Côte d’Ivoire and Cameroon
“The Government of the Republic of Namibia, the U.S. President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR), the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), and ICAP at Columbia University (ICAP) released new data [Wednesday] at the 2018 International AIDS Conference demonstrating the HIV epidemic is coming under control in Namibia. … New data from [the population-based HIV impact assessments (PHIAs)] in Cameroon and Côte d’Ivoire also released earlier this week highlight substantial gaps in western Africa toward reaching epidemic control despite significant investments, pointing to the depth and breadth of key policy barriers to HIV service uptake that need to be addressed…” (7/25).

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NIH News Releases Discuss Research Presented At AIDS 2018

NIH: Fauci: HIV remission free of antiretroviral therapy is a feasible goal
Ahead of an International AIDS Conference lecture on Wednesday given by Anthony S. Fauci, director of the NIH’s National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID), this news release discusses opportunities and challenges of long-lasting control of HIV infection without antiretroviral therapy (7/25).

NIH: Multi-disease health fairs, universal “test and treat” help East African communities achieve HIV benchmarks
“People living with HIV in rural East African communities that hosted annual community health campaigns initiated antiretroviral therapy (ART) earlier and had higher levels of overall survival and viral suppression than communities receiving standard HIV care, according to study data presented [Wednesday] at a press conference at the 22nd International AIDS Conference (AIDS 2018) in Amsterdam. Communities with annual multi-disease health fairs, which delivered patient-centered, streamlined HIV care, also had fewer cases of tuberculosis (TB), better control of hypertension, and approximately 30 percent fewer new HIV cases during the last year of the study compared to the first year…” (7/25).

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U.S., Australia Release Joint Statement On Global Health Security Agenda Cooperation

U.S. Department of State: Joint Statement on Global Health Security Agenda Cooperation
This statement from the U.S. and Australia governments on Global Health Security Agenda cooperation is the result of the 2018 Australia-U.S. Ministerial Consultations (AUSMIN). “Given the collective threat posed by certain highly pathogenic infectious diseases — whether through naturally occurring outbreaks or deliberate or accidental release — the governments of the United States and Australia have formed a multi-sectoral partnership to strengthen health security in the Indo-Pacific Region…” (7/25).

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From the Kaiser Family Foundation

KFF Updates Fact Sheet, Other Resources On Global HIV/AIDS Epidemic

Kaiser Family Foundation: The Global HIV/AIDS Epidemic
This updated fact sheet provides information on current HIV prevalence and incidence, prevention and treatment strategies, and the global and U.S. responses to the epidemic (7/25).

Additional recent KFF releases on HIV/AIDS include the updated Global HIV/AIDS Timeline and HIV/AIDS Quiz, as well as the annual KFF/UNAIDS Donor Government Funding for HIV in Low- and Middle-Income Countries report.

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