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Kaiser Daily Global Health Policy Report

In The News

AIDS 2018 Hears About Implications Of U.S. Mexico City Policy For HIV/AIDS Efforts Worldwide

Agence France-Presse: Abortion exclusion to U.S. aid threatens HIV battle: conference hears
“Scientists and activists warned Friday that anti-abortion conditions attached to U.S. [global health] aid under the Donald Trump administration threatened programs to halt the spread of HIV. [The conditions] deny U.S. aid to [foreign] organizations which provide abortion information, referrals, or services — even with their own money…” (7/27).

Globe Post: HIV Battle Under Threat From Trump Administration’s Abortion Policies
“… ‘Now, under the Trump administration, it applies to almost all U.S. global health bilateral assistance, including PEPFAR,’ [International AIDS Society (IAS) president-elect Anton Pozniak] told journalists on the final day of the 22nd International AIDS Conference in Amsterdam. ‘The reach of this policy has been greatly expanded, and has the potential to roll back progress on HIV’…” (7/27).

MedPage Today: Renewed ‘Global Gag Rule’ Called Threat to HIV Fight
“…Panelists at a press conference at the International AIDS Conference described how organizations will now have to either comply with these policies in order to accept PEPFAR support or decline to comply, and not receive PEPFAR aid. While the full impact of the policy may not be known for several years, researchers at the Kaiser Family Foundation attempted to put some numbers behind it…” (Walker, 7/28).

NBC News: Trump abortion ‘gag rule’ hurts AIDS fight, advocates say
“… ‘Our analysis indicated that the expanded policy will likely affect hundreds of NGOs,’ [Jennifer Kates of the Kaiser Family Foundation] said…” (Fox, 7/27).

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PEPFAR Funding Reduces Mother-To-Child HIV Transmission, Infant Mortality In Kenya, Study Shows

Healio: PEPFAR funding directly reduces maternal HIV transmission, infant mortality
“Researchers said that annual funding of the President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief decreased infant mortality related to mother-to-child HIV transmission in Kenya by more than 10 percent. They suggested that when funding was examined on a cumulative basis, infant mortality dropped by nearly one-third. … ‘It has been estimated that without interventions such as those supported by PEPFAR in Kenya, approximately 35 percent of children will become infected with HIV before birth, after birth or while breastfeeding,’ [Donna Spiegelman, Dwight Bliss professor of biostatistics at the Yale School of Public Health,] said. ‘Preventing HIV infection in these children is critical for full-scale HIV prevention and the end to the global AIDS epidemic'” (Bortz, 7/27).

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Devex Highlights Key Takeaways From AIDS 2018

Devex: AIDS 2018 told the story of a global health crisis
“The fight to end HIV/AIDS was given a boost by a star-studded week of presentations, panel sessions, and the occasional protest at this year’s International AIDS Conference in Amsterdam. However, tensions within the community remain, and with few new funding pledges announced, there are questions about how to translate strong rhetoric into action. … A Devex team was on the ground throughout the week and rounds up the key takeaways. 1. Target key populations … 2. Prevention pay off … 3. A youth bulge … 4. The need for integration … 5. Medical developments … 6. The Trump effect…” (Edwards, 7/30).

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

CNN: Growing homophobia will fuel the HIV epidemic, experts fear (Senthilingam, 7/28).

Health Policy Watch: Top WHO Official On HIV/AIDS Gottfried Hirnschall: World Needs New Approaches To Deal With HIV/AIDS Challenges (Zarocostas, 7/23).

Globe and Mail: Countries, including Canada, are prosecuting people with HIV because they misunderstand science, leading researchers say (Picard, 7/27).

MedPage Today: 2020 AIDS Meeting in Bay Area Sparks Early Controversy (Walker, 7/26).

MedPage Today: Clinton: ‘Tribalism’ Hurting HIV/AIDS Fight (Smith, 7/27).

Xinhua News: WHO-Unitaid report calls for more support to HIV self-testing (7/26).

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U.N. SG Guterres Warns Organization Running Out Of Money, Urges Member States To Pay

Devex: Record low funding from member states will alter U.N. work, Guterres says
“U.N. Secretary-General António Guterres has written to member states following what he described as record-low annual contributions, marking a ‘troubling financial situation facing the United Nations.’ … The United States — traditionally the largest single donor to the U.N., contributing 22 percent — is among the 81 states that have yet to pay their regular budget dues…” (Lieberman, 7/27).

The Guardian: U.N. ‘running out of cash’ and facing urgent cuts, warns chief
“…Guterres told member states that the U.N.’s core budget was in the red more deeply and earlier in its financial year than it had ever previously experienced. He added that, as of 30 June, core funding had a deficit of $139m (£106m), and said the U.N. had ‘never faced such a difficult cash flow situation this early in the calendar year’…” (Beaumont, 7/27).

Reuters: U.N. chief warns staff, member states: We’re running out of cash
“…According to the United Nations, 112 out of 193 member states have so far paid their share of the core budget. The United States, which is responsible for 22 percent of the budget, traditionally pays later because of its budget year…” (Nichols, 7/26).

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Negotiations Over U.N. Draft Declaration On TB Ongoing After South Africa Raises Objections

Devex: U.S. pressure could make U.N. TB declaration less forceful, MSF says
“The United States’ amendments to a forthcoming ministerial document on preventing and treating tuberculosis will likely result in a text that is not ‘actionable,’ Médecins Sans Frontières is warning. Pressure from the United States on BRIC nations and other governments could make it harder for developing countries to develop lower-cost, generic versions of necessary treatment medication for TB. Governments were set to finalize the political declaration early last week, two months in advance of the first high-level TB meeting in New York on Sept. 26 — but following South Africa speaking out against some of the proposed U.S. government changes, negotiations were again re-opened on Wednesday…” (Lieberman, 7/27).

Intellectual Property Watch: Negotiations On U.N. Tuberculosis Declaration Still Open, Reports Say
“Negotiations for a United Nations declaration on ending tuberculosis had drawn to a close earlier this week, with the United States seeming to succeed on a hardline position to keep mention of intellectual property rights and affordability of medicines out of the text. But nongovernmental reports say the draft has not been accepted by all members and that negotiations will have to be reopened. According to the health advocacy group Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF, Doctors Without Borders) and other sources, South Africa, possibly supported by other developing countries, has held out on the draft…” (New, 7/27).

STAT: U.N. global declaration on TB faces last-minute objections over access to medicines
“…South Africa has raised objections about access to medicines, an unexpected move that has re-opened talks in hopes of refashioning a final document over the next few days. However, the odds of reaching an agreement appear unlikely, according to a source familiar with the negotiations. In a letter to U.N. officials, the South African government objected to language that was removed from earlier drafts of the declaration, which was finalized on July 20. The language referred to a World Trade Organization agreement that allows countries to issue compulsory licenses as a way to create lower-cost alternatives to medicines…” (Silverman, 7/27).

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Washington Post Examines Trump Administration Position Appointments At MCC

Washington Post: White House uses foreign aid agency to give jobs to Trump loyalists
“The White House has assumed control over hiring at a small federal agency that promotes economic growth in poor countries, installing political allies and loyalists in appointed jobs intended for development experts, according to documents and interviews. Until the Trump administration, only the chief executive and several other top officials of the Millennium Challenge Corporation (MCC) were selected by the White House, former agency officials said. The chief executive, in turn, used authority granted to the agency by Congress to appoint about two dozen other staffers, primarily for their technical ­expertise. … Fourteen allies and Trump loyalists have been placed at the agency as political appointees so far — more than double the number of political staff on the day the president took office, the rosters show…” (O’Harrow, 7/28).

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Rapid Response Of WHO, Other Health Organizations Curbed DRC Ebola Outbreak

The Hill: How world health officials stopped a potentially catastrophic outbreak
“…Two months [after the Ebola outbreak was identified], in July, Congo formally declared an end to the outbreak, after 42 days in which no new cases were identified. An Ebola epidemic that once threatened to travel up and down the mighty Congo River was instead snuffed out at its source. At the heart of the response was the WHO. … In interviews over the past two weeks, a dozen senior public health officials offer near-unanimous praise for an organization that was once riven by internal bureaucratic strife…” (Wilson, 7/27).

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More News In Global Health

CNN Philippines: In Palawan, reproductive health remains a top concern (Ladrido, 7/27).

Deutsche Welle: UNICEF: Nearly every third human trafficking victim is a child (7/29).

Deutsche Welle: Saudi airstrikes in Yemen hit facilities providing water to hundreds of thousands facing cholera epidemic (7/30).

Fast Company: A new plan will bring toilets to 250 million people who need them (Anzilotti, 7/26).

Financial Times: India’s curb on life-saving drug prompts court challenge (Kazmin, 7/29).

Health Policy Watch: Tackling Pain Seen As Vital To Debate On Noncommunicable Diseases And Care (Anderson, 7/26).

Health Policy Watch: Wrong Diagnosis, Medication Errors, Care-Related Infections Adding USD 1 Trillion To Spiraling Health Costs Globally, Warn OECD, WHO, World Bank (Zarocostas, 7/24).

New York Times: 11 and Married: Malaysia Spars Over Young Brides (Beech, 7/29).

STAT: New Ebola species is reported for first time in a decade (Branswell, 7/27).

Thomson Reuters Foundation: Attacks on aid workers rise in Central African Republic (Peyton, 7/29).

U.N. News: ‘Warehouses emptying’ amid growing humanitarian needs in south-west Syria (7/27).

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Editorials and Opinions

U.S. Should Maintain Funding For HIV/AIDS, Examine Policies To Better Reach Key Populations

Dallas Morning News: America cannot let up in the fight against AIDS — and that includes Dallas
Editorial Board

“…Keeping the [HIV/AIDS] epidemic at bay requires constant funding and public health interventions, and research revealed at the [22nd International AIDS Conference in Amsterdam] has shown these systems are faltering. … Political commitment to fighting AIDS is critical to improving our uneven domestic progress against the disease, as well as bolstering global health capacity. The U.S. must maintain current funding levels — that’s the bare minimum. But to truly improve, we also must examine policies that will better reach at-risk groups and make treatments like [pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP)] more affordable. … Global progress in eliminating HIV/AIDS is more than a public health statistic. It is a marker of our commitment to life, diplomacy, and political will. We are at a decision point in the epidemic. We hope America chooses well” (7/28).

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Opinion Piece Discusses U.N. Breastfeeding Resolution Debate

Fox News: Does Donald Trump really hate breastfeeding? Another media ‘mis’-report
Bethany Mandel, editor at Ricochet

“…While fully acknowledging that ‘breast is best’ [U.S. HHS and USAID] officials also realize that even under the most optimal conditions, breastfeeding can be difficult. When you factor in malnutrition and stress in the developing world and in conflict areas, access to formula can mean the difference between life and death. … There is a tragic history of formula companies manipulating women in the third world in order to get them hooked on formula, thereby disrupting their milk supply; but the pendulum has swung too far in the opposite direction. While we know the science indicates that breastmilk is best, there are any number of extenuating circumstances for women in the developed and developing world that makes feeding babies formula more desirable. Mothers are responsible with raising their children, and thus, should be trusted to decide how to best feed them without requiring a prescription to do so…” (7/29).

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Private Sector Should Account For SDG-Related Environmental, Social, Governance Standards In Their Strategies

Project Syndicate: Unlocking Private-Sector Funds for Sustainable Development
Mahmoud Mohieldin, senior vice president for the 2030 Development Agenda, United Nations Relations, and Partnerships at the World Bank Group, and Svetlana Klimenko, lead financial management specialist at the World Bank Group

“…The key to achieving the [Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs)] is … to impel public companies — especially the large firms that receive the majority of institutional investment — to account for environmental, social, and governance (ESG) criteria relevant to the SDGs in their decision-making. … Only a few investors and businesses are currently using SDGs as the basis for sustainability-focused strategies. But the only way to boost shareholder value and contribute to meeting the SDGs is for companies and investors to ensure, in advance, that they focus on ESG standards that are both material to their industry or business and useful to advance the SDGs. … By creating smart, comprehensive, and clearly defined strategies, private companies can not only get credit for their efforts; they can also help governments to establish realistic budgets and clear financing plans for the SDGs” (7/26).

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From the Global Health Policy Community

'Science Speaks' Discusses Expert Remarks At AIDS 2018 On Implications Of Mexico City Policy For HIV Services

IDSA’s “Science Speaks”: AIDS 2018: Expanded Mexico City policy built barriers to HIV services, researchers say
Reporting from the 22nd International AIDS Conference in Amsterdam, Rabita Aziz, writer at “Science Speaks” and senior global health policy specialist at IDSA, discusses the implications of the Trump administration’s reinstatement and expansion of the Mexico City policy, highlighting remarks from Jen Kates, vice president and director of global health & HIV policy at the Kaiser Family Foundation; Chloë Cooney, senior director of global advocacy at Planned Parenthood Global and Planned Parenthood Federation of America; Luisa Orza of the HIV/AIDS Alliance; Brian Honerman of amfAR; and Asa Anderson of the Swedish International Development Agency (7/27).

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Peter Piot Guest Curates FT Health Newsletter, Interviews Kenya National AIDS Control Council Director

FT Health: Act now to reinvigorate efforts on AIDS
“The guest curator of this week’s FT Health newsletter is Peter Piot, director of the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, who focuses on the challenges for HIV/AIDS campaigns.” The newsletter features an interview with Nduku Kilonzo, director of the National AIDS Control Council (NACC) in Kenya, about the country’s HIV/AIDS response, as well as provides a round-up of global health-related news stories (Piot, 7/27).

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Wilson Center Event Panelists Discuss How Family Planning Access Supports Social, Economic Goals

Woodrow Wilson Center’s Environmental Change and Security Program’s “New Security Beat”: A More Prosperous World: Investing in Family Planning for Sustainable Economic Growth
Saiyara Khan, intern with the Wilson Center’s Environmental Change and Security Program, highlights panelists’ remarks at the final event of a three-part series on the role of population and family planning in supporting economic growth, health, and education. During the event, panelists discussed the use of a model to measure the impact of family planning, how barriers to women’s health affect women’s economic empowerment, the role of creating the “fiscal space for development,” and the relevance of family planning across sectors (7/30).

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The BMJ Releases Strategic Review Collection On Child Health

The BMJ: Strategic review of child health
“…Two decades ago, Integrated Management of Childhood Illnesses (IMCI) was introduced by the World Health Organization and UNICEF as a global strategy to ‘reach all children’ with prevention, diagnosis, and treatment for common childhood illnesses, aiming at reducing child mortality and promoting child health. The strategic review of IMCI and [Integrated Community Case Management (iCCM)] aimed to draw lessons from past measures and current best practices to provide direction on how countries, supported by the global child health community, can deliver the best possible strategies to help each child to survive and thrive. This collection of articles describes findings from the strategic review. It seeks to provide thoughtful, transparent, evidence based examination of past measures and current best practices, and to consider future needs when rethinking global and national child health strategies…” (July 2018).

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Grand Challenges-India Accepting Data-Driven Proposals To Improve Maternal, Newborn, Child Health

Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation’s “Impatient Optimists”: Saving Lives with Data
Thea Norman, senior program officer in quantitative sciences at the Gates Foundation, discusses a call “for projects that bring together global health experts and data scientists into teams to dig into rich data sets to answer the toughest questions about maternal, child, and newborn health in India. … This data challenge is sponsored by Grand Challenges-India, a partnership with [the Biotechnology Industry Research Assistance Council (BIRAC)] and the Gates Foundation, and the Gates Foundation’s knowledge integration initiative, known as Ki,” which promotes data-driven solutions to maternal, newborn, and child health issues (7/25).

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Republic Of Congo's Focus On Primary Health Care Can Become Model For Other Nations, WHO DG Says

WHO: WHO Director General: Republic of Congo can transform its primary health care into a model for other nations
“The director general of the World Health Organization (WHO) has commended the Republic of Congo’s commitment to strengthening its health system through the primary health care approach, during a three-day visit to the central African country… ‘Primary health care is the foundation of universal health coverage,’ said Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus. ‘Most health problems can be addressed at the primary level where the cost of care is low and the returns on saving lives are high. So I commend your focus on primary health care and if you move swiftly, the Republic of Congo can become a model for other nations’…” (7/27).

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From the U.S. Government

Amb. Birx Highlights PEPFAR Partnerships, Results Announced At AIDS 2018

U.S. Department of State’s “DipNote”: PEPFAR at AIDS 2018
Ambassador Deborah L. Birx, U.S. global AIDS coordinator and U.S. special representative for global health diplomacy, discusses new PEPFAR partnerships and results announced at the 22nd International AIDS Conference that ended Friday in Amsterdam, including the MenStar Coalition and data from PEPFAR-funded Population-based HIV Impact Assessments (PHIAs). Birx concludes, “This week in Amsterdam showed us both how far we have come and what is needed to accelerate progress, learn from our successes, and fill critical gaps. As we depart AIDS 2018, we look forward to continuing our partnerships with governments, civil society, scientists, and implementers, with renewed energy and urgency” (7/27).

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From the Kaiser Family Foundation

KFF, CSIS To Host Joint Briefing To Assess Major Outcomes From AIDS 2018

Kaiser Family Foundation: August 10 Event — AIDS 2018: What Happened and What’s Next?
“At 9:30 a.m. ET on Friday, August 10, the Kaiser Family Foundation and the Global Health Policy Center at the Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS) will hold a briefing to assess the major outcomes of the 2018 International AIDS Conference (AIDS 2018), held from July 23-27 in Amsterdam, the Netherlands. The discussion will touch on the latest scientific developments; the current funding climate for the AIDS response; and other major developments to the field emerging from the conference. In addition, panelists will look ahead toward the AIDS 2020 conference…” (7/27).

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Filling the need for trusted information on national health issues, the Kaiser Family Foundation is a nonprofit organization based in Menlo Park, California.