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Kaiser Daily Global Health Policy Report

In The News

WHO Issues New Guidelines For Implementing HIV Self-Testing, Partner Notification Services

Agence France-Presse: Almost half of HIV infections worldwide undetected: WHO
“The World Health Organization warned on Tuesday that nearly half of all people with HIV around the globe do not know they are infected, and called for broader access to at-home testing kits. The U.N. health agency said that 40 percent of people with the virus that causes AIDS, or more than 14 million people worldwide, are unaware of their status, according to 2015 estimates…” (Larson, 11/29).

Deutsche Welle: HIV self-test kits may speed up diagnosis but they’re not for ‘the morning after’
“…A growing range of HIV self-test kits, however, are bringing renewed hope of achieving the 90-90-90 targets. Self-test kits could enable testing in remote areas or ‘non-formal’ settings. But it is a largely untested technology and, as a result, the World Health Organization (WHO) has published new guidelines for its implementation…” (11/29).

U.N. News Centre: U.N. health agency issues new guidelines on HIV self-testing
“Ahead of World AIDS Day, marked annually on 1 December, the United Nations World Health Organization (WHO) has released new guidelines on HIV self-testing, which aim to help millions of people know their HIV status and get treatment. … The new guidelines aim to help countries scale up implementation of HIV self-testing and assisted HIV partner notification services…” (11/29).

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Europe Records High Number Of New HIV Cases In 2015; 1 In 7 In Region Unaware Of Status, Reports Show

Deutsche Welle: New HIV infections on the rise in Europe: WHO
“Europe registered the highest number of new HIV cases in a single year in 2015, the World Health Organization (WHO) said on Tuesday, basing the figure on data from the 53 countries included in the U.N. agency’s definition of the European region…” (11/29).

Thomson Reuters Foundation: One in seven people with HIV in E.U. unaware they have virus: report
“One in seven people with HIV in the Europe Union region is unaware they have the virus, seriously hampering efforts to meet a global 2030 deadline for eradicating the AIDS epidemic, a senior health expert said on Tuesday. … Around 810,000 people are believed to be living with HIV in the E.U.’s 28 member countries plus Norway, Iceland, and Liechtenstein, the report by the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC) shows…” (Batha, 11/29).

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Syringe Services Programs Can Help Reduce HIV Rates Among People Who Inject Drugs, CDC Says

CNN: Syringe exchanges help reduce rates of HIV, CDC says
“A new report from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, released Tuesday, finds that the use of syringe or needle exchanges has contributed to significant drops in the rates of HIV among African-American and Latino drug users…” (Kounang/Strickland, 11/29).

NBC News: Needle Exchange Programs Help HIV But Move Too Slowly, CDC Says
“…CDC and other experts say decades of studies show needle exchange programs work not only to stop the spread of disease, but to help people stop their abuse of drugs such as heroin and other opioids…” (Fox, 11/29).

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With Focus On Prevention, Cuban Health Care System Helps Residents Live As Long As Americans At Fraction Of Cost

The Atlantic: How Cubans Live as Long as Americans at a Tenth of the Cost
“…Cuba has long had a nearly identical life expectancy to the United States, despite widespread poverty. … All of this despite Cuba spending just $813 per person annually on health care compared with America’s $9,403. The difference comes back to the basic fact that in Cuba, health care is protected under the constitution as a fundamental human right. The U.S. protects unlimited firearms and freedom from quartering soldiers but does not guarantee health care. Instead we compromise, taking inefficient and expensive half-measures to rescue people in serious peril. … [Cuba’s success is] largely done … through an innovative approach to primary care…” (Hamblin, 11/29).

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In AEI Talk, Gates CEO Offers Global Health Advice For Trump Administration, Says Re-Emergence Of Polio In Nigeria 'Biggest Disappointment'

Devex: Gates CEO says polio’s return to Nigeria is her ‘biggest disappointment’
“Sue Desmond-Hellman, CEO of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, said Tuesday that her ‘biggest disappointment’ since joining the foundation in 2014 was witnessing the re-emergence of polio in Nigeria after it had previously been thought to be eradicated from the African continent. Speaking at the American Enterprise Institute, a conservative think tank in Washington, D.C., Desmond-Hellman reflected on what the world’s largest foundation learned from that disappointment — and she offered some words of global health advice for incoming U.S. President Donald Trump’s administration…” (Igoe, 11/30).

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Bloomberg Philanthropies' Investments In Tobacco Control Help Protect Nearly 1.7M People, Most In LMICs

Forbes: 10 Years Later: Bloomberg’s Big Bet on Tobacco Reduction
“It comes out to less than a dollar a person: Since 2006, Bloomberg Philanthropies’ investment of more than $600 million to reduce tobacco use has helped protect nearly 1.7 billion people from smoking’s health hazards, primarily in low- and middle-income countries…” (Foster, 11/29).

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Nigeria Considering Innovative Financing Mechanism For Malaria Prevention

Financial Times: World Bank health care social impact bond fundraising targets Africa malaria
“Malaria may not seem an obvious focus for financial markets but Nigeria plans an ambitious new instrument to tackle the heavy burden of the disease. If it goes ahead, the Innovative Financing for Malaria Prevention and Treatment/Control Project (Impact) will seek up to $300m from investors to fund distribution of bed nets impregnated with insecticide for the country’s malaria control program…” The article is part of a special report titled “Innovation in Healthcare” (Jack, 11/29).

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Editorials and Opinions

Incoming Trump Administration Could Help Achieve AIDS-Free Generation

Project Syndicate: The End of AIDS
Jeffrey D. Sachs, professor and director of the Earth Institute at Columbia University, and director of the U.N. Sustainable Development Solutions Network

“…[T]he goal of an ‘AIDS-Free Generation’ is realistically within reach. The required policy steps should be agreed in the early days of U.S. President-elect Donald Trump’s administration. … The goal of reaching 90-90-90 by the year 2020 and 95-95-95 by 2030 is realistic, if countries strive for success. … The incoming Trump administration should grasp the historic opportunity to help bring AIDS to an end through a modest financial commitment by governments and other funders. … Skeptics will scoff that Trump is an unlikely champion of such an effort; but, frankly, who would have guessed 15 years ago that [George W.] Bush would be the key mover of the financial scale-up of the fight against AIDS? History is full of positive as well as negative surprises; the end of AIDS can be a historic achievement of our generation, if we reach for it” (11/29).

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4 Recommendations To Help U.S., World Better Prepare For, Respond To Epidemics

U.S. News & World Report: Responding to the Next Ebola
Jonathan Fielding, distinguished professor of public health and pediatrics at UCLA

“…Here are several high priority recommendations [on how to be better prepared for future disease epidemics]: First, the U.S. must help the World Health Organization and countries with limited ability to determine the size and severity of disease outbreaks and limited clinical capacity [to] strengthen their surveillance and response capabilities. … Second, HHS needs a pot of discretionary funds that can be accessed and spent both here at home and abroad in case of public health emergencies without getting prior approval from Congress or the federal Office of Management and Budget. … Third, we need the capacity to call on the right people to combat public health threats. … Fourth, we need clear and decisive guidelines on when and under what circumstances the U.S. is willing to send clinical medical care personnel to other countries. … [B]y helping to build up resources and capacity to respond, we will do a better job protecting Americans here at home from the next public health emergency” (11/29).

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New Dengue Vaccine Could Protect People From Disease If Targeted Accurately

Thomson Reuters Foundation: Dengue vaccine no silver bullet but worth a shot for those who need it most
Stefan Flasche, assistant professor at the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine’s department of infectious disease epidemiology

“…A new London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine-led study published in the journal PLOS Medicine, initiated by the World Health Organization, and conducted with a team of international experts … showed that giving [the CYD-TDV dengue vaccine] only to those populations with a high burden of disease has the potential to prevent about one out of five dengue hospitalizations. It predicts that a substantial positive impact of vaccination can be achieved if targeted at individuals who most likely had an infection before and, if priced competitively, a cost-effectiveness profile that is similar to that of other vaccines currently in use. … The global health community must ensure that we are in a position to make best use of this dengue vaccine until other, more effective means of prevention become available. CYD-TDV is no silver bullet, but if targeted accurately it will bring help to those who need it most” (11/29).

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From the Global Health Policy Community

Western Hemisphere Nations Must Work Together To End Early, Forced Marriage, Motherhood

U.S. Department of State’s “DipNote”: In the Western Hemisphere, More Action Needed to Address Early and Forced Marriage
Catherine Russell, ambassador-at-large for global women’s issues at the U.S. Department of State, discusses U.S. efforts to address early and forced marriage and motherhood, highlighting three ways to make progress on the issue. Russell writes, “First, we need more research. … Second, countries need to put these issues on their policy agendas. … Third, we need to find ways to rally everyone around this issue” (11/29).

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Improving PEPFAR's Performance, Achieving High Treatment Coverage, Better Prevention Critical To Ending AIDS

Center for Global Development’s “Global Health Policy Blog”: PEPFAR is Life for Millions — But Without Better Prevention, the AIDS Burden Doubles Every 25 Years
Mead Over, senior fellow at CGD, discusses PEPFAR’s accomplishments and progress in helping to end the global AIDS epidemic; explains the need for better HIV prevention strategies and early treatment initiatives; and lists recommendations for improving PEPFAR’s performance (11/28).

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Podcast Examines Political Background, Experience Of S.C. Gov. Haley, Nominated As Next U.S. Ambassador To U.N.

U.N. Dispatch: PODCAST: Better Know Nikki Haley, the next U.S. Ambassador to the U.N.
Mark Leon Goldberg, editor of U.N. Dispatch and host of the Global Dispatches Podcast, speaks with Andy Shane, Colombia bureau chief at the Post and Courier newspaper in South Carolina, about President-elect Donald Trump’s nominee for U.S. ambassador to the U.N., South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley (R). “We have an in-depth conversation about the woman who will next lead the United States Mission to the U.N., and we discuss how some experiences she had as governor may suggest how she takes on her next role…” (11/29).

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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 301 of the “Global Fund Observer.” The newsletter features articles on various topics including the Global Fund Board’s recent approval of $15 million for strategic investments in community, rights, and gender between 2017-2019; a report from the Global Fund’s executive director on how the fund intends to increase the quality and efficiency of its programs; and a description of country evaluations planned for eight countries (11/30).

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