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Also In Global Health News: HIV/AIDS In Bangladesh; River Blindness In Tanzania; Potential Immune System Booster; Compounds Might Fight TB

U.S. Commits $13M To Fight HIV/AIDS In Bangladesh reports on a new $13 million U.S.-government initiative aimed at “providing HIV-prevention services to two million at-risk people in Bangladesh including injecting drug users, male, female and transgender sex workers and their clients, and HIV-positive people through a network of 50 health centres.” USAID will partner with Family Health International (FHI) to implement the program (9/17).

NewsHour Examines River Blindness In Tanzania

For the second piece in a three-part series, PBS’ NewsHour examines efforts to combat onchocerciasis, also known as river blindness, in Tanzania, including a recent effort, which resulted in a “dramatic drop” in the number of cases of the disease. The show also explores why river blindness is often eclipsed by deadlier diseases like AIDS and malaria (Suarez, 9/16).

French Food Company Says Clinical Trials Show Potential Food Product Boosts Immune System In Patients With HIV

The French food company Danone reported Wednesday that clinical trials of a substance it plans to develop into a nutritional product over the next few years helped improve the immune systems of patients living with HIV, Bloomberg reports (Bauerova, 9/16). “The evidence is now building that medical nutrition may be able to make a difference in the lives of patients not only in HIV but across a broad spectrum of immune-related conditions,” said Flemming Morgan, president of the medical nutrition division of Danone, the Financial Times reports (Jack, Wiggins and Daneshkhu, 9/16).

Two Compounds Kill Dormant TB, Could Lead To New Drugs, Study Says

Researchers identified “two compounds that can destroy a defense mechanism in the tuberculosis bacterium that allows it to remain dormant in infected cells,” according to a study published Wednesday in the journal Nature, Reuters reports. The compounds, which were among 20,000 studied by the researchers, block TB’s “self-defense mechanism but do not harm human cells,” the news service writes (Steenhuysen, 9/16). According to Agence France-Presse, the finding “could lead to new drugs that disable the microbe, which lies inactive in approximately two-thirds of the world’s population” (9/16).