Recent Releases: IAS 2009; HIV/AIDS Global Response, Treatment, Funding; PEPFAR; Health Affairs

IAS Conference Blog; Lancet Profiles Incoming Executive Director

Ahead of the 5th IAS Conference on HIV Pathogenesis, Treatment and Prevention, which begins on Sunday in Cape Town, South Africa – the IAS 2009 Live blog started publishing, including the latest developments and resources and featured guest bloggers. A Lancet perspective piece profiles Robin Gorna, the incoming IAS executive director (Das, 7/18).

Global Response To HIV/AIDS Examined

A Lancet viewpoint assesses the international community’s response to the nearly 30-year HIV/AIDS epidemic. The article examines what the world “got right, what we got wrong, and why we need to urgently dispel several emerging myths about the epidemic and the global response to it” (Piot et al., 7/18).

cART Examined

A Lancet comment examines combination antiretroviral therapy (cART) in low-income and middle-income countries. According to the authors, “the presence of patients in whom therapy fails in access programmes provides a unique opportunity to design nested prospective randomised studies that aim to find solutions systematically and rigorously.” They conclude, “We believe that it is time to reject a compromise approach to access to HIV therapy in low-income and middle-income countries, and to re-emphasise the Sydney Declaration and its call for dedicated funding for research” (Boyd et al. 7/18).

UNAIDS, Kaiser Family Foundation Track Donor Government’s Commitment To International AIDS Programs In 2008

A recent UNAIDS and Kaiser Family Foundation report tracks funding levels of the donor governments that collectively provide the bulk of international assistance for AIDS through bilateral programs and contributions to the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria (7/09). The report reveals “overall commitments in AIDS funding from the developed world totalled $8.7 billion in 2008, up from $6.6 billion the previous year. Disbursements, which reflect actual resources made available in a given year and therefore provide a better measure of resource availability, rose even more rapidly, up 56 percent to reach $7.7 billion in 2008,” according to a UNAIDS release (7/13).

PEPFAR Partners Should Focus More On Treatment Maintenance

“[F]ailure to adequately emphasise maintenance and adherence in patients now receiving treatment through” PEPFAR could “subvert” the program, according to a Lancet comment written by a former manager of a PEPFAR-funded treatment program. “PEPFAR’s biggest success – support for more than 2 million people on HIV treatment — is also its largest liability,” according to the article, which recommends that the program create an “incentive for partners to devote more resources and attention to patients already on treatment” (Navario, 7/18).

GAO Report Examines PEPFAR Implementation, Oversight

The GAO on Thursday released a report (pdf) that examines how the U.S. government selects and oversees organizations that implement PEPFAR activities. The report provides recommendations for how the U.S. Global AIDS Coordinator’s office can improve PEPFAR’s processes (7/16).

July/August Health Affairs Devoted To Health Care In Developing Countries

Health Affairs devotes its July/August issue to the delivery of health care in developing countries. Introducing the issue, Health Affairs Editor-In-Chief Susan Dentzer, writes of the interconnectedness of global health financing and health services: “[E]ven as we focus on delivery this year, we know that funding is critical to meeting more health needs of low- and middle-income countries.” Dentzer adds, “Yet, as much as funding would help, we also know that only so much can be accomplished without a specific focus on health care delivery. And whereas health care financing can often be dealt with in broad brush strokes, delivery means dealing with thousands of devilish details,” such as how to overcome “unaffordable tools and technologies; inadequate health-system infrastructure; cultural or religious barriers; government inertia or corruption” – some of the topics addressed in the journal issue (7/09).

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