Recent Releases In Global Health
Kaiser Family Foundation HIV/AIDS Resources
In advance of World AIDS Day on Dec. 1, the Kaiser Family Foundation has updated resources that shed light on the epidemic’s impact worldwide, and the U.S. policy role in addressing the challenges. These resources include an updated fact sheet on the global HIV/AIDS epidemic, reflecting new data released Tuesday by UNAIDS and WHO, and additional fact sheets examining the epidemic’s impact in Sub-Saharan Africa, the Caribbean, Asia and Latin America. The Global Health Facts database also reflects the new data (11/24).
PLoS Medicine Essay Examines Inequality In Health Data
The author of a PLoS Medicine essayÂ examines the “poverty of [health] data” from resource-poor settings: “While few would argue for blatant resource-dependent double standards in research methods or ethics, there is a delicate balance to be achieved between what is contextually good enough, feasible, and appropriate â€¦ Failing to reach the right balance here creates a two-way danger of bias: either publishing substandard research from poor settings because nothing better is available, or excluding results from poor settings from the literature because nothing is offered of sufficient quality,” the author writes (Byass, 11/24).
PLoS Medicine Editorial Calls For Malaria Activism To Highlight ACT Shortages
After reflecting on the recent success of several waves of what the authors term “malaria activism,” a PLoS Medicine editorial calls for a “third wave” to raise awareness about artemisinin-based combination therapy (ACT) shortages. “What might the ‘third wave’ of malaria activism look like? Publicizing ACT stock-outs is a crucial element,” the authors write. “Advocacy must also focus on ensuring that the ACT supply chain is made less vulnerable. Donors must step up to fill the funding gaps identified” by studies. Lastly, “there needs to be a major investment into research on forecasting ACT requirements internationally, nationally, and in peripheral clinics and on managing commodities. Such research doesn’t sound as exciting as, say, developing a new malaria vaccine or medicine, but it is crucially important in preventing stock-outs and thus malaria deathsâ€”malaria activism’s ultimate goal,” the authors conclude (11/24). Reporting on the ground in East Africa for this editorial by Gavin Yamey was provided through a Kaiser Family Foundation Mini-Fellowship in Global Health Reporting.
Study Finds Decreased HIV In Circumcised Males Not Caused By Reduction Of STI Sores
The decreased incidence of HIV infections in males who were circumcised is not primarily due to a reduction in sores from conditions such as herpes, according to a PLoS Medicine study that analyzed “data from 2 clinical trials including more than 5,000 men in rural Uganda, which had shown that circumcision reduced the risk of HIV infection in men by about 60%,” a PLoS Medicine press releaseÂ writes (11/23). “[T]he evidence suggests that most of the reduction in HIV risk afforded by circumcision is attributable to removal of vulnerable foreskin tissue containing HIV target cells,” the study authors conclude (Gray et al., 11/24).
Blog: India Needs To Improve Maternal Mortality
Nancy Northup of the Center for Reproductive Rights writes a letter to Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton before her meeting with Indian Prime Minster Manmohan Singh in a Huffington Post blog: “We were heartened by your recent statement that ‘maternal health is now part of the Obama administration’s outreach.’ Given the magnitude of this largely preventable threat to women’s lives, we hope that you will avail yourself of this opportunity to urge â€¦ Singh to reevaluate the government’s efforts to reduce maternal mortality and provide for safe motherhood in India” (11/24).
Blog Examines Statement On HIV Programs, Other Health Issues
The Science Speaks: HIV & TB News blog examines a statement issued last week from 87 stake holders asserting that “HIV is not to blame for the ills, figuratively or literally, of developing world health systems, and funding for AIDS programs can’t take a hit in favor of other health threats. â€¦ The statement condemns the notion that donor countries should siphon funding from global HIV programs to address other health problems in resource-poor countries” (Â Shesgreen,Â 11/23).
Senate Confirms MCC CEO
By a voice vote, the Senate confirmed Daniel Yohannes as chief executive officer of the Millennium Challenge Corporation (MCC) on Friday, November 20 (Policy Tracker, 11/20). More information on recent U.S. global health policy developments is available on Kaiser’s Policy Tracker tool.
Blog Examines ‘Enormous Task’ Ahead For QDDR
Following an address by Anne-Marie Slaughter, the Director of Policy Planning for the State Department last week at American University, where she discussed the Quadrennial Diplomacy and Development Review (QDDR), the Stimson Center blog, “Budget Insight” examines the QDDR. “Overall, the take-away from Monday’s talk was the enormous task the QDDR faces, including countless moving parts, stakeholders, and actors that must be incorporated into the review process and considered in the formulation of future policy and budget planning, focusing on the FY 2012 budget,” the blog writes (Williams, 11/19).