A roundup of HIV-related news from Australian and selected international media.
In this edition:
Aidsmap (UK), 11 Jun
The number of people eligible for antiretroviralA medication or other substance which is active against retroviruses such as HIV. treatment will grow by around six million as a result of recent World Health Organization recommendations on the use of antiretroviral drugs to prevent HIV transmission, the head of the WHO’s HIV department has a PrEP Summit in London. His remarks coincided with the WHO's release of a document setting out its plans to galvanise greater use of antiretroviral treatment in order to limit new infections.
The Hindu, 10 Jun
The US government's strict travel restrictions for sex workers will bar many of them from attending the International AIDS Conference (IAC) in Washington next month. In response, Durbar Mahila Samanway Samiti (DMSS) — an umbrella organisation of over 65,000 sex workers of West Bengal in collaboration with the Global Network of Sex Work Project (NSWP) — will be hosting a parallel event in Kolkota, India, for those who cannot attend the Washington conference.
news medical.net (US)/Global Post, 12 Jun
In the lead up to July's International AIDS Conference in Washington - the first such conference on U.S. soil in 22 years - the world news site GlobalPost has launched a new special reporting series called "AIDS: A Turning Point." The new service will bring a series of field reports from Africa, the epicenter of the AIDS epidemic, and live news coverage that they hope will frame important issues at the conference.
Preston Leader, 11 Jun
Victorian nurse and HIV awareness campaigner Tom Carter has been awarded a Medal (OAM) of the Order of Australia in the Queen’s Birthday honours list. Tom was an inaugural volunteer member of the Victorian Aids Council and a founding member of its support group. He also helped to set up HIV/AIDS Community Care and volunteer home help service People Living with HIV/AIDS and was the first volunteer for AIDSLINE telephone service.
VietNam news, 12 Jun
Celebrity body-guilder Amazin Lethi is hoping to use her profile for campaigning across the globe in the fight against HIV/AIDS, particularly Viet Nam.
The Satellite, 12 Jun
An Australian couple will next week relocate to the Thai city of Khon Kaen to take part in a crucial volunteer project caring for orphaned Thai children living with HIV.
AllAfrica.com, 11 Jun
AIDS activists and researchers are at loggerheads over the planned South African trial of a lower dose version of the controversial antiretroviral stavudine, which has in the past been responsible for debilitating side-effects in HIV patients.
The Guardian (UK), 12 Jun blog
The head of Médecins sans Frontières Greece says scrapping schemes to help Athens drug users has contributed to 1,450% rise in HIV in the past year.
UNAIDS, 8 Jun media release
The governing body of the Joint United Nations Programme on HIV/AIDS (UNAIDS) concluded its 30th session on 7 June calling for a range of recommendations to strengthen the global HIV response, including calling on Member States to ensure national HIV responses meet the specific needs of women and girls and to intensify their efforts to create enabling legal frameworks. Board members also urged UNAIDS to use its convening role to facilitate more strategic, country-driven and coordinated technical support.
news medical.net (US), 12 Jun
Greater Than AIDS, a leading national public information response to the domestic epidemic, today unveiled new outdoor media messages urging Americans to get tested for HIV. The “I Got Tested” campaign features real people’s stories of testing and encourages others to “join the movement.”
news medical.net (US), 12 Jun
Research findings from a study investigating non-disclosure of HIV infection in a cohortIn epidemiology, a group of individuals with some characteristics in common. A cohort study is a special kind of clinical trial which looks at a treatment or treatment strategy in a cohort of people. of 700 people living with HIV in St. Petersburg, Russia, suggest that alcohol seems to play no major role in the decision to disclose or not. However, those in a relationship with a casual partner, an HIV negative partner, or with multiple sex partners were less likely to disclose.
HIV Treatment and Care
Wall Street Journal (US), 11 Jun
A coalition of HIV advocates has urged Gilead Sciences, Inc.'s CEO John C. Martin to keep the price of its latest HIV/AIDS drug combination - known as the "Quad" - low.
NATAP (US), 11 Jun
Only one person ever has been cured of an HIV infection, and a presentation about the man at a scientific meeting in Sitges, Spain, last week has caused an uproar about the possibility that he's still infected.
West Australian/Yahoo 7, 10 Jun
Interviews with Timothy Brown, the 'Berlin patient', who is believed to have been cured of HIV through a stem cell transplant, and with Dr. Lawrence Petz, medical director of StemCyte, who have been investigating HIV-resistantHIV which has mutated and is less susceptible to the effects of one or more anti-HIV drugs is said to be resistant. genetic mutations in cord blood..
Treatments Action Group, 9 Jun blog
Comment on the release of new data on the 'Berlin patient' and a copy of the abstract on the data that was presented at the International Workshop on HIV & Hepatitis VirusA small infective organism which is incapable of reproducing outside a host cell. Drug Resistance and Curative Strategies in Sitges, Spain, last week.
AIDSMeds (US), 12 Jun
Does a recent conference presentation noting that HIV genetic material has been detected at low levels, in a minority of recent samples taken from Timothy Brown, a.k.a. “the Berlin Patient,” debunk the conclusion that he has been cured of the infection? While one scientist is publicly arguing that Brown “still has detectable HIV in his body” and goes so far to suggest that he may even have been reinfected, others—including the original study presenters—counter that these claims misrepresent the new data and are therefore misleading.
Aidsmap (UK), 8 Jun
When asked by researchers to talk about their practice of having ‘bareback’ sex (unprotected anal intercourse), HIV-negative gay and bisexual men express a contradiction between their concern to remain uninfected and their simultaneous awareness that their behaviour may expose them to infection, according to a study published in the July issue of Qualitative Health Research.
Washington Post (US), 9 Jun
The Food and Drug Administration is delaying by three months a decision on whether to approve Truvada for preventing infection with HIV. An agency decision on the drug Truvada, made by Gilead Sciences, was expected by June 15. But the decision was pushed back to give the agency time to review a new Gilead plan to limit the risks to healthy people taking the drug.
Yahoo! 7 News, 12 Jun
Superbug" strains of gonorrhoea which are becoming untreatable accounted for almost one in 10 cases of the sexually transmitted disease in Europe in 2010, more than double the rate of the year before, health officials said on Monday.
ABC Radio , 11 Jun audio
Interview with Tom Carter, who has been awarded a Medal of the Order of Australia for his community work supporting people who have HIV/AIDS. He says it's time for a major public education campaign about STD's (Sexually Transmitted Diseases) like the 1980s grim reaper ad which raised awareness about AIDS.
Science & Medicine
Nine MSN news/AFP, 11 Jun
Scientists say they have found a key piece in the puzzle as to why a tiny minority of individuals infected with HIV have a natural ability to fight off the deadly AIDS virus.
Courier Mail (Brisbane), 13 Jun
The LNP Government faces an internal battle over same-sex surrogacy laws after it wound back civil union laws on 12 June. In a controversial move, state-sanctioned ceremonies for same-sex couples have been dumped but the right to formally register their union, meaning their legal rights are left intact, has been retained.
Sydney Morning Herald, 13 Jun
Brisbane writer Benjamin Law travelled to and from Asia to research his new book Gaysia: Adventures in the Queer East. He discovered a part of the world not exactly less accepting of homosexuality, but rather a continent where different forms of oppression exist to those in the west.
Society & Culture
ft.com, 12 Jun
A man who led the fight against HIV/AIDS - Peter Piot - offers an insightful memoir of his circuitous career in 'No Time to Lose'. An initial interest in infectious diseases in Africa – considered a backwater topic by many of his peers – eventually propelled Piot to become the founding director of the UN agency on AIDS.
The Inquisitr, 11 Jun video
Australian actor Hugh Jackman has honored with a Tony award for using his show “Hugh Jackman Back On Broadway” to raise nearly $2 million on behalf of Equity Fights AIDS.