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FW: [CDC News] CDC HIV/STD/TB Prevention News Update 07/10/00

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  • Bell, Elizabeth
    *************************************************************** PEER-REVIEWED JOURNALS *************************************************************** Global
    Message 1 of 1 , Jul 10, 2000
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      "Global AIDS Epidemic: Time to Turn the Tide"
      Science (www.sciencemag.org) (06/23/00) Vol. 288, No. 5474, P.
      2176; Piot, Peter
      An review of the AIDS epidemic by UNAIDS director Peter Piot
      highlights the need for political leaders to respond with
      national plans to combat the spread of HIV. AIDS is devastating
      the youth of the world and reducing workforce productivity. The
      skilled and the educated are equally affected and the stigma of
      the disease hinders a national response in Africa. Piot believes
      AIDS could become the first nonconventional threat to the world's
      security, as it currently threatens the schools of Zambia.
      Political leadership against AIDS has been slow to form as life
      expectancy though Africa has been dramatically reduced. During
      the last year, leaders from nations around the world have turned
      to confront the epidemic. UNAIDS organizes action and works as
      Secretariat for the International Partnership against AIDS in
      Africa, which aims to reach UN General Assembly goals like
      reducing HIV incidence among 15- to 24-year-olds by 25 percent.
      The Millennium Report of the Secretary General calls for
      seriously affected nations to have a plan of action by September
      2001. Unconventional solutions are necessary to fight ethical
      and economic issues facing the sick. Increased access to
      antiretrovirals will help care for those in poor societies. The
      developing world of Africa and Asia is also responsible for
      facing their epidemics with budget allocations and plans for
      reducing the stigma and shame and increasing prevention efforts.
      Needle exchanges can help reduce HIV infection, and sex education
      is needed for children in school.


      "South Africa Opens World AIDS Forum Amid Controversy"
      New York Times (www.nytimes.com) (07/10/00) P. A1; Swarns, Rachel
      K.; Altman, Lawrence K.
      The 13th International AIDS Conference opened Sunday in South
      Africa, where an estimated 4.2 million people are infected with
      HIV. South African President Thabo Mbeki has sparked controversy
      by questioning the use of certain AIDS drugs and also questioning
      whether HIV is the cause of AIDS. The text of Mbeki's comments
      released in advance of the meeting stated: "The world's biggest
      killer and the greatest cause of ill health and suffering across
      the globe, including South Africa, is extreme poverty." While
      Mbeki did not include that passage in his actual speech, he did
      cite a 1995 World Health Organization report that said poverty is
      the world's greatest killer. Mbeki also spoke of the huge impact
      of HIV and AIDS on young people, as well as the impact of other
      diseases, including malaria, cholera, and syphilis. As the AIDS
      conference opened, UNAIDS head Dr. Peter Piot noted that it would
      take a minimum of $3 billion annually for basic steps in Africa
      to help control the disease--a figure 10 times higher than what
      is currently being spent. Dr. Piot said, "We need billions, not
      millions to fight AIDS in the world." The United Nations
      official also called on developed nations to cancel the $15
      billion in debt repayments that African countries must pay each
      year, so they can spend the funds instead on healthcare issues.

      "AIDS Initiatives Planned for Poor Nations"
      Wall Street Journal (www.wsj.com) (07/10/00) P. A3; Waldholz,
      Michael; Zimmerman, Rachel
      A number of organizations ranging from philanthropic groups to
      drug companies have announced charitable efforts at the
      international AIDS conference in Durban, South Africa, to aid
      African countries that have been hit the hardest by HIV and that
      have the fewest resources to combat the disease. Merck has
      partnered with the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation to donate
      $100 million in funding and medications to Botswana; Abbott
      Laboratories has reiterated its promise to donate unspecified
      financial aid to Tanzania, Burkina Faso, Romania, and India; and
      Boehringer Ingelheim stated that it will give away Viramune to
      pregnant women to help prevent HIV transmission to their unborn
      children. The pledges signal the increasing global awareness of
      Africa's dire situation, following a guarantee from Pfizer of
      donations of Diflucan and a 1999 Bristol-Myers Squibb vow to
      donate $100 million in funding and drugs over five years,
      although drugs firms have been involved in smaller African
      initiatives for years. Importantly, some of the newer offers
      include efforts for the implementation or improvement of national
      health services, as Western companies are discovering that
      without an infrastructure, their donations and aid are virtually
      worthless to the people.

      "Hundreds Walk Out on Mbeki"
      Washington Post (www.washingtonpost.com) (07/10/00) P. A1; Brown,
      David; Jeter, Jon
      South African President Thabo Mbeki's failure to definitively
      renounce his skepticism about whether HIV is the cause of AIDS
      spurred many participants at the 13th International AIDS
      Conference in Durban to walk out on his speech. By inviting
      opinions from scientists who do not believe HIV is the cause of
      AIDS, AIDS experts and activists note that Mbeki is resurrecting
      an issue that most people considered thought done long ago. In
      his comments, Mbeki said that "there is no substance to the
      allegation that there is any hesitation on the part of our
      government to confront the challenge of HIV-AIDS." He also
      called for a "sustained public awareness effort" regarding safe
      sex, a "concerted fight against opportunistic diseases," and for
      research into the accuracy of the traditional HIV test in African
      populations. The AIDS conference is expected to draw as many as
      15,000 participants from around the globe.

      "In Effort to Save Lives, South Africa Creates an Anti-AIDS
      Campaign That Minces No Words"
      New York Times (www.nytimes.com) (07/09/00) P. 1-8; Altman,
      Lawrence K.
      A bold new HIV prevention effort in South Africa uses erotic and
      direct phrases to spread its message. The campaign, known as
      "Love Life," focuses on such topics as masturbation, orgasms,
      foreplay, and homosexuality to help people discuss sex more
      openly. Messages including "My boyfriend just wants sex, "The
      Naked Truth," and Oral Sex," with the words "Talk about it"
      underneath are being displayed on billboards along highways, on
      trains, near schools, and in cities and rural areas throughout
      South Africa. These and other messages are also being played on
      radio and television spots and in supplements to South African

      "World Bank Offers $500 Million to Fight AIDS in Africa"
      Reuters (www.reuters.com) (07/08/00)
      The World Bank said Saturday that it is developing a $500 million
      program to combat AIDS in Africa, which is home to the 21 nations
      with the highest HIV prevalence in the world. The initiative
      would provide funds for any African nation that has created a
      national AIDS program. Callisto Madavo, the World Bank's vice
      president for Africa, said that virtually every country will be
      eligible for the 40-year loans. Madavo noted, however, that in
      addition to money the war against AIDS requires commitment.

      "Experts Set Down Fast-Track Plan for Distributing Future AIDS
      Agence France Presse (www.afp.com) (07/09/00); Ingham, Richard
      The International AIDS Vaccine Initiative (IAVI) announced on
      Sunday a plan for a fast worldwide distribution system for a
      future AIDS vaccine. The impetus behind IAVI's work is the past
      distribution of vaccines for diseases like measles, hepatitis,
      and yellow fever, which have had gaps that leave some people
      unvaccinated and still contracting the illnesses. The IAVI plan
      includes "tiered pricing," which would reduce the cost of the
      vaccine for countries who cannot afford the higher prices of
      developed countries, who would pay more to allow the vaccine's
      creator to make a profit. Bill Gates, the founder of Microsoft
      and a major philanthropist who has pledged a billion dollars
      toward the discovery of an AIDS vaccine, and groups and companies
      including Chiron, Aventis Pasteur, and the European Commission,
      have expressed support of the IAVI plan.

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