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AIDS in Africa

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  • Bell, Elizabeth
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    Message 1 of 29 , Jul 11, 2000
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      "Preventing Infections With Today's Tools"
      Science (www.sciencemag.org) (06/23/00) Vol. 288, No. 5474, P.
      2161; Cohen, Jon
      Without an AIDS vaccine, Africa must rely on other HIV prevention
      methods. Frank Plummer of the University of Manitoba's research
      program in Kenya recommends six interventions, including bottle
      feeding babies and male circumcision. However, implementing
      these behaviors and educating the public is difficult, and has
      been slow. Plummer's team has worked with sex workers in Nairobi
      to show that intervention can help the most at-risk groups. A
      1991 study by Plummer and colleagues found that peer education,
      HIV testing, counseling, and sexually transmitted disease (STD)
      treatments can prevent up to 10,000 new HIV cases a year.
      Stephen Moses and Plummer also discovered that male circumcision
      lowers the risk of HIV, but cultural differences keeps many from
      choosing the option. Two conflicting studies address the
      relationship between sexually transmitted diseases and the risk
      of HIV. A 1995 study from Tanzania found that people treated for
      STDs had fewer HIV infections. However, a Ugandan study found no
      relationship between STD treatment and HIV rates. Scientists
      agree that treating STDs is necessary for good health, but more
      active preventions are needed to stop HIV.

      "Africa Boosts AIDS Vaccine R&D"
      Science (www.sciencemag.org) (06/23/00) Vol. 288, No. 5474, P.
      2165; Cohen, Jon
      In Hlabisa, in the Kwazulu-Natal Province of Africa, almost 40
      percent of pregnant women have HIV; just 10 years ago, none
      tested positive. Hlabisa has become a prime spot to test HIV
      vaccines, including those in development by the International
      AIDS Vaccine Initiative (IAVI), led by Seth Berkley. IAVI has
      granted $4.5 million for the next three years to test vaccines in
      South Africa, Kenya, and Uganda. Ethical standards require that
      testing these vaccines is conducted with volunteers who
      understand the risks and how to avoid infection. This is
      difficult in a poorly educated land that has low-income citizens.
      Guidelines for AIDS vaccine tests mandate that testers not take
      advantage of vulnerable populations. The Council for
      International Organizations of Medical Sciences (CIOMS) calls for
      "equitable distribution" of a successful vaccine at an affordable
      price. Peggy Johnston of the NIH's AIDS vaccine program believes
      these requirements will not be enough to allow community access
      to a vaccine. Researchers have not yet found a perfect vaccine,
      but even a 60 percent effective vaccine will save twice as many
      lives if created today rather than in a few years. A study of
      sex workers outside Nairobi, Kenya, has led to some startling
      results. They show that certain prostitutes who are repeatedly
      exposed to HIV have no sign of infection. A woman named Agnes
      Monifa has sex up to 10 times a day and remains uninfected,
      perhaps due to her white blood cells' power. Discouraging news
      came near the end of the trial when 10 of the 80 uninfected sex
      workers contracted HIV after stopping sexual behavior. This
      means that natural immunity may be caused by repeated stimulation
      from HIV, a difficult behavior to copy in a vaccine. A vaccine
      is needed to treat strains other than subtype B, which is common
      in Europe and the United States. Seth Berkley knows that a
      vaccine would be embraced by the people of Hlabisa if only one
      can reach final testing phases.


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      "AIDS in Africa Is Reshaping Whole Populations, Study Says"
      USA Today (www.usatoday.com) (07/11/00) P. 1A; Sternberg, Steve
      A new report from the U.S. Census Bureau indicates that the AIDS
      epidemic will significantly affect life expectancy in Africa over
      the coming years. By the year 2010, study author Karen Stanecki
      concluded, life expectancy will be 29 in Botswana, 30 in
      Swaziland, and 33 in Namibia and Zimbabwe. Life expectancy would
      have been about 70 without AIDS. Stanecki also noted there would
      negative population growth in Botswana, South Africa, and
      Zimbabwe, versus 2 percent to 3 percent population growth in each
      of those nations without AIDS. The study suggested that AIDS
      will affect entire populations, take the lives of whole
      communities, and could spur the migration of many men to seek
      available women. The Centers for Disease Control and
      Prevention's Kevin DeCock stated that the AIDS epidemic is
      "Africa's worst social catastrophe since slavery."

      "Circumcision Debated in Control of AIDS"
      Washington Post (www.washingtonpost.com) (07/11/00) P. A17;
      Brown, David
      Research presented at the 13th International AIDS Conference
      in Durban, South Africa, on Monday discussed the relationship
      between male circumcision and HIV infection. Several studies
      have shown that uncircumcised men are two to eight times more
      likely to be infected with HIV than circumcised men. Daniel T.
      Halperin, an AIDS researcher at the University of California at
      San Francisco, noted that even if the low numbers in those
      studies are correct, almost 50 percent of the infections in men
      in some high-prevalence nations could be "attributable" to not
      being circumcised. However, data from a study of men in the
      Rakai District of Uganda suggests that such conclusions can be
      complicated. A total of 17 percent of the men in Rakai are
      circumcised, with a 99 percent rate among Muslims and a 4 percent
      rate among non-Muslims. While the overall infection rate among
      circumcised men is about half that of the uncircumcised men, in
      the subgroup of circumcised non-Muslims, there is little effect
      on risk. The results indicate that religion could be a
      protective factor, perhaps because Muslim men may have fewer
      casual sex partners since they can have more than one wife, or
      because religious instruction emphasizes frequent washing, which
      could reduce viral transmission.

      "Vaccine Targeting HIV in Africa to Begin Human Tests This
      Summer"
      Wall Street Journal (www.wsj.com) (07/11/00) P. B1; Waldholz,
      Michael
      Researchers are expected to announce today details of HIV
      vaccine trials set to begin later this summer. First, 18 healthy
      volunteers in Britain will be used to test the safety of the
      vaccine and to determine whether it can generate the kind of
      immune system response that has helped to protect a small group
      of Kenyan women from HIV infection. The vaccine, developed by
      researchers from Oxford University and the University of Nairobi
      with funding from the International AIDS Vaccine Initiative, is
      designed to fight an HIV strain that is common in Africa.
      According to the researchers, the vaccine is made up of genetic
      material that prompted a T-cell response in animal tests and
      which is attached to a weakened version of an animal virus; it
      also includes a gene removed from HIV that is thought to generate
      a killer T-cell response.

      "Cheap Antibiotics Seen Helping HIV Patients"
      Reuters (www.reuters.com) (07/11/00); Fox, Maggie
      Researchers from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
      have concluded that inexpensive antibiotics may be useful in
      preventing HIV-infected individuals in Africa from developing
      AIDS, even if access to potent antiretroviral therapy is limited.
      Led by Dr. Mark Dworkin, the researchers tested the antibiotic
      trimethoprim-sulphamethoxazole--which is used in the United
      States to preventing Pneumocystis carinii pneumonia (PCP)--and
      found that it was effective against a number of diseases. The
      researchers noted that while the cheap drug did not affect
      viruses and could not control HIV, it was effective against
      several opportunistic infections that affect HIV patients. The
      drug, sold under the names of Bactrim and Septra, lowered the
      risk of PCP by 40 percent, of toxoplasmosis by 30 percent, and of
      salmonella by 60 percent.

      "Africa Reacts Coolly to German AIDS Drug Offer"
      Reuters (www.reuters.com) (07/08/00); Sithole, Emelia
      Boehringer Ingelheim's announcement that it would provide
      its Viramune AIDS drug at no charge for five years was met with
      wariness from Southern Africa Development Community health
      ministers, who are worried about the terms of the agreement since
      they were not consulted on the offer. Based on data from a study
      published in the medical journal The Lancet, up to 110,000 HIV
      infections of newborns caused by mother-to-child transmission
      could be prevented in the next five years if all pregnant women
      in South Africa alone received treatment. The international
      medical charity Medecins Sans Frontieres noted that while
      manufacturers are likely to make such announcements at the world
      AIDS conference, more action is required. Other concerns remain,
      including the fact that the drug has not yet been approved in
      South Africa, although results of a study of the drug in South
      Africa and Uganda are slated for release at the Durban
      conference, and the fact that benefits of the drug become negated
      if the infected mother breast-feeds the infant, a common practice
      in South Africa.


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    • Bell, Elizabeth
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      Message 2 of 29 , Jul 12, 2000
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        "Intermittent Drug Therapy for AIDS Is Tested"
        New York Times (www.nytimes.com) (07/12/00) P. A11; Altman,
        Lawrence K.
        As scientists continue to scramble for ways to improve patient
        reactions to AIDS drugs, a prominent U.S. government researcher
        revealed at the 13th International AIDS conference in Durban,
        South Africa, that giving AIDS patients breaks in their difficult
        combination medication regimens not only reduces the occurrence
        of side effects, but helps the body to fight the virus on its
        own. The news raises hopes in the battle against AIDS, as
        regulatory bodies like the Centers for Disease Control and
        Prevention are concerned that combination therapies may only be
        effective for a limited time as the virus adapts to resist the
        drugs. The practice of extending life expectancies with planned
        medication breaks is currently in about 10 different trials in
        the United States and Europe, basing the length of the
        interruptions on HIV viral loads in the bloodstream. So far,
        those stopping their drug regimens for as long as a month have
        experienced increased HIV levels, but have pushed their viral
        loads back down to unmeasurable levels after re-starting therapy.
        Dr. Anthony S. Fauci, who leads the National Institute of Allergy
        and Infectious Diseases, hopes that the studies will lead to a
        better understanding of AIDS drugs and their effects, permitting
        patients to halt their regimens for as long as six or eight
        months at a time, though he cautions that the cyclical break
        system is not a cure by any means.

        "Sparks Fly at AIDS Meeting Over Breast-Feeding"
        Wall Street Journal (www.wsj.com) (07/12/00) P. B2; Waldholz,
        Michael
        Participants at the 13th International AIDS Conference in Durban,
        South Africa, are debating the issue of whether a simple and
        inexpensive drug treatment can help prevent millions of pregnant
        women with HIV from transmitting the virus to their children.
        Results from a number of clinical studies reportedly show that
        giving one of several AIDS drugs to HIV-infected pregnant women
        during labor and then to their infants just after birth can
        substantially lower at birth the risk of HIV transmission.
        However, some of the data, which is to be presented on Thursday,
        indicates that the treatment strategy is affected if the
        mothers breast-feed their children and transmit the virus via
        their breast milk. While some experts note that because most
        women in Africa breast-feed their children, making the drug
        therapy less effective than expected, other conference
        participants have suggested that African women be urged to
        bottle-feed, reviving a decades-old debate about nursing versus
        bottle-feeding. Thirty years ago, many experts claimed that
        infant-formula makers got many women to depend heavily on baby
        formula and that the babies were at risk because some of the
        women used contaminated water or diluted the product. The issue
        has been resurrected, however, with the advent of HIV. Although
        University of California at San Diego researcher Stephen Spector
        said, "The evidence strongly suggest we should now be
        aggressively promoting the use of infant formula for infected
        mothers who have been treated" with AIDS drugs, Dr. Hoosen M.
        Coovadia of King Edward Hospital in Durban pointed out that many
        women cannot afford formula and some will not bottle-feed for
        fear of being identified as infected with HIV.

        "Young People Found Uninformed on AIDS"
        New York Times (www.nytimes.com) (07/12/00) P. A11
        The United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF) has found that
        many young people in developing nations, particularly girls, do not
        know much about HIV transmission and AIDS. According to the
        group's study of 34 countries, more than 50 percent of the 15- to
        19-year-old girls in about half of the nations surveyed said that
        they did not know an AIDS patient could appear healthy; that
        number soared to 80 percent or higher in Chad, Niger, and Nepal.
        "This knowledge gap is one important element in understanding the
        higher HIV infection rate among girls in many countries," the
        report noted. The UNICEF survey, which is part of the agency's
        annual Progress of Nations report, also found that in Haiti,
        Zambia, and Zimbabwe, more than 50 percent of sexually active
        girls did not consider themselves in danger of HIV infection.

        "Lilly Will Donate Drugs to Battle Tuberculosis"
        Wall Street Journal (www.wsj.com) (07/12/00) P. A3; Zimmerman,
        Rachel
        In what will be the first joint initiative between the public
        and private sectors to focus drug-resistant tuberculosis (TB), Eli
        Lilly is in discussion with the World Health Organization,
        Medecins Sans Frontieres, and Jacobus Pharmaceuticals to provide
        free supplies of its high-priced antibiotics. A deal should be
        announced within weeks, with Lilly expected to donate an unknown
        quantity of two expensive anti-TB drugs, capreomycin and
        cycloserine, and to sell an additional amount at market price.
        TB, the leading cause of death from a single infectious disease
        worldwide, was nearly eliminated in the 1940s; however,
        drug-resistant strains have surfaced, particularly in the Russian
        prison system, and could become a serious global health threat if
        allowed to remain unchecked. Negotiators believe that the drugs
        will initially be used in a campaign to treat 1,000 Russian
        prisoners and civilians and may eventually expand to other parts
        of Russia, Latvia, Estonia, Peru, the Philippines, Morocco,
        Chile, and other regions where multidrug-resistant TB strains
        dominate.

        "Tests Offer New Hope on AIDS in Africa"
        Washington Post (www.washingtonpost.com) (07/12/00) P. A1; Brown,
        David
        Three studies presented at the 13th International AIDS
        Conference in Durban on Tuesday suggested that combination AIDS
        drug therapies, which are currently available only in the world's
        wealthy nations, may be useful for infected groups in many parts
        of the Third World. While top AIDS experts have said that the
        drug regimens require too much logistical support for basic
        health systems in poor regions, the studies demonstrated
        successes in giving the drug cocktails in the Ivory Coast,
        Senegal, and Ugandan capitals. The studies were fairly
        small--involving less than 1,000 people--but they indicated the
        logistical problems could be overcome in some situations. For
        the Ugandan study, 350 individuals were give single or double
        drug therapies at a cost of about $250 a month. Fifteen months
        later, more than half were still taking the drugs. A similar
        study in Ivory Coast involving 422 people found that after a year
        and a half, 71 percent of the patients were still taking the
        cocktail therapies. Nearly 90 percent of the 75 patients in a
        home-grown study in Senegal were still enrolled two years into
        the research. The researchers noted that mortality was fairly
        high in the three programs, since most of the patients had
        advanced AIDS when the study began, and full virus suppression
        was rare, since many of the individuals were receiving two drugs
        instead of three.

        "U.S. Researcher Criticizes Mbeki for Backing 'Dissidents' on
        AIDS"
        Washington Times (www.washtimes.com) (07/12/00) P. A18;
        Swindells, Steven
        Dr. David Ho, head of the Aaron Diamond AIDS Research Center in
        New York City, criticized South African President Thabo Mbeki on
        Tuesday for questioning whether HIV is the cause of AIDS. In a
        speech at the 13th International AIDS Conference in Durban, Ho
        said, "President Mbeki, I beg you not to let your legacy be
        defined by inaction on this human tragedy." Ho stated that HIV
        is the cause of AIDS and showed a microscope photograph of the
        virus attacking a cell to reinforce his point. Mbeki's attitude
        regarding the cause of AIDS has sparked controversy and protests
        that have overshadowed much of the new research being presented
        at the conference. Also, at the conference center on Tuesday,
        activists called on the World Health Organization to add
        anti-AIDS drugs to its list of essential drugs. Providing drugs
        to at least 12 million HIV-infected individuals worldwide would
        cost about $60 billion annually, according to the London-based
        Panos Institute.
      • Bell, Elizabeth
        *************************************************************** PEER-REVIEWED JOURNALS *************************************************************** The
        Message 3 of 29 , Jul 13, 2000
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          "The Durban Declaration"
          Nature (www.nature.com) (07/06/00) Vol. 406, No. 6791, P. 15
          The Durban Declaration, which was signed by over 5,000
          researchers and experts, is a document developed in response to
          the controversy in South Africa about whether HIV is the cause of
          AIDS. The declaration states that there is definitive,
          scientific proof that AIDS is caused by HIV-1 or HIV-2. The
          paper lists several criteria to support its point, including the
          fact that all AIDS patients, no matter where they live, are
          infected with HIV. The authors write that while there are
          different patterns of HIV and AIDS throughout the world and that
          a variety of factors help determine the risk of disease,
          scientific evidence still clearly shows that HIV is the sole
          cause of AIDS. "Prevention of HIV infection must be our greatest
          worldwide public-health priority," the declaration asserts, also
          calling for new drug treatments that are easier to take, have
          fewer adverse reactions, and which cost less, so more people can
          benefit.


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          "Hopes for Anti-H.I.V. Treatment Dashed"
          New York Times (www.nytimes.com) (07/13/00) P. A6; Altman,
          Lawrence K.
          A UNAIDS study presented at the 13th International AIDS
          Conference in Durban, South Africa, revealed that of nearly 1,000
          HIV-negative prostitutes in Africa and Thailand, those using the
          nonoxynol-9 gel were more likely to contract HIV than those using
          a placebo gel. UNAIDS officials said that 59 infections were
          discovered in the spermicidal group, while just 41 infections
          were noted within the placebo group. The Centers for Disease
          Control and Prevention's Dr. Ann Duerr notes that for people at
          high risk for HIV infection, "condoms with or without nonoxynol-9
          should be used." Duerr said that the implications of the UNAIDS
          study's findings for the low levels of nonoxynol-9 on lubricated
          condoms are not certain. As a result of the study, the CDC has
          halted planned research among women at high risk for HIV in Los
          Angeles and Miami.

          "AIDS Spurs a Crisis of Orphanhood Across Africa"
          Washington Post (www.washingtonpost.com) (07/13/00) P. A18;
          Brown, David
          A survey conducted by the U.S. government suggests that the
          AIDS crisis will create an epidemic of orphanhood in Africa for at
          least a generation, as by 2010 one in seven children under the
          age of 15 years in sub-Saharan Africa will have lost at least one
          parent. The study, to be presented by the U.S. Agency for
          International Development (USAID) today, remarks that this group
          of orphans is not typical; most orphaned groups are left without
          a parent by a catastrophe such as war, genocide, or natural
          disaster. Ten years ago, just one-fifth of the orphaned children
          in sub-Saharan Africa were that way because of AIDS. Today,
          however, nearly half of all orphan cases are caused by AIDS, and
          a decade from now 70 percent of orphaned children will have lost
          a parent to AIDS. The agency estimates that 44 million
          sub-Saharan children have lost their fathers, with most of them
          to AIDS-related deaths. The eventual toll on the continent is
          difficult to predict, according to the report, as many of the
          factors that arise from losing a parent are subtle and affect
          children in various ways. Orphaned children also cost about
          $2,000 per year to raise, a total that is tremendously high in
          the poor nations of southern Africa. While most orphan studies
          concerning AIDS deaths concern themselves with children who lose
          both parents or a mother, the USAID study also included the
          factor of losing a father--an important aspect considering that
          men are often the only working members of the family in Africa,
          and especially in southern Africa, where the AIDS epidemic is at
          its worst.

          "HIV a Crisis for Third World Children"
          Washington Times (www.washtimes.com) (07/13/00) P. A13; Nessman,
          Ravi
          The United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF) revealed on Wednesday
          in its Progress of Nations report that the AIDS crisis and its
          effects on children have been underestimated, as millions have
          lost parents and hundreds of thousands have lost teachers to
          AIDS, reducing their chances for both a normal home life and a
          good education. In addition, many children in developing
          countries do not know ways to protect themselves from contracting
          HIV; for instance, almost 75 percent of Mozambique girls and 62
          percent of boys between the ages of 15 years and 19 years do not
          know one way to prevent infection. The difference is alarming,
          because women face a higher risk of contracting HIV than men, and
          reports indicate that girls between the ages of 15 years and 19
          years believe they are not at risk for the disease. In addition,
          sub-Saharan Africa has witnessed the deaths of teachers for
          approximately 860,000 schoolchildren. However, there are a
          number of small prevention programs in African nations that
          suggest the situation is not hopeless, though they are difficult
          to monitor given their size and budgets. The total budgets for
          AIDS programs in developing countries is just $600 million, as
          compared with the United States domestic AIDS prevention budget
          of $800 million and assistance programs for other countries
          budgeted at $7 billion.

          "African Nations Studying Generic AIDS Drugs"
          Wall Street Journal (www.wsj.com) (07/13/00) P. A3; Waldholz,
          Michael
          In private meetings at the 13th International AIDS Conference in
          Durban, South Africa, representatives from over a dozen African
          countries are talking with U.S. and European generic drug makers
          and UNAIDS to develop a program similar to those found in Brazil
          and India to produce AIDS drugs at substantially lower prices
          than those charged for branded drugs. While not committing to
          the proposal, the African nations hope that the talks will induce
          AIDS drugs makers like Merck and Bristol-Myers Squibb to reduce
          their prices or offer deals to nations that cannot afford the
          medications for their citizens. However, any changes to the
          present market would be a major threat to leading drugs
          companies, who are concerned that lower prices in some countries
          will create demand in developed countries for reduced prices as
          well, where drugs firms make most of their money. The difference
          in generic pricing is tremendous in Brazil, where Glaxo
          Wellcome's AZT and 3TC combination therapy sells for $1.50 when
          produced by generic makers, as compared with its $7 daily cost in
          Uganda and $18 price in the United States.

          "Gates, Wife Give $25 Million to Va. Study"
          Washington Post (www.washingtonpost.com) (07/13/00) P. B3
          The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, created by Microsoft founder
          Bill Gates and his wife, has $25 million to Virginia researchers.
          The grant is meant to finance studies of preparations that can be
          used to protect women against HIV and other sexually transmitted
          diseases. Announced at the 13th International AIDS Conference in
          Durban, South Africa, the funding is intended to help researchers
          with connections to the Eastern Virginia Medical School of
          Norfolk for the study and advancement of microbicides, whether in
          the form of gels, creams, suppositories, or sponges.

          "Re-Use of Female Condom in African Countries Stirs Worries"
          Agence France Presse (www.afp.com) (07/11/00)
          The World Health Organization and UNAIDS expressed concern on
          Tuesday that poor African women are re-using the female condom.
          The two agencies noted that women in several sub-Saharan nations
          were re-using the polyurethane prophylactic because they could
          not afford or obtain new ones. Officials noted that using soap
          and water or diluted bleach may not be sufficient to remove HIV
          from its surface, and the condom may also be weakened by any
          chemicals used. In a statement, the two groups said that "re-use
          of the female condom is not recommended."

          "Drugs Help Mothers Stop Giving HIV to Babies"
          Reuters (www.reuters.com) (07/11/00)
          On Tuesday, Bristol-Myers Squibb released data from a study in
          South Africa demonstrating that two of its HIV drugs, Videx and
          Zerit, are equivalent to AZT in preventing mother to child
          HIV-transmission. Bristol-Myers noted that its two medications
          are in the same class as AZT and Viramune, both of which are
          highly regarded as HIV-transmission preventatives. Scientists at
          Chris Hani Baragwanath Hospital near Johannesburg administered
          the drugs to pregnant mothers a few weeks before delivery and
          then to the babies after birth in various combinations and doses.
          Preliminary six-week data indicates that the transmission rates
          for children treated with Videx, Zerit, or a combination of the
          two drugs were comparable to those treated with AZT.


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          The PreventioNews Mailing List is maintained by the National
          Prevention Network (NPIN), part of the Centers for Disease
          Control and Prevention's National Center for HIV, STD, and TB
          Prevention. Regular postings include the Prevention News
          Update, conference announcements, current funding opportunities,
          select articles from the Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report
          series, and announcements about new NPIN products and services.

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          preventionews-subscribe@.... To remove your name from
          the mailing list, send a blank message to
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          Back issues of the CDC HIV/STD/TB Prevention News Update can be
          found at ftp://ftp.cdcnpin.org/PrevNews. You can search for
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          Please send all e-mail inquiries to info@....

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        • Bell, Elizabeth
          Senate OKs $600M for AIDS Las Vegas Sun Online (www.lasvegassun.com) (07/26/00) The Senate has passed legislation that grants up to $600 million in U.S.
          Message 4 of 29 , Jul 27, 2000
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            "Senate OKs $600M for AIDS"
            Las Vegas Sun Online (www.lasvegassun.com) (07/26/00)
            The Senate has passed legislation that grants up to $600 million
            in U.S. funding to fight HIV and AIDS in Africa and other parts
            of the world. The Senate approved the bill, proposed by Sens.
            Bill Frist (R-Tenn.) and Jesse Helms (R-N.C.), which calls on the
            U.S. Treasury to set up a trust fund with the World Bank for HIV
            prevention and treatment and also for the care of children
            orphaned by AIDS. The measure will supply $300 million in U.S.
            aid in each of the next two years and also provides $120 million
            to fight tuberculosis in developing nations.
          • Bell, Elizabeth
            Tanzania Declares AIDS National Catastrophe Africa News Service (www.africanews.org) (08/09/00) Tanzania s government has declared AIDS a national disaster.
            Message 5 of 29 , Aug 10, 2000
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              "Tanzania Declares AIDS National Catastrophe"
              Africa News Service (www.africanews.org) (08/09/00)
              Tanzania's government has declared AIDS a national disaster.
              Given the disease's impact on both the economy and the community,
              Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Health Mariam Mwaffisi
              announced, "[Nongovernmental organizations], religious groups,
              and other institutions should join in the war against the
              epidemic in order to reduce its spread and mitigate its impact."
              While she did not provide any statistics about AIDS in Tanzania,
              Mwaffisi said Tuesday that she has set up a seminar to help the
              13 registered political parties better understand AIDS and the
              issues surrounding it before the general elections this fall.
              Earlier this year, Vice President Dr. Omari Juma urged various
              religious groups to join the fight against AIDS, and he also
              called on the nation to end customs and traditions that could
              help spread HIV, such as wife inheriting.

              "Liberia Earmarks $6.5 Million for HIV/AIDS Program"
              PANA Wire Service (www.africanews.org/PANA) (08/09/00); Kahler,
              Peter
              Liberia needs $6.5 million to prevent the spread of AIDS for
              the next three years, and a strategic plan drawn up by participants
              at a recent health workshop said the money should be used for
              advocacy, education, behavioral change, treatment of sexually
              transmitted diseases, and blood safety. Participants at the
              workshop include members of government ministries, United Nations
              agencies, the donor community, and community-based organizations.
              The new plan aims to boost the nation's ability to respond to
              AIDS and also to lower HIV prevalence by 15 percent by 2003.

              "Angola Needs $12 Million to Fight AIDS"
              PANA Wire Service (www.africanews.org/PANA) (08/09/00)
              Angola's deputy health minister, Natalia do Espirito, stated
              at a recent AIDS symposium that the country requires $12 million to
              help fund its national AIDS control program. She said better
              educational campaigns are needed to make people more aware of the
              disease and to change their sexual behaviors. The symposium,
              whose theme was "Fighting AIDS Together," also focused on AIDS in
              the workplace. Statistics show that more than 43,700 cases of
              HIV or AIDS had been reported in Angola as of December 1999.

              "HIV Vaccine Trials Planned for Africa"
              Nature Medicine (medicine.nature.com) (08/00) Vol. 6, No. 8, P.
              844; Birmingham, Karen
              Oxford University immunologist Andrew McMichael announced at
              the recent International AIDS Conference that human testing of the
              gag DNA element of a DNA/modified vaccinia virus prime boost HIV
              vaccine will begin Phase I trials this month in Oxford, England.
              Testing of the vaccinia boost part will begin in September, with
              tests of both parts expected soon after. The vaccine, being
              developed in conjunction with the University of Nairobi, is also
              set to start testing in Kenya later this year. Separately, the
              South African AIDS Vaccine Initiative (SAAVI) continues to work
              on its HIV vaccine--a Venezuelan equine encephalitis virus
              vaccine that could begin human trials in January 2001. SAAVI has
              seven other vaccines in various stages of development. Also, in
              a move that will help further South Africa's vaccine efforts, the
              U.S. National Institutes of Health recently gave the South
              African Medical Research Council $14.7 million over five years
              for AIDS research, with part of the money to be used for testing
              microbicides and the effectiveness of nevirapine in preventing
              HIV transmission by breast-feeding mothers.
            • Bell, Elizabeth
              Biotech Firm Seeks Funding for AIDS Tests San Francisco Chronicle (www.sfgate.com) (08/10/00) P. C1; Abate, Tom Calypte Biomedical Corp. of Alameda, Calif.,
              Message 6 of 29 , Aug 14, 2000
              • 0 Attachment
                "Biotech Firm Seeks Funding for AIDS Tests"
                San Francisco Chronicle (www.sfgate.com) (08/10/00) P. C1; Abate,
                Tom
                Calypte Biomedical Corp. of Alameda, Calif., is hoping to
                obtain international funding to send a simple HIV test to Africa.
                The test uses urine samples instead of blood to detect the presence
                of HIV. Calypte says that it has a verbal agreement from an
                international agency to fund the six mobile testing clinics it
                has set up with a partner in South Africa. However, the two
                firms are looking for additional international support so they
                can set up mobile clinics in other African nations. According to
                Calypte officials, the mobile clinics would enter a village and
                workers would request help from village elders in persuading
                individuals to submit urine samples. The clinics could then
                analyze the samples and deliver the results, as well as
                counseling, the following day.

                "AIDS Study Prompts New Look at Prevention"
                Washington Post (www.washingtonpost.com) (08/14/00) P. A3; Okie,
                Susan
                Some experts are worried that the use of the spermicide
                nonoxynol-9 may no longer be advisable for women at risk for HIV,
                following the release of a UNAIDS study which found that women
                who used the gel became infected more often than women who used a
                placebo. Nonoxynol-9 is commonly found in condoms but is also
                used in contraceptive creams, gels, foams, and sponges. Dr.
                Helen D. Gayle, director of the National Center for HIV, STD, and
                TB prevention at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention,
                stated, "Clearly, women who are potentially at risk--who have
                multiple partners, who don't know what the risk of their partner
                may be--may not be a group of women who should be using
                nonoxynol-9." The ingredient kills sperm cells but can irritate
                the vaginal lining if used too much; test tube studies also
                suggest that nonoxynol-9 can kill HIV and the bacteria that cause
                certain other sexually transmitted diseases (STDs). Two
                U.S.-funded studies of nonoxynol-9 are being conducted among
                African women at risk for HIV. The first study is testing the
                ability of nonoxynol-9 to prevent STDs among women in Cameroon,
                while the second hopes to look for protection against HIV
                infection in women in Zimbabwe and Malawi. Ward Cates of Family
                Health International, which is coordinating the second project,
                noted, however, that following the release of the UNAIDS study
                about nonoxynol-9, they will not test nonoxynol-9. The
                researchers have not yet identified a substitute product.
                Scientists are now testing potential new microbicides and
                considering what steps to advise women to take. Possible
                products to be tested include cellulose sulfate and antiviral
                drugs for the vagina; however, it will be years before any new
                microbicide reaches to the market.

                "AIDS Cuts Swath Through Africa's Teachers"
                New York Times (www.nytimes.com) (08/14/00) P. A1; Onishi,
                Norimitsu
                In Africa's Ivory Coast, where nearly 11 percent of the
                population is thought to have HIV, AIDS is taking the lives of
                many teachers. "AIDS constitutes one of the biggest crises and
                the biggest threats to the global education agenda that we have
                known," UNAIDS head Dr. Peter Piot asserted earlier this year.
                In 1998, six teachers a week in the Ivory Coast died from AIDS,
                and the disease took the lives of over 1,300 teachers in Zambia.
                Lack of knowledge about AIDS and low condom are two factors
                behind the spread of HIV. A study from 1996 to 1998 found that
                641 educators died of AIDS in the Ivory Coast, and 69 percent of
                teachers' deaths during the second year were AIDS related. Also
                contributing to the spread of disease is the fact that many
                African teachers, most of whom are men, take their first teaching
                positions in rural areas, and young women vie for their
                attention. The lack of outside interruptions in these rural
                areas leads many teachers to have multiple sexual relationships,
                and the women often refuse to wear condoms to prove their virtue.
                Few teachers are willing to get tested for HIV, as the epidemic
                continues to move throughout Africa.

                "AIDS, HIV Victims in 14 Africa Countries to Set Up Common
                Network"
                Agence France Presse (www.afp.com) (08/13/00)
                HIV-infected people in 14 central and west African Countries have
                agreed to set up a network to help each other fight HIV. The
                network was agreed upon at a two-day conference in Cameroon, the
                first meeting of the African Network of People Living with HIV
                and AIDS. Officials from national AIDS groups explained that
                they wanted to "formulate a plan of action to support other AIDS
                sufferers and to increase awareness among the rest of the
                population." The meeting was attended by several United Nations
                officials, who vowed to support the proposals that were unveiled.

                "UNICEF to Spend $4 Million to Fight AIDS in Mozambique"
                Agence France Presse (www.afp.com) (08/12/00)
                UNICEF official Ian MacLeod announced Friday that $4 million will
                be spent on anti-AIDS programs in Mozambique this year. MacLeod
                noted that UNICEF has already provided the National AIDS Council
                with $30,000 so it can "start [its] operations as soon as
                possible." MacLeod called on the government, nongovernmental
                organizations, and the public to work together in the fight
                against AIDS. An estimated 16 million people in Mozambique are
                infected with HIV, according to statistics.

                "AIDS Tops Normally Economic Agenda at Southern Africa Meeting"
                Agence France Presse (www.afp.com) (08/12/00)
                AIDS will be the leading issue at a southern African conference
                that typically focuses on economics. The South Africa
                International Dialogue (SAID), set to meet later this month,
                joins leaders to discuss issues like trade and economic growth;
                however, this year AIDS will be the primary issue for discussion.
                The fourth annual meeting of SAID is expected to draw over 400
                delegates to Maputo, South Africa on August 20.
              • Bell, Elizabeth
                Researchers Prepare Vaccine Trials in Heart of Africa s AIDS Crisis Detroit Free Press Online (www.freep.com) (08/18/00); Collins, Huntly In Hlabisa, South
                Message 7 of 29 , Aug 18, 2000
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                  "Researchers Prepare Vaccine Trials in Heart of Africa's AIDS
                  Crisis"
                  Detroit Free Press Online (www.freep.com) (08/18/00); Collins,
                  Huntly
                  In Hlabisa, South Africa, researchers are preparing to begin
                  testing an HIV vaccine based on strains of the virus found in
                  sub-Saharan Africa. The potential vaccine has shown effective on
                  macaques, and was created using genetic engineering. In
                  Hlabisa, most people live in huts and have no electricity or
                  running water. The area was selected for the vaccine test
                  because of its high HIV infection rate. Last year, the HIV
                  infection rate among women seeking prenatal care at the local
                  hospital was 33 percent, and the infection rate is nearly 40
                  percent among women between the ages of 15 and 30. The stigma of
                  AIDS continues in this rural area, and people rarely say the word
                  for AIDS, "ingulaza," which means "powerful sexually transmitted
                  disease." The experimental vaccine, set to begin testing by
                  2002, was developed by researchers at the University of North
                  Carolina and the University of Cape Town. As the trial draws
                  closer, the researchers are working educate area residents about
                  AIDS and also to resolve ethical issues related to testing the
                  vaccine in the largely uneducated population that does not even
                  have words for "placebo" or "control group."

                  "South Africa Tourism Fights Perceptions"
                  Wall Street Journal (www.wsj.com) (08/18/00) P. A11
                  South Africa's tourism industry is fighting perceptions about
                  its safety, as crime and HIV take their toll on the country's
                  economy. The largest wave of visitors to South Africa this year
                  was for the recent International AIDS Conference in Durban. Last
                  year, there were 6 million foreign visitors to the country.

                  "South Africa to Probe Reports of HIV-Linked Dismissals"
                  Reuters (www.reuters.com) (08/17/00); Sithole, Emelia
                  South Africa will investigate claims by Mozambique that South
                  African mining companies are ending contracts with HIV-infected
                  Mozambican workers. South African Labor Minister Membathisis
                  Mdladlana said they will gather more information, even though the
                  South African Chamber of Mines denies wrongdoing. Mario Sevene,
                  Mozambique's top labor official, also said that some of the
                  mining companies were privately testing workers for HIV, breaking
                  South Africa labor laws. The mining industry in South Africa has
                  been hard hit by the AIDS epidemic.

                  "Isolation Camps Proposed for Swazi HIV Victims"
                  Reuters (www.reuters.com) (08/16/00)
                  Tfohlongwane Dlamini, chairman of the Swaziland National Council
                  Standing Committee, has proposed setting up camps to isolate HIV
                  and AIDS patients from the public. The suggestion--an apparent
                  attempt to stem the spread of HIV--was condemned by Swaziland's
                  healthcare workers, who asserted he needed more information about
                  the virus. The Health Ministry noted that HIV cannot be
                  transmitted via casual contact, and the camps would only increase
                  the problems that HIV and AIDS patients face. Swaziland has made
                  several controversial proposals to fight AIDS, including banning
                  mini-skirts in the country's schools.
                • Bell, Elizabeth
                  Loans to Buy AIDS Drugs Are Rejected by Africans New York Times (www.nytimes.com) (08/22/00) P. A6; Swarns, Rachel L. South Africa and Namibia have refused
                  Message 8 of 29 , Aug 24, 2000
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                    "Loans to Buy AIDS Drugs Are Rejected by Africans"
                    New York Times (www.nytimes.com) (08/22/00) P. A6; Swarns, Rachel
                    L.
                    South Africa and Namibia have refused the United States' offer
                    of $1 billion in yearly loans to finance the purchase of AIDS drugs.
                    The African countries stated that affordable drugs are needed and
                    that the loans would only burden their economies and send them
                    further into debt. The U.S. Export-Import Bank made the loan
                    offer to 24 southern African countries, but none have formally
                    accepted the offer so far. Developing countries have been urging
                    the West to make less expensive anti-AIDS drugs and to allow poor
                    countries to overcome patents in order to manufacture generic
                    versions of the drugs. Earlier this year, the Clinton
                    administration issued an executive order promising not to
                    interfere with African countries that did not follow American
                    patent law to secure cheaper drugs. Dr. Kalumbi Shangula, the
                    permanent secretary for the Namibian Ministry of Health, believes
                    that efforts to support generic drugs are more helpful than loan
                    programs. He stated that accepting the loans would send the
                    country "deeply into debt."

                    "Battling AIDS in Africa by Empowering Women"
                    New York Times (www.nytimes.com) (08/22/00) P. D3; Dreifus,
                    Claudia
                    An interview with Dr. Nancy Padian, an epidemiologist who
                    is director of research for the AIDS Research Institute of the
                    University of California at San Francisco, sheds light on her
                    work in Zimbabwe. Dr. Padian commutes between San Francisco and
                    Harare to teach Zimbabwean health workers about how to control
                    the AIDS epidemic. By running studies on the effects of
                    contraception in preventing HIV in women, Padian teaches the
                    women to use barrier methods like condoms. She explains that
                    women have little power to negotiate condom use, but she teaches
                    them to plan for obstacles. Compared to American women, women in
                    southern Africa are much more vulnerable to HIV because of there
                    is a higher prevalence of other sexually transmitted diseases;
                    some women engage in "dry sex," using chemical or other means to
                    dry up cervical and vaginal secretions prior to having sex; and
                    it is not unusual for African men to have several sex partners.
                    Being married is a risk factor for HIV in Zimbabwe, Padian
                    explains, because the women are typically monogamous, but their
                    husbands may not be. The infection rate in Zimbabwe is about 25
                    percent to 30 percent. Padian notes, "The bottom line,
                    universally is, If you cannot negotiate what you are doing with
                    your body, you will not be able to lead a healthy and long life."
                  • Bell, Elizabeth
                    Gates Foundation on Big Funding Spree Science (www.sciencemag.org) (08/11/00) Vol. 289, No. 5481, P. 845; Hagmann, Michael The Bill and Melinda Gates
                    Message 9 of 29 , Aug 29, 2000
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                      "Gates Foundation on Big Funding Spree"
                      Science (www.sciencemag.org) (08/11/00) Vol. 289, No. 5481, P.
                      845; Hagmann, Michael
                      The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation has made several large
                      donations for health studies recently. These include $40 million
                      for the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine to study
                      malaria, $44.7 million for the Harvard Medical School for
                      tuberculosis (TB), $20 million to Johns Hopkins School of Public
                      Health for child and maternal health, and $90 million for
                      HIV/AIDS-related studies at a number of institutions. Jim Yong
                      Kim of Harvard Medical School--working with the World Health
                      Organization, local health officials, and others--will be
                      investigating a treatment program for multidrug-resistant TB
                      patients in Peru.

                      "President Urges Nigeria to Fight Tyranny of AIDS"
                      New York Times (www.nytimes.com) (08/28/00) P. A1; Lacey, Marc
                      President Clinton, in his visit to Nigeria this week, has
                      urged the country to confront AIDS and overcome taboos. This is a
                      challenge not just for Nigeria but for all of Africa, which has
                      been slow to educate its people about AIDS and the virus that
                      causes the disease. Clinton said, "We have to break the silence
                      about how this disease spreads and how to prevent it. And we
                      need to fight AIDS, not people with AIDS." Clinton offered
                      American support for Nigeria's battle against AIDS, but he did
                      not offer any new funding. He did, however, discuss the $20
                      million the United States is providing to control AIDS, malaria,
                      and polio in Nigeria this year. Clinton stated that freedom for
                      Nigeria would come only after infectious diseases are controlled.
                      Nigerian President Olusegun Obasanjo also urged debt relief for
                      his country. He noted, "We don't see [AIDS] as a Nigerian
                      disease. We see it as a world disease that is ravaging Africa
                      most." According to the White House, approximately 5.4 percent
                      of Nigeria's 114 million people are infected with HIV.
                    • Bell, Elizabeth
                      African Leaders to Meet Annan, Discuss Flash Points Reuters (www.reuters.com) (09/05/00); Mseteka, Buchizya The presidents of South Africa, Malawi, Namibia,
                      Message 10 of 29 , Sep 5, 2000
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                        "African Leaders to Meet Annan, Discuss Flash Points"
                        Reuters (www.reuters.com) (09/05/00); Mseteka, Buchizya
                        The presidents of South Africa, Malawi, Namibia, and Zimbabwe
                        will meet with United Nations Secretary-General Kofi Annan today
                        to discuss war, debt relief, and AIDS in their countries.
                        According to analysts, Africa's huge debt load has forced many
                        countries to spend more on debt problems than on health issues
                        like AIDS. U.N. statistics indicate that Africa needs at least
                        $3 billion annually to battle AIDS.

                        "AIDS Activists Take South African Government to Court"
                        Lancet (www.thelancet.com) (08/26/00) Vol. 356, No. 9231, P. 746;
                        Baleta, Adele
                        South African AIDS activists plan to take their government to
                        court because it refuses to provide HIV-positive pregnant women
                        with drugs to help prevent vertical transmission of HIV. The
                        Treatment Action Campaign set an August 18 deadline for the
                        health department to change its policies on treating pregnant
                        women. After no response, legal action is expected. Health
                        Minister Manto Tshabalala-Msimang recently announced that clinics
                        will be chosen for research into nevirapine's use in protecting
                        newborns from HIV. Antiretroviral drugs are only available in
                        South Africa on a trial basis at selected sites. After the big
                        AIDS conference in July, activists had hoped that a shift in
                        policy would take place. The health department has offered
                        several reasons for not providing the drugs, including toxicity
                        and their high price.
                      • Bell, Elizabeth
                        (a major step forward from Mugabe) Mugabe Announces That AIDS Had Killed Ministers PANA Wire Service (www.africanews.org/PANA) (09/07/00) Zimbabwe s
                        Message 11 of 29 , Sep 8, 2000
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                          (a major step forward from Mugabe)

                          "Mugabe Announces That AIDS Had Killed Ministers"
                          PANA Wire Service (www.africanews.org/PANA) (09/07/00)
                          Zimbabwe's President, Robert Mugabe, told participants at the
                          United Nations Millennium Summit this week that three of his
                          cabinet ministers and many traditional chiefs have died from AIDS
                          in the last several years. Mugabe asked for international help
                          to fight the disease, which is taking the lives of an estimated
                          2,000 Zimbabweans a week. Mugabe, who also noted he has lost a
                          "countless number" of extended family members to AIDS, encouraged
                          global participation to halt the epidemic.

                          "Trade in Infected Blood Raises International Furor"
                          Reuters Health Information Services (www.reutershealth.com)
                          (09/06/00); Kumar, Sanjay
                          Austrian, Swiss, and U.K. officials are trying to track down
                          blood plasma contaminated with HIV, hepatitis C, and syphilis,
                          that was allegedly sold by South African firms to brokers in
                          Switzerland and the United Kingdom. Authorities fear that
                          brokers have been selling relabeled contaminated blood products
                          to various countries for over 10 years. A recent confidential
                          investigation conducted by South Africa's Department of Health
                          determined that infected blood plasma not suitable for human use
                          had been exported within the past decade. Although he noted that
                          more information is needed about the situation, Dr. Luc Noel--the
                          coordinator of blood transfusion safety for the World Health
                          Organization--said that anyone who relabels unsafe blood
                          products, thus putting others at risk, should be punished.
                        • Bell, Elizabeth
                          U.S. Efforts on HIV/AIDS and Infectious Diseases U.S. Newswire (www.usnewswire.com) (09/08/00) The Clinton administration has released a statement showing
                          Message 12 of 29 , Sep 8, 2000
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                            "U.S. Efforts on HIV/AIDS and Infectious Diseases"
                            U.S. Newswire (www.usnewswire.com) (09/08/00)

                            The Clinton administration has released a statement showing its
                            strong support for United Nations Secretary-General Kofi Annan's
                            call for international action to fight HIV. The statement notes
                            that the White House also backs Annan's recommendation that
                            health research be focused on issues that affect the majority of
                            the world's people. AIDS, for example, took the lives of 2.8
                            million people in 1999, while millions continue to die from
                            vaccine-preventable infections and many more die from disease
                            which still need vaccines, including AIDS and malaria. The
                            statement also lists actions the administration has taken that
                            support the recommendations of the U.N. Millennium Report in
                            terms of the threat of global disease issues.
                          • John Spurlock Romweber
                            Howdy to all of you in ujeni world. I am sending this lettle update as I am changing all of my addresses. Email jsrinbf@hotmail.com. Snailmail is
                            Message 13 of 29 , Sep 10, 2000
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                              Howdy to all of you in ujeni world. I am sending this lettle update as I
                              am changing all of my addresses. Email jsrinbf@.... Snailmail is
                              jsr/BP110/Kaya/Burkina Faso. I have to mosey off to the A's game
                              now...the mighty Devil Rays are in town. Love to all.

                              JSR
                            • Bell, Elizabeth
                              Nurse in Malawi Wages War on AIDS and Apathy New York times (www.nytimes.com) (11/07/00) P. A12; Crossette, Barbara Nurse Catherine Phiri of Malawi
                              Message 14 of 29 , Nov 8, 2000
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                                "Nurse in Malawi Wages War on AIDS and Apathy"
                                New York times (www.nytimes.com) (11/07/00) P. A12; Crossette,
                                Barbara
                                Nurse Catherine Phiri of Malawi contracted HIV during the
                                rule of Hastings Kamuzu Banda, who prohibited any public discussion
                                of the disease. When a democratic government took over in 1994,
                                Phiri founded a support group for anyone affected by HIV, and
                                last month, she received a Race Against Poverty Award from the
                                United Nations Development Program and UNAIDS. Phiri said the
                                new president of Malawi, Bakili Muluzi, has helped increase
                                awareness about HIV and AIDS. She also noted that the press is
                                now free enough to help show residents the extent of the problem
                                in the country, where 25 percent of the urban work force is
                                expected to die from AIDS within 10 years. Phiri said, "I hope
                                that we will be recognized by being given the award, and that the
                                government will now have something to do with us. ... I've been
                                writing [the president] proposals that have never been answered."
                                The three other recipients of the Race Against Povery Awards were
                                Maire Bopp Dupont, a radio journalist who has worked to inform
                                Pacific islanders about AIDS; Rita Arauz, a Nicaraguan
                                psychologist who set up a foundation to study and deal with HIV
                                and other sexually transmitted infections; and the Rev. Arkadiusz
                                Nowak, a priest who opened the first AIDS hospice in Poland.

                                "AIDS Smothers African Kingdom; Swaziland: AIDS Is Destroying a
                                Nation"
                                Baltimore Sun (www.sunspot.net) (11/04/00) P. 1A; Murphy, John
                                Swaziland, located between South Africa and Mozambique, has
                                been ineffective at responding to the AIDS epidemic thus far. The
                                latest measures involved parliament banning miniskirts in schools
                                to reduce sex between teachers and students. AIDS activists in
                                Swaziland struggle against the country's traditions and shame
                                surrounding AIDS. Out of a population of 1 million, an estimated
                                22 percent are infected with HIV, and 40 percent of all pregnant
                                women are HIV-positive. According to Christabel Motsa,
                                chairwoman of the government's crisis committee on disease,
                                people there are afraid to talk about AIDS and deny that it is a
                                problem. Tradition is hard to overcome, as the kingdom is ruled
                                by a monarch with seven wives. Polygamy is rampant in rural
                                areas, and contraceptives are ignored. King Mswati declared HIV
                                a national disaster last year and has urged HIV testing, but
                                proposals to place HIV-infected people in camps or sterile them
                                highlight the mindset of the kingdom. Without frank talk about
                                AIDS, little prevention or treatment can be reached. Motsa is
                                worried that her group's five-year plan to fight AIDS will be
                                overshadowed by odd suggestions from lawmakers. The nation's
                                plan will center on AIDS prevention and education of traditional
                                leaders.
                              • Bell, Elizabeth
                                African and US Leaders Sign Agreement on AIDS Reuters Health Information Services (www.reutershealth.com) (11/16/00); Clark, Margaret A. A new document
                                Message 15 of 29 , Nov 21, 2000
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                                  "African and US Leaders Sign Agreement on AIDS"
                                  Reuters Health Information Services (www.reutershealth.com)
                                  (11/16/00); Clark, Margaret A.
                                  A new document approved earlier this week by 24 African nations,
                                  representatives of the pharmaceutical industry, U.S. policy
                                  advisors, and researchers focuses on fighting AIDS in Africa.
                                  The document, "Principles of Collaboration: When Confronting AIDS
                                  in Africa," is expected to serve as a basis for an AIDS alliance
                                  between the United States and Africa; however, Dr. Richard
                                  Marlink, head of the Harvard AIDS Institute, which hosted the
                                  summit, noted that African nations must be the ones to take the
                                  initiative. The agreement urges African countries to determine
                                  their needs and set their priorities in terms of AIDS,
                                  specifically prevention efforts to keep the virus from spreading
                                  further and treatment for people already infected with HIV.

                                  "Carter Urges Africans to Take Initiative on AIDS"
                                  Agence France Presse (www.afp.com) (11/16/00)
                                  Former U.S. president Jimmy Carter said Thursday that African
                                  leaders must take the initiative in the war against AIDS, to help
                                  prevent the destruction of national economies and even entire
                                  cultures. Carter, writing in the International Herald Tribune
                                  newspaper, detailed a three-point strategy to help fight the
                                  epidemic. He noted, "AIDS now exceeds malaria as the single
                                  leading cause of death [in Africa], turning back the clock on
                                  hard-won gains in life expectancy achieved by many countries in
                                  recent decades." Carter's plan calls on heads of state and
                                  governments to publicly acknowledge the threat of AIDS and
                                  address the issue on television and radio. The proposal also
                                  recommends that African nations and international partners focus
                                  on preventing new cases of HIV and providing affordable medical
                                  care for those already infected. The last point of Carter's plan
                                  calls for broad partnerships, because "this problem is bigger
                                  than any one country, agency, group, or individual."

                                  "Annan Says TV Should Help Educate Developing World"
                                  Reuters (www.reuters.com) (11/17/00); Bases, Daniel
                                  Television should be used to both inform and educate
                                  people in the developing world, according to United Nations
                                  Secretary-General Kofi Annan. Annan, speaking at the fifth
                                  annual U.N. World Television Forum, noted that new information
                                  technology could help encourage economic growth and also reduce
                                  poverty. However, he warned that while television can inform
                                  people about the value of advances like the Internet, it also
                                  must help with literacy and other basic issues. Harri Holkeri,
                                  the president of the U.N. General Assembly, also pointed out that
                                  the new technology can be used to help promote awareness of
                                  diseases like AIDS in the developing world.
                                • Bell, Elizabeth
                                  HIV s Onslaught Slows Down in Africa USA Today (www.usatoday.com) (11/28/00) P. 11D; Sternberg, Steve A United Nations report to be released today indicates
                                  Message 16 of 29 , Nov 28, 2000
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                                    "HIV's Onslaught Slows Down in Africa"
                                    USA Today (www.usatoday.com) (11/28/00) P. 11D; Sternberg, Steve
                                    A United Nations report to be released today indicates that the
                                    number of new HIV case in sub-Saharan Africa dropped slightly
                                    this year, although prospects for the region are still grim.
                                    UNAIDS head Dr. Peter Piot warned that the decline is "no reason
                                    to cry victory. It doesn't make us very optimistic." Possible
                                    reasons for why the sub-Saharan epidemic has stabilized, Piot
                                    said, could be that prevention efforts may have helped in several
                                    nations or that the people at greatest risk of infection have
                                    already contracted HIV. Meanwhile in Russia, the number of new
                                    HIV infections skyrocketed from 130,000 in 1999 to 300,000 this
                                    year. Piot predicted that if this pace of new infections
                                    continues, the country could see over 1 million HIV cases by
                                    2005. Globally, an estimated 5.3 million people have contracted
                                    HIV this year, including 600,000 children aged 15 or younger.
                                    Some 72 percent of the new HIV infections are in southern Africa.

                                    "U.N. Takes AIDS Battle to Internet"
                                    Atlanta Journal-Constitution (www.accessatlanta.com) (11/28/00)
                                    P. 5C; McKenna, M.A.J.
                                    As the number of HIV infections worldwide continues to soar, an
                                    online project of the United Nations Development Program offers a
                                    suggestion for how people can help. Located at www.NetAid.org,
                                    the site focuses primarily on extreme poverty; however, an
                                    HIV/AIDS program was recently added. The program asks for
                                    donations to buy "kits"--specific amounts for supplies, training,
                                    and transportation--to help fight AIDS in Third World nations.
                                    The site provides detailed data sheets for every project and a
                                    "donation counter" to show how much has been donated and spent
                                    for each program.

                                    "[AIDS in South Africa]"
                                    Christian Science Monitor (www.csmonitor.com) (11/24/00) P. 24
                                    A recent insurance industry conference in Cape Town warned that
                                    unless aggressive measures are taken to stem the spread of HIV
                                    and to improve treatment for those already infected, AIDS will
                                    take the life of one South African every minute within five
                                    years. According to a statement from Lifeworks, an industry
                                    organization established to deal with AIDS, the disease is "the
                                    single most strategic issue facing our economy."
                                  • Bell, Elizabeth
                                    South African Village Prepares for First HIV Vaccine Trial Nature Medicine (medicine.nature.com) (11/00) Vol. 6, No. 11, P. 1199; Connett, Harold South
                                    Message 17 of 29 , Nov 30, 2000
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                                      "South African Village Prepares for First HIV Vaccine Trial"
                                      Nature Medicine (medicine.nature.com) (11/00) Vol. 6, No. 11, P.
                                      1199; Connett, Harold
                                      South Africa's Medical Research Council plans to begin HIV
                                      vaccine trials in February 2001, with phase III tests slated for
                                      completion by 2005. The trial will test a Venezuelan equine
                                      encephalitis (VEE) virus vaccine, which uses an attenuated form
                                      of VEE with genes from subtype C isolates of South African
                                      seroconverters. Robert Olmstead, vice president at AlphaVax the
                                      vaccine producer, said that VEE targets lymphoid tissue and will
                                      be a good source. The South African AIDS Vaccine Initiative is
                                      funding development of the vaccine, together with the U.S.
                                      National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases and the
                                      International AIDS Vaccine Initiative. Informing trial subjects
                                      regarding the vaccine has been a careful process, requiring the
                                      trust of South African tribal leaders. Hlabisa, which is located
                                      about four hours from Durban, is the site of the phase II and III
                                      trials. Health workers have been training educators to reach the
                                      Hlabisa area, using song and dance to communicate HIV prevention messages.

                                      "New Cases of HIV Decline in Africa for First Time"
                                      Washington Post (www.washingtonpost.com) (11/29/00) P. A3; Brown,
                                      David
                                      A new report from UNAIDS indicates that the number of people who
                                      contracted HIV in sub-Saharan Africa declined this year for the
                                      first time. Officials noted, however, that the finding must be
                                      interpreted with caution, because it is not known whether the
                                      drop is an actual turning point or just something temporary.
                                      "The least we can say is that the trend of an accelerating
                                      epidemic is now slowing down, and perhaps going down," said Dr.
                                      Peter Piot, executive director of UNAIDS. Worldwide, there were
                                      5.3 million new HIV infections this year, compared to 5.6 million
                                      in 1999. The number of people living with HIV or AIDS increased
                                      from 33.6 million last year to 36.1 million this year, while the
                                      number of deaths from the disease also rose, from 2.6 million to
                                      3 million. The report showed the Eastern Europe and the former
                                      Soviet Union saw substantial increases in HIV cases, rising from
                                      420,000 in 1999 to 700,000 now. Furthermore, UNAIDS' estimates
                                      indicate that more than 50 percent of Russia's 300,000 people
                                      with HIV contracted the disease this year. "What we had
                                      predicted and fear is now happening," said Piot, "and that is an
                                      explosion of HIV."

                                      "U.N. Requests $3 Billion From Western Governments to Combat AIDS
                                      Crisis in Africa"
                                      Philadelphia Inquirer (www.philly.com) (11/29/00); Collins,
                                      Huntly
                                      Western governments need to give $3 billion a year for the next
                                      five years to fight the growing AIDS epidemic in sub-Saharan
                                      Africa, the United Nations said Tuesday. Also, during a
                                      teleconference with AIDS activists in South Africa and the United
                                      States, the humanitarian organization Doctors Without Borders
                                      called on the five top drug firms to reduce the prices of their
                                      AIDS drugs in poor nations by 95 percent starting in January. In
                                      response, pharmaceutical industry spokesman Mark Grayson said
                                      they have already made a deal with Senegal for price cuts and
                                      similar agreements are planned for other countries in Africa. A
                                      new "report card" for the drug firms shows that American AIDS
                                      activists gave the companies failing grades on their vows to
                                      increase access to lifesaving drugs for poor people in Africa.

                                      "Pfizer Offers AIDS Drug to South Africa"
                                      Wall Street Journal (www.wsj.com) (11/29/00) P. A3; Zimmerman,
                                      Rachel
                                      Pfizer is expected to announce on December 1, World AIDS Day,
                                      that it will donate $50 million worth of its antifungal drug
                                      Diflucan, which is used by many AIDS patients, to South Africa
                                      over two years. New statistics from the United Nations and the
                                      World Health Organization show there were 3.8 million new HIV
                                      infections in sub-Saharan Africa last year and that about 70
                                      percent of all HIV-infected adults worldwide live in the region.
                                      Under the deal, Pfizer would provide Diflucan free of charge to
                                      individuals with cryptococcal meningitis and a kind of meningitis
                                      of the esophagus that results from thrush and affects between 20
                                      percent and 40 percent of AIDS patients. South African and U.S.
                                      AIDS activists, as well as the humanitarian group Doctors Without
                                      Borders, have criticized the drug company's offer, calling it a
                                      public-relations move that will likely include several
                                      restrictions on the drug's distribution.

                                      "South Africa: Benefit of Anti-Retrovirals Outweigh the Risks--US
                                      Surgeon General"
                                      Africa News Service (www.africanews.org) (11/29/00); Harvey,
                                      Marjolein
                                      U.S. Surgeon General David Satcher stated Tuesday that the
                                      benefits of antiretroviral treatments outweigh any risks
                                      involved. Speaking at a press briefing in Pretoria, Satcher said
                                      the drugs have been especially useful in preventing
                                      mother-to-child HIV transmission in the United States, and also
                                      for treating people with AIDS. The price of the drugs is high,
                                      Satcher admitted, and he noted that South Africa and the United
                                      States are in very different situations regarding the
                                      affordability of the medicines. The surgeon general did say,
                                      however, that Brazil is in a very "similar [socioeconomic] place"
                                      to South Africa, and that country's government has established
                                      the necessary infrastructure to provide the drugs and also
                                      reduced the price of the treatments by manufacturing them
                                      locally. The briefing was for the Health Working Group of the
                                      US-SA Bi-National Commission's special meeting on HIV/AIDS, which
                                      was chaired by Health Minister Manto Tshabalala-Msimang and
                                      Satcher. The two officials signed a joint agreement for better
                                      financial and political cooperation on AIDS.

                                      "South Africa: Truckers Take to the Road for AIDS"
                                      Africa News Service (www.africanews.org) (11/29/00); Harvey,
                                      Marjolein
                                      On Friday, World AIDS Day, 100 truck drivers will participate in
                                      a special procession to South Africa's Department of Transport,
                                      to highlight the spread of HIV infection among drivers in the
                                      country. According to Marlea Clarke, a University of Capetown
                                      researcher, three truck drivers die every day from AIDS-related
                                      conditions. There are concerns that the drivers could be one of
                                      the groups that have a key role on the spread of the virus in
                                      South Africa, as prostitutes line major highways. Clarke noted
                                      that the average truck driver spends three days or less at home
                                      every month, and "there is [a] flourishing commercial sex network
                                      along the freeway system in the region." Clarke said that mine
                                      workers, who also visit sex workers frequently, are at risk for
                                      HIV infection as well.
                                    • Sara Hersey
                                      I have a research question for anybody interested in the following article that Liz posted. How can UNAIDS measure new HIV infections with such authority?
                                      Message 18 of 29 , Nov 30, 2000
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                                        I have a research question for anybody interested in the following article
                                        that Liz posted. How can UNAIDS measure 'new' HIV infections with such
                                        authority? Slightly sceptical but also interested in how they come about
                                        these numbers - if anyone can enlighten me.

                                        Sara
                                        >
                                        >"New Cases of HIV Decline in Africa for First Time"
                                        >Washington Post (www.washingtonpost.com) (11/29/00) P. A3; Brown,
                                        >David
                                        > A new report from UNAIDS indicates that the number of people who
                                        >contracted HIV in sub-Saharan Africa declined this year for the
                                        >first time. Officials noted, however, that the finding must be
                                        >interpreted with caution, because it is not known whether the
                                        >drop is an actual turning point or just something temporary.
                                        >"The least we can say is that the trend of an accelerating
                                        >epidemic is now slowing down, and perhaps going down," said Dr.
                                        >Peter Piot, executive director of UNAIDS. Worldwide, there were
                                        >5.3 million new HIV infections this year, compared to 5.6 million
                                        >in 1999. The number of people living with HIV or AIDS increased
                                        >from 33.6 million last year to 36.1 million this year, while the
                                        >number of deaths from the disease also rose, from 2.6 million to
                                        >3 million. The report showed the Eastern Europe and the former
                                        >Soviet Union saw substantial increases in HIV cases, rising from
                                        >420,000 in 1999 to 700,000 now. Furthermore, UNAIDS' estimates
                                        >indicate that more than 50 percent of Russia's 300,000 people
                                        >with HIV contracted the disease this year. "What we had
                                        >predicted and fear is now happening," said Piot, "and that is an
                                        >explosion of HIV."

                                        _____________________________________________________________________________________
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                                      • Paul DEVER
                                        They go to a hospital this year on this day. They count the AIDS victims. Then they come back next month, next year, etc., and count the umber of cases, minus
                                        Message 19 of 29 , Dec 1, 2000
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                                          They go to a hospital this year on this day. They count the AIDS victims.
                                          Then they come back next month, next year, etc., and count the umber of
                                          cases, minus the number who have died, then they have their new
                                          number...Very scientific, just like their extrapolations of 33% infection
                                          among city dwellers they were tossing around about five years back.

                                          _____________________________________________________________________________________
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                                        • Bell, Elizabeth
                                          AIDS Drugs for Africa Scientific American (www.sciam.com) (11/00) Vol. 283, No. 5, P. 98; Ezzell, Carol The AIDS epidemic in Africa faces many obstacles, but
                                          Message 20 of 29 , Dec 8, 2000
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                                            "AIDS Drugs for Africa"
                                            Scientific American (www.sciam.com) (11/00) Vol. 283, No. 5, P.
                                            98; Ezzell, Carol
                                            The AIDS epidemic in Africa faces many obstacles, but the
                                            chief one is finding affordable antiretroviral drugs to prevent HIV
                                            transmission to newborns and to treat those already infected.
                                            Most developed nations now routinely offer antiviral therapies to
                                            HIV-infected mothers; however, there are few clinics in Africa
                                            that can offer the drugs to these women. Cost is a determining
                                            factor, as the drugs often cost more than many Africans'
                                            salaries. Five companies have agreed to cut their drug prices to
                                            Africa by 80 percent, but that alone will not be a solution.
                                            According to David Bloom, a professor at Harvard University
                                            School of Public Health, AIDS is tied into poverty and a lack of
                                            health infrastructure. Lower drug costs must be accompanied by
                                            testing to measure the drugs' success in each patient. Rampant
                                            poverty in South Africa makes the drug AZT unattainable. With
                                            the help of a discounted price, AZT costs 40 cents for each
                                            100-milligram pill. Nevirapine is another drug that offers hope
                                            to prevent HIV transmission to infants. It requires only three
                                            doses and has been shown to reduce transmission to 14 percent for
                                            a trial of 652 pregnant women. AZT, by contrast, requires months
                                            of treatment. South Africa has not accepted an offer of
                                            nevirapine from Boehringer Ingelheim, as Health Minister Manto
                                            Tshabalala-Msimang said they do not believe the only answer to
                                            AIDS is antiretroviral therapy. The government's plan to prevent
                                            HIV is to treat AIDS-related infections, and form home-based
                                            care, she said. Tshabalala-Msimang noted that even an 80 percent
                                            reduction in price would still not be affordable for the 4.2
                                            million HIV-infected individuals in South Africa. If the issue
                                            of price is ever overcome, patients would then face the need for
                                            resistance testing. HIV's ability to mutate quickly requires
                                            careful monitoring of a patient's therapy. Testing CD4 cells and
                                            viral load is expensive, however, and not stressed in places like
                                            Thailand. Christopher Ouma, a worker for Doctors Without Borders
                                            in Nairobi, Kenya, believes Africa cannot wait for viral load
                                            testing to become the norm, since they need the drugs now. And
                                            even after antivirals become widely available to Africa, the
                                            trick will be adhering to the difficult therapy, which requires a
                                            strict timetable and food requirements.

                                            "U.N.'s Annan Demands War Against AIDS in Africa"
                                            Reuters (www.reuters.com) (12/07/00); Murray, Kieran
                                            Speaking at a conference in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, United
                                            Nations Secretary-General Kofi Annan said African leaders must make
                                            fighting AIDS their top priority. Annan noted that the disease
                                            has taken the lives of millions of people, and it is also a key
                                            impediment to fighting poverty in the developing world and could
                                            affect political stability. The official called for concerted,
                                            comprehensive action against AIDS; however, he pointed out that
                                            while the world is prepared to spend billions of dollars battling
                                            the disease, African officials must work to make sure the money
                                            goes where it is needed most. Annan also said that while the
                                            majority of AIDS cases are in Africa, the disease is also
                                            spreading rapidly in Eastern Europe, Russia, and India, and these
                                            regions could face a situation like the one in Africa unless
                                            aggressive steps are taken.

                                            "More Evidence Supports Congo as the World's HIV-1 Epicenter"
                                            Reuters Health Information Services (www.reutershealth.com)
                                            (12/05/00)
                                            A team of researchers from France, Congo, and the United
                                            Kingdom has identified a high level of genetic diversity within
                                            HIV-1 group M in the Democratic Republic of Congo. The scientists
                                            studied 247 HIV-1 isolates from three parts of the country and
                                            characterized them for diversity within the HIV-1 envelope
                                            protein V3-V5 region. According to their report in the Journal
                                            of Virology (2000;74:10498-10507), the most common subtype was
                                            subtype A; however, all known HIV-1 group M subtypes were
                                            identified in the samples. The researchers, noting a high level
                                            of intrasubtype genetic diversity in the isolates and high levels
                                            of possible recombinant viruses, said the findings lend support
                                            to Congo being the epicenter of HIV-1 group M viruses.

                                            "Bottled Up: As UNICEF Battles Baby-Formula Makers, African
                                            Infants Sicken"
                                            Wall Street Journal (www.wsj.com) (12/05/00) P. A1; Freedman,
                                            Alix M.; Stecklow, Steve
                                            Between 1.1 million and 1.7 million infants, mostly in Africa,
                                            have contracted HIV from breast-feeding. Often in the developing
                                            world, HIV-infected mothers are not told that infant formula is
                                            an alternative to breast-feeding that could help protect their
                                            children from AIDS. The issue has pitted the $3 billion
                                            infant-formula industry, which says it is prepared to donate
                                            loads of free formula to infected women, against UNICEF, which
                                            will not approve the donations because it does not want to
                                            support an industry that it has accused of abusive practices in
                                            developing nations. During the 1970s, Nestle SA and other
                                            formula companies aggressively promoted formula in developing
                                            nations; however, by the time the free samples were used up, the
                                            women were often no longer producing their own milk and the
                                            formula was too expensive for them to buy. As some women diluted
                                            the milk to make it last longer and some babies starved as a
                                            result, a global boycott of Nestle was organized by activists and
                                            UNICEF began to reject cash donations from any of the large
                                            formula makers--something it has also done with land mine
                                            producers and cigarette companies. In the 1980s, UNICEF and the
                                            World Health Organization developed a voluntary marketing code
                                            for formula makers, one which restricted advertising and
                                            virtually prohibited the distribution of free and low-cost
                                            formula. But that code was not developed with the AIDS epidemic
                                            in mind, and many experts say UNICEF should look past previous
                                            events to help poor mothers with HIV and their babies. However,
                                            UNICEF head Carol Bellamy asserts that "breast is best," and she
                                            points out that the lack of adequate sanitation in many areas
                                            poses its own risks for formula users, possibly exposing babies
                                            to diarrhea and other deadly diseases, while antibodies in breast
                                            milk could help prevent such illnesses. Research indicates that
                                            about 15 percent of HIV-infected pregnant women in Africa will
                                            transmit the virus to their infants via breast-feeding. UNICEF
                                            officials have also voiced concerns that giving formula to
                                            HIV-infected mothers could affect support for breast-feeding
                                            among healthy mothers. Two years ago, UNICEF and other United
                                            Nations agencies modified their position on breast-feeding in the
                                            developing world. The "informed choice" policy holds that
                                            infected women should be told about the benefits and risks of
                                            breast-feeding and of alternatives like formula, but the
                                            statement does not say how poor HIV-infected women who want to
                                            use formula are supposed to obtain it.
                                          • Bell, Elizabeth
                                            Suddenly, a Plan to Treat AIDS in Africa Boston Globe (www.boston.com/globe) (02/13/01) P. A1; Donnelly, John In response to the recent pricing drop for AIDS
                                            Message 21 of 29 , Feb 15 11:21 AM
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                                              "Suddenly, a Plan to Treat AIDS in Africa"
                                              Boston Globe (www.boston.com/globe) (02/13/01) P. A1; Donnelly,
                                              John
                                              In response to the recent pricing drop for AIDS drug cocktails in
                                              the world's poorest nations, economists, scientists, AIDS
                                              specialists and politicians have designed a "blueprint" for
                                              treatment to be used in countries where the greatest need is.
                                              The blueprint calls for wealthy nations to pay for the drugs,
                                              paring the price of AIDS cocktails down to $500 annually per
                                              patient, and the selection of two African nations and more than
                                              one dozen projects to be set up as working models. When
                                              successful, the models could be replicated and repeated across
                                              Africa. Initially, the projects will focus only on individuals
                                              with full-blown AIDS, and the plan also calls for piggybacking
                                              treatment with existing tuberculosis-control programs.

                                              "World Bank Grants $473 Million Loan to Ethiopia"
                                              Reuters (www.reuters.com) (02/14/01)
                                              Ethiopia has been granted a $473 million loan from the World Bank
                                              to aid in the nation's post-war efforts to rebuild. According to
                                              Wednesday's announcement by the ministry of finance, $65 million
                                              of the loan will be used toward the fight against HIV. An
                                              estimated 3 million Ethiopians have HIV or AIDS.

                                              "South Africa Mining Firms Test Workers for AIDS"
                                              Reuters (www.reuters.com) (02/13/01); Swindells, Steven
                                              Anglo American Platinum, a major South African mining firm,
                                              has gained the union's approval to begin testing miners in the
                                              country for HIV. The results of the anonymous testing is
                                              expected to have a significant impact on the overall mining
                                              business, which represents the majority of Africa's foreign
                                              exchange revenue. Economic consultants from WEFA South Africa
                                              estimate that 4 million semi- and unskilled South African
                                              laborers could die from the disease between 2010 and 2015, with
                                              the most significant impact among miners. Health experts said
                                              Tuesday that an estimated 25 percent of South Africa's 500,000
                                              miners may be infected with HIV.

                                              "Zambia: Government Sets Aside K31 Billion for AIDS Fight"
                                              Africa News Service (www.africanews.org) (02/13/01)
                                              Zambia's finance and economic development deputy minister Godfrey
                                              Simasiku said the government has earmarked 31 billion kwacha for
                                              the battle against AIDS. Simasiku, speaking to group of
                                              businessmen and civic leaders at a budget meeting in Solwezi last
                                              Friday, also said that the number of AIDS orphans in the country
                                              could increase from about 700,000 now to 1 million in the next
                                              four to five years.
                                            • Bell, Elizabeth
                                              Toward a Global AIDS Fund New York Times (05.02.01) The public attention given in recent months to Africa s AIDS crisis has not been matched with money,
                                              Message 22 of 29 , May 2, 2001
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                                                "Toward a Global AIDS Fund"
                                                New York Times (05.02.01)
                                                "The public attention given in recent months to Africa's
                                                AIDS crisis has not been matched with money," began the editors.
                                                "Last year the world spent about $1 billion on AIDS in
                                                developing countries-a sum that will not even buy adequate
                                                prevention campaigns, much less health infrastructure, care for
                                                AIDS orphans and necessary medicines for the sick." The editors
                                                noted UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan's speech last week at the
                                                African AIDS summit in Nigeria, which "lays out a solid basis
                                                for a global attack on AIDS, tuberculosis and malaria." In his
                                                speech, Annan called for a global AIDS fund totaling $7 billion
                                                to $10 billion a year to help stem the epidemic.
                                                The editors projected how a global AIDS fund would be used.
                                                "At least initially," they wrote, "a large part of the money
                                                will go toward building a health infrastructure in the African
                                                nations most ravaged by AIDS." The editors are encouraged that
                                                "African leaders from 43 nations have pledged to increase their
                                                spending on health, and especially on AIDS," which "is a welcome
                                                sign that African leaders are taking AIDS and health issues more
                                                seriously."
                                                But the global AIDS fund will depend on more than Africa's
                                                commitment to improving its AIDS-fighting programs, and the
                                                editors fear that US contributions won't be enough. "The global
                                                AIDS fund ... is likely to be handicapped by a lack of leadership
                                                from the United States. While Bush administration officials speak
                                                about AIDS as a catastrophe, the president's 2002 budget adds
                                                less than 10 percent to this year's spending for AIDS overseas....
                                                Former President Clinton suggested to the Nigeria AIDS conference
                                                that Washington should provide a quarter of the global AIDS fund.
                                                President Bush's budget falls more than $1 billion short of
                                                that," the editors concluded.

                                                "First Rule of AIDS in Africa: Do No Harm"
                                                Wall Street Journal (05.02.01) Holman W Jenkins, Jr
                                                The editorial addressed the ongoing debate surrounding the
                                                pharmaceutical industry's price reductions for AIDS drugs,
                                                specifically for those countries in Africa ravaged by the
                                                disease. "There is no doubt that a strictly applied drug regimen
                                                could prolong millions of African lives, but high prices have
                                                nothing to do with why it's not happening," insisted the author.
                                                "If Africans and other Third Worlders are left out, it's not
                                                because of 'corporate greed' but because there is no price at
                                                which they would become customers for antiretroviral therapy,"
                                                the author said, citing that several drug companies offered AIDS
                                                drugs to African governments at or below manufacturing cost, but
                                                "There were no takers."
                                                The author discussed the difficulty that delivering and
                                                managing drug treatment in Africa would present. He quoted a
                                                recent issue of Patient Care that concurred: "'Patients need to
                                                be told specifically about the serious consequences of
                                                nonadherence and that treatment failure may result if even a few
                                                doses are missed.'" The author pointed to a San Francisco
                                                General Hospital study that found that "anything less than 95%
                                                compliance can raise to 50% the chances of treatment failing and
                                                a resistant virus emerging." And, "This is to say nothing of the
                                                long-term toxicities that have emerged," which include liver
                                                failure, kidney failure, a weakening of the bones, nausea,
                                                diarrhea, vomiting, lactic acidosis and a skewed fat metabolism.
                                                The author also noted how "many of the drugs come with stringent
                                                dietary restrictions" that are much easier to adhere to in the
                                                Western world where "patients have access to adequate nutrition
                                                in sanitary conditions and clean water."
                                                "Today's high prices represent not an absence of
                                                competition but an absence of piracy," the author continued.
                                                Drug companies have brought out 20 antiretrovirals since AZT was
                                                introduced, he said, and such "progress doesn't come cheap." He
                                                warned in conclusion, "This work will come to a screeching halt
                                                if the mau-mau crowd wins the day because recovering [research
                                                and development] costs would become impossible. And somewhere
                                                down the road lies a drug that really would help save African
                                                lives."


                                                "What the World Needs Now"
                                                POZ (05.01) Gregg Bordowitz
                                                Leaders of the three-year-old South Africa-based Treatment
                                                Action Campaign (TAC) have succeeded in issuing a wake-up call to
                                                governments and pharmaceutical companies around the world. Last
                                                July, TAC activists seized the world stage with a massive protest
                                                before the AIDS Conference in Durban. In November, TAC led the
                                                way to the first-ever waiver allowing importation of a generic
                                                medication for South Africa's 4 million people with HIV. And it
                                                was TAC's call to make HIV and opportunistic infection medicines
                                                available to all HIV-positive South Africans that finally brought
                                                drug companies to the negotiating table regarding price
                                                reductions for AIDS drugs in developing countries.
                                                At TAC's helm is 38-year-old, gay, HIV-positive activist
                                                Zackie Achmat, who was jailed and beaten by police for his anti-
                                                apartheid efforts in the late 1970s. In October he was arrested
                                                and charged with illegal importation of drugs for bringing 5,000
                                                capsules of Biozole, the Thai version of Pfizer's patented
                                                fluconazole, into South Africa. Yet Achmat refuses to take
                                                medications himself. Supporters have offered to purchase
                                                antiretroviral drugs for him outright, but he has publicly
                                                declared that he will not take any drugs unless they are
                                                available to everyone in South Africa. "I have decided not to
                                                take antiretrovirals because I don't want to live in a world that
                                                devalues the lives of poor people simply because they are poor. I
                                                could never look those people in the eye, and I couldn't lead
                                                them, if I was taking my medicines while they were going
                                                without," Achmat told POZ.
                                                Achmat's pledge is a display of the kind of leadership that
                                                could turn around the AIDS epidemic. In three short years, TAC
                                                has not only pushed the South African government to expand HIV
                                                drug access, it has also helped establish an activist network
                                                among poor nations producing, procuring and distributing quality
                                                medicines despite trade restrictions and drug industry pressure.
                                                "It's the activism that pushed my CD4 counts up. It's the fact
                                                that I have so many more friends now-people with and without
                                                HIV-because they realize that we are doing something together
                                                and we can win. Not because of the stand I've taken, but because
                                                TAC is giving them hope," Achmat said.


                                                "Annan Speaks About the Fight Against AIDS"
                                                Associated Press (05.01.01) Gina Cappello
                                                "The world has the resources to defeat this epidemic if it
                                                really wants to," UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan said of the
                                                global AIDS epidemic Monday. "But at present, there's a lot of
                                                confusion about how the money should be raised, where it should
                                                be directed and who can ensure that it's well spent." Annan
                                                addressed more than 2,000 philanthropists and business leaders at
                                                the 52nd annual conference for the Council on Foundations, urging
                                                public and private organizations to work together to fight the
                                                spread of HIV and AIDS. Annan once again suggested the creation
                                                of a global fund dedicated to the battle against HIV/AIDS and
                                                other diseases to be brought before the June 25 special UN
                                                session on HIV and AIDS.

                                                "IMF Urges Countries to Contribute to AIDS Fund"
                                                Associated Press (05.01.01) Harry Dunphy
                                                At the conclusion of the spring meetings of the
                                                International Monetary Fund and World Bank, finance ministers and
                                                central bank governors announced their support for the
                                                establishment of a global fund to combat AIDS and other diseases.
                                                The ministers pledged there would be a substantial increase in
                                                funds to fight AIDS and other infectious diseases in poor
                                                countries. "What's clear now is that the commitment is growing
                                                by leaps and bounds, particularly among finance ministers in the
                                                industrialized countries as we saw this weekend," said Chris
                                                Lovelace, director of World Bank's unit for health, population
                                                and nutrition.
                                              • Bell, Elizabeth
                                                I have a new hero: Catholic Bishops to Fight AIDS South African Press Association (07.27.01) Catholic bishops from across southern Africa gathered on
                                                Message 23 of 29 , Jul 30, 2001
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                                                  I have a new hero:

                                                  "Catholic Bishops to Fight AIDS"
                                                  South African Press Association (07.27.01)
                                                  Catholic bishops from across southern Africa gathered on
                                                  Wednesday at St. Peter's Seminary in Garsfontein, Pretoria, to
                                                  attend the Southern African Catholic Bishop's Conference (SACBC).
                                                  Bishop Reginald Cawcutt, spokesperson, said the six-day
                                                  conference was aimed at preventing the spread of HIV/AIDS. A
                                                  substantial part of the conference's discussions will focus on
                                                  the AIDS and a proposal that the church reconsider its ban on
                                                  condoms to combat the spread of disease, he said.
                                                  Almost five million South Africans are HIV-infected. Earlier
                                                  this month in the United States, Rustenburg Bishop Kevin Dowling
                                                  proposed that the church's ban on condoms be lifted, saying AIDS
                                                  was killing so many people he felt he could not duck the issue.
                                                  Dowling was supported in his proposal by the Catholic newspaper
                                                  Southern Cross, which said condoms provided one way of stemming
                                                  the AIDS pandemic. The newspaper called on the church to
                                                  reconcile its total ban on contraception with the philosophy of
                                                  the sanctity of life.
                                                  SACBC President Cardinal Wilfrid Napier said Dowling's
                                                  statement would be weighed against not only the church's
                                                  teachings, but also scientific evidence on the effectiveness of
                                                  condoms in preventing infection. The conference will also focus
                                                  on Angola, whose government the church has accused of encouraging
                                                  sexual permissiveness through a recently launched campaign to
                                                  promote condom use. The conference wraps up on Monday.

                                                  "World Education Leaders Sound Alarm over AIDS Pandemic"
                                                  Agence France Presse (07.26.01)
                                                  The AIDS pandemic has had a bigger effect on teaching than
                                                  any other profession and threatens to wipe out the trade in
                                                  Africa within 10 years, a global conference heard Thursday. "The
                                                  percentage of teachers who have died or carry the HIV virus is
                                                  higher than for most professional groups," said Fred van
                                                  Leeuwen, secretary general of Education International (EI). The
                                                  confederation of about 300 teaching unions and organizations from
                                                  155 countries is holding a conference in Thailand focusing on
                                                  teaching in the age of globalization.
                                                  Some 35-40 percent of secondary school teachers in Botswana
                                                  are infected with HIV, the EI said. "In the next 10 years, if
                                                  nothing is done, the ranks of teachers will completely disappear
                                                  in Africa," said Monique Fouiloux, EI's AIDS specialist. There
                                                  are also concerns that teachers are abusing their position to
                                                  sexually exploit children under their care, helping fuel the
                                                  transmission of the deadly disease. This year in conjunction with
                                                  other international institutions including UNESCO, EI intends to
                                                  make AIDS prevention an integral part of its education mission.
                                                  In the process, it will have to counter significant cultural
                                                  barriers that hamper frank discussion of AIDS, a problem that is
                                                  particularly severe outside the cities. "In Botswana, the only
                                                  place where it is difficult to talk about AIDS is in rural
                                                  areas," said Japhta Radibe, a representative of the Botwsana
                                                  Teachers Union. "Even before HIV/AIDS, we had a shortage of
                                                  teachers, but the pandemic has aggravated it," she said.


                                                  "AIDS Costs Kenya Heavily"
                                                  Xinhua (07.27.01)
                                                  According to Kenya's National AIDS Control Council, the
                                                  nation is losing about $2.6 million daily to the HIV/AIDS
                                                  epidemic. Speaking at the Nairobi Provincial AIDS Control
                                                  Committee workshop this week, Chair Mohammed Abdullah said that
                                                  certain practices are spreading the disease and his council is
                                                  now advocating an attitude change and measures to reduce
                                                  transmission. Chris Kirubi, a council member, urged the
                                                  government to end and criminalize female genital mutilation and
                                                  blamed the practice for helping the spread of HIV/AIDS. Other
                                                  measures recommended include ending prostitution along Nairobi
                                                  streets and curbing the influx of child prostitutes. Kenya is one
                                                  of the sub-Saharan African countries hardest hit by AIDS: 1.1
                                                  million Kenyans have died of the disease since 1984, and 2.2
                                                  million others are living with HIV.
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