Also in Global Health News: HIV/AIDS Drug-Resistance Guide & Vaccine Candidate, Climate Change’s Effect on Public Health & MDR-TB in Kyrgyzstan
Researchers Develop Questions To Determine Risk of HIV/AIDS Drug Resistance
Researchers from Uganda, the U.S. and Belgium have developed a question-based formula for determining HIV-positive people's risk of treatment failure and drug resistance, according to a study published in the Journal of the International AIDS Society, the New York Times reports. The Times reports that the new method appears to work better than WHO guidelines for drug resistance testing, which are based on clinical viral load tests not readily available in Africa. But the researchers said if viral load testing is available is should be given to patients first (McNeil, New York Times, 5/18).
Vaccine Candidate Successfully Blocks Simian Version of HIV
U.S. researchers have successfully blocked SIV, the simian version of HIV, using a new technique that could help lead to the development of an effective HIV/AIDS vaccine, the Philadelphia Inquirer reports. Lead researcher Phillip Johnson, chief medical officer at the Children's Hospital of Philadelphia, said that the results of the trials were so encouraging that he plans to request approval from the FDA to begin clinical trials in humans, the Inquirer reports. However, he said that there is "no guarantee that things that work in monkeys will work in humans," adding that an HIV/AIDS vaccine could be 10 years away. The research was published in the journal Nature Medicine (Philadelphia Inquirer, 5/18).
World's Poor Unprepared for Impact Climate Change Could Have On Public Health Systems
Public health systems in the world's poorest countries are not prepared to withstand climate change, according to recent studies by the International Institute for Environment and Development, the Economic Times reports. The studies, released prior to a health ministers' summit that began on Sunday, calls for analyzing the potential effects climate change will have on health and boosting funding to help support the health systems most vulnerable to climate change (Economic Times, 5/18).
IRIN Examines MDR-TB in Kyrgyzstan
IRIN examined Kyrgyzstan's fight against multi-drug resistant tuberculosis (MDR-TB). The country has the sixth highest rate of MDR-TB in the world, according to USAID. Physicians from Kyrgyzstan's National Centre of Phthisiology say there are currently 1,400 cases of MDR-TB in the country, but only 600 people are receiving treatment for the disease. The article also examines MDR-TB treatment funding and the proliferation of the disease in prisons in Kyrgyzstan (IRIN, 5/17).This is part of the KHN Morning Briefing, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.