Kaiser Daily HIV/AIDS Report Summarizes Reports Released at XVI International AIDS Conference
As part of its expanded coverage of the XVI International AIDS Conference, which will be held Aug. 13 through Aug. 18 in Toronto, Kaiser Daily HIV/AIDS Report will feature studies and initiatives released during the conference. Summaries of select publications and initiatives appear below.
- "Modeling the Cost Effectiveness of Antiretroviral Treatment Strategies With Laboratory Monitoring in Resource-Limited Settings," BD Biosciences: The study -- written by David Bishai of the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health and colleagues and funded with a grant from BD Biosciences -- compared the cost effectiveness of CD4+ T cell testing, total lymphocyte count testing and CD4+ viral load testing. Researchers used a mathematical simulation of a population of 10,000 "virtual patients" and found that using CD4+ tests can save additional lives for a cost of $635 per quality-adjusted life year, compared with $628 per quality-adjusted life year for patients receiving antiretroviral drugs and no CD4+ testing to monitor the progression of their disease. The study results are "surprising because they underscored how much can be saved by using CD4+ tests to prevent unnecessary and costly treatment starts," Bishai said, adding, "We hope that this study will help decision makers in developing countries as they determine their strategies for combating AIDS" (BD release, 8/12).
- "HIV/AIDS Stigma: Finding Solutions To Strengthen HIV/AIDS Programs," International Center for Research on Women: ICRW on Saturday at a symposium -- co-sponsored by GlaxoSmithKline's Positive Action program and the Elton John AIDS Foundation -- presented a report that finds that HIV/AIDS stigma affects HIV prevention and treatment efforts worldwide, especially among women. According to the report, "fear of loss of a job or property, threats of violence, abandonment and poor medical care ... is limiting the reach and effectiveness" of HIV prevention and treatment efforts and is "threatening hard-won progress" in the fight against HIV/AIDS. "People's fear of AIDS stigma reduces the effectiveness of HIV/AIDS prevention, treatment and care programs because people who are infected may be reluctant to use these services," Laura Nyblade, ICRW's lead researcher on AIDS stigma, said, adding, "And the disclosure delays we're finding after testing -- even among spouses -- are deeply troubling for preventing further transmission of the virus and accessing care, support and treatment" (ICRW release, 8/11). According to the report -- which summarizes results from studies conducted in 2001 through 2005 in Ethiopia, Tanzania, Vietnam and Zambia -- HIV/AIDS stigma is similar in many regions of the world and is not context-specific. The organization, based on the study results, has produced a stigma-reduction toolkit (ICRW, "HIV/AIDS Stigma: Finding Solutions To Strengthen HIV/AIDS Programs," August 2006).
- "Empowering Young Women To Lead Change," World YWCA/UNFPA: The two groups on Monday at the AIDS conference launched the training manual, which aims to help young women develop their leadership skills. The manual -- which has been tested by young women in Africa, Asia, the Caribbean, Europe and Latin America -- examines issues such as human rights, violence against women, body image and self-esteem (YWCA release, 8/14).
Kaisernetwork.org is serving as the official webcaster of the conference. View the guide to coverage and all webcasts, interviews and a daily video round up of conference highlights at http://www.kaisernetwork.org/aids2006. This is part of the KHN Morning Briefing, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.