Lancet Publishes Articles About Presidential Candidates’ Global Health Plans, HIV Prevention
The Lancet in its Aug. 16 issue published an article about biomedical interventions to prevent HIV, as well as the U.S. presidential candidates' global health plans. Summaries appear below.
- "Biomedical Interventions To Prevent HIV Infection: Evidence, Challenges and Way Forward": Nancy Padian of the Women's Global Health Imperative and colleagues examine biomedical HIV prevention methods, including vaccines, male condoms, male circumcision, treatment of sexually transmitted infections and antiretroviral compounds. According to the authors, research on "biomedical interventions poses formidable challenges," and "[d]ifficulties with product adherence and the possibility of sexual disinhibition are important concerns." They add that biomedical interventions "will need to be part of an integrative package that includes biomedical, behavioral and structural interventions" and that "[a]ssesment of such multicomponent approaches with moderate effects is difficult. Issues to be considered include the nature of control groups and the effect of adherence on the true effectiveness of the intervention" (Padian et al., Lancet, 8/16).
- "Obama vs. McCain on Global Health": The article examines the positions of presumptive presidential nominees Sens. John McCain (R-Ariz.) and Barack Obama (D-Ill.) on global health issues, including HIV/AIDS and international development. Some global health experts say the "key difference" between McCain and Obama on global health is that Obama is more invested in the issue, the Lancet reports. "Obama has a personal knowledge and interest that is not insignificant," Stephen Morrison, executive director of the HIV/AIDS Taskforce and the Africa Program at the Center for Strategic and International Studies, said, adding, "He made sure he was smart around the issues of global health." According to Morrison, "I do not think McCain is indifferent, but I do not think he has the same level of personal knowledge or passion." Although McCain is a supporter of the President's Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief and has pledged to address malaria in Africa, his "campaign documents are thin on the subject of global health," according to the Lancet. Obama's "campaign promotes proposals to confront HIV/AIDS globally and has a multiple page list of sweeping reforms in international development," the Lancet reports. Experts do say that "both candidates support a more collaborative relationship with other countries, which could be a boon for global health generally," according to the Lancet (Bristol, Lancet, 8/16).