Posts Tagged 'HIV'

Video for the day: Stephen Lewis, IAS 2006

Ch-ch-changes

Received this email from a friend yesterday about Mark Dybul, the US Global AIDS Coordinator, and the head honcho behind PEPFAR:

…we have received confirmation that Ambassador Mark Dybul has been asked to resign, effective immediately. We understand that the office will be run by career staff until a new Coordinator is named.

Rumors are swirling about who will be named by the Obama Administration.  Names that keep coming up seem to be Nils Daulaire, former CEO of the Global Health Council, and Jim Yong Kim, Chief of the Division of Global Health Equity at the Brigham and Women’s Hospital, co-founder of Partners In Health, and other fancy titles.

Of the two (and virtually any other candidate as well), my vote is for Jim Kim.  He brings a pragmatic and passionate understanding of current on the ground realities from his time with PIH.  His grasp of global health policy (especially around HIV and TB) is hard to rival.  And, above all, he is strongly rooted in ideas of equity, human rights, and a preferential option for the poor.

While Daulaire has been a strong advocate for global health in DC, he has deep ties with big pharma and has been largely quiet in condemning the profit-driven industry.

Anxious to see where this goes.  As we have seen, the position has a serious amount of clout to influence global HIV/AIDS treatment throughout the world.

HIV and HPV – Structuring Cancer Risk in Poor Women

The dual burden of HIV and HPV is the reality for a growing number of women – especially those living in places of poverty. The Pump Handle has an excellent post deconstructing this dilemma:

According to a recent study in Clinical Infectious Diseases, “low and middle-resource countries, where women have been hit hardest by the AIDS epidemic, have historically also had a high prevalence of human papillomavirus (the virus that causes cervical cancer).” In HIV positive women, HPV develops faster and progresses more quickly to cancer. The problem is that these women are not usually screened for cervical cancer when they are in HIV/AIDS treatment programs. While we are literally saving the lives of women with HIV with antiretroviral therapy and other care services, they are at risk of dying from an easily preventable cancer.

Screening and treating women can prevent cervical cancer, and it doesn’t have to be expensive. For more than ten years, my organization has been working with low-resource countries around the world to provide them with low-cost, effective solutions to help women get screened. One approach, known as VIA, uses vinegar and visual inspection to detect precancerous lesions on the cervix, and it can be followed by cryotherapy treatment to freeze any identified lesions in the same visit. Evidence shows that this simple, low-cost approach can have an important impact in reducing mortality rates from cervical cancer.

The fact that a vaccine is available that drastically reduces the risk of cervical cancer by preventing HPV infection makes the prevalence of cervical cancer due to HPV even more obscene. I applaud Dr. Mancuso for her work addressing this important issue.


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