IHP news 469: infectious diseases & NTDs

By on May 11, 2018

AP – Study finds little bang for the buck in Zika blood testing


Screening blood donations for the Zika virus netted only a few infections at a cost of more than $5 million for each positive test result, according to new research. The study was the first large look at the impact of guidelines set two years ago, when the Zika epidemic was an unfolding menace in the U.S. and health officials were scrambling to prevent new infections. The study, published Wednesday by the New England Journal of Medicine, found that the blood donation testing requirements offered little bang for the buck. It also raised questions about whether a cheaper testing method should be used….”

Devex – Cholera in Yemen declining since peak last year, but outbreak still a risk, UNICEF says


The rainy season has arrived in Yemen, but has not yet brought an uptick of cholera cases with it, according to a top in-country official with the United Nations Children’s Fund. Still, UNICEF and other aid agencies remain concerned that there could be another serious outbreak in the coming months, as the rainy season progresses and health, water, and sanitation systems continue to deteriorate….”

The Hill – HIV’s ancient ‘cousin’ is ravaging Australia and could spread worldwide


Central Australia is being ravaged by an epidemic of human T-cell leukemia virus type 1, or HTLV-1. A staggering 40 percent of adults in rural Australia are infected. This epidemic is in addition to the estimated 10-20 million people infected with HTLV-1 globally….”

“…The prevalence rate in rural Australia is significant cause for concern. The virus has no cure, no vaccine and receives minimal funding or global attention. This epidemic highlights why global health funding to neglected issues continues to be critical….”

See also a Letter in today’s LancetTime to eradicate HTLV-1: an open letter to WHO

“…Although not as acute or severe as HIV, HTLV-1, like HIV, produces immune suppression, which leads to opportunistic infections and causes high mortality, a new challenge to public health, particularly in central Australia. In the 38 years since the discovery of HTLV-1, the first human retrovirus (transmitted just like the later-found human retrovirus HIV-1), effective intervention strategies have not been actively publicised. Therefore, HTLV-1 remains a strong threat to individual and community health, and even more so to global health because of the accelerated rate of human migration in recent times.”

“…We have published an open letter to WHO, proposing a WHO HTLV-1 vision for the prevention of HTLV-1 transmission, signed by more than 50 individuals and organisations. The letter states, “it is time to do more for HTLV-1, including five intervention strategies to reduce the incidence of HTLV-1 infection”, and we encourage you to read it online.”

Contagion Live – NNRTI Resistance Model Aids Treatment of HIV in Africa


The World Health Organization (WHO) has a new way to identify cost-effective measures to address the increasing prevalence of drug-resistant HIV in sub-Saharan Africa through the use of a computer model of AIDS-afflicted populations. Developed by Andrew Phillips, PhD, and colleagues at the Institute for Global Health, University College London, in the United Kingdom, the HIV Synthesis Model is an individual-based simulation model of HIV transmission, progression, and treatment response. It incorporates extensive data from published sources, accounting for demographics and behaviors, as well as specific drug effects and HIV resistance mutations. …”

UNAIDS (Feature story) – Measuring progress against the 10 commitments through Global AIDS Monitoring


“ At the United Nations High-Level Meeting on Ending AIDS in 2016, countries pledged to achieve a set of 10 Fast-Track commitments by 2020—an acceleration agenda that aims to end the AIDS epidemic by 2030 as part of the Sustainable Development Goals. To help ensure that the deadlines are met, the United Nations General Assembly requested an annual report on progress achieved in meeting those 10 commitments. …”

“… GAM is yet another way that UNAIDS is helping countries to monitor and respond to their HIV epidemics and work towards ending AIDS by 2030. “

Plos Med – Access to antiretroviral therapy in HIV-infected children aged 0–19 years in the International Epidemiology Databases to Evaluate AIDS (IeDEA) Global Cohort Consortium, 2004–2015: A prospective cohort study


“In this research, Valériane Leroy and colleagues study access to antiretroviral therapy in a large population of children and adolescents with HIV-1 infection across 6 regions, and identify priorities for improving access to treatment.”

WHO – Statement of the Seventeenth IHR Emergency Committee Regarding the International Spread of Poliovirus


As of 10 May.

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