IHP news 470: infectious diseases & NTDs

By on May 18, 2018

UN News – Nigeria: ‘Largest-ever’ outbreak of Lassa fever contained but monitoring still needed, says UN health agency


With the largest-ever outbreak of the deadly Lassa fever in Nigeria having been contained, continued vigilance is vital to deal with any flare-ups, the United Nations health agency warned last week on Friday.”

UN Dispatch – How Colonialism Explains Female HIV Rates in Africa

M L Goldberg ; UN Dispatch ;

Around the world the HIV rates for men and women are more or less equal — except, that is, in sub-saharan Africa. This is the only region in the world where the HIV rates for women are substantially higher than that of men. Scholars call this the “feminization” of HIV and AIDS in Africa and have devoted a great deal of effort into studying why. Some 80% of all women who live with HIV live in sub-Saharan Africa. So getting to the bottom of this question is vitally important to combating HIV and AIDS globally. Economist Siwan Anderson is the author of a fascinating new study that that offers an explanation for why HIV rates for women are high in some African countries. In a forthcoming paper in the academic journal The American Economic Review, she finds that the legacy of the legal system of the former colonial power contributes to very high female HIV rates in former British colonies compared to that of the former colonies of continental Europe that used the civil law tradition. And this difference, as she explains, is in how common law and civil law countries approached property rights for married women. She finds that female HIV rates for countries under common law — which is the legal tradition of former British colonies — are twice that as female HIV rates in civil law countries, which is the legal tradition of continental Europe.  The reason? Married women are more easily able to access property rights in civil law countries and therefore are more able to refuse sex….”

PEPFAR Now Reaches Over 14 Million People Globally with Lifesaving HIV Treatment


It’s the 15th anniversary of PEPFAR, this month (May).Fifteen years ago, when the U.S. President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR) was created, only 50,000 people in Africa were on lifesaving HIV treatment. New results released today show that the program now supports over 14 million men, women, and children on HIV treatment – more than twice as many as only four and a half years ago.”

And a link:

(Plos One) new study on a new, faster & more accurate rabies test


Lancet Infectious Diseases (Comment) – Resistant gonorrhoea: east meets west

Peter Rice et al; https://www.thelancet.com/journals/laninf/article/PIIS1473-3099(18)30276-7/fulltext

Ah, the wonders of globalization!

Comment on a new study in the Lancet Infectious Diseases. “… in The Lancet Infectious Diseases, Simon Harris and colleagues used whole genome sequencing (WGS) for comprehensive genetic analyses of more than 1000 Neisseria gonorrhoeae strains that were isolated in 2013 in 20 European countries that participated in the European Gonococcal Antimicrobial Surveillance Programme (Euro-GASP)….”

“… Much of the antimicrobial resistance originates in Asia and is transmitted to Europe (such as in the two patients with treatment failure). Between 2013 and 2016, China reported a significant increase (from 1·9% to 3·3%) in gonococcal strains that showed both resistance to azithromycin and decreased susceptibility to ceftriaxone. The proportion of isolates with decreased susceptibility to ceftriaxone fluctuated between 9·7% and 12·2%, and the prevalence of azithromycin-resistant isolates was 18·6% during this period. Further, in eastern Chinese cities, resistance to azithromycin rose more than four-fold (from 7% to 32%) from 2008 to 2014. A key step in management of antimicrobial resistance of gonococci in Europe will be global collaboration in identifying gonococcal WGSs from Asian strains, some of which are likely to spread to Europe. The 2017 International Forum on Gonococcal Infections and Resistance, held in Shenzen in Guangdong, China, and led by Xiang-Sheng Chen was a crucial step forward in establishing these ties.”

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