Category: HIV

Future needs for characterising the care cascade

With the release of the WHO Consolidated Strategic Information Guidelines, countries are provided with a template, in the form of a depiction of the “Care Cascade”, permitting them to quantify the state of care as it currently stands. This article discusses data issues related to cascade reporting and suggests ways to improve reporting.

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Getting care to where it is needed; maternal health in Africa

The recently concluded millennium development goals (MDGs) have seen the suffering and deaths caused by preventable and treatable diseases significantly reduced. Over the last 15 years, life expectancy around the world has increased incredibly. In Africa, life expectancy has increased by 9.4 years. In spite of such achievements, inequality in terms of access to and quality of healthcare persists. The high rate of maternal deaths among African countries is a clear indication.

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Filed under: Health care delivery, Health systems, HIVTagged with: , , ,

Why Africa needs PrEP

The scientific world has had evidence since 2011 that a single pill a day could reduce the risk of contracting HIV. Five years later most people at substantial risk of HIV infection still don't have access to this HIV prevention method. This strategy, known as oral pre-exposure prophylaxis, or PrEP, uses a two-in-one antiretroviral (ARV) pill, Truvada, containing the ARVs tenofovir and emtricitabine. These ARVs were originally developed to treat people who have already acquired the virus.

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Schistosomiasis and HIV Acquisition

A comprehensive review of secondary data sources has confirmed a long-suspected link between female genital schistosomiasis (FGS) and HIV infection for women in southern Africa. Researchers confirmed the link in Mozambique, finding that exposure to schistosomiasis, combined with HIV prevalence, increases the odds of HIV infection by three times. Researchers also conclude that treating young girls for schistosomiasis could avert millions of new cases of HIV infection at far less cost than treating HIV infection once it has occurred.

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Medicated vaginal ring shows promise in combating HIV acquisition in women over 21

Two clinical trials of a vaginal ring containing 25 mg of the antiretroviral drug dapivirine report that the medicated ring prevented new HIV infections at a rate of more than 30% overall, and more than 50% in women over 21. The ring was found to offer “little to no protection” in women 18 to 21. Together the two studies - ASPIRE and The Ring Study - involved more than 4,500 women in southern and eastern Africa.

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