Tag Archives: tuberculosis

Nine ways funding for the global HIV response could go further

 A young girl living with Aids takes her drugs at her home in Ndiwa, western Kenya. Photograph: Simon Maina/AFP/Getty Images

A young girl living with AIDS takes her drugs at her home in Ndiwa, western Kenya. Photograph: Simon Maina/AFP/Getty Images

Story via The Guardian

1 | Protect and promote human rights

Public resources are wasted on enforcing laws that criminalise HIV transmission and dehumanise at-risk populations. By contrast, laws that protect at-risk populations are powerful, low-cost tools that help ensure that financial and scientific investments for HIV are not wasted. Enacting laws based on sound public health and human rights will ensure new prevention and treatment tools – such as PrEP [pre-exposure prophylaxis], male circumcision and microbicides – reach those who need them. Changes in the legal and policy environment, along with other interventions, could lower new adult HIV infections to an estimated 1.2 million by 2031 (compared to 2.1 million if current efforts continue unchanged). Mandeep Dhaliwal, UNDP

2 | Make drugs cheaper

One way to make limited funds go further is to challenge drug companies on the high price of life-saving drugs. The use of unmerited patents by pharmaceutical companies to secure monopolies on their products must stop. Make Medicines Affordable is working with civil society to challenge unmerited patents and useTrips agreement flexibilities. Julia Powell, International Treatment Preparedness Coalition

In lower middle-income countries, the average antiretroviral (ARV) treatment cost for a new adult patient is around $350 [£283]. Of that, just 40% is the cost of the ARV – 35% is non-ARV recurrent costs (clinical salaries, laboratory etc) and then 25% is programme management. We really need to dissect non-drug costs and find ways to reduce costs with regard to generic licensing and optimising manufacturing costs. Anand Reddi, Gilead Sciences

3 | Support LGBT groups

There are some great new global funds supporting funding for local and national LGBT groups so that they can gather data on access to medicines for their community, in a way that ensures their confidentiality and safety. The Rapid Response Fund, funded by the Elton John Aids Foundation (EJAF), the President’s Emergency Plan for Aids Relief (Pepfar) and UNAids, will support civil society organisations that are led by, or work closely with, MSM [men who have sex with men] and LGBT people and communities, to implement rapid responses to situations or events that threaten their access to HIV services. Grants of up to $20,000 [£16,000] are available. Mike Podmore, STOPAIDS

4 | Support adherence to ARVs

Drug resistance is a huge issue and one to which we are only just waking up. The World Health Organisation has produced a 2017-21 action plan which, I think, underlines that we have neglected to focus on adherence and support people not just to access ARVs, but to stay on them. Mike Podmore

5 | Integrate HIV into health sectors

Finance ministers tend to think in terms of sectors (eg health) or a clusters of sectors (eg the social sectors – education, health, social welfare), rather than in terms of individual issues like HIV. We need to integrate Aids financing into domestic health financing and make the argument to finance ministers that they need to increase investment in the social sectors, and health in particular. We need to underscore why this is an important investment in human capital and, therefore, in economic development. David Wilson, World Bank

6 | Collect and spend taxes on health

Some countries with major HIV epidemics have actually progressively reduced the share of the government budget they allocate to health, and many African countries with major HIV challenges collect a smaller share of GDP as revenue – and spend more collecting that small share – than comparable economies elsewhere. We must ensure that a significant share of the greater revenue collected is allocated to health, and spent as efficiently as possible. David Wilson

7 | Integrate HIV and water and sanitation programmes

Safe water can make an enormous difference to the health and wellbeing of people living with HIV. It can increase drug effectiveness by reducing diarrhoea and collaboration between HIV specialists at Safaids and in the water and sanitation sector have identified ways to integrate water and HIV programming more effectively in southern Africa to streamline investments. In addition, arecent systematic review showed that water and sanitation interventions to reduce morbidity among people living with HIV were cost-effective, particularly when incorporated into complementary programmes. Louisa Gosling, WaterAid

8 | Coordinate responses

In the HIV/Aids space, we can work with others focusing on health to share costs. In Malawi, for example, our mobile clinic teams test and treat for malaria and TB even though our core focus is HIV. Also, in our door-to-door testing pilot – where a team of eight canvases a village over a week to perform HIV tests – that same team will check for bed nets. If they do not have one, our HIV testing team will leave one and teach the family how to use it. One team, but two major health issues covered. Joel Goldman, The Elizabeth Taylor AIDS Foundation

9 | Push for more funding

We must reject the assumption that we will/can have less money and, instead, make it clear that less money, or even maintaining the same levels of funding, will lead to an increase in infections and deaths globally. Many organisations working on the global HIV and TB responses are shouting loudly about the funding alarm. It became even more urgent when the Kaiser Family Foundation found that global donor financing had reduced by 13% from 2014 to 2015. Our only way forward is to increase general public awareness and demand for donors and INGOs to increase HIV and TB funding up to 2020, and make it possible to end the epidemics by 2030. If not, we risk a terrifying rebound of the epidemics that we will struggle to get a grip on again. Mike Podmore

Read the full Q&A here.

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Today is World Tuberculosis Day. What could this mean for you?

lungsgraphic

World Tuberculosis Day is marked every year on 24 March, highlighting one of the world’s top health challenges. With nine million new cases and 1.5 million deaths each year, tuberculosis is an ongoing epidemic.

For World TB Day 2015, the United Nations, the Stop TB Partnership and the World Health Organization are calling on all governments and health organisations to mobilise political and social commitment for further progress towards eliminating the disease as a public health burden. The theme this year is “Reach the 3 Million: Reach, Treat, Cure Everyone” – aimed at securing care for the three million who fail to be treated every year.

The date commemorates the day in 1882 when Dr Robert Koch, the German physician and pioneering microbiologist, announced to the University of Berlin’s Institute of Hygiene that he had discovered the cause of tuberculosis. His discovery marked a turning point in the story of the virulent human infectious disease.

Yet over a century on, the disease continues to be a public health problem, with the highest rates in Sub-Saharan Africa. A report by the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control and WHO found that 1,000 people a day throughout Europe develop the disease and although the continent has experienced an annual 6% decline, Europe will not be TB-free until the next century.

There has been a sustained decline in cases over the last decade but rates of multi-drug resistant tuberculosis, MDR-TB, remain at very high levels.

WHO regional director for Europe, Zsuzsanna Jakab, said only 50% of an estimated 75,000 multi-drug resistant TB patients were found in 2013 and just half were successfully cured.

“Multi-drug resistant TB is still ravaging the European region, making it the most affected area of the entire world,” he said.

TB & HIV Co-infection

When people have a damaged immune system, such as people with HIV who are not receiving antiretroviral treatment, the natural history of TB is altered. Instead of there being a long latency phase between infection and development of disease, people with HIV can become ill with active TB disease within weeks to months, rather than the normal years to decades.

The risk of progressing from latent to active TB is estimated to be between 12 and 20 times greater in people living with HIV than among those without HIV infection. This also means that they may become infectious and pass TB on to someone else, more quickly than would otherwise happen. Overall it is considered that the lifetime risk for HIV negative people of progressing from latent to active TB is about 5-10%, whereas for HIV positive people this same figure is the annual risk.

Many people living with HIV are now taking antiretroviral treatment for their HIV infection. This helps their immune system, but the risk of developing active TB is still higher than in people without HIV infection. Also, there are reports from some African countries that people are starting to become infected with drug resistant HIV. This makes it much more difficult to provide them with effective antiretroviral therapy, and this in turn could result in millions more, of the estimated 40 million people thought to be living with HIV worldwide, developing active TB in the next few years.

Find out how the body reacts to tuberculosis here

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Today is World Tuberculosis Day. What could this mean for you?

lungsgraphic

World Tuberculosis Day is marked every year on 24 March, highlighting one of the world’s top health challenges. With nine million new cases and 1.5 million deaths each year, tuberculosis is an ongoing epidemic.

For World TB Day 2015, the United Nations, the Stop TB Partnership and the World Health Organization are calling on all governments and health organisations to mobilise political and social commitment for further progress towards eliminating the disease as a public health burden. The theme this year is “Reach the 3 Million: Reach, Treat, Cure Everyone” – aimed at securing care for the three million who fail to be treated every year.

The date commemorates the day in 1882 when Dr Robert Koch, the German physician and pioneering microbiologist, announced to the University of Berlin’s Institute of Hygiene that he had discovered the cause of tuberculosis. His discovery marked a turning point in the story of the virulent human infectious disease.

Yet over a century on, the disease continues to be a public health problem, with the highest rates in Sub-Saharan Africa. A report by the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control and WHO found that 1,000 people a day throughout Europe develop the disease and although the continent has experienced an annual 6% decline, Europe will not be TB-free until the next century.

There has been a sustained decline in cases over the last decade but rates of multi-drug resistant tuberculosis, MDR-TB, remain at very high levels.

WHO regional director for Europe, Zsuzsanna Jakab, said only 50% of an estimated 75,000 multi-drug resistant TB patients were found in 2013 and just half were successfully cured.

“Multi-drug resistant TB is still ravaging the European region, making it the most affected area of the entire world,” he said.

TB & HIV Co-infection

When people have a damaged immune system, such as people with HIV who are not receiving antiretroviral treatment, the natural history of TB is altered. Instead of there being a long latency phase between infection and development of disease, people with HIV can become ill with active TB disease within weeks to months, rather than the normal years to decades.

The risk of progressing from latent to active TB is estimated to be between 12 and 20 times greater in people living with HIV than among those without HIV infection. This also means that they may become infectious and pass TB on to someone else, more quickly than would otherwise happen. Overall it is considered that the lifetime risk for HIV negative people of progressing from latent to active TB is about 5-10%, whereas for HIV positive people this same figure is the annual risk.

Many people living with HIV are now taking antiretroviral treatment for their HIV infection. This helps their immune system, but the risk of developing active TB is still higher than in people without HIV infection. Also, there are reports from some African countries that people are starting to become infected with drug resistant HIV. This makes it much more difficult to provide them with effective antiretroviral therapy, and this in turn could result in millions more, of the estimated 40 million people thought to be living with HIV worldwide, developing active TB in the next few years.

Find out how the body reacts to tuberculosis here

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Take action against drug-resistant tuberculosis (DR-TB)

treatmetestme

Next week, Phumeza Tisile, a former patient and survivor of one of the most severe forms of drug-resistant tuberculosis (DR-TB), will travel to Geneva to help Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) deliver the ‘Test Me, Treat Me’ DR-TB Manifesto directly to governments and policymakers as they convene for the 2014 World Health Assembly.

With World Health Assembly delegates due to discuss the next global 20-year plan to control TB, MSF and Phumeza will be appealing for urgent action to prioritize the fight against drug-resistant forms of TB which have been reported in virtually all countries worldwide and are spreading at an alarming rate.

MSF has set a goal of 50,000 supporting signatures to help send a strong message to WHA delegates

Please take a minute to click here and sign TODAY, and spread the word to your friends, family and professional networks

What does it mean when you sign the petition to support the ‘Test Me, Treat Me’ DR-TB Manifesto Campaign?

You are showing your support for three urgent demands being made by DR-TB patients and their medical care providers:

1) Universal access to testing and treatment
2) Better treatment regimens
3) International financial support for the fight against DR-TB

Please take a minute to sign the petition now and help MSF reach their 50,000 signature goal by May 19th.

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Here I Am Campaign

HIA_sign_dark_narrow25fe900e691e

The Here I Am campaign is a global call on world leaders to save millions of lives by supporting a fully funded Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria. Here I Am brings the voices of people that are directly affected by AIDS, tuberculosis and malaria into dialogue about decisions that affect their lives and lives of millions of others in their countries. Through video testimonies from all over the world, campaign ambassador advocacy, online actions and on-the-ground mobilizations, the Here I Am campaign is building collective power to end three of the world’s most deadly diseases.

We believe that through appropriate levels of investments now, we have an opportunity to defeat HIV, tuberculosis and malaria within our lifetime, and to decrease costs over time if we recommit and fully fund the Global Fund. This requires a US$15 billion investment and ongoing resource mobilisation aimed at engaging new donors and innovative financing mechanisms.

We call on all donors and implementing countries:

  • Recommit to the goals of increased strategic investments and scaling up of treatment, prevention, care and support programmes for people living with and affected by HIV/AIDS, tuberculosis and malaria.
  • Fully fund the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, TB and Malaria by collectively committing at least US$15 billion in this replenishment year in new contributions for 2014-2016.
  • Recommit to increased domestic investments targets for health and increased total health expenditure per capita in all countries affected by HIV/AIDS, tuberculosis and malaria.

In 2012 nearly 2000 people signed the first petition that asked donors to increase their 2013 contributions and to fully replenish the Global Fund.

As we get closer to the pledging conference late this year, this is a crucial moment to show donors how much we need the Global Fund and to persuade them to make a strong commitment to fight HIV/AIDS, tuberculosis and malaria.

This new call to action will be presented directly to the decision-makers at the Global Fund’s 30th board meeting in November.

CLICK HERE TO ACCESS THE PETITION

Please sign and help us present a strong statement at the meeting by sharing this petition with your networks and on social media.

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