science and research

The long term response to AIDS depends on progress in HIV research. All aspects are needed from understanding the basic biology of HIV, developing effective therapies to treat HIV-related disease, understanding the determinants of HIV transmission, and evaluating the effectiveness of a variety of approaches to preventing new infections, including biomedical approaches such as microbicides, pre-exposure prophylaxis, HIV Vaccines, male circumcision and condoms. The best hope for ending the epidemic lies in a vaccine. However, developing one presents enormous challenges as the virus mutates rapidly. This quest for a vaccine, still many years away, should not overshadow the tremendous achievements and discoveries by scientists to date.

2007 saw an important landmark in the history of HIV prevention – the finding that male circumcision reduces the risk of men acquiring HIV infection by approximately 60%. This was based on the results of three controlled trials in South Africa, Uganda and Kenya. Thanks to this research, the efficacy of male circumcision in reducing female to male transmission of HIV has been proven beyond reasonable doubt.

In addition, important work in the development of microbicides—a vaginal gel to protect from HIV infection— will enable women to have greater control to protect themselves from HIV infection.

Continued funding for scientific research and development for AIDS is vital.

The latest from the GCWA

  • 4 Dec, 2009
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    Namibia / epidemic: HIV/AIDS decreasing among expectant mothers

    The HIV/AIDS prevalence among expectant mothers in Namibia is decreasing since 2002, Prime Minister Nahas Angula said this week. “It is indeed very encouraging to see that our efforts over many years of fighting HIV/AIDS in Namibia are indeed bearing fruits,” he said. Angula said this during the annual commemoration of World AIDS Day.

  • 25 Nov, 2009
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    Mexico / Epidemic: Se duplican contagios de Sida en las mujeres

    Por años, los programas de prevención de VIH/Sida se enfocaron a los grupos de riesgo y se descuidó el heterosexual, lo que propició que cada vez más mujeres sean infectadas, advirtieron autoridades de Salud. La estadística actual muestra que por cada tres hombres hay una mujer contagiada, cuando el año pasado era una por cada cuatro y en años pasados una por cada seis, indicó Martha Sánchez, responsable del Programa de VIH e Infecciones de Transmisión Sexual del Capasits. Al anunciar ayer una serie de actividades con motivo de la celebración del Día Mundial de la Lucha contra el Sida, el pró

  • 24 Nov, 2009
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    World / Research: Eight-year trend shows new HIV infections down by 17%—most progress seen in sub-Saharan Africa

    Efforts towards universal access to HIV prevention, treatment, care and support are bringing AIDS out of isolation According to new data in the 2009 AIDS Epidemic Update, new HIV infections have been reduced by 17% over the past eight years. Since 2001, when the United Nations Declaration of Commitment on HIV/AIDS was signed, the number of new infections in sub-Saharan Africa is approximately 15% lower, which is around 400,000 fewer infections in 2008. In East Asia, new HIV infections declined by nearly 25% and in South and South-East Asia by 10% in the same time period.

  • 24 Nov, 2009
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    CSIS Making gender a global health priority

    CSIS Making gender a global health priority

  • 23 Nov, 2009
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    World / Policy: Launch of the AIDS Accountability Scorecard on Women

    As World AIDS Day (1 December) approaches, AIDS Accountability International is releasing the first ever global scorecard analyzing country responses to the specific needs and vulnerabilities of women in the context of the AIDS epidemic;  The AIDS Accountability Scorecard on Women - Are governments keeping their promises? This independent assessment and rating is developed through a comprehensive consultative process with global health experts and civil society representatives from across the world, and evaluates data on women that all governments provide as part of the 2001 United Natio

  • 19 Nov, 2009
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    South African women less fruitful

    Johannesburg - South African women are having fewer children, the SA Institute of Race Relations (SAIRR) said on Thursday.According to its latest South Africa Survey, there were an average of 2.7 live births per 1000 women between 2001 and 2006 and this was projected to decline to 2.4 between 2008 and 2011. Along with fewer births, there had also been an increase in the number of deaths from HIV/Aids. Almost half of all deaths in 2008 were HIV/Aids related, an increase from a third of all deaths in 2001.

  • 15 Nov, 2009
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    Burkina Faso / Gender-Access to Treatment: Gender asymmetry in healthcare-facility attendance of people living with HIV/AIDS in

    Anthropological research in Burkina Faso indicates that more HIV-positive women than HIV-positive men are attending care facilities for people living with HIV and accessing antiretroviral medicine. This article, situated in the field of study of interactions between gender and AIDS, offers a description of this asymmetry and an anthropological analysis of the socio-cultural determinants, through analysis of data from ethnographic research among people living with HIV and health actors. Examining social representations of femininity and masculinity in Burkinabe society and the organisation of

  • 15 Nov, 2009
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    Prevention-Microbicides: Maraviroc concentrates in the cervicovaginal fluid and vaginal tissue of HIV-negative women

    The authors compared single- and multiple-dose maraviroc exposures in cervicovaginal fluid (CVF) and vaginal tissue (VT) with blood plasma (BP) and quantified maraviroc protein binding in cervicovaginal fluid. In this open-label pharmacokinetic study of 12 HIV-negative women, 7 paired CVF and BP samples were collected over 12 hours after 1 maraviroc dose. Subjects then received maraviroc twice daily for 7 days. After the last dose, subjects underwent cervicovaginal fluid and blood plasma sampling as on day 1, with additional sampling during terminal elimination.

  • 15 Nov, 2009
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    Prevention-microbicides: Safety and pharmacokinetics of dapivirine delivery from matrix and reservoir intravaginal rings to HIV-

    Vaginal microbicides for the prevention of HIV transmission may be an important option for protecting women from infection. Incorporation of dapivirine, a lead candidate nonnucleoside reverse transcriptase inhibitor, into intravaginal rings (IVRs) for sustained mucosal delivery may increase microbicide product adherence and efficacy compared with conventional vaginal formulations. Twenty-four healthy HIV-negative women 18-35 years of age were randomly assigned (1:1:1) to dapivirine matrix intravaginal ring, dapivirine reservoir intravaginal ring, or placebo intravaginal ring.

  • 11 Nov, 2009
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    World / Research: HIV is the leading cause of death to women around the world

    The leading cause of death to women around the world. Any guesses? Well, here's a pretty big hint. Some people think of it as the gay man's disease. PHILLIPS: Well, it's not the gay or IV drug users' disease any longer. Growing more indiscriminate and pervasive. A new study finds HIV and AIDS are the leading cause of death for women ages 15 to 44. Dr. Katherine Fritz is the director of Gender and HIV for the International Center for Research on Women. Were you surprised as we were by these statistics and who it's affecting like this? DR. KATHERINE FRITZ, : No, I wasn't surprised at all.

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