In honor of the 22nd annual World AIDS Day, we’ve rounded up a few interesting and useful resources and recent stories. This year’s theme is “Universal Access and Human Rights.”
- The UN released its latest update on the epidemic in late November. The Wall Street Journal‘s Gordon Fairclough reports that worldwide infection numbers have leveled out in recent years. New infections peaked around 1996 and have slowly declined since.
- Health Affairs recently released a Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation-supported series focusing on the HIV/AIDS pandemic. Among other things, articles in the series forecast a looming funding shortfall and explore ways to prevent it. A related set of policy briefs on the pandemic can be found here.
- HIV is the biggest killer of younger women, NPR Health Blog’s Scott Hensley reports. See the full WHO report here.
- “The South leads the nation in the percentage of AIDS-related deaths. Yet, the region ranks last when it comes to overall federal dollars spent on an HIV-infected person at $6,565 a year,” AP’s Shelia Byrd reports. On a hopeful note, Byrd adds that the situation may improve thanks to the president’s signing of the $2.2 billion Ryan White HIV/AIDS extension act.
- The National Institutes of Health recommend HIV testing for Americans ages 13 to 64, the Rochester Post-Bulletin‘s Jeff Hansel reports. The CDC’s recommendations can be found here.
- In related news, WebMD Health News’ Charlene Laino reported on a Johns Hopkins study that found home-testing for HIV is easy and accurate, with the researchers even going so far as to compare it to pregnancy testing. The home tests matched lab tests in 400 of 402 cases, which makes for better than 99 percent accuracy. Currently, only the The Home Access HIV-1 Test System and the Home Access Express HIV-1 Test System are approved by the FDA, and both require that blood samples taken at home be sent to a laboratory for evaluation. The express kit’s currently $59.99 on Amazon.com.
Tip sheets and articles
- Reporting on HIV in Africa
- AHCJ member reports from Malawi, Zambia
- Updates: HIV/AIDS – A Potpourri of Clinical Aspects