Brief news reports on Tuberculosis

House committee approves 2013 funding for PEPFAR, Global Fund, global TB

The House Appropriations Committee voted on its fiscal year (FY) 2013 State and Foreign Operations Appropriations bill Wednesday and released a report that clarifies its funding intentions for key global health programs. 

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TB: A 'catastrophe' that needs a vaccine

There haven't been any new TB drugs for over 40 years. But an unlikely partnership between non-profits and a mining company may save thousands of lives in the search for a new vaccine.

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Estimated 740,000 deaths in Africa averted between 2004-2008 in association with PEPFAR, study shows

"The lives of more than 740,000 people in nine African countries were saved between 2004 and 2008 by the U.S. President's Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief [PEPFAR]," according to a study conducted by Stanford University School of Medicine researchers and published in the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA) on Wednesday, HealthDay News reports (3/15). "The study is the first to show a decline in all-cause mortality related to the program," a Stanford press release notes, adding, "To measure the impact of the program, [Eran Bendavid, assistant professor of medicine at Stanford,] and his colleagues analyzed health and survival information for more than 1.5 million adults in 27 African countries, including nine countries where PEPFAR has focused its efforts" (Richter, 5/10). According to the study, "an estimated total of 740,914 all-cause adult deaths were averted between 2004 and 2008 in association with PEPFAR," and "[i]n comparison, PEPFAR was associated with an estimated 631,338 HIV-specific deaths averted during the same period," a JAMA press release states, noting that "all-cause adult mortality declined more in African countries in which ... PEPFAR operated more intensively" (5/15).

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UNITAID seeks innovative HIV, TB and malaria proposals

UNITAID is inviting letters of intent (LOI), or short conceptual presentations of a proposed project, on the topic of improving access to key preventive, diagnostic and treatment commodities for HIV, tuberculosis (TB) and malaria through market-based approaches.  UNITAID works to negotiate low pricing for diagnostics and medication for AIDS, tuberculosis and malaria in developing countries and is funded primarily by an airline levy in participating countries.

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No more TB suspects: time to change the way we talk about tuberculosis

The words ‘defaulter’, ‘suspect’ and ‘control’ have been part of the language of tuberculosis (TB) services for many decades, and they continue to be used in international guidelines and published literature.

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Dangerous doses

The worldwide counterfeit drug market is huge and growing. The Center for Medicine in the Public Interest estimates that in 2010 the trade reaped around $75 billion, a 90 percent increase since 2005. Over the same period, the Pharmaceutical Security Institute (PSI), of which one of us is president, documented a huge increase in discoveries of counterfeit pharmaceutical products. In 2005, it recorded over 1,000 incidents; in 2010, it recorded more than twice that. The World Health Organization previously estimated that as much as 15 percent of the medicine in circulation around the world could be fake. These drugs occupy a wide spectrum of medications, and their quality is suspect; they can be mislabeled, tainted, adulterated, ineffective, or, in the worst cases, all of the above.

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NAM: HATIP newsletter May, 2012

HIV & AIDS treatment in practice (HATIP) is a regular email newsletter for healthcare workers and community-based organisations on HIV treatment in resource-limited settings.

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ART reduces TB risk, even in high-income countries

Quantifying the effect of antiretroviral therapy (ART) on the incidence of tuberculosis (TB) in HIV-infected patients has been difficult. Several studies have shown a lower rate of TB among HIV-infected patients who are receiving ART than among those who are not. However, during the first few months of treatment, TB rates may be elevated because of immune reconstitution inflammatory syndrome (IRIS).

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Interferon-gamma release assays better for TB testing

Interferon-gamma release assays (IGRAs) are significantly better than tuberculin skin tests (TST) at predicting progression from latent tuberculosis (TB), a new meta-analysis from Germany shows.

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We are losing the fight against TB, warns WHO

A third of the world's population is carrying tuberculosis, and the disease could become incurable if governments fail to act, the World Health Organisation (WHO) has warned. Lack of funding for public health programmes, the sale of inaccurate blood tests and the misuse of drugs, particularly in the private health sector, are hampering the fight against the disease and leading to drug resistance, says the organisation.

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