Showing posts with label HIV Funding. Show all posts
Showing posts with label HIV Funding. Show all posts

July 29, 2017

Trump Wants to Cut Global AIDS Help///HIV Came From Out there and it Could Just Come Back, Just Worse

 These children have a built-in defense against AIDS. We need money to find out why

[Paris -CNN] Fear and concern are consuming the minds of many experts in the field of HIV control and it's not just because of the 1.8 million people that became newly infected with the virus, nor the 1 million who died of AIDS, in 2016.

In fact, experts this week were heralding their progress against HIV during the ninth International AIDS Conference on HIV Science in Paris, with UNAIDS reporting last week that more than half of people living with HIV globally are now accessing treatment. Deaths have halved since 2005.
Still, experts worry this may be about to change. Or worse, go backward.

The largest supporter in the global fight against HIV and AIDS may be about to make drastic cuts to its level of support. That funder: the United States.
Rare case of 9-year-old in HIV remission for years -- without drugs (there has been another case reported)

"Things come out of the White House and cause a lot of anxiety and stress," said Dr. Linda-Gail Bekker, president of the International AIDS Society. "Without resources, we will not be able to do what needs to be done," she told CNN.

Bekker is referring to the Trump administration's proposed budgets for 2017 and 2018 -- the "skinny" and "fat" budget -- in which funding for global aid, grant programs, and science institutions, such as the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and National Institutes of Health, is set to be cut.
Earlier this year, the White House proposed a $242 million cut in funding for the Presidents Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief, known as PEPFAR, in the 2017 budget, equaling a 6% reduction, said Dr. Greg Millet, vice president and director of public policy at amfAR, a US non-profit that supports AIDS research."This would have devastating effects downstream, including 253,000 adults and 50,00 experiencing (HIV) treatment interruption, and as many as 40,000 deaths," he said.

Greater cuts proposed for 2018 would cause even more of a decline, Millet highlighted, adding that the progress currently being celebrated is largely due to the work of PEPFAR and the international financing organization the Global Fund, to which the US is the largest single contributor.
"The US really stands out in this way," said Dr. Deborah Birx, ambassador-at-large, US global AIDS coordinator and the head of PEPFAR. Birx highlighted that as well as money, the US also provides human capacity in the countries it supports within embassies and field programs to "translate dollars into effective programs."
When asked about the proposed cuts to her organizations budget, Birx didn't show fear. "I believe this administration are committed to changing the course of this pandemic," she said.
More evidence treatment zeroes HIV transmission during sex while the world awaits a vaccine
More evidence treatment zeroes HIV transmission during sex while the world awaits a vaccine
Birx, and others in the field believe they have shown what they're capable of when it comes to controlling HIV and that the results should hopefully speak for themselves to ensure continued support.

"Traditionally you don't believe you control a pandemic unless you have a vaccine or a cure," she said, of which HIV had -- and continues to have -- neither. Yet this week, her organization announced that in four of the countries they work in -- Swaziland, Zambia, Malawi, Zimbabwe -- the epidemic is becoming under control.

"These are countries that had overwhelming pandemics, where a third of their population was dying," said Birx. It "went from a humanitarian crisis to us changing course of pandemic."
Others are looking to lawmakers to keep the budget stable, not the administration.
'Trump doesn't care about HIV,' say advisers who resigned
'Trump doesn't care about HIV,' say advisers who resigned
"We know that (budget) is not the final say. There are processes," Bekker told CNN, optimistically. These processes mean approval by the US Congress which, so far, has not passed budgets that include these cuts.

Former IAS president Dr. Chris Beyrer and UNAIDS Executive Director Michel Sidibé are both equally positive that bipartisan support for HIV control in Congress will ensure cuts are not as drastic as the Trump administration would like.

"Right now, Congress has not been willing to go along with these very drastic cuts ... (and) it is Congress that hold the power of the purse," said Beyrer. But he believes pressure is going to continue from the administration, making it "incumbent on everyone working in this space to keep Congress understanding how effective this has all been."
"I met most of the senators from the Republican and Democrats and (with) Congress ... I am confident that it is so bipartisan and the American citizens are very supportive of PEPFAR programs," Sidibé told CNN, adding "we will have to wait and see what happens."

There is, however, universal agreement that there will be some form of cuts, if not as drastic as was first proposed. If this does happen, other nations, in both the West and among middle-income countries, will need to up their game, experts believe.
The next question then, is who it could be.

"The unsettled nature of governments in so many parts of the world today make us anxious," said Bekker.
Throughout the week's conference, researchers, policymakers and clinicians alike have made constant reference to HIV budget cuts, not just by the US, but the general decline in funding from multiple governments in recent years.

A recent Kaiser Family Foundation report found that overall donor funding for HIV fell by $500 million in the last year alone, bringing totals down to the lowest they've been since 2010.

"We're concerned about France," said Beyrer. "The hope was that France would at least meet it's commitment and do flat funding, as they are the third largest donor to the Global Fund."
French President Emmanuel Macron was due to open the conference on Sunday, but he didn't attend.
As Agnès Buzyn, French minister of solidarity and health, took to the stage instead, she was greeted by activists shouting, "Shame on Macron."

Macron not appearing does not mean he will not honor funding commitments, Beyrer stresses, "but the minister of health had nothing to announce," he said.
Political activists question French President Emmanuel Macron's failure to open this week's AIDS conference in Paris.

Political activists question French President Emmanuel Macron's failure to open this week's AIDS conference in Paris.

"We're very reliant that France does what it needs to do and the UK," added Bekker.
The UK is the second-largest contributor in the fight against AIDS and Beyrer is also concerned that after Brexit, their voice in support of HIV within the European Union will not be replaced. To date, no country or institution has matched the financial support of the US.

"If the US were to implement cuts on the level that the President has proposed, it's hard to imagine any of these donors being able to step up at that level," said Beyrer.
If the potential loss is not made up by the rest of the West, Sidibé believes it could be low and middle-income countries that step forward.

Rise in support from poorer countries

In 2015, the global HIV response saw a change in dominance as the scales tipped and low- and middle-income countries combined to provide more funding to control the infection than donors from the West. That year, 57% of the response budget came from domestic funding by the countries themselves, according to UNAIDS.

"We went to the African union and were able to share with heads of state the potential dependency crisis," said Sidibé. "Kenya, Ivory coast, are all increasing their domestic budget to deal with this epidemic."

South Africa are already spending $2 billion of their own budget on HIV programs, covering most of it, and Botswana pays 80% of its own response, while China and Brazil are also paying for their own control efforts, said Sidibé.

"South Africa has taken the epidemic response into its own hands," said Dr. Peter Piot, director of the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine and formerly founding executive director of UNAIDS. "The country now hosts the largest treatment program in the world financed for the most part from domestic resources."

Piot further highlighted that Brazil was a leading light in the 1990s thanks to its comprehensive and proactive response, becoming the first middle-income country to provide free antiretroviral treatment in 1996. But today, new infections are rising in Brazil, he said, meaning the fight is far from over.
Now, Sidibé would like the countries comfortably supporting the control of HIV in their own countries to go to the next level -- and become donors. "It's important to see how they can become progressively contributing to other parts of the world. Not just paying for their own," said Sidibé. "Countries who are able already to demonstrate they have fiscal space."

Beyrer has experienced, however, that countries often struggle to think more broadly when tackling the HIV epidemic on their own soil. During his time as IAS president, he explained, he spent time working with the governments of Brazil, Russia, India and China, emphasizing the impact of becoming donors, but with little progress. "They continue to make contributions to their own programs, but really did not step up as donors," he said.

More expense to come

Beyrer further worries that if funds are reliant on domestic governments fully paying for their own HIV control efforts, crucial elements of HIV control will be forgotten, or at least not prioritized. At particular risk are those targeting more marginalized groups, such as teenage girls, sex workers and drug users.

"Governments are willing to spend money on mother-to-child transmission, keeping blood supplies safe, doing education campaigns in schools," said Beyrer. "What they're not willing to fund is needle and syringe exchange ... or programs for sex workers." As a result these programs are currently funded predominantly by external donors.                                                     

Many experts further believe that the gradual increase in governments of high-rate HIV countries financially tackling their own epidemics, could be jeopardized if they feel like larger countries, such as the US, are bowing out.

"It's not the right time to send the message to them that donors are reducing their funds and disengaging themselves," said Sidibé . "It will have a major impact on security (and) sustainability."
Furthermore, economists and epidemiologists highlight that the next stage of HIV control is going to be the most expensive -- such as enticing young people, sex workers and migrants to get tested, getting men who prioritize working to come into clinics, and helping drug users to realize they are at risk and need to stay protected. "More resources might be required," said Beyrer.
Whatever happens, Birx is ready to make the most of what she is given.

"My job is to take the resources that we have and make sure they have the biggest impact that they can possibly have," she said.

She exemplified this by revealing that over the last three years, PEPFAR have almost doubled the number of people on treatment and more than doubled the number of people accessing voluntary male circumcision, which can protect men from HIV by up to 60%, all on a flat budget. "We say this is what's needed and figure out how to make it happen," she said.

CNN                                      Join the conversation 

June 4, 2017

Congress is Lending a Hand to LGBT and HIV'rs This Fiscal Year

Congress agreed on a $1.1 trillion omnibus spending bill that will fund most federal government operations through fiscal year (FY) 2017, which ends September 30. The bill’s funding levels for health agencies and programs stand in sharp contrast to the Trump administration’s budget blueprint for fiscal year 2018 (FY18), released in March. The National Institutes of Health (NIH) will get a $2 billion funding increase for the remainder of FY17, rather than a $1.2 billion decrease proposed by the Trump administration. Although the omnibus bill does not address funding for FY18, it now appears highly unlikely that Congress will back Trump’s proposal to make deep cuts totaling $5.8 billion to the NIH budget for FY18. In addition, the FY17 omnibus spending bill does not cut or prohibit federal funding for Planned Parenthood. The Federal AIDS Policy Project also noted that, under the bill, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control’s (CDC) HIV prevention efforts in schools would be level-funded at $33.1 million. The Office of Adolescent Health’s Teen Pregnancy Prevention Program (TPPP) would likewise be level-funded at $101 million.
Meanwhile, in April, the CDC awarded approximately $11 million in first-year funding to 30 community-based organizations (CBOs) to implement comprehensive HIV prevention programs for young men of color who have sex with men, young transgender people of color, and their partners. Of the 30 funded organizations, 23 will primarily target young men who have sex with men of color and their partners, and 7 will target young transgender persons of color and their partners. Each funded CBO will receive about $360,000 per year over a 5-year period for high-impact prevention programs designed to reduce new HIV infections, increase access to care, and promote health equity by:
Increasing HIV testing and linking those who test positive to HIV medical care; increasing referrals to partner services; and
providing prevention and essential support services for people livingwith HIV and those at high risk of becoming infected.
“Recent scientific advances have given us powerful new strategies to stop HIV, including improved testing techniques, early treatment with antiretroviral medications, and pre-exposure prophylaxis,” noted Eugene McCray, the director of CDC’s Division of HIV/AIDS Prevention, in a letter announcing the awards. “This new funding program will help accelerate efforts to deliver these advances to the people who need them most.”U.S. House Weighs Changes to American Health Care Act; Health Groups Remain Opposed
After several attempts at passing the American Health Care Act (AHCA), the House passed the bill, which would replace the Affordable Care Act (ACA), also known as Obamacare. The bill would allow states to seek permission from the federal government to develop their own list of essential health benefits (EHBs)—basic health benefits that must be provided by all marketplace health insurance plans—rather than adhering to the list of 10 EHBs specified in Obamacare. States could also allow insurers to charge higher premiums to persons with pre-existing health conditions, provided that insurers make a high-risk pool available to those patients.
The bill was opposed by nearly every medical professional organization, advocacy groups, and public health organizations The Federal AIDS Policy Project said that the bill would “once again make healthcare coverage unaffordable and inadequate for most people with HIV.” AIDS United described the bill’s protections for people living with pre-existing conditions as “wafer thin” since “the amendment allows states to apply for a waiver that would make it easier for insurance companies to raise rates on people living with HIV, people with other chronic conditions, and older adults.” The American Public Health Association descxribed the bill as “bad policy” that would “gut health protections for Americans.” And the American Medical Association expressed concerns that the bill “would result in millions of Americans losing their current health insurance coverage.”
New Fact Sheets and Other Resources from CDC, AIDSInfo, and HCV Advocate
In time for National Youth HIV.AIDS Awareness Day (April 10) and National Transgender HIV Testing Day (April 18), CDC posted updated versions of two fact sheets — HIV Among Transgender People and HIV Among Youth — as well as the slide set Pediatric HIV Surveillance (through 2015). CDC also updated the fact sheet HIV in the United States by Geographic Distribution, which provides state and regional (Northeast, Midwest, South, and West) breakdowns of HIV diagnoses, lifetime infection risk, and the numbers of people living with HIV or AIDS.
Materials for National Asian and Pacific Islander HIV/AIDS Awareness Day (May 19)
The 13th annual National Asian and Pacific Islander HIV/AIDS Awareness Day will be held on Friday, May 19. The theme for the day is “Saving face can’t make you safe. Talk about HIV for me, for you, for everyone.” The lead agency for this Awareness Day is The Banyan Tree Project—a national campaign to end the silence and shame surrounding HIV/AIDS in Asian and Pacific Islander communities. To help commemorate the day, we've compiled an annotated list of online resources focusing on HIV/AIDS among Asians and Pacific Islanders.
National Asian and Pacific Islander HIV/AIDS Awareness Day. web page with links to information and resources about HIV/AIDS in this community. HIV/AIDS and Native Hawaiians/Other Pacific Islanders and HIV/AIDS and Asian Americans. Web pages from the Office of Minority Health with detailed statistical information about HIV testing, HIV and AIDS cases, and death rates among Native Hawaiians and other Pacific Islanders and Asian Americans. HIV Infections Among Asians. CDC fact sheet with recent HIV/AIDS statistics, plus information on risk factors and barriers to prevention among Asians living in the U.S. and dependent areas, and steps CDC is taking to address HIV/AIDS in this population group. HIV Among Native Hawaiians and Other Pacific Islanders in the United States. CDC fact sheet covering the same range of topics in the two fact sheets directly above, except that the focus is on Native Hawaiians and other Pacific Islanders.
Materials for HIV Long-Term Survivors Day (June 5)
HIV Long-Term Survivors Day (HLTSD) is commemorated on June 5—the anniversary of the day in 1981 when the CDC reported the first cases among gay men of a mysterious illness that would later become known as AIDS. According to its website, HLTSD celebrates “those who have defied the odds by living with HIV for decades. June 5 is about coming together and realizing that we are not alone.” In 2017, nearly 60% or all people living with HIV in the U.S. are over 50 years old, and by 2020, this proportion is projected to increase to 70%. The theme of HLTSD 2017 is ‘HIV-resilient’: “Our focus is on ensuring that HIV long-term survivors are front and center in the current HIV dialogue.” To help commemorate the day, we've compiled an annotated list of online resources focusing on HIV long-term survivors.
HIV Long-Term Survivors Day website: This site includes background information about HLTSD, long-term survivors, and events to mark the day. LetsKickASS – AIDS Survivor Syndrome: This is a grassroots organization that is responsible for HLTSD and that is “devoted to improving the lives of survivors by empowering, engaging, unifying, and elevating survivors to reclaim our lives, end isolation, and envisioning a future we never dreamed we’d live.” Pre-HAART Long-Term Survivors Forum: This question-and-answer forum is for persons who have been living with HIV since before 1996. That’s the year when highly active antiretroviral therapy (HAART) —he first very effective treatments to suppress and control HIV—first became available. Strategies to Improve the Health of Older Adults Living with HIV (National Center for Innovation in HIV Care).

Eric Brus writes about HIV policy. His HIV/AIDS Disparities Report is produced by the New England AIDS Education and Training Center Minority AIDS Initiative Project. The full version is available online.

March 22, 2017

Apple Releases the iPhone7and 7+ RED to Help Benefit HIV Fight

Apple announced the latest addition to its iPhone family Tuesday: a bright, cherry red iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus. The new iPhone is part of Apple’s partnership with (RED), an initiative that mobilizes brands to support the nonprofit Global Fund’s efforts to rid the world of HIV and AIDS.
The Global Fund specifically works in sub-Saharan Africa, where more than 70 percent of the world’s HIV-positive live, according to the Gates Foundation. The organization provides testing, counseling, treatment and prevention, with a special focus on preventing the transmission of HIV from mothers to their unborn babies. 
The red iPhone 7 and 7 Plus will be available in stores and online starting Friday, March 24. 

Apple did not disclose what portion of profits would go to the Global Fund. (RED) partners with brands that contribute up to 50 percent of their product profits to the Global Fund, the company says. 
Apple is the largest corporate donor to the Global Fund, generating $130 million for its efforts to date, according to (RED) CEO Deborah Dugan. Apple also sells (RED) editions of iPods, Beats headphones and other products.
The fight against HIV/AIDS is at a particularly important moment now in Sub-Saharan African, with young people accounting for a growing percentage of the population. The Gates Foundation has warned that a rebound in the deadly epidemic “may be inevitable” as these young people reach the age where they are at the highest risk for HIV. Controlling the epidemic will require stronger treatment, stronger prevention, and stronger efforts to increase the number of people who know their status, according to the foundation. 
The new (RED) iPhones will be priced starting at $749 for the iPhone 7 and $869 for the iPhone 7 Plus — the same as other colors with comparable storage. Their features are the same as other members of the iPhone 7 family. 


Apple rolled out its iPhone 7 and 7 Plus last September, featuring water resistant cases that also did away with the traditional headphone jack. The 7 Plus is known as the photographer’s iPhone, with two camera lenses with the capacity to zoom without losing resolution, mimicking a telephoto lens. 
Apple also announced its newest iPad Tuesday: a 9.7-inch model priced at $329 — $70 less than before. The overall market for tablets has been steadily declining after several years of rapid growth.

Posted originally on

May 26, 2016

Sanders Voted to Gut HIV Funding Instead Went with HRA Gun Bill

Image result for sanders and nra                                                                          

This posting came from Twitter and the particulars have been checked as far as information is been available to this blog from 1996 of who voted for or against this particular bill. The writer of the below post is included in the post. Since this blog is publishing this post and this intro. the name comes second and the story first.   I believe the owner of the article was doing research not on HIV funding but on gun legislation and Mr. Sanders since I believe this author’s writings indicate he is against the present state of gun control (which is too strict in NY but zero in other states). The article was edited for the authors’ other tweeter info and a reference about the President at the time signing the bill into law which was not clear since the amendment failed, so I imagine he referred to the bill with the NRA amendment. That sounded confusing and I saw of no value. In 1996 President Clinton was the seating President. The author addresses regrets for the bill eventually passing but he did not elaborate that if the bill did not passed the way the NRA and Sanders wanted it there would have been no funding or delay funding for HIV which always been on the back track of research compare to Ebola (A cure in record speed because it was attacked as soon as it hit the US), etc., etc. and on those times there was no funding secured for HIV like other diseases and only through deals with the GOP  which was  against HIV funding, gays and money given for most health causes, any legislation but particularly HIV funding was a compromised and never a guarantee. 
Any questions, comments can be addressed to this blog or to the writer of the post.


You wouldn’t call him a Second Amendment zealot.

But, from the moment that he announced his candidacy in the 2016 presidential race, Democrat-for-now Bernie Sanders has been in the crosshairs for a number of votes that no doubt elicited backslaps, fist pumps and high fives at the headquarters of the National Rifle Association.

Sanders’s pro-gun reform critics typically highlight three of these — his votes:
against the Brady handgun bill; for allowing Amtrak passengers to check their guns onto trains; and
for giving immunity to gun dealers and manufacturers from lawsuits by victims of gun violence and their families.

What seems to have eluded most observers so far is Bernie Sanders’s vote for an NRA-backed House Appropriations Committee amendment that totally gutted a 1990s Centers for Disease Control research program that studied the causes and effects of all gun-related injuries and deaths — including those attributable to violence.

The amendment killed this new CDC program “in the crib” — and instituted a de facto ban on CDC gun research that continues to this day.
Indeed, in the wake of Charleston — 200 mass shootings ago — the House Appropriations Committee voted to extend the research ban by defeating an amendment that would have restored funding for the program.

In recent weeks, there have been renewed calls to restore funding, including from a coalition of nine medical associations and more than 2,000 physicians that held a press conference yesterday— just hours before San Bernardino — to call gun violence what it is: a public health crisis.
It all started in 1996, when NRA extremists went after the CDC program — demagogically branding the CDC’s publication of any scientific research results showing the negative impacts of gun access and ownership as propaganda for gun control.

Rep. Jay Dickey (R-AR), the NRA’s point person on the Appropriations Committee, pushed through an amendment cutting funding for the CDC by $2.6M — the exact amount that the previous year’s federal budget had appropriated for the CDC program on gun research.

Once the bill got to the floor of the full House, on 11 July 1996, Rep. Nita Lowey (D-NY) offered an amendment to reverse the Dickey amendment — and to restore full funding for the CDC program.
Lowey demanded and received a recorded vote on her amendment.

Bernie Sanders voted against the Lowey amendment — i.e., he voted for gutting the CDC program on gun research, as the NRA wanted. The amendment failed.
 Lowey amendment, see item #41 here.

John Lumea adds:

The roll call showing Sanders’ No vote is here.
Bernie Sanders needs to explain this vote — now.
Worth noting: Voted out of Congress in 2001, Jay Dickey now says that he regrets his role and says that Congress should repeal the law he pushed for the NRA. No such regrets from Sanders.

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