New HIV strain reminds us that innovation is urgent and fundamental

CNN, Updated November 8, 2019

For the first time in 19 years, a team of scientists has detected a new strain of HIV.

The strain is a part of the Group M version of HIV-1, the same family of virus subtypes to blame for the global HIV pandemic. The findings were published Wednesday in the Journal of Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndromes.
HIV has several different subtypes or strains, and like other viruses, it has the ability to change and mutate over time. This is the first new Group M HIV strain identified since guidelines for classifying subtypes were established in 2000. It is important to know what strains of the virus are circulating to ensure that tests used to detect the disease are effective.

 

Understanding U=U for women living with HIV

ICASO, September 2018

Since its announcement, Undetectable equals Untransmittable (U=U) has
become a call to action to assert that when someone living with HIV has an
undetectable viral load they cannot transmit HIV. Additionally, the U=U message
is evolving to challenge notions of HIV infectivity, vulnerability and stigma.

The science behind the U=U message provides the evidence that we can reduce the anxiety related to the sexual transmission of the HIV virus with confidence.

To contribute to getting this message out, ICASO produced a Community Brief on U=U. This community brief explains why it is so important to understand what ‘U=U’ means for women. The brief documents the experiences and needs of individual women living with HIV from all over the world. Important questions still remain that need to be answered to make the U=U message relevant, understandable and more meaningful to women in their diversity.

  • Download the community brief in English here

People who use drugs require prioritisation not exclusion in efforts to eliminate Hepatitis C

6th International Symposium on Hepatitis Care in Substance Users,  6th Sept 2017

An international conference bringing together hepatitis C experts from around the world is today calling for strategies to prioritise people who use drugs, saying hepatitis C elimination is impossible without them.

“The number of people around the world dying from hepatitis C is increasing. We have the tools to reverse this trend, to eliminate this disease and save millions of lives. But it will not happen until people who use drugs become a focus of our efforts,” said Associate Professor Jason Grebely, President of the International Network of Hepatitis C in Substance Users (INHSU), the convenors of the conference.

 

Anchorage Statement: Indigenous Peoples and Viral Hepatitis

2nd World Indigenous Peoples Conference on Viral Hepatitis, August 2017

The Anchorage Statement is a statement on Indigenous Peoples and Viral Hepatitis, which was prepared by Indigenous peoples globally who attended the 2nd World Indigenous Peoples Conference on Viral Hepatitis held in Anchorage Alaska in August 2017.

The Anchorage Statement sets out the aspirations of Indigenous peoples globally in ensuring that they are not a population left behind in global efforts to eliminate viral hepatitis by the year 2030.  The statement is timely for Australia as the Commonwealth Government are embarking on the development of a new set of national strategies addressing viral hepatitis, HIV and STIs and the 5th National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander STI and BBV Strategy.  Those who have prepared the statement ask you consider the actions and principles embedded in the Anchorage Statement, and hope you or your organisation can contribute to the global efforts of elimination of viral hepatitis.

Feel free to post the Anchorage Statement to social media, websites and or discuss in staff meetings within your own organisation.

Public health and HIV viral load suppression

UNAIDS, 19 JULY 2017

Key messages:

1. There is growing scientific consensus that people living with HIV who are taking effective antiretroviral therapy and whose virus is suppressed to undetectable levels will not transmit HIV sexually.

2. Treatment is first and foremost about enabling the person living with HIV to regain and maintain good health. Globally, there needs to be better access to viral load assays at affordable prices, combined with effective laboratory systems and robust health services. Stronger efforts should be in place to ensure that all people living with HIV have access to treatment as soon as they are diagnosed.

3. The Positive Health, Dignity and Prevention10 framework of the Global Network of People Living with HIV (GNP+) and UNAIDS lays out important principles for involving people living with HIV and ensuring that everyone is responsible for prevention, irrespective of their HIV status. The framework calls for ending stigma, discrimination and unjust criminalisation that violate human rights and deter people living from HIV from accessing HIV prevention, treatment and care services.

4. The UNAIDS Fast-Track approach and the 2016 United Nations Political Declaration on Ending AIDS lay out recommendations that address the primary prevention and structural changes required to reach everyone affected and to provide accessible and affordable treatment for all people living with HIV.

5. Male and female condoms and other combination prevention strategies remain a key part of the HIV response as primary prevention tools. Stronger condom programming is essential to ensure sexual and reproductive health in general, not just HIV.

 

Early warning system exposes the rise of the gonorrhoea ‘super-superbug’

The Age, July19th 2017 – 8:32 AM

A critically drug-resistant strain of gonorrhoea dubbed a “super-superbug” has been detected in every Australian state and territory by a new national surveillance system.

The National Alert System for Critical Antimicrobial Resistance (CARAlert) identified 1,064 bacteria highly resistant to last-line antibiotics between 17 March 2016 and 31 March 2017 across 73 laboratories.