#HIV Round-up: webinars, @AMJPublicHealth articles, and a special issue of @HHRJournal

Monday, December 11, 2017

World AIDS Day is December 1 - which means, first and foremost and most importantly, that we are still fighting HIV and that the work is not done. The silver lining (for epi nerds like me) is that December produces a steady stream of great research and learning material on the full cascade (har) of HIV-related issues in all parts of the world. Below is a sampling of some of the content that caught my eye last week.

Webinars
  • Biomedical Advances in HIV Prevention: PrEP, PEP, Microbicides and U=U,” collaboratively hosted by Regional Resource Network Program (RRNP), the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, and the Office of the Assistant Secretary for Health, Region II. The provided description was minimal and basically rehashed the title, so I won't include it here, but I will note that "U=U" stands for "undetectable=untransmittable," shorthand for the finding that PLHIV who maintain viral suppression have effectively zero risk of transmitting the virus to their sexual partners. Run time: 1 hour, 33 minutes.
  • "What is the Future of HIV Funding?" by the Kaiser Family Foundation and Funders Concerned About AIDS. True to form (because they are fabulous), KFF has made the slides available in PDF format as well. Run time: 1 hour, 4 minutes.
    As we recognized World AIDS Day this year, the outlook for funding to address the global and domestic HIV/AIDS epidemics remained uncertain. What is the status of U.S. government funding for domestic and global HIV efforts? What about other donor governments and multilateral efforts? What role does private philanthropy play in fighting the epidemic? What is at stake looking ahead? On Friday, December 8, the Kaiser Family Foundation (KFF) and Funders Concerned About AIDS (FCAA) hosted a web briefing to look at the latest data on funding for HIV, trends over time, and what we might expect going forward. The briefing included time for audience Q&A.
  • "Increasing Virologic Suppression: Promising Practices from HIV Health Improvement Affinity Group States" by the National Academy for State Health Policy. (Bonus: NASHP has its own YouTube channel!) Run time: 1 hour, 22 minutes.
    Increasing rates of virologic suppression among people living with HIV is critically important to improving their quality of life and decreasing the risk of further HIV transmission. For the last 12 months, the HIV Health Improvement Affinity Group has worked with state health departments and Medicaid agencies from 19 states to develop and implement performance improvement projects aimed at improving rates of sustained virologic suppression among Medicaid beneficiaries living with HIV. This webinar will feature leaders from the Office of HIV/AIDS and Infectious Disease Policy in the US Department of Health & Human Services, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services, the Health Resources and Services Administration, and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. It will also feature Affinity Group states, Alaska and North Carolina, that will share lessons learned and best practices from their performance improvement projects.

Articles from the American Journal of Public Health:
While AJPH did not run a special December issue on HIV, it has put out a call for papers on "Monitoring Disparities in Prevention and Treatment of HIV, Viral Hepatitis, STDs, and TB" (submissions due January 31, 2018). The January 2018 issue featured several pieces that either directly addressed HIV or are relevant to HIV:

Special edition of Health and Human Rights Journal:
Harvard's HHR Journal does two editions per year, one in June and one in December. Fittingly, the December 2017 edition contained a special section on HIV and Human Rights, done in collaboration with UNAIDS. It features pieces by heavyweights such as Michel Sidibé (current UNAIDS executive director) and Peter Piot (first and former UNAIDS executive director)...and me, in my first publication as sole author! I got a kick out of seeing my paper criticizing South Korea's misrepresentation of itself as having no HIV-related travel restrictions alongside pieces by UNAIDS officials, who recognize South Korea as a restriction-free country despite mountains of evidence to the contrary. I suppose it is a moot point, as UNAIDS has mostly scrubbed its website clean of its initiative to eliminate HIV-related travel restrictions. The link to the issue on its human rights page goes nowhere. Ah, well.

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