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Category Archives: HIV/AIDS

The U.S. Congress and Global Health: A Primer

Kaiser Family Foundation – “The U.S. Congress, the legislative body of the U.S. government (USG), plays an important role in determining and shaping the government’s global health policy and programs. Although only one of many USG entities involved in global health, its engagement has been particularly notable over the last 15 years, which have been marked by unprecedented bipartisan support for U.S. global health efforts and resulted in the authorization of the U.S. President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR), the U.S. government’s coordinated response to global HIV and the largest program focused on a single global health issue in the world, as well as the appropriation of significantly increased funding. Indeed, Congress fulfills a key role in U.S. global health policy by setting the broad parameters and priorities of U.S. global health programs, determining their funding levels, and overseeing the implementation and effectiveness of supported efforts. Its activities in this area are complemented and influenced to varying degrees by those of numerous stakeholder groups and individuals that, while not examined in this primer, are key actors in the policymaking process. Such stakeholders include: advocates, the private sector, think tanks, academic institutions, religious communities and organizations, people directly affected by global health issues (such as people living with HIV), and others. To help shed light on Congress’ role in global health, this primer provides an overview of its engagement in this area, aiming to provide a basic framework with which congressional efforts may be understood. First, it examines the structure of Congress and its role and key activities in global health, which range from authorizing the creation of and providing funding for U.S. global health programs to engaging in program oversight and confirming presidential appointees to lead these efforts. It then illustrates these by examining selected legislative activities for two global health examples: the creation and evolution of PEPFAR and the 2014/2015 Ebola outbreak in West Africa. Finally, it discusses opportunities and challenges related to congressional engagement in global health going forward.”

WONDER online databases utilize a rich ad-hoc query system for the analysis of public health data

CDC WONDER: Information and Communication – “Welcome to CDC WONDER — Wide-ranging Online Data for Epidemiologic Research — an easy-to-use, menu-driven system that makes the information resources of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) available to public health professionals and the public at large. It provides access to a wide array of publicContinue Reading

The Global HIV/AIDS Epidemic

Kaiser Family Foundation – “HIV, the virus that causes AIDS, “acquired immunodeficiency syndrome has become one of the world’s most serious health and development challenges. The first cases were reported in 1981 and today. There are approximately 36.9 million people currently living with HIV and tens of millions of people have died of AIDS-related causesContinue Reading

CDC – Daily Pill Can Prevent HIV

CDC Vital Signs, November 24, 2015 – “Preexposure prophylaxis (PrEP) is a medicine taken daily that can be used to prevent getting HIV. PrEP is for people without HIV who are at very high risk for getting it from sex or injection drug use. People at high risk who should be offered PrEP include aboutContinue Reading

Drug Offenders in Federal Prisons: Estimates of Characteristics Based on Linked Data

“More than half (54 percent) of drug offenders in federal custody at yearend 2012 were serving sentences for powder or crack cocaine, the Bureau of Justice Statistics (BJS) reported in a study released today. Methamphetamine offenders (24 percent) accounted for the next largest share of drug offenders, followed by marijuana (12 percent) and heroin (6Continue Reading

Swedish crime writer best known for his Kurt Wallander books, dedicated political activist

The Guardian – Henning Mankell obituary “Henning Mankell, who has died aged 67, after being diagnosed with cancer last year, established almost single-handedly the global picture of Sweden as a crime writer’s ideal dystopia. He took the existing Swedish tradition of crime writing as a form of leftwing social criticism and gave it international recognition,Continue Reading

HIV/AIDS Database Update

“The U.S. Census Bureau’s HIV/AIDS database has been updated to include new data for more than 120 nations. It is a compilation of data from 219 countries and areas on the prevalence of HIV infection and AIDS cases and deaths. Major updates include new data for China, Nigeria, India, South Africa, and Namibia. The database focuses on HIV/AIDSContinue Reading

UNAIDS announces goal of 15 million people on life-saving HIV treatment by 2015 has been met

UNAIDS: “The AIDS targets of MDG 6—halting and reversing the spread of HIV—have been achieved and exceeded, according to a new report released today by the Joint United Nations Programme on HIV/AIDS (UNAIDS). New HIV infections have fallen by 35% and AIDS-related deaths by 41%. The global response to HIV has averted 30 million newContinue Reading

Take the Test: Protect Yourself and Others

“According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), an estimated 1.2 million people in the United States are living with HIV, and nearly 1 in 8 doesn’t know it.  It is important to get tested and know if you are in this group, only then can you take the next steps to protect your health and others. Find a freeContinue Reading

New GAO Reports – BLM, Federal Workforce, Information Technology, Persons with HIV

Bureau of Land Management: More Information Needed to Implement the Helium Stewardship Act of 2013, GAO-15-394: Published: Apr 16, 2015. Publicly Released: Apr 16, 2015. Federal Workforce: Preliminary Observations on Strengthening Employee Engagement During Challenging Times, GAO-15-529T: Published: Apr 16, 2015. Publicly Released: Apr 16, 2015. Information Technology: Additional OMB and Agency Actions Needed toContinue Reading

U.S. Federal Funding for HIV/AIDS: The President’s FY 2016 Budget Request

Kaiser Fact Sheet: “President Obama’s Fiscal Year (FY) 2016 federal budget request, released on February 2, 2015, includes an estimated $31.7 billion for combined domestic and global HIV efforts. Domestic HIV is funded at $25.3 billion and global at $6.3 billion in the request.  The FY 2016 request represents a 3.1% increase ($956 million) overContinue Reading

Reporters Without Borders World Press Freedom Index 2015

“The Reporters Without Borders World Press Freedom Index ranks the performance of 180 countries according to a range of criteria that include media pluralism and independence, respect for the safety and freedom of journalists, and the legislative, institutional and infrastructural environment in which the media operate. Top of the list, as so often, are threeContinue Reading