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Tag Archives: Public Health

FROM KAMPALA TO CAPE TOWN A Journey on the HIV Vaccine Networks Highway


This presentation offers an overview of HIV vaccine research in Africa. It describes major networks, their location and ongoing studies as of October 2014. It also introduces issues with various regulatory frameworks that can affect the conduct of clinical research.

Health Activism – The case of HIV in the 21st century

This rich picture was created as a heuristic device for a seminar given to 2nd year medical students. The purpose was to sensitise future medical practitioners  to health issues seen from the perspective of the public and more specifically from those engaged in health activism.

The seminar focussed on the case of HIV activists though Health Activism is much broader. Finding a definition of health activism was not easy but I eventually found this very good one:

 

  • Health Activists are leaders who work daily to improve the way people talk and think about health.
  • Health Activists are passionate about raising awareness for health causes, dedicated to finding the best information about health conditions, and relentless in their commitment to help others.
  • They are also adept at using every tool possible to reach their communities, especially through social media.

 

 

 

Treatment for HIV Prevention – a Continuum of Care

Key stages of the Universal Test and Treat approach and linkage to care for HIV prevention.

HIV-negative individuals remain in the system and receive further counselling whilst HIV-positive are linked to care where they receive continuous attention and support to achieve viral suppression. Top: weaknesses and threats faced by the approach. Bottom: strengths and opportunities to address the challenges of delivering ART in a variety of contexts building on existing resources and “know-how” and developing new approaches to solve systemic problems.

Download as a PDF: TasP Continuum of Care 1

 

Treatment for Prevention stands at the epicentre of a number of services. It can only succeed by being part of a whole.

Download as a PDF: TasP Continuum of Care 2

 

 

Clinical Research and Communities – Conflicting Needs?

The conduct of clinical research often conflicts with community life even if it is done for the benefit of the public. This can be explained by differences in perception, understanding and respective knowledge of each other’s interests and needs. This slide was designed to support discussions around the issues raised by the need to conduct clinical research in communities which often struggle to undertsand the research and how they can impact on what is being done. It can also be used by communities who want to engage with researchers to facilitate the conduct of mutually beneficial clinical research.

African Migrant MSM

MSM Migrants Rich PictureThis picture was drawn as part of a project to explore the provision of HIV prevention services to African Men who have Sex with Men (MSM) migrants to the UK. The Health Protection Agency (HPA) estimates that 86,500 people are living with HIV in the UK in 2010. The disease disproportionately affects MSM who represents nearly half of those newly infected with a consistently higher proportion of black MSM. African migrants and MSM are an underserved group in terms of HIV prevention services.

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Migrants and Sex Work

This picture illustrates some aspects of a holistic approach to appreciate the situation of some migrants who enter the sex industry. It starts with people in search of better life opportunities than that available in their country. Immigration to more developed countries with a more appealing life style (advertised through globalisation and new communication technologies) represents an attractive option.

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HIV Prevention: towards the medicalisation of sex?

2010 will be a year to remember for the field of HIV prevention. After decades of interventions with limited results (with the exception of circumcision and the prevention of mother to child HIV transmission), two clinical studies are raising the hope that the HIV epidemic can be tamed.

In July, the CAPRISA team (based in South Africa) reported that a vaginal gel containing the anti HIV drug tenofovir could reduce the risk of HIV infection by 39%. This was the first proof of concept that a microbicide could potentially reduce the risk of HIV infection whilst offering women an HIV prevention tool that they could control.

In November of the same year, the iPrEx study conducted on a population at high-risk of infection showed that taking the anti HIV Drug Truvada reduced the risk of contracting the virus by an average of 44 percent.

Both studies are hailed as a milestone and landmark in the history of HIV prevention and expectations are high that HIV prevention will finally mean more than the ABC of ‘Abstinence, condom and faithfulness’. But despite the hope, neither approach will immediately translate into marketable products as there are a number of questions that needs answering before microbicide and PrEP are available to the public. Read more »

The road to HIV infection

Being infected with HIV is not just a question of having unsafe sex with someone who is HIV+. Such reductionist approach ignores the complex set of factors, circumstances and events that lead to unsafe sex to take place. This concept map tries to survey these factors starting from the remote to the more intimate. As always, this is a work in progress and comments and suggestions are welcome.

ARV for HIV prevention, an overview

Despite the interesting results of an HIV vaccine trial in Thailand (RV144), HIV prevention is still limited to a small number of options many of which are not bullet-proof. Biomedical interventions based on vaccines and microbicides are still a long shot away. Conversely, treatment is working well in bringing HIV-infected people back to a normal life and potentially reducing the risk of HIV transmission by reducing their viral load. The use of antiretroviral drugs as a means to prevent HIV infection is controversial and a lot of background work will be required before embarking on massive “Test and Treat” campaigns.

Microbicides for HIV Prevention

Microbicides for HIV preventionMicrobicides are compounds that can be applied inside the vagina or rectum to protect against sexually transmitted infections (STIs) including HIV. They can be formulated as gels, creams, films, or suppositories. Microbicides may or may not have spermicidal activity (contraceptive effect). At present, an effective microbicide is not available (WHO definition)