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Crimea annexation to signal harm reduction crisis

25 March, 2014

Fears are growing over the future health and wellbeing of up to 14,000 drug users in the Crimea region following its annexation from Russia. The head of the Russian Federal Drug Control Agency, Viktor Ivanov, stated that the closing down of opioid substitution therapy (OST) clinics in the region was an immediate priority for the agency.

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Likely HIV transmission from female-to-female sex reported

19 March, 2014

A possible case of HIV transmission as a result of sex between women has been reported in the United States. The US Centre for Disease Control (CDC) stated that a woman had tested positive for HIV, and had most likely been transmitted the virus from her ex-partner through female-to-female sex. The HIV in the newly infected woman is identical to that of her ex-partner, and no other risky behaviours relating to HIV transmission have been reported.

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57th UN Commission on Narcotic Drugs commences in Vienna

14 March, 2014

The 57th UN Commission on Narcotic Drugs (CND) commenced yesterday in Vienna, an annual meeting convened to discuss international drug policy and attended by UN member states, civil society, policy makers and other key stakeholders. This year’s CND includes a high-level segment to discuss progress made, and review the 2009 Political Declaration and Plan of Action on the world drug problem.

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Laos HIV response under scrutiny

12 March, 2014

Low government engagement in Laos has resulted in HIV being poorly integrated into the public health system and 93 percent of the national AIDS budget coming from foreign donors. Awareness and knowledge of HIV among the general population is low and it is common for people to come forward for treatment when they have already fallen ill.

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Africa: Studies reveal impact of large-scale ART programmes on viral suppression

7 March, 2014

Studies in Malawi and South Africa provide crucial on-the ground evidence of the impact of large-scale ART programmes on reducing new HIV infections among the community. The studies demonstrate that high levels of viral suppression, meaning that HIV is considered ‘undetectable’, are possible in low-resource settings through effective roll-out of ART targeting areas with a high HIV burden.

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ART reduces HIV transmission risk in anal sex to 4%

5 March, 2014

Initial results from the PARTNER study, released at the Conference on Retroviruses and Opportunistic Infections (CROI) this week, reported no sexual transmission of HIV in couples where one partner was HIV-negative, and the other HIV-positive, on treatment, and with a suppressed viral load.

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Faith leaders set out roadmap to increase treatment access

28 February, 2014

A consultation meeting, initiated by UNAIDS and Caritas Internationalis, took place this week in Rome to develop a roadmap to increase the faith-based community’s contribution to scaling up access to antiretroviral (ARV) treatment.

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Treatment as prevention in Canada proving successful

26 February, 2014

Expansion of highly active antiretroviral therapy (HAART) from 1996-2012 was directly related to a decline in new HIV infections and HIV- and AIDS-related mortality in Canada. The study, published in PLOS One, gives further evidence to support treatment as prevention (TasP) as a public health strategy that can be applied in both low resource and high resource settings.

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