The Presidents Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR) which was launched in 2003 as a 5-year, $15 billion program for HIV treatment, prevention and care, has been the most ambitious initiative to address the global HIV epidemic. Recently the effect of PEPFAR on HIV-related deaths, the number of people living with HIV, and HIV prevalence Read More
On World TB day, March 24th, the WHO released its new global tuberculosis (TB) report. The important role of HIV in TB infection is highlighted by the fact that as many as a quarter of TB deaths occur in patients with HIV infection, twice as many as previously recognized. The report indicates that there are Read More
Our second quarterly epidemiological update features a report on the 4th South African AIDS Conference and two perspectives from guest authors on the evidence on the role of Herpes infection, and on the benefits of male circumcision. These are both hotly debated and present substantial challenges in rethinking the provision of prevention measures. We had hoped to provide a report on an important international gathering related to the ‘test and treat’ proposals for HIV. However, this exciting event was postponed on short notice, due to the swine flu outbreak.
Herpes Simplex Virus type 2 (HSV-2) is associated with an increased risk of HIV acquisition and transmission. HIV, in turn, increases the risk of HSV-2 transmission. This article presents the results of two studies, analyzing the interactions of HIV and HSV-2 infections and their transmission probabilities by using data from a randomized controlled trial on male circumcision conducted in Orange farm, South Africa.
In 2003 a Cochrane review concluded that male circumcision was associated with prevention of HIV, but until recently not enough evidence existed to support it as an intervention. However, with the results of three randomized controlled trials becoming available, the meta-analysis described in this article could conclude that there is now conclusive evidence that male circumcision is an effective procedure for preventing HIV acquisition.
This article reports on the 4th South African AIDS Conference held recently in Durban, emphasising SACEMA’s involvement and contribution to the ongoing efforts to understand and break the cycle of new HIV infections.