What role for antiretroviral microbicides in the future combat against HIV?

At the recent Conference on Retroviruses and Opportunistic Infections (CROI), meeting in Boston (27th February – 2nd March) researchers reported results from two trials involving the use of antiretroviral drugs, currently used in therapy, for the prevention of HIV transmission. These trials (MTN 001 & RMP-02/MTN-006) are just two among a whole programme of HIV-related […]

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Chlamydia Internet-based self-screening: ‘another tool in our tool-box’?

A recent paper gives details of an Internet-based self-screening programme for Chlamydia in Baltimore, Maryland, running since 2004.  The web site was advertised on the radio and in free community magazines, and kits made available at community locations, or sent on the Internet or in response to phone request.  Participants return a questionnaire with their […]

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Do intravaginal practices make African women susceptible to HIV?

February saw the publication of what is probably the largest study of the association in sub-Saharan Africa between intravaginal practices – e.g. cleaning with cloth, paper or soap – and HIV incidence. It is a meta-analysis pooling data of 15,000 women deriving from 13 prospective longitudinal cohort studies.  A preponderance of HIV affected sub-Saharans are […]

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The case for better Hepatitis C surveillance in HIV-infected men

Far more needs to be done to diagnose incident Hepatitis C (HCV) in HIV-infected men in the era highly active anti-retroviral therapy (HAART).  This is the message coming out of a recent US long-term study (http://cid.oxfordjournals.org/content/early/2011/01/29/cid.ciq201.full). Current US Public Health Service HIV guidelines endorse HCV testing only at initial HIV diagnosis – maybe because of […]

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Why did the HIV epidemic decline in Zimbabwe ?

Why did Zimbabwe experience a remarkable decline in HIV prevalence, from 29% to 16% of adult population between 1997 and 2007, with incidence decline strongly accelerated between about 1999 and 2003?  Why was this decline experienced in Zimbabwe and not in other countries?  Are there lessons to be learnt from Zimbabwe’s experience? Basing itself on […]

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Centres of sexual health misinformation ?

A recent judgment by a federal judge in Baltimore US marks the another move in the ongoing political struggle around Crisis Pregnancy Centres (CPCs), or Limited Service Pregnancy Centres (http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2011/jan/28/pregnancy-disclaimer-law-ruled-unconstitutional/). These volunteer run centres have established themselves with some social service agencies as an appropriate referral for women facing unintended pregnancy.  According to their detractors […]

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Sexual health this week…chlamydia, female circumcision, WHO and America’s future

Better access to reproductive health care in the US: a promise stillborn? A Step Forward. Obama’s health reform (PL111-148), while conceding nothing to the pro-choice lobby, offers genuine promise of better access to sexual health care. This is thanks to Barbara Mikuski’s provision requiring all new health insurance plans to cover preventive services for women […]

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STI news

The cost of Pelvic Inflammatory Disease: a case for the promotion of outpatient services? A US study on the financial implications of PID in adolescents draws attention to patients’ under-use of appropriate outpatient services and the enormous cost of cases requiring hospitalization. The adolescents in the study, from black, low-income backgrounds, were mostly first seen […]

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