First, a quick update on needle exchange: The Senate Appropriations subcommittee on labor, health and education programs approved a spending bill this week that leaves in place the funding ban on needle exchange programs. This means a fight in conference over the fate of that provision, since the House approved language lifting the ban, albeit with lots of restrictions on where needle exchange programs can be located. As we’ve written here before, the ban technically only applies to domestic programs, but PEPFAR officials have extended it to international programs, so this has major implications for global HIV prevention efforts.
Now, for those who didn’t get enough HIV/AIDS science or policy news at the IAS conference in Cape Town (or those who didn’t get to go in the first place), Aidsmap.com has launched an online discussion forum to further delve into questions raised at the conference. Among the topics up for debate: the implications of calls for earlier initiation of antiretroviral treatment. Click here to check out the Aidsmap forums–and make sure to cross-post comments here, so the discussion can be wide-ranging.