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Posts Tagged ‘IDSA’

The Stop TB Partnership has made the Infectious Diseases Society of America an organizational member of its TB/HIV working group, a reflection of IDSA’s increasingly visible work on these twin global health threats.

Housed within the World Health Organization, the Stop TB Partnership was formed more than a decade ago as a network of international organizations, donors, governmental and non-governmental groups—all committed to eliminating the deadly scourge of TB. The Partnership has seven working groups to focus energy and attention on specific challenges in fighting TB, including drug-resistant TB, new TB drugs, and DOTS expansion.

IDSA’s membership in the TB/HIV working group will provide a new mechanism to advocate for improvements in policies and programs designed to combat these two epidemics, which have formed a deadly synergy that threatens to unravel gains in treating HIV. Christine Lubinski, IDSA’s vice president for global health, will serve as IDSA’s representative on the TB/HIV working group.

In ratifying a proposal to accept IDSA, the Partnership took note of IDSA’s recent work on co-infection through its Center for Global Health Policy. In particular, the Partnership drew attention to the Global Center’s call for a Presidential Initiative on TB and for a comprehensive strategy to combat HIV/TB co-infection, as detailed in “Deadly Duo: The Synergy Between HIV/AIDS & Tuberculosis.”

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During a live interactive webcast today hosted by the Kaiser Family Foundation, an expert panel agreed that tuberculosis poses a grave global health threat and demands an innovative, multifaceted response—from new drugs to scaled-up treatment to better infection control.

The lively forum, available here, highlighted the need for an aggressive approach to the global tuberculosis epidemic just as the US government is putting the finishing touches on its five-year global tuberculosis strategy. But it’s far from clear the US will provide the leadership and resources needed.

Cheri Vincent, senior public health advisor in the Infectious Diseases Division, Bureau for Global Health, at USAID, said her agency is now mapping out its five-year TB strategy, working in conjunction with PEPFAR, the Department of Defense, and other agencies. One key objective, she said, is to halve TB prevalence by 2015 from 1990 levels. Another goal is to get at least 90,000 patients with multi-drug resistant TB on treatment, she said, noting that right now, very few MDR-TB patients are being treated in adherence with international guidelines.

“We also need to build on the health system platform and make sure we’re doing it in a cost effective and integrated approach,” Vincent said.

Christine Sizemore, Ph.D., chief of the Tuberculosis and other Mycobacterial Diseases Section in NIAID’s Division of Microbiology and Infectious Diseases, noted that in 1985, the research institute’s budget for TB was only $160,000 a year and the disease had fallen off the medical community’s agenda. It popped back up in the 1990s, when an outbreak of drug-resistant TB in the U.S. made scientists realize this was a continuing threat.

Now, she said, the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases has made a “fairly significant investment” in TB, spending about $140 million a year on TB related research. But, Sizemore said, “We need to start looking at the disease in a larger context.” She said discussions are underway to move toward what NIAID director Tony Fauci has called a “transformative” research agenda for TB. For more on Fauci’s vision, read this post.

Christine Lubinski, director of the IDSA/HIVMA Center for Global Health Policy, said while these steps are vital, the US government’s response still does not reflect the urgency of the epidemic. She noted that when Congress reauthorized the global AIDS initiative, known as PEPFAR, in 2008, lawmakers authorized $4 billion over five years for TB control, but decision-makers are not on track to fulfill that funding commitment.

In the last budget proposal from the White House, “we did not see … even remotely a down payment on that,” Lubinski said. (more…)

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Editor’s Note: We will be blogging today about the House Appropriations subcommittee meeting, filing an update on funding levels for global health programs. So check back to see what happens!
Rep. Nita Lowey, center, held Neighborhood Office Hours to hear concerns of constituents. Dr. Germaine Jacquette, left, a member of IDSA and RESULTS from White Plains NY, and Inge Auerbacher, right, a TB advocate and Holocaust survivor, attended and shared concerns about global TB and HIV funding.

Rep. Nita Lowey, center, held Neighborhood Office Hours to hear concerns of constituents. Dr. Germaine Jacquette, left, a member of IDSA and RESULTS from White Plains NY, and Inge Auerbacher, right, a TB advocate and Holocaust survivor, attended and shared concerns about global TB and HIV funding.

At last week’s HIV/AIDS Implementers’ Meeting in Namibia, participants expressed deep concern about the commitment among donor nations to maintaining the momentum in the global fight against HIV/AIDS.

This week, attention will turn to the House of Representatives, where a key spending panel will divvy up the foreign aid spending pie—and the global health community will get the first real indication of how much Congress is willing to spend in FY 2010 on global AIDS as well as tuberculosis.

(more…)

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Well, we may not like President Obama’s budget too much. And we’re more than a little worried about his global health proposal. But at least Obama is putting good policy folks in place to combat infectious diseases, here and abroad.

Today, the president picked Dr. Thomas Frieden as director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, a fantastic move and one that bodes well for HIV and TB prevention and treatment. Here’s the press release the Center for Global Health Policy, along with IDSA and HIVMA, put out today after the news became official:

 Right-click here to download pictures. To help protect your privacy, Outlook prevented automatic download of this picture from the Internet. Right-click here to download pictures. To help protect your privacy, Outlook prevented automatic download of this picture from the Internet. Right-click here to download pictures. To help protect your privacy, Outlook prevented automatic download of this picture from the Internet.

Deirdre Shesgreen
Senior Communications Officer
Center for Global Health Policy
703-740-4954
dshesgreen@idsociety.org

Physicians and Scientists Hail Choice of Thomas Frieden to Head the CDC

May 15, 2009

The Infectious Diseases Society of America (IDSA), HIV Medicine Association (HIVMA), and the IDSA/HIVMA Center for Global Health Policy applaud President Barack Obama for his appointment of Thomas Frieden, MD, as director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. (CDC)

Dr. Frieden’s experience—as an epidemiologist, an administrator, a researcher and a clinician—make him an outstanding choice to lead the CDC at this critical moment in protecting America’s public health. Dr. Frieden will bring to the CDC unwavering dedication, immense talents, and a strong track record of battling deadly epidemics, such as tuberculosis, HIV/AIDS, and most recently the 2009 Influenza A: H1N1 virus that threatens to spark the next influenza pandemic.
 
“Thomas Frieden demonstrated extraordinary vision, leadership and organizational ability in containing the multidrug resistant TB epidemic in New York in the early 1990s,” said Richard Chaisson, MD, a member of the Global Center’s advisory committee and director of the Johns Hopkins Center for Tuberculosis Research. “He then took that expertise to India, where he transformed that nation’s TB program, creating a model for the world and saving hundreds of thousands of lives as a consequence.  His commitment to using scientific approaches to disease control will serve the nation well.  He is an outstanding choice to lead the CDC.”
 
Roy Gulick, MD, chief of the infectious diseases division at Weill Medical College of Cornell University and a member of HIVMA, said Dr. Frieden will be a forceful advocate for putting evidenced-based science into practice in the battle against HIV/AIDS. 
 
“As health commissioner of New York City, Tom Frieden increased community services for the infected community.  He emphasized prevention by promoting needle exchange and condom use.  He worked hard to promote routine HIV testing so that more New Yorkers would know their status.  He worked closely with HIV providers to monitor the HIV epidemic in New York and reached out to communities of color,” Dr. Gulick said. “With his training in infectious diseases and public health and his track record as New York City health commissioner, he is an outstanding choice for director of the CDC—he certainly will make a difference for those infected and affected by HIV in the U.S.”
 
“As an infectious disease physician and a New Yorker, I have been incredibly impressed with Dr. Freiden’s response to the recent Influenza A H1N1 outbreak and previous outbreaks of other diseases. Given the potential for an influenza pandemic, all of us should take comfort in having him at the helm at CDC,” said Anne Gershon, MD, president of IDSA and a pediatric infectious disease specialist at Columbia University College of Physicians in New York. “He will be a standout at CDC, but we will miss him in New York.”
 

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Millions of lives saved. More than 30 drugs approved. Many new infections prevented. Those are the key successes in the nearly 3-decade-old battle against HIV/AIDS, as laid out in a broad position paper by the HIV Medicine Association, the Infectious Diseases Society of America, and the American College of Physicians.

 

Christine Lubinski, IDSA’s vice president for global health, is among the authors of the piece, “HIV Policy—The Path Forward,” published today in Clinical Infectious Diseases.

 

The paper also spells out the myriad challenges that remain—a growing global AIDS epidemic, drug-resistant for long-term survivors of HIV, and unmet goals in prevention, among other problems.

 

The authors call for a broad array of policy steps, including federal and state support of routine HIV testing among key populations, support for evidenced-based interventions, and robust US leadership to respond the global pandemic.

 

Click here for the full article.

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