What We’re Reading: Option B+, Drug Treatment Regimens, and an AIDS-Free Generation

Dance Marathon leaders from across the country gathered last week at EGPAF for a retreat, where they learned more about our fight against pediatric AIDS.


This week, we’re learning all about the World Health Organization (WHO)’s new guidelines for preventing and treating HIV, released this week at the International AIDS Society Conference in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.  Read the Los Angeles Times’ take on the science behind the new guidelines, and what New York Times journalists think the guidelines might mean for the donor landscape. We’re also reading a new Story of Hope from Lesotho about a wife and mother who took charge of her health.

EGPAF – “Frequently Asked Questions: The New World Health Organization’s HIV/AIDS Treatment Guidelines”  EGPAF’s Senior Director of Global Technical Policy and Partnerships Dr. Christian Pitter  offers highlights from the new WHO guidelines in this FAQ. Dr. Pitter breaks down the differences between Options A, B, and B+, and discusses how the new guidelines will affect prevention of mother-to-child transmission (PMTCT) efforts and the treatment of pediatric HIV.    

Los Angeles TimesStart HIV Drug Therapy earlier, says World Health Organization   Los Angeles Times science reporter Brad Balukjian delves into the medical rationale behind the WHO’s new guidelines in this piece for the Times’ “Science Now” blog.  Balukjian writes that lowering the threshold for intervention will mean nearly three quarters of the people infected with HIV will now have access to care and treatment. Sustained ARV intervention over a lifetime will lower the amount of infection present and reduce the risk of transmission.

New York Times – “W.H.O Issues Guidelines for Earlier H.I.V. Treatment” – This piece highlights the new treatment guidelines’ effects on the donor landscape. The Times writes that the new guidelines are foremost a “compromise between how much the world could do to suppress the epidemic if money were no object, and how much donor countries are willing to pay for.” The article goes on to summarize reactions throughout the health nongovernmental organization (NGO) community to the guidelines.

CNN – “Opinion: An AIDS-Free Generation is within sight”  In this CNN Op/Ed,  U.S. Global AIDS Coordinator Ambassador Eric Goosby  reflects on his 30-year career as an infectious disease specialist, dealing with HIV/AIDS at its peak in the 1980s, and charting the progress that’s been made toward the elimination of the disease throughout the developing world. “Today, as President Obama makes this historic trip to Africa, we are at a point where an AIDS-free generation is within sight,” Goosby says. 

EGPAF – “Putting disclosure at the forefront in HIV/AIDS: ‘The power of a loving husband’ ”   This month’s Story of Hope is from Lesotho, and tells how one loving husband encouraged his HIV-positive wife to re-initiate ART for her own health and the health of their children. After hiding their HIV status from her doctors and friends, M’e Mapelaelo and her husband Ntate were devastated to learn that their daughter, Motselisi, was HIV positive. But after receiving care and treatment for pediatric HIV at a local hospital, Motselisi’s health began to improve and her family decided to become proactive about their HIV status. Read to learn the steps M’e Mapelaelo and her husband Ntate took to ensure that their second child was born HIV-free.    

Keep a Child Alive – “EGPAF Ambassador Cristina Pena Blogs from Africa” – This week, EGPAF Foundation Ambassador Cristina Pena joined Keep a Child Alive at a UNAIDS meeting focused on children living with HIV in Malawi.  Cristina has been blogging about her experience in Malawi for Keep a Child Alive. We’re so proud of Cristina and her continued advocacy on behalf of children living with HIV. Follow the link to read Cristina’s blogs from her time in Malawi.

Chelsea Bailey is Communications Assistant for the Foundation, based in Washington, D.C.