WWR: Supporting Women, HIV in Kenya, and Where We Are in the Hunt for a Cure

By Chelsea Bailey | March 22, 2013

This week, we’re reading about how Kenyans are successfully reducing new cases of pediatric HIV one family at a time; why one HIV specialist is hesitant to use the phrase “functionally cured” when discussing this month’s most buzzed-about news with his patients; and how a simple tool for nonsurgical circumcision could be a “game-changer”  in preventing HIV infection.

EGPAF – "Women’s History Month: Join Me in Supporting Women and  Girls Affected by AIDS" – In honor of Women and  Girls HIV/AIDS Awareness Day, Miss Universe Olivia Culpo  tells EGPAF why  she’s made it her personal mission to speak out on behalf of women and girls affected by HIV/AIDS. The fight is far from over, and Culpo argues that people everywhere should take a stand to ensure that women and girls with HIV and AIDS are not reduced to a statistic.

The Atlantic – "HIV Cures: Where We Are, Realistically" – Last week’s news of a possible “functional cure” for HIV left many craving to understand the larger implications of this  medical miracle. In this article from The Atlantic, infectious diseases specialist Tim Lahey explains why he’s hesitant to use the word “cure,” and cautions that the global health community still has a long way to go before we can declare a definitive end to HIV and AIDS. 

EGPAF – "Kenyans Succeeding at Eliminating New HIV Infections in Children" – This week, EGPAF President and CEO Chip Lyons toured our program sites in Kenya. Chip describes how the battle to curb the AIDS epidemic in Kenya – a country with the fourth-largest number of people infected with HIV in the world – is being won family by family.   

The New York Times – "French Study Indicates Some Patients Can Control HIV After Stopping Treatment" – In this article, New York Times reporters Andrew Pollack and Donald McNeil break the news that 14 adult patients in a French study are reported to have been “functionally cured” of HIV. This news follows on the heels of Dr. Deborah Persaud’s announcement that a toddler in Mississippi also has been cured. Pollack and McNeil place the discovery into context, and try to determine what the research means for the global HIV/AIDS community at large.

EGPAF – "Even in Our Midst: Drawing Parallels between Rural Africa and Upstate New York" – This month, Dr. Stephen Lee, EGPAF’s Senior Director of Country Management and Support, spoke at the State University of New York (SUNY) Potsdam about the difficulties of delivering health services to rural communities. While in New York, Lee traveled to Planned Parenthood sites; here, he describes the challengespatients encounter when trying to access HIV/AIDS treatment in resource-limited areas. 

The New York Times Opinionator – "In One Simple Tool, Hope for HIV Prevention" -- Journalist Patrick Adams writes how Prepex – a new, nonsurgical tool for circumcision – could revolutionize the treatment of HIV and AIDS in Africa. Citing a recent clinical trial of Prepex in Rwanda, Adams argues that the success of circumcision in reducing HIV infections must be balanced with frank dialogue about the need to consistently use condoms to prevent the transmission of HIV.

Chelsea Bailey is a Communications Coordinator at the Foundation, based in Washington, D.C.