Monday, 25 February 2013

MALARIA & TUBERCULOSIS: focus on hot zones urged by GFATM

:William Brieger

Date:Mon, Feb 25, 2013 7:47 am
we can contain the epidemics and have the next generation be free of HIV, tuberculosis, and malaria," Dybul

interesting point but are we containing malaria or working toward elimination? are all 3 diseases warranting the same approach and at which stage in the movement from control to pre-elimination of malaria should one focus on hot zones ...
The world has an "historic opportunity" to contain and end three of humanity's deadliest scourges by focusing on their "hot zones," according to Mark Dybul, the newly appointed director of the Geneva-based Global Fund to Fight HIV, Tuberculosis, and Malaria.
"We have this unique moment in history where the science and implementation advances of the last 10 years are at a point where, if we just invest a little more and stick with it, we can contain the epidemics and have the next generation be free of HIV, tuberculosis, and malaria," Dybul told me. 
Dybul said that a better understanding of the epidemiology of the diseases makes it clear there aren't what have been called "generalized" epidemics, even in hard-hit countries, but there are what he called "micro-epidemics."
For example, although South Africa has more people living with HIV that any other country in the world -- the United Nations Joint Programme on AIDS (UNAIDS) estimated 5.6 million in 2011 -- more than half of them live in KwaZulu-Natal and Gauteng provinces.
"If we can concentrate in these geographies," said Dybul, "we can interrupt new transmissions, getting new transmissions down to very low levels. And we can do it in a rapid time frame, effectively containing the epidemic."
Dybul said today there is "a remarkable series of confluences." Besides a better scientific understanding of the diseases, new tools offer the opportunities to make a tremendous impact. These include the understanding that antiretroviral therapy (ART) for HIV is highly effective at lowering viral load in infected individuals, making them far less likely to transmit the virus; pre-exposure prophylaxis -- the use of ART to prevent infection in individuals who engage in high-risk sexual behavior; and male circumcision.
Since its formation in 2002, the Global Fund has been the world's main multilateral funder of global health, channeling about $3 billion annually from its government and other partner organizations to countries most in need. The U.S. government provides approximately one-third of its funding. It provides 82 percent of all international financing for TB, 50 percent for malaria, and 20 percent of international financing for HIV/AIDS.........

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