Allowing gay and bisexual men to donate blood would help alleviate chronic blood supply shortages in the U.S.
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In 1983, during the early days of the AIDS epidemic, the US Food and Drug Administration made the decision to ban gay men from donating blood. Now, 40 years later, it is dropping that rule.
In addition to evaluating new drug applications, the FDA also inspects drug manufacturing facilities.
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration/Flickr
As the government’s oldest consumer protection agency, the FDA has long butted up against drugmakers, activists and politicians. But undermining its work could be harmful to patient health and safety.
AIDS activists have used protests to demand access to treatment.
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The US PEPFAR initiative has brought HIV medication to millions of people globally. Behind this progress are the activists that pressured politicians and companies to put patients over patents.
Fear-based public health messaging can both motivate and alienate at-risk groups.
AP Photo/Gillian Allen
Prejudice and stigma can discourage the communities most affected by infectious diseases from seeking care. Inclusive public health messaging can prevent misinformation and guide the most vulnerable.
Provinces like British Columbia have reduced infection rates thanks to successful treatment and prevention measures.
Dec. 1 marks World AIDS Day. Canada has the tools and means to end the epidemic. The question remains, are we up to the task?
Experts across the board have identified inequality as a major challenge to efforts to end AIDS.
Some countries, like Kenya, Uganda, South Africa, Zambia, and Nigeria, have been more proactive than others, but it is still hard for many to get PrEP.
Blood plasma and products made from it are used to treat conditions ranging from blood clotting disorders to immunodeficiencies to Rh-negative pregnancies.
THE CANADIAN PRESS/AP-Arnulfo Franco
There has been a monumental policy shift in paying blood plasma donors in Canada.
Poor retention in health services is one of the most important reasons people interrupt HIV treatment.
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When antiretroviral therapy is working effectively, HIV cannot be transmitted. This allows people with HIV to live fuller lives without the fear of infecting others.
Broadly neutralizing antibodies are able to recognize multiple strains of HIV at once.
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Antiretroviral therapies for HIV, while extremely effective, need to be taken daily for life. Designing antibody treatments that need to be taken only once could improve compliance and reduce drug resistance.
The monkeypox pandemic has seen an increase in the use of the term “men who have sex with men.”
The term ‘MSM’ allows public health interventions to gloss over the social, political and cultural complexities of identity. But it’s not without its limitations.
PrEP is almost 100% effective in preventing HIV infection when taken as directed.
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Judge Reed O'Connor ruled in a case that coverage for HIV prevention medicine PrEP violated the religious freedom of the plaintiffs. It is unclear whether the order will extend nationwide.
Disinformation can derail public health measures vital to controlling the spread of infectious disease.
AP Photo/Jeff Chiu
The spread of misinformation in many pandemics, including the smallpox and 1918 influenza outbreaks, have undermined efforts to contain infections and prevent deaths.
Sindhi cattle near Amazon rainforest:
flexitarian diets could feed the growing world population without further encroaching onto wild habitat.
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Infectious diseases originating in wild animals are high and may be increasing. This is a sign that ecosystem degradation is undermining the planet’s capacity to sustain human wellbeing.
A health-care provider administers monkeypox vaccine at an outdoor walk-in clinic in Montréal, on July 23, 2022. It is crucial that people who have been exposed to monkeypox get vaccinated if they do not yet have symptoms, or isolate if they do have symptoms.
THE CANADIAN PRESS/Graham Hughes
To control monkeypox, there is a short window — weeks, not months — in which to vaccinate the most susceptible and to encourage and support self-isolation for those who have symptoms.
We need to learn the lessons from the HIV/AIDS epidemic and avoid stigmatising men who have sex with men.
Drug distribution for HIV positive patients, Lome, Togo.
robertharding / Alamy Stock Photo
Aids deaths should be falling faster, but treatable fungal disease is keeping the numbers high.
Archbishop Desmond Tutu.
Archbishop Desmond Tutu didn’t stop his fight for human rights once apartheid came to a formal end in 1994. He continued to speak critically against politicians who abused their power.
Cuts in donor funding stretch limited resources.
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HIV services must be comprehensive to ensure that people take their medication as prescribed and avoid onward transmission of the virus.
Even before the advent of COVID-19, donors had begun to exit HIV programmes with increasing frequency.
The FDA approved the first PrEP drug, Truvada, in 2012.
AP Photo/Jeff Chiu
World AIDS Day on Dec. 1 this year comes at a time when a key step to removing financial barriers to PrEP access in the U.S. faces legal challenges.