NEWS ON THE FIGHT FOR BETTER TREATMENT, A VACCINE, AND A CURE FOR AIDS
Tuberculosis Research & Development: A Critical Analysis
October 2006 - This report is the product of an effort by the Treatment Action Group (TAG) to ascertain the major funders of tuberculosis (TB) research and development (R&D) in 2005, what kinds of research activity they funded, and how much research activity is already taking place. This assessment will help policymakers, funders, researchers, and advocates understand the current state of research on TB, and it provides a baseline for understanding how much TB research funding will need to increase in order to bring TB under control over the next decade.
2006 Pipeline Report
New HIV Drugs, Vaccines, Microbicides, HCV and TB Therapies in Clinical Trials
August 2006 - Twenty-five years into the global HIV pandemic, 40 million people are living with the virus and some 25 million have died. According to UNAIDS, five million people were newly infected last year and 3.1 million died. By the end of 2005, according to the World Health Organization, about 1.3 million HIV-infected persons in developing countries were receiving antiretroviral therapy (ART)—a fourfold increase in just two years, with the most dramatic increase (800%) in sub-Saharan Africa. However, WHO recognizes that roughly 6.5 million people are in danger of dying from HIV/AIDS in the next two years, which means some 5 million in desperate need of ART are still unable to access it. A recent letter in The Lancet suggests that far more may currently need treatment; "Applying the WHO guidelines would then give…a total of 11.7 million who should be eligible." (England 2006)
TMC114/r (darunavir/r, Prezista): Who's Got the POWER?
May 25, 2006 -Darunavir (DRV) is a ritonavir(r)-boosted protease inhibitor that has been studied for use in heavily treatment-experienced patients. In the future, DRV/r will be evaluated for use in less-experienced, treatment-naïve and pediatric populations. The current New Drug Application, and this paper, deal only with Tibotec/Johnson & Johnson (J&J), the sponsor's, current application for accelerated approval for darunavir (formerly known as TMC-114, brand name Prezista®) among heavily treatment-experienced individuals, based on data from the POWER studies.
TAG Statement on the Life & Legacy of Dr. LEE Jong-Wook, Director, World Health Organization (WHO)
22 May 2006 - Mark Harrington, Executive Director of Treatment Action Group, a US based research and treatment activist organization, issued this statement today. People living with HIV/AIDS (PLWHA) around the world should take a moment and recognize the pivotal contributions to their lives made by Dr. LEE Jong-Wook, the Director General of the World Health Organization from 2003 until his death this morning. TAG expresses its solidarity with all those who are mourning the loss of this transformative leader in the world’s struggle against AIDS.
AIDS Activism, Boehringer Ingelheim, and the Broken Social Contract
6 April 2006 - This is a revised and expanded version of remarks I gave yesterday at the Boehringer Ingelheim symposium on HIV past and future. The two-day symposium is taking place at a business-style ‘hotel and resort’ called the Sheraton Golf Parco de’Medici some 20 minutes outside of Rome in a complex which includes conference facilities, a golf course, and sprawling mall-like commercial structures more typical of Las Vegas than of the Eternal City. The symposium includes an overview of the evolution of AIDS treatment with an emphasis on resistance to antiretroviral treatment and provides a venue for the introduction of Boehringer Ingelheim’s protease inhibitor, Aptivus® brand tipranavir.]
Statement on the Termination of the SMART Study
January 18, 2006 - The Treatment Action Group (TAG) today expressed disappointment that SMART -- a large, international study comparing CD4-guided, intermittent antiretroviral therapy to continuous treatment -- has had to be stopped due to a significantly higher incidence of clinical events in the intermittent treatment arm. TAG salutes the many researchers and participants involved in this large and important trial of HIV treatment strategies. However, TAG also wishes to stress that the conclusion being promulgated by the National Institutes for Allergy & Infectious Diseases (NIAID), "International HIV/AIDS Trial Finds Continuous Antiretroviral Therapy Superior to Episodic Therapy," could be over-interpreted. SMART has shown that, over the short term, continuous therapy is superior to the specific strategy of episodic therapy employed in the trial.
Civil Society Perspectives on TB/HIV
2006 - Over the past two decaides, the HIV epidemic has contributed to a global resurgence of tuberculosis (TB). HIV weakens the immune system, greatly reducing an individual’s ability to fi ght off serious coinfections such as TB, as well as many opportunistic infections. In some high HIV-burden African countries, up to 50 percent of HIV-positive people develop active TB, and TB is now among the most common causes of death by infectious disease among people living with HIV. It makes little sense from any perspective—public health, human rights, social or legal—to confront the two diseases separately. Yet there have been too few collaborative responses from HIV/AIDS and TB programs. In many countries, national TB and HIV/AIDS programs and policies are designed and implemented independently of each other. Lack of coordination greatly reduces access to comprehensive treatment and prevention services for people living with HIV and/or TB.