Access to Hepatitis C Testing and Treatment for People who Inject Drugs and People in Prisons — A Global Perspective. WHO. (2019)


WHO estimates that 71 million people worldwide were chronically infected with hepatitis C virus (HCV) in 2017. Globally, 23% of new HCV infections and one in three HCV deaths are attributable to injecting drug use (PWID). HCV is also a major concern for people detained in prisons and other closed settings – available data demonstrate that one in four detainees are HCV positive.

This policy brief highlights the current landscape of country hepatitis policies for harm reduction and HCV testing and treatment in PWID and people in prisons. It aims to capture how governments are translating the WHO Global health sector strategy on viral hepatitis, 2016-2021 into national plans, and provides a summary of the enablers and barriers to HCV testing and treatment in these populations.

Keywords: PWID, prisoner,  hepatitis, treatment, harm reduction

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WHO Preferred Product Characteristics for Herpes Simplex Virus Vaccines. WHO. (2019)


WHO preferred product characteristics (PPCs) provide strategic guidance as to WHO’s preferences for new vaccines in priority disease areas. PPCs are intended to encourage innovation and development of vaccines for use in settings most relevant to the global unmet public health need. Development of one or more herpes simplex virus (HSV) vaccines is an important objective for sexual and reproductive health worldwide. HSV vaccine PPCs describe global public health goals for HSV vaccines and preferred parameters pertaining to vaccine indications and target populations, safety and efficacy considerations, research and development, and immunization strategies.


Keywords: HIV, HSV, diagnosis, vaccine, public health


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Integrating Tobacco Control into Tuberculosis and HIV Responses. WHO FCTC and UNDP. (2018)


The Global Fund to Fight AIDS, TB and Malaria has opened up the opportunity to incorporate tobacco control into TB and HIV grants. In line with the 2030 Agenda, the UNDP Strategic Plan 2018-2021, and UNDP’s HIV, Health and Development Strategy 2016-21: Connecting the Dots, UNDP and the Secretariat of the WHO Framework Convention on Tobacco Control (WHO FCTC) have produced this Issue Brief to inform Global Fund applicants on integrating tobacco cessation into Global Fund HIV and TB grants. The Issue Brief outlines how tobacco consumption worsens TB and HIV outcomes and how the integration of tobacco control could increase health benefits and efficiencies. Key approaches and practical options for such integration are outlined, based on a review of research and case studies.


Keywords: TB, HIV, SDGs, response, tobacco


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Progress Report on HIV, Viral Hepatitis and Sexually Transmitted Infections 2019. WHO. (2019)


WHO is accountable for reporting back to the World Health Assembly on progress in implementing the Global health sector strategies on HIV, viral hepatitis and sexually transmitted infections based on data received from countries. This report assesses the mid-term progress in 2019 in implementing these global health sector strategies from 2016 to 2021.

The timeliness and availability of the data across the three diseases is limited, being for 2016 or 2017 in most cases. Key data, including 2018 impact data on incidence and mortality, were not available for this report, making it difficult to assess and validate overall trends since the launch of the strategies in 2016.


Keywords: HIV, UHC, STI, hepatitis, diagnosis, treatment, financing


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Cannabis and Sustainable Development. Knowmad Institut, FAAAT, Riboulet-Zemouli K, Anderfuhren-Biget S, et al. (2019)


Due to its characteristics, widespread cultivation and use, and diversity of its applications the Cannabis sativa L. plant directly pertains to at least 62 of the 169 targets found in 15 out of the 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). Surprisingly, this plant affects the SDGs both positively and negatively.


This report explains how the “hemp-issues” of Cannabis sativa L. (non psychoactivity-related uses) can contribute to meeting  Goals 1, 2, 7, 9, 11, 12, 13 and 15, but also why reforming the current repressive, prohibitive, and marginalizing policies relating to “marijuana-issues” (psychoactivity-related uses of Cannabis sativa L.) is indispensable to meet Goals 3, 4, 5, 8, 10, 13, 16 and 17.

Keywords: SDGs, drug, law, development, cannabis


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No Time to Wait: Securing the Future from Drug-resistant Infections. Inter-Agency Coordination Group (IACG) on Antimicrobial Resistance. (2019)


The 2016 Political Declaration of the High-level Meeting of the United Nations General Assembly on Antimicrobial Resistance represented a landmark in the world’s commitment to tackling antimicrobial resistance, calling for greater urgency and action in response to its many challenges. In the political declaration, Member States requested the Secretary-General, in consultation with the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO), the World Organisation for Animal Health (OIE) and the World Health Organization (WHO) to convene an ad hoc interagency coordination group (IACG) co-chaired by the Executive Office of the Secretary-General and the Director-General of WHO to provide practical guidance for approaches needed to ensure sustained, effective global action to address antimicrobial resistance. It also requested the Secretary-General to submit a report for consideration by Member States by the seventy-third session of the General Assembly in 2019 on the implementation of the political declaration and on further developments and recommendations emanating from the IACG, including on options to improve coordination, considering the 2015 Global Action Plan on Antimicrobial Resistance.

This report presents the IACG’s response to the request from Member States in the 2016 political declaration and makes recommendations for urgent action for consideration by the Secretary-General, Member States and other stakeholders in the global response to antimicrobial resistance.


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IACG Discussion Papers

1. Antimicrobial Resistance: Invest in Innovation and Research, and Boost R&D and Access


2. Antimicrobial Resistance: National Action Plans


3. Surveillance and Monitoring for Antimicrobial Use and Resistance


4. Future Global Governance for Antimicrobial Resistance


5. Optimize Use of Antimicrobials


6. Meeting the Challenge of Antimicrobial Resistance: From Communication to Collective Action

Updated List of DOH-Designated HIV Treatment Hubs and Primary HIV Care Facilities. Department of Health, Philippines. (2018)


The DOH Administrative Order No. 2017-0019 or the Policies and Guidelines in the Conduct of Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV) Testing Services (HTS) in Health Facilities defines HIV Treatment hubs as a hospital with an organized HIV and AIDS Core Team (HACT) that facilitates in-patient and out-patient prevention, treatment, care and support services to PLHIV including but not limited to antiretroviral therapy, HIV testing services, clinical management, patient monitoring, and other care and support services.



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Ending an Epidemic: Prioritizing People who Inject Drugs in HCV Elimination Efforts. International AIDS Society (IAS). (2018)


Nearly a quarter of the world’s new HCV infections occur among people who inject drugs (PWID): lack of access to sterile needles, syringes and other injection equipment renders them highly vulnerable to HCV. Legal and structural barriers also greatly increase HCV risk among PWID. Worldwide, more than 50% of the 15.6 million PWID are HCV antibody positive. Without urgent, strategic and measurable action that includes PWID, HCV will continue to inflict a staggering, and increasing, burden of preventable illness and death among families, communities and countries. 

Keywords: PWID, HCV, HIV,  treatment, harm reduction


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An Informal Consultation on Validation of Elimination of Mother-to-Child Transmission of HIV, Hepatitis B and Syphilis. WHO Office of the Representative to Malaysia, Brunei Darussalam and Singapore. (2018)


The consultation was convened in Malaysia (Putrajaya, 27 to 28 February 2018) by the Malaysian Ministry of Health and WHO to discuss potential approaches for validation of mother-to-child transmission of hepatitis B inviting national and international experts.



Keywords: HIV infections, child, maternal health, hepatitis B, syphilis



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Sex Workers’ Experiences of Stock-outs of HIV/STI Commodities and Treatments. NSWP Global Network of Sex Work Projects and ITPC International Treatment Preparedness Coalition. (2018)


Sex workers experienced stock-outs of antiretroviral drugs for HIV in more than half of the countries that responded to the consultation, in all types of health care settings. Sex workers experience forced treatment interruptions and involuntary medication changes due to stock-outs, and are forced to travel long distances to access commodities and treatments due to stock-outs in their local areas. This ultimately leads to a lack of trust in health services and systems.

Keywords: HIV, sex workers, drugs, health care, treatment


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