27 November – 3 December 2017

New World Health Organization research shows that 1 in 10 medical products circulating in low and middle-income countries is either falsified or substandard. The WHO estimates use an LSHTM model to address the question of the health and economic impact of sub-standard and falsified antimalarials. The findings were covered in more than 400 outlets around the globe, including Guardian, TIME, Boston Globe, and Daily Nation (Pakistan).

David Conway is interviewed by Voice of America on the World Health Organization World Malaria Report 2017, showing that progress in malaria control has stalled and we risk missing the global malaria targets for 2020 and beyond: “This latest World Health Organization report is a wake-up call. Although there are achievements to note in several countries that have aimed for malaria elimination, there are many causes for concern. In the last few years there has not been a decrease in the overall amount of malaria globally. Most worryingly, many of the countries that are most affected by malaria are reporting increases in numbers of cases.” An expert comment is published online.

Jo Lines is quoted by The Independent on a new study published in Nature Journal, which finds several rapidly evolving insecticide resistance genes between different regions of Africa: “Over the last 15 years, the increased use of tools such as insecticide-treated nets has prevented more than 400 million cases of malaria. Our ability to maintain these gains will be greatly weakened, and may be lost, unless we find effective ways to slow down the evolution of resistance. Although work is taking place to combat insecticide resistance, it remains a neglected area.”

On World AIDS Day the School in partnership with the charity Sentebale launch a new policy paper is launched to support governments, policy makers and NGOs in tackling the continuing high levels of HIV among adolescents in sub-Saharan Africa. Peter Piot: “To end HIV/AIDS it’s crucial we start engaging with young people in sub-Saharan Africa who are affected – interventions to improve their lives needn’t be complex and costly, just sustainable, targeted and developed closely with them.” Medical Express cover the story.

Peter also speaks to leading German paper Zeit online: “We’ve got everything we need to defeat #AIDS…but we must not give the impression that everything is good. We still have far too many new infections per year.”

Dr Nick Douglas writes a blog Trans sexual health – the invisible subject about why we must pay more attention to sexual health research of trans people in the UK if we are to reach HIV/AIDS goals: The research community urgently needs to step up and play its part in ending the exclusion and invisibility of trans people in UK sexual health research. We will never meet the 2017 World AIDS Day goals, ‘end isolation, end stigma, end HIV transmission’, if we leave trans people behind.

Thomson Reuters Foundation run a blog by Dr James Hargreaves highlighting the need to develop HIV measurement and surveillance data to effectively identify and respond to new HIV infections: “How much confidence should we have when told, each year at this time, that things are getting better, or are not doing so? How do countries know where to focus their efforts in the coming year?….traditional approaches to tracking the epidemic are no longer fit for purpose.”

Increase visibility, advocate for work–life integration and eliminate the pay gap. Heidi Larson co-authors a new Lancet commentary with calls to action following the first Women Leaders in Global Health Conference. The School is hosting next year’s event.

Heidi also provides comment for the Guardian on Riko Muranaka winning the 2017 John Maddox prize for her work in countering HPV vaccine misinformation: “It is important for young women who have not yet been vaccinated, and for their parents, to have more information on the number of girls around the world who have been successfully vaccinated without any negative reactions, and to understand better what it means to have cervical cancer.”

Stephen Evans is quoted in The Guardian on a new study published in Annals of Oncology, which finds that the cancer drug nivolumab can reduce the reservoir of dormant HIV cells in the body and boost the immune response of a patient: “We need larger randomised trials to see if this or similar anti-cancer drugs might have a notable effect on the HIV reservoir. Until we have such data, talks of cure are premature, but it could lead to new approaches in dealing with HIV.”

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