In this month's Bulletin
Towards universal access to HIV/AIDS treatment (p. 506)
A series of articles marks the 25th anniversary of the discovery of HIV/AIDS, including an editorial, three research papers, a policy-and-practice paper, a public health review, and a news feature. In the editorial, Kevin De Cock & Ian Grubb argue that WHO needs to refocus its efforts and mobilize new resources to achieve a new target: universal access to antiretroviral therapy (ART) by 2010.
Cost of treating TB/HIV; improving HIV surveillance
Harry Peter Hausler et al. (pp. 528536) measured the cost of implementing TB/HIV clinical interventions as part of the ProTEST pilot in South Africa. They found that the voluntary counselling and testing was less expensive than previously reported in Africa. Vinod Mishra et al. (pp. 537545) describe the methods used in the demographic and health surveys (DHS) to collect nationally representative data on the prevalence of people who are HIV positive and assess the value of such data for country HIV surveillance systems.
HIV and breastfeeding; the Global Fund and Uganda
In a 20002003 study in Malawi, Taha E. Taha et al. (pp. 546554) found that although HIV can be transmitted from mother to infant by breastfeeding breastfeeding is associated with a reduction in infant and child mortality. Lydia Kapiriri & Douglas K Martin (pp. 576580) examine the decision of the Global Fund to fight AIDS, Tuberculosis, and Malaria to suspend its grants to Uganda in 2005 and discuss how other countries can avoid a similar fate.
HIV test design and data; HIV and circumcision
April D Kimmel et al. (pp. 581588) describe how they did a systematic review of the performance of diagnostic tests for clinical and laboratory monitoring of HIV-positive adults in developing countries, the results of which showed a wide variation in disease definitions and methods of evaluating diagnostic tests. The authors call for a consensus among researchers on how to design studies, and collect and report data in a user-friendly format for decision-makers in developing countries. In the News section, Jacqui Wise (pp. 509511) reports on the growing demand for circumcision in southern Africa to prevent HIV transmission, meanwhile, public health experts are warning men that circumcision may reduce the risk of HIV infection but does not provide full protection.
Pharma fears over trials initiative; Indonesia emergency response (pp. 511514)
In the News section, Gary Humphreys reports on pharmaceutical industry fears that WHO's clinical trials initiative will limit companies' ability to compete and dent profitability, while other research funders welcome the initiative. Jane Parry reports on how WHO is coordinating efforts of nongovernmental and international organizations to help the Indonesian Government with its emergency response to the May 27 earthquake.
Interview with WHO Acting Director General; tribute to the late LEE Jong-wook (pp. 515518)
In the WHO News section, Acting Director-General Anders Nordström outlines his priorities for the coming months. The Bulletin sums up highlights of the World Health Assembly in May and outlines the accelerated procedure for electing a new director-general. The former head of WHO's HIV/AIDS Department, Jim Yong Kim writes a personal tribute to his friend and fellow Korean LEE Jong-wook, the late WHO Director-General, who died on 22 May.
Indoor air pollution; prehospital trauma care
In their editorial, (p. 507), Scott M Sasser et al. lament the fact that much of the world's population does not have access to trauma care and call for sustainable and affordable pre-hospital trauma care systems for everyone. In another editorial (p.508), Eva Rehfuess el al. call for more attention to be paid to the problem of indoor air pollution.
Tracking health disparities (pp. 519527)
Meg E Wirth et al. demonstrate how it is possible to analyse data from international household-level surveys from specific countries to measure health disparities. They argue that this method can be useful for designing policies to narrow these health gaps. They used two methods single stratification and simultaneous stratification to analyse demographic and health survey (DHS) and Multiple Indicator Cluster Survey (MICS) data.
Counting TB deaths in India (pp. 555560)
C. Kolappan et al. sought to measure mortality and excess general mortality and to identify groups at high risk of dying among a cohort of tuberculosis patients treated in Chennai Corporation clinics in south India in 2000. They found that excess mortality was six times greater than that in the general population. They propose that the mortality rate and excess mortality should be used routinely to evaluate the national TB control programme.
Bacillary dysentery in China (pp. 561568)
Xuan-yi Wang et al. estimated the burden of disease due to bacillary dysentery in China. By integrating data extracted from published government sources from 1991 to 2000, the authors found that although morbidity and mortality declined over the past decade, a considerable disease burden still remains.