Ideas to Action:

Independent research for global prosperity

CGD Policy Blogs

Current search


The End of Cervical Cancer?

Late last week, the Vaccine and Related Biological Products advisory committee at the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) unanimously endorsed the petition for Merck’s forthcoming vaccine against human papillomavirus (HPV), a sexually transmitted disease that causes cervical cancer. The final decision from the FDA is expected on June 8 (see article in the Washington Post).

New Gates Foundation Grant to Support TB Drug R&D

The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation has announced a new $104 million grant to the Global Alliance for TB Drug Development in order to:

  • Advance moxifloxacin into Phase III trials, with the goal of demonstrating its effectiveness for TB by 2010;
  • Pursue nine pre-clinical projects and identify the best of these compounds for clinical studies;
  • Work with policymakers, TB treatment providers and advocates to ensure that new TB drugs will be adopted and made accessible in developing countries;

HIV Prevention, Kenya-style

Today’s New York Times includes a fascinating article on the apparent successes of PEPFAR-sponsored and broader HIV/AIDS prevention efforts in Kenya. Among the few countries in Africa that has been able to slow or reverse the trend of AIDS infections (the club also includes Uganda and Zimbabwe), recent evidence from Kenya shows that the number of new infections nation-wide has declined from an estimated 200,000 annually at its peak, to 90,000 today. The cause: the ABCs.

HIV/AIDS in Liberia: Development’s Destruction with Reconstruction?

Sobering news from a recent Save the Children report indicates that aid workers and UN peacekeeping troops continue to trade food for sex with young Liberian girls:

Despite commitments made in 2002 by non-governmental organizations, the United Nations and peacekeepers to improve the worldwide monitoring of recruitment and staff conduct, vulnerable children are still exchanging sex for basic necessities such as money to attend school or food to feed their families.

Access to ARVs: Need, Targets & Markets

UNAIDS prevalence estimates formed the basis of the missed "3 by 5" target, and so the news that they were so highly inflated is particularly timely coming on the heels of the WHO report on the initiative, which (among other things) illustrates the perverse relationship between disease estimates, advocacy targets and pharmaceutical markets.

Why Numbers Matter & What Went Wrong

In a recent article, How AIDS in Africa Was Overstated, Washington Post correspondent Craig Timberg presents evidence that global HIV/AIDS rates have been systematically overestimated by UNAIDS based on the long-held (and erroneous) assumption that infection rates among pregnant women attending antenatal clinics can serve as a rough proxy of the general adult prevalence in that country.