President of Zambia declares HIV testing mandatory

Zambia is moving forward with mandatory HIV testing for all patients who visit government health facilities, according to Health Minister Chitalu Chilufya. The move appears to contradict WHO recommendations against mandatory or coerced testing. And it has sparked an outcry among international and local HIV activists, who are pushing the government to reverse its decision. Read more.

Ebola outbreak in the DR Congo

On May 12, officials declared an outbreak of Ebola virus disease in a remote area of the northern DR Congo. The WHO reported 37 cases of infection, including one confirmed and three probable deaths from EVD. The outbreak triggered a response involving more than 13 international agencies and could prompt the roll-out of an Ebola vaccine candidate, pending government approval of its use. Read more.

West African countries focus on post-Ebola recovery plans

It has been more than 6 months since the last diagnosis of Ebola in Guinea, Sierra Leone or Liberia. The three west African countries suffered nearly all of the more than 28,600 diagnosed cases and 11,300 deaths during the outbreak that began in December 2013 in a Guinean village.
Although the outbreak has ended, the scale of the epidemic collapsed these countries' health systems, while unleashing new medical crises. The capacity to treat even basic illnesses is now limited, while health needs of Ebola survivors stretch the services that do remain. With Ebola having killed health workers at a disproportionate rate, the years-long efforts to rebuild the health systems are only just beginning. Officials in all three settings acknowledge that the task ahead is immense.

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NIH project focuses on integration of HIV and NCD care

For millions of patients, HIV has been transformed into a highly treatable, chronic condition thanks to the development and distribution of increasingly sophisticated combination therapies. These advances have come with another unanticipated outcome, though. Researchers and health workers now worry they may lose patients they have saved from AIDS-related illnesses to non-communicable diseases, including cardiovascular disease, cervical cancer, depression, and diabetes. Read more.

Yellow fever continues to spread in Angola

Although an emergency meeting of health experts last month stopped short of calling the yellow fever outbreak in Angola a global public health emergency, humanitarian groups on the ground warn the epidemic is still far from over. Even as the number of newly reported cases declines, the disease continues to spread. If it reaches areas with low vaccination coverage, the outbreak could flare up again. Read more.