July 2014

Guess who's coming to the 20th International AIDS Conference (AIDS 2014) in Melbourne, Australia, July 20-25?

President Bill Clinton, 42nd President of the US and founder of the Clinton Foundation; activist Sir Bob Geldof; Michel Sidibé, Executive Director of UNAIDS; and Ambassador Deborah Birx, US Global AIDS Coordinator of US President's Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR), are among confirmed high-level speakers.

{Photo credit: Mark Tuschman, Kenya.}Photo credit: Mark Tuschman, Kenya.

On the eve of the 20th International AIDS Conference (AIDS 2014), Rachel Hassinger, editor of MSH’s Global Health Impact Blog, spoke with Dr. Scott Kellerman, global technical lead on HIV & AIDS, to discuss his latest research on prevention of mother-to-child transmission (PMTCT) of HIV and pediatric HIV & AIDS. Kellerman and colleagues will be attending AIDS 2014, July 20-25, in Melbourne, Australia. (Read more about the conference.)

RH: What is the state of HIV & AIDS globally?

[Scott Kellerman]Scott KellermanSK: We are at the threshold of a sea change. In the beginning, our HIV prevention tool box was sparse. We could offer extended counseling and condoms, and impart information, but not much else. Behavioral change was the cornerstone of tackling the epidemic. It worked sometimes, but, not consistently.

Now biomedical advances are propelling treatment as prevention—even what I call “treatment IS prevention”.

{Photo credit: Rui Pires}Photo credit: Rui Pires

MSH is one of 52 finalists in USAID's Grand Challenge to pitch an idea that will accelerate substantial and sustainable progress against maternal and newborn deaths and stillbirths at the community level.

The idea: Piloting a model that uses mobile phone decision-support tools by small accredited drug dispensing outlets (ADDOs) in Tanzania to


  • counsel and provide needed medicines to pregnant women
  • identify and rapidly refer at-risk pregnant and postpartum women and their newborns to health facilities
  • provide family planning counseling, dispensing, and referral


The name: Innovative mHealth Approach to Improving the Quality of Maternal and Newborn Care in Tanzanias Private Sector Drug Shops

{Photo credit: Warren Zelman}(Mothers in the Democratic Republic of Congo)Photo credit: Warren Zelman

Although the global community has had significant success in reducing maternal and child deaths in the past two decades, they continue to die of preventable causes at an alarming rate. This is especially pronounced for the most vulnerable and hard-to-reach populations. Universal access to maternal, newborn, and child health (MNCH) commodities and services remains a major challenge, even among countries that are on track to achieve the Millennium Development Goals for reducing maternal and child mortality. Last week, the US Agency for International Development (USAID) concluded a social media campaign to increase awareness of the ongoing need and enhanced efforts to end preventable maternal and child deaths: 20 Days of Action for . Through a pharmaceutical systems strengthening approach, the USAID-funded Systems for Improved Access to Pharmaceuticals and Services (SIAPS) Program is working to improve access to quality MNCH commodities.

{Photo credit: Rui Pires.}Photo credit: Rui Pires.

This post originally appeared on the MSH@AIDS2014 conference blog and on Crowd360.org on July 23, 2014. On August 1, 2014, Uganda's Constitutional Court annulled the anti-homesexuality law.

Since HIV was first identified in sub-Saharan Africa, Uganda has distinguished itself as a leader in developing and implementing an effective HIV response. In recent years, however, HIV incidence has been increasing in the country, and a series of restrictive, punitive measures have replaced the common sense, public-health approach that had set this beautiful country apart.

We are pleased to announce the availability of the 2013 edition of the International Drug Price Indicator Guide. The Guide provides a spectrum of prices from 30 sources, including pharmaceutical suppliers, international development organizations, and government agencies. The Guide assists supply officers to determine the probable cost of pharmaceutical products for their programs, allows users to compare current prices paid to prices available on the international market or assess the potential financial impact of changes to a medicines list, and helps to support rational medicine use education.

The 2013 edition of the Guide includes nearly 70 new items, in a wide variety of therapeutic classes. This edition of the Guide has prices for nearly 1,200 products. (Note: It is called the 2013 edition because the prices in it are from 2013.)

The web version contains data from the 1996 edition to the 2013 edition. We encourage you to review the Guide and explore special online features for creating custom lists of medicines, comparing prices, and planning a medicines budget.