News Brief: Global Health Law News Updates

A criminal trial of three men accused of deliberately infecting at least 14 other men with HIV is now underway.  The prosecution accuses the men of promoting sex parties on the internet, then drugging and raping their guests, and injecting them with HIV-infected blood.  Twelve alleged victims have since tested positive for HIV. BBC

Both presidential nominees Senator John McCain and Senator Barack Obama promised to support investments to improve global health. They pledged to enhance funding to reduce maternal and infant mortality, to fight HIV/AIDS, tuberculosis and malaria around the world. Voice of America News

Barbara Hogan, South Africa’s new Health Minister, would like to see a renewed global effort to find an HIV vaccine. This position is a market contrast to that of South Africa’s former Health Minister, Manto Tshabalala-Msimang, who questioned the link between HIV and AIDS and suggested healthy eating as an HIV treatment alternative to anti-retroviral drugs.  BBC

The Sabiny community in Uganda passed a law to ban female circumcision.  The Sabiny are the only group in Uganda that practise FGM.  The council had submitted legislation to parliament for the ban to become law nationwide. BBC

Nigeria is closer to eradicating polio thanks, in large part, to a new, more effective vaccine that is four times more effective than the previous widely-used vaccine. 

Nigeria is one of only four countries in the world where polio has yet to be eliminated. The monovalent oral poliovirus vaccine, known as mOPV1, has been used in Nigeria since February 2006 and the number of reported cases of polio in the country fell by 75% between 2006 and 2007.  BBC

According to a WHO report, life expectancies can vary by up to 40 years among poor and rich countries.  These inequalities are due to a number of factors, including access to primary care and childbirth care. BBC

5000 year-old skeletal remains of a mother and her baby found in a watery grave in Israel are earliest confirmation of TB.  Scientists were able to discern, based on the size of the infant’s bones, and the extent of TB damage, that the mother likely passed the disease to her baby shortly after birth. BBC

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