HIV prevention gets $20M boost

first_imgA new four-year, $20 million grant from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) will enable Harvard School of Public Health (HSPH) researchers to evaluate the impact and cost-effectiveness of a unique combination of HIV prevention strategies in Botswana.The CDC grant is part of a U.S. President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR) initiative that commits $45 million to examine the effectiveness of combination approaches to HIV prevention over four years. The largest evaluation of its kind, the HSPH research initiative is poised to help partner countries strengthen their efforts to prevent new HIV infections and save lives.Principal investigator Max Essex, professor of health sciences and chair of the Harvard School of Public Health AIDS Initiative, and co-principal investigator Victor De Gruttola, professor of biostatistics and chair of the Department of Biostatistics at HSPH, predict that their prevention strategies can reduce HIV infection by at least 50 percent.Notably, one aspect of the study includes a focused effort to prevent HIV transmission by individuals with a high viral load. “This is the subset of people most likely to transmit the virus,” said Essex.He and his colleagues believe that targeting those most likely to transmit HIV can greatly reduce disease incidence and be cost-effective. Essex noted that some researchers have advocated supplying all HIV-positive individuals in a particular group with antiretrovirals, but covering all infected people in populations with high rates of infection can be prohibitively expensive for governments in developing countries.Another unique aspect of the HSPH study is that researchers will study viral gene signatures (the genomic fingerprint of a virus) to determine the effectiveness of targeting individuals with high viral loads. Using this method can indicate whether new infections originated within a particular village, for example. Identifying viral gene signatures could also determine how much the study interventions are able to reduce infections that can be traced to individuals with high viral loads.Researchers will also analyze cost savings realized from using the prevention strategies in the study. “The hope is that the strategies will help countries cut costs dramatically,” said Essex. “Conducting a study of this type in southern Africa is more logical because HIV infection rates are much higher than those in the U.S., and the results can be obtained sooner.”The study will be conducted in collaboration with the Botswana Harvard AIDS Institute Partnership (BHP), a 15-year-old collaborative research and training initiative between the Harvard School of Public Health AIDS Initiative and the Botswana Ministry of Health.Despite of Botswana’s significant efforts to curtail the incidence of HIV/AIDS, 25 percent of adults in this southern African country are HIV-positive. To home in on ways to optimize HIV prevention strategies, HSPH and BHP researchers will conduct a randomized study of nearly 50,000 people — 22,000 in the village of Mochudi, and roughly 28,000 in 16 rural communities. HSPH and BHP researchers, working with Botswana’s Ministry of Health, will examine the effects of combining a number of prevention strategies over a four-year period. In addition to treating high viral load, the interventions include the following:• Testing and counseling more than 70 percent of 18- to 49-year-old adults• Voluntary circumcision of more than 70 percent of 18- to 49-year-old adult males not infected with HIV• Providing more than 90 percent of HIV-infected adults with antiretroviral therapy• Providing antiretrovirals to 95 percent of HIV-infected pregnant women in order to prevent disease transmission to their childrenThese interventions have not been adequately evaluated in combination, said Essex. Using a number of prevention strategies together at the same time should also test whether they have a synergistic effect. According to co-principal investigator De Gruttola, “Studying people as members of village communities rather than as isolated subjects allows for mathematical modeling of the effects of combination prevention strategies in the settings in which they will actually be used.”last_img read more

Soho to smarten up image with overhaul of NCP site

first_imgTo access this article REGISTER NOWWould you like print copies, app and digital replica access too? SUBSCRIBE for as little as £5 per week. Would you like to read more?Register for free to finish this article.Sign up now for the following benefits:Four FREE articles of your choice per monthBreaking news, comment and analysis from industry experts as it happensChoose from our portfolio of email newsletterslast_img

Coronavirus: Italy’s top sports body calls for all events to be cancelled

first_imgRelatedPosts Pirlo not out to copy anyone after Juventus’ comfortable opening win Aguero could be out of action until November, Guardiola says Live stream Premier League, La Liga, Serie A on Showmax Pro this weekend Italy’s top sports body on Monday called for all sports events to be cancelled until April 3. It asked the government to issue a decree to enforce the measure as the country fights with the worst coronavirus outbreak in Europe. After a meeting between representatives from all Italian team sports federations, the National Olympic Committee said in a statement the government should intensify its measures against the virus. “Health protection is the top priority for everyone,” the statement said. It added there was an unanimous agreement that sports activity at every level should be suspended until April 3. However, the statement noted international competitions, for both clubs and national teams, do not fall within CONI’s jurisdiction and so cannot be influenced by its decision. This include UEFA football tournaments such as the UEFA Champions League, in which Italy’s Serie A leaders Juventus are set to host France’s Lyon on March 17. There was also the Europa League, in which Inter Milan and AS Roma have home games scheduled against Spain’s Getafe and Sevilla on March 12 and 19 respectively. The government had already ordered that all sports events, including Serie A matches, must be played behind closed doors to avoid crowds of people that could boost the contagion. The closed-doors games at the weekend caused chaos. Italy’s sports minister Vincenzo Spadafora called Serie A organisers “irresponsible” after they ignored a late call from the players’ union for the day’s matches to be suspended. The chaotic situation saw Parma’s clash with SPAL delayed by 75 minutes. The previous two rounds of fixtures were heavily disrupted by the spread of the virus as several games were suspended. Cases of coronavirus in Italy have now risen to 7,375, with 366 deaths, the highest number outside of China. Reuters/NAN.Tags: CONIJuventusLyonNational Olympic CommitteeSerie AUEFA Champions Leaguelast_img read more

Malph Minns – Strive Sponsorship – Betting on Esports

first_imgWhether it’s what competitions teams compete in, governance rulings, participation agreements, control of acceptable sponsors etc. This level of control and influence doesn’t exist elsewhere. Anyone can set up a football competition and commercialise it, they just have a competition/game rule set to follow. That’s not the case in esports, and the constraints non-publisher businesses will need to work under, and the costs of doing this, will only increase going forward, especially at the top level of esports. That’s why we’re starting to see people developing propositions at a national, rather than international, level – it’s cheaper. ESI: The esports demographic is touted as elusive, difficult to target and very particular about how they treat non-endemics that enter the space. Do you agree with the “stereotype”?  ESI: What can attendees look forward to hearing from you on the Brand Ambassadors panel at Betting on Esports?  What I see a lot in esports is people referring to advertising as sponsorship, therefore their understanding of the audience and how they consume (and what they expect from) sponsorship is fundamentally flawed. Advertising interrupts what you’re interested in to try and grab your attention, like an ad break whilst you’re watching a programme. Millennials don’t like ad breaks and want a seamless experience, they don’t like this interruption and hence the prevalence of ad blockers amongst this generation (thought to be even higher amongst esports enthusiasts). However sponsorship is part of the fabric of what you’re interested in, and done well it adds value to your experience of this and so resonates on an emotional level with a strong power to influence when done well.“But good sponsorship anywhere is about adding value to the fan experience, or solving a problem. This level of emotional connection is largely what distinguishes it from advertising, it’s a richer engagement.”ESI: How do you see the sponsorship space progressing in esports? Malph: I’ll not be afraid to give an informed opinion. People may not agree with it, but that is the catalyst to great conversation and learning. I may not know the answers to some of the questions, but I’m happy to give a perspective. UK esports has passed through the stage of purely providing information and now needs a point of view and application of a point of view via through testing, to really make strides. I’m never a fan of panels that won’t admit that they don’t know an answer to a question, or aren’t happy to given a reasoned opinion, and instead just share information. So I’ll do my best to offer perspective which hopefully has value to the audience. Betting on Esports 2017 is taking place at the Olympia in London over September 13-15. It’ll have six esports panels with over 25 speakers and a dedicated esports exhibition zone. It’s a part of #boscon2017 which’ll have over 1,000 delegates in attendance.Find out more about it here Malph Minns is the Managing Director of Strive Sponsorship a consultancy involved in traditional sports, music, film and (most importantly) esports. Minns has worked with esports clients as well as having prior experience working with clients within the gambling space. He will join the Betting on Esports panel focused on brand ambassadors, and finding the right fit in esports. center_img He will be joined by Adam Savinson, Scott Burton and Viktor Wanli on a fantastic panel. The panel will be moderated by Kirsty Endfield of SwipeRightPR.  From a rights holder perspective, I’d expect the professionalisation of commercial and brand strategy to improve (e.g. knowing their own specific audience better, and the impact and perception their brand and interaction has on this audience), how they articulate the opportunity to non-endemic brands (I.e. Recognising they are selling access to an audience, and who that is – it not all being about reach), how they go to market and how they effectively manage partnerships to both influence, and evaluate, return on investment.“I’m never a fan of panels that won’t admit that they don’t know an answer to a question, or aren’t happy to given a reasoned opinion, and instead just share information”I think we’ll also see people from outside the esports industry entering the space from an employment point of view as rights holder recognise that for some jobs, being an avid gamer is not the key criteria and that this knowledge can be learned to the level required (or at least provided for elsewhere in the business). ESI: Why did you decide to speak at Betting on Esports? Malph: In my world of sport and entertainment sponsorship, betting companies traditionally makes a substantial contribution to the overall market. In sport, especially football, the market is saturatMalph Minns, Strive Sponsorshiped and so betting companies are looking at emerging passion points as a way to attract new customers and differentiate themselves from the crowd. Esports is one of those areas being looked at and with Strive’s background in traditional sports, mixed with our growing reputation in esports and experience of working with betting companies in the past, we’re well placed to add value to the day’s discussion and help advise them on how objectives may be achieved.ESI: Yourself and Strive have been involved in sponsorship not only across esports but also in several other industries. What’s been the biggest difference you’ve seen with esports projects?Malph: The biggest difference is the structure, ecosystem and instability of esports. By that I mean it’s currently extremely fragmented and cluttered, making it difficult to comprehend for those within the industry, let alone those looking to invest from outside. In addition player movement and teams being founded and folding is far more fluid. There is more order in traditional sport, and independent bodies that control things, a result of being more mature as a commercial entity.“Growing publisher influence will increasingly have an impact on all areas of esports as its role continues to change from being seen as a customer retention strategy, to a new revenue stream.”Having said that, we’re already starting to see (at the top level of esports) structure starting to formulate, both with the LCS and Overwatch Leagues.  Which brings me on to another major difference, the influence of games publishers through IP ownership. No one owns football like Riot own League of Legends and growing publisher influence will increasingly have an impact on all areas of esports as its role continues to change from being seen as a customer retention strategy, to a new revenue stream. Malph: From a brand side we’ll start to see non-endemics entering the space and the cost of association will accelerate as a consequence. I also think the level of sophistication around sponsorship activation will advance and quickly be on par with that we see in sports, adding value to the fan experience. Although it’s progressing, most UK activations I’m aware of are still incredibly simple and praise has been heaped on them simply because there is a level of engagement beyond branding and/or because it’s from the rights holder that has sold them the partnership. Malph: I think there’s a mix of truths there. Unequivocally the so-called millennial audience media consumption habits are different to those of older generations (as each new generations have been as technology advances), with ’traditional media’ being less prevalent in where they spend their time and digital ‘new media’ being far more important. The consequence of this is a fragmented audience that are hard to reach at scale through only a few media owners. However various sources of research does point to a heavy concentration of a certain element of the millennial audience being deeply engaged by esports, offering scale and a mechanism for brands to connect in a meaningful way. Where more research needs to be done is around the interests, attitudes and consumption habits of this audience by territory, game title and rights holder. To say ‘an esports demographic’ is too broad a term to use. A deeper level of insight is needed to be meaningful.“Unequivocally the so-called millennial audience media consumption habits are different to those of older generations”I do think there is somewhat of a misnomer around non-endemics being treated differently to endemic brands in esports, that is any different to how this relationship works in any other passion point (e.g. sport, music, film etc). A non-endemic brand always has to do more to help people understand as to why it is sponsoring something that may not be immediately obvious. Relevance and understanding do go hand in hand though, and so it is more imperative for a non-endemic brand than an endemic one (which might feature in the ‘field of play/competitive environment), to make clear what the value is it is bringing to the fan. But good sponsorship anywhere is about adding value to the fan experience, or solving a problem. This level of emotional connection is largely what distinguishes it from advertising, it’s a richer engagement.last_img read more

CWI appoints Phil Simmons as new men’s head coach

first_imgꟷ new selection panels also announcedST. JOHN’S, Antigua – Cricket West Indies (CWI) announces the appointment of former West Indies player, Phil Simmons as the Head Coach of the West Indies Senior Men’s Team for a period of four years, as well as the appointment of three new selection panels.Coach Phil Simmons (left) said chief selector Clive Lloyd (right) was “irritated” by the board’s interference after the selection committee decided to drop Shivnarine Chanderpaul from the Test squad earlier this yearPhil Simmons was confirmed as the Head Coach during a meeting of the CWI Board of Directors today, following the conclusion of a short but intensive recruitment process. The Board had made it clear prior to the start of the recruitment process in September that “persons without West Indian heritage need not apply.”Simmons served previously for a short period as Head Coach of the West Indies Senior Men’s team, during which he coached the team to the 2016 ICC T20 World Cup title, following which he was controversially dismissed.He served since as the Head Coach of Afghanistan, who he helped qualify for the first time for the 2019 ICC ODI CWC.His tenure as head coach of Ireland, saw them improve their ICC rankings and qualify for all major ICC events. Simmons’ latest coaching success came just two days ago when he coached the Barbados Tridents to the 2019 Hero Caribbean Premier League title with an impressive victory over the Guyana Amazon Warriors in Saturday’s Final.CWI President, Ricky Skerritt, shared his thoughts on the confirmation of Phil Simmons, “Bringing Phil Simmons back is not just righting a past wrong, but I am confident that CWI has chosen the right man for the job at the right time. I want to also thank the very talented Floyd Reifer for the hard work he put in while he was the interim coach.”CWI’s Director of Cricket Jimmy Adams, “I am happy, after a very robust recruitment process at the appointment of Phil to the role of Head Coach. I have no doubt that Phil brings the requisite leadership skills and experience needed to drive improvement across our international squads and I look forward to supporting him in the role.”CWI also announces the appointment of three new Men’s, Women’s and Girls’ Panel, and Boys’ Selection Panel following a recruitment process that ran parallel to the selection of the new coach. The recommendation of a new CWI selection structure and policy were the main outputs of the report of the Selection System Review Task Force, presented by Vice President Shallow at the September Board meeting in Tobago. Eighteen (18) candidates were considered and evaluated for the five positions across the three Selection Panels.Selection Panels selectedCWI Vice President Kishore Shallow commented, “We have been delighted at the interest and quality of candidates who participated in the recruitment process to fill the roles for the Selection Panels. These roles are vital to execute the new selection policy to select squads for the West Indies teams at every level. We wish the selectors every success as they commence work immediately.”Commenting on the Selection Panels, Jimmy Adams said, “After a comprehensive revamp of our selection system including the introduction of separate panels, I am confident that our ability to identify and manage talent will be enhanced. I have all confidence that the new system, along with the selectors chosen to the various panels will continue to help drive our game in this critical area. “The Selection Panels set to work immediately with the West Indies Men’s team preparing to play Afghanistan, in India, in November in three (3) T20 Internationals (T20Is), three (3) One Day Internationals (ODIs) and one (1) Test match. The Men’s team then stay in India to play three (3) T20Is and three (3) ODIs before returning home before Christmas.The West Indies Women will host India Women for three (3) ODIs and five (5) T20Is starting on November 1. And the West Indies Under-19 team will host a triangular series with Sri Lanka and England Under-19s in December as they prepare for the ICC Under-19 World in January in South Africa.The Men’s Teams squads will be announced in a press conference at 11am at Queens Park Oval, Port of Spain, Trinidad on Tuesday 16 November.The CWI recruitment panel unanimously selected the following candidates who have now been confirmed:WI Men’s Panel includes Lead Selector, Roger Harper and Selector, Miles Bascombe while the WI Women’s & Girls’ Panel has Ann Browne-John as the Lead Selector while Travis Dowlin is the selector. WI Boys’ Panel has the Talent ID Manager booked by Robert Haynes.The Head Coach of each team will complete the makeup of each of the respective panels.last_img read more