Theo Smart

I am an activist and medical writer who joined ACT UP New York in 1988 and have more than twenty years of experience writing about HIV treatment for organisations including ACT UP's Treatment & Data Committee, TAG, the PWA Health Group, GMHC, the Physician's Research Network in New York and AmFAR. After the World AIDS Conference in Durban, South Africa, I moved to Cape Town, Africa, where I became involved in a number of projects including serving as editor of the HIV and AIDS Treatment in Practice (HATIP) and www.aidsmap.com, and working to support National Networks of People Living With HIV participating in the HIV Leadership through Accountability Programme (www.hivleadership.org). At present, I work as a freelance writer/editor primarily interested in the scale up and delivery of patient-centred HIV/TB, improved MCH and other primary health care and treatment services in resource limited settings. I believe access to quality healthcare is a human right and believe that health systems and healthcare workers should be empowered to deliver it.

The use of convalescent plasma or serum

Over the summer, an international network of blood regulators developed a physician’s paper for regulators, and for anyone who might wish to become involved, outlining the reasons to consider antibodies derived from blood or convalescent plasma, or ultimately, hyperimmune globulins as a potential therapy in a filovirus outbreak. They provided an assessment of the previous

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Ebola vaccines in development

  The following table includes the leading candidates, however a number of these are not yet ready for a phase-1 trial but may be coming into trial over the next three to six months, and some are slightly longer term. Vaccine Manufacturers (developers): Vaccine details: Testing timeline: ChAd3-ZEBOV GlaxoSmithKline (National Institutes of Health (NIH) Chimpanzee

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Experimental therapies being evaluated to treat Ebola

Experimental therapies for Ebola include new compounds, as well as existing drugs approved for other purposes which demonstrate activity in laboratory models and which potentially could be repurposed. At least something is known about the approved drug’s safety profile, though the doses used for Ebola may not be the same. Each of the following potential

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WHO’s Comprehensive Plan to Rapidly Develop Therapeutics and Vaccines

Despite research into Ebola vaccines and therapeutics over the past decade, no product has been fully evaluated and approved for human use. This means that the only way to deal with this unprecedented outbreak has been to use the same basic public health and supportive care measures that were available in the past. Having an

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Is there a Black Market for Ebola Convalescent Blood Products?

“There have been reports about Ebola survivors selling their blood on the black market in the affected countries,” one audience member from Lagos, Nigeria said at a roundtable discussion on Ebola during the recent American Society of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene meeting in New Orleans in early November. “Is there any effort to regulate this?

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Coordination of new teams of Ebola responders a big challenge

“Coordination has been a routine failure in Ebola outbreak after Ebola outbreak,” Dr Armand Sprecher of MSF said during a roundtable discussion at the ASTMH conference in response to a question from a healthcare worker from Taiwan. She said her country would be sending a number of healthcare workers to the field soon and wanted

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