SA begins single-dose HIV drug roll-out

first_img8 April 2013 About 180 000 HIV-positive South Africans will soon start taking fixed-dose combination antiretroviral (ARV) medication, which involves one tablet instead of three to five pills a day, reducing the risk of patients defaulting from treatment. Health Minister Aaron Motsoaledi launched the single-dose ARVs at Phedisong 4 Community Health Clinic in Ga-Rankuwa outside Pretoria on Monday. The fixed-dose combination (FDC) ARV will be given to newly diagnosed HIV-positive people, HIV-positive pregnant women and breast-feeding mothers. Motsoaledi said the department had revised the guidelines for prevention of mother-to-child transmission, paediatric and adult treatment due to changes in the treatment regime for FDC ARVs. The fixed-dose combination – containing emtricitabine, efavirenz and tenofovir – is a multiple antiretroviral drug combined into a single pill, which helps reduce pill burden. It is easy to take, highly effective and in no way inferior to taking three individual drugs.Pregnant HIV-positive women “We also decided that all pregnant HIV-positive women will be started on the FDC, regardless of their CD4 count. They will stay on treatment until they complete breastfeeding. They will continue on treatment should their CD4 count be 350 or below,” Motsoaledi said. “More than 7 000 doctors and nurses have been updated on the new guidelines and we’ve ensured that at least one [or two] health care professionals in each facility have been updated.” In addition, more than 200 master trainers have been trained, including those based at regional training centres and those stationed at the department’s development partners. Eligible patients will get one month’s supply of FDC pills for the first three months. “They will see their clinicians monthly for three months so that they can be carefully monitored. Thereafter, if they are stable they, will be given three months’ supply of FDCs. “From June onwards, all other stable, non-complicated patients will be switched to FDCs after consultation with their clinicians,” he said. A pregnancy register has been introduced at selected sites to conduct surveillance on adverse drug reactions. Motsoaledi explained that it was standard clinical practice worldwide to monitor drug reactions. “We need to carefully monitor reactions of patients on drugs and take action when we see any systematic adverse events.”‘Treatment without disruption’ Motsoaledi said he was confident that they had sufficient supplies of ARVs for all patients who are eligible for the FDC pills as the department had been working with three suppliers to ensure that they are able to supply them the requisite quantities without disruption. “In order to ensure uninterrupted supply of ARV medicines on the new tender, the national Department of Health has initiated monthly supplier meetings to discuss forecasted demand for the following three months so that manufacturers can plan their manufacturing accordingly,” he said. Data has been collected from provincial depots on a weekly basis and analysed in order to identify weaknesses in the supply chain, which are then addressed either with the province or the supplier depending on the nature of the problem. To date, 389 857 units of FDC pills have been supplied to the provinces. A further 915 000 units are expected to be delivered during the course of April. The volume units are expected to increase to 1.5-million per month by September this year to allow all patients – including switching existing, stable patients currently taking three individual ARV drugs – to have access to the pills. Currently, 1.7-million patients are on ARV treatment, and the department hopes to expand this to 2.5-million by the end of 2014. One of the first beneficiaries of the FDC pills, Andrew Mosane from Ga-Rankuwa Zone 4, is the Gauteng secretary for the Treatment Action Campaign. Mosane said the new drug would make his life easier. “It’s going to be less stress than taking five tablets a day, and everybody will have access to it. [This will] improve peoples’ lives,” he said. Source: SANews.gov.zalast_img read more

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Crop rotation and second year soybean yields

first_imgShare Facebook Twitter Google + LinkedIn Pinterest By Matt Hutcheson, CCA Product Manager, Seed Consultants, Inc.As spring approaches and plans for the 2019 crop are finalized, growers will determine what crops to plant and plant crop rotation across their acres. When considering crop rotations and yields, many focus on continuous corn and the yield penalties associated with that practices. However, there is one possibly overlooked benefit of crop rotation: avoiding a soybean yield penalty.In this article, the University of Kentucky’s John Grove discusses soybean yields for first year and second year soybeans from 2009 to 2016. Grove’s research data shows an average yield penalty of 2.3 bushels per acre across that 7-year period, with some years being showing yield losses greater than 10 bushels per acre. In another article from No-Till Farmer, Greg Roth shows data that predicts a four- to six-bushel per acre yield penalty for second year soybeans.Yield loses from continuous soybeans (and other continuous crops) are usually associated with increased disease presence as well as pests. Diseases that can over-winter on crop residue can be more severe for second year soybeans, especially in no-till production systems. Soybean cyst nematode presence can also increase with continuous soybean production. Additionally, weeds that are difficult to control in soybeans (marestail, etc.) can spread and rob yield as well.No-Till Farmer also published this article about managing risk in second year soybeans. Practices such as crop rotation, varietal selection, seeding rates, row widths, and tillage practices can be used to mitigate yield losses in soybeans. As growers look forward to the 2019 season, yield losses from continuous soybeans should be considered when determining acreage for crops to be produced.last_img read more

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New Lake Erie lawsuit filed against U.S. EPA

first_imgShare Facebook Twitter Google + LinkedIn Pinterest By Evin Bachelor, Law Fellow, Ohio State University Extension Agricultural & Resource Law ProgramWe can’t say that Lake Erie is back in the news, because lately it hasn’t left the news. However, there is a new lawsuit in federal court that seeks further action from either the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency or the Ohio EPA regarding Lake Erie water quality. Filed on February 7, 2019 by the Environmental Law & Policy Center (ELPC) and the Toledo-based Advocates for a Clean Lake Erie, this new lawsuit alleges that the U.S. EPA improperly signed off on action taken by the Ohio EPA to designate Lake Erie as an impaired water body without implementing a Total Maximum Daily Load (TMDL) to restrict discharges such as agricultural runoff. The plaintiffs weren’t necessarily unhappy about the designation, but they were not happy about the lack of a TMDL.Designating a waterway as impaired indicates low water quality, and triggers requirements to take action to improve water quality. A state must classify its waterways, and that classification guides the selection of which types of regulations to impose and the priority of fixing a waterway. The Ohio EPA’s designation of Lake Erie as impaired under the federal Clean Water Act was motivated by a previous lawsuit brought by the ELPC. In that lawsuit, a federal court ordered the U.S. EPA to review the Ohio EPA’s compliance with the federal Clean Water Act, which is something the plaintiffs in this new case want the court to order again. That case remains pending, and is cited as Environmental Law and Policy Center v. U.S. EPA, Case No. 17-cv-1514 (N.D. Ohio).The plaintiffs allege that the new designation alone is not enough, and that the Ohio EPA must take more action. The complaint in the new lawsuit alleges that the Ohio EPA must establish a TMDL for western Lake Erie. Under the federal Clean Water Act, TMDLs identify the maximum amounts of a pollutant that a body of water can handle in order to meet water quality standards. The U.S. EPA describes these as a “starting point or planning tool for restoring water quality” that states often use as targets when crafting comprehensive plans to attain water quality. The complaint alleges that the Ohio EPA must prioritize creating a TMDL for western Lake Erie, but the Ohio EPA has said that it hopes to pursue an alternative approach to water quality attainment without the need for a TMDL. The plaintiffs do not believe that this is enough.But why then is the new lawsuit against the U.S. EPA, and not the Ohio EPA? Congress granted the U.S. EPA oversight over water quality for federally navigable waters, or Waters of the United States, which include Lake Erie. The complaint alleges that by approving Ohio’s designation of Lake Erie without a plan and timeline to reach water quality standards, the U.S. EPA made an improper and arbitrary decision under the federal Clean Water Act. The plaintiffs want the U.S. EPA to rescind its approval of the Ohio EPA’s action. After this, the U.S. EPA would have to require the Ohio EPA to submit a new binding plan to bring Lake Erie into attainment with water quality standards, or the U.S. EPA can decide that Ohio has refused to submit a plan and exercise its authority to create its own plan for Ohio. The complaint also seeks an award of attorney’s fees and costs to cover the expenses incurred by the plaintiffs in bringing the lawsuit.Click HERE to view the complaint. The case is cited as Environmental Law & Policy Center v. U.S. EPA, Case No. 3:19-cv-00295 (N.D. Ohio). Stay tuned to the Ag Law Blog for more updates on litigation involving Lake Erie.last_img read more

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How Advertisers Can Avoid Paying For Accidental Mobile Clicks

first_imgTop Reasons to Go With Managed WordPress Hosting Why Tech Companies Need Simpler Terms of Servic… A Web Developer’s New Best Friend is the AI Wai… 8 Best WordPress Hosting Solutions on the Market Accidental clicks cost mobile advertisers tons of money. The key to minimizing the damage is to insist on transparency before bidding on ads.Earlier this week, we reported on a study that found 22% of clicks mobile advertisements were accidental. Although some ads that are viewed accidentally lead to purchases, the proportion is vanishingly small, leading to wasted ad budgets. Moreover, unintentional clicks cost not only the price of the ad impression, but also the cost of staff, connectivity, and the like. So we asked experts about the best ways for advertisers to avoid accidental clicks.User interface design can make a huge difference, of course. “Imagine if banner ads took up one-third of your PC [screen] and your mouse pointer was the size of a fist,” John Busby, vice president of the mobile advertising industry group the Marchex Institute, offers by way of analogy. “You’d make a ton of accidental clicks. If you’re looking through a list of, say, restaurants, it is very easy to click a link or phone number when you intended to scroll.”But good design is only part of the equation. Advertisers should make sure they won’t be charged for clicks the audience didn’t intend. “In mobile, the problem just may be using clicks as a pricing model,” Busby said. “The best way for marketers to ensure quality is to insist on paying for calls that can actually generate results, so mobile publishers should focus on new ways to measure engagement.”Advertisers need to manage their ad bids to account for accidental clicks, according to Alex Mizrahi of adMarketplace.com. “The good news is, this can be managed so the publisher, not the advertiser, incurs the cost of these accidental or fraudulent clicks,” he said. “We find that, by publisher, accidental clicks are mixed in with intentional clicks at a relatively stable rate. So if you can discount your bids by publisher to account for the accidental clicks, you can maintain your performance.”Daryl Colwell, vice president of business development at MediaWhiz, agrees. His firm, an integrated digital media agency, aggressively monitors the source of clicks and the resulting interaction, and insists on a high level of transparency to track that data when placing ads with mobile publishers.Adding technology that tracks results can be critical. At the very least, advertisers should insist on a list of sites where their ads will be published. “Layering on technology that enables us to track the source of calls, duration and result has made us smarter marketers on the mobile Web,” he said. “It’s allowed us to determine down to a very specific level which source(s) are providing the best results for us/our clients.”center_img Related Posts dave copeland Tags:#advertising#web last_img read more

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Adobe Premiere Pro: Applying Audio Effects to Multiple Tracks

first_imgUse the audio sub mix feature in Adobe Premiere Pro to apply audio effects to multiple tracks at once – a trick for working smarter, not harder!If you’re looking to speed up your workflow, improve consistency in the sound of your clips and better organize your audio, consider applying audio effects to submixes in Premiere Pro.  Submixes provide a quick and easy way for multiple audio clips (and tracks) to all use the same effects and filters.  Make one change to an effect and it will change all the audio clips associated with that submix.  Huge timesaver!In this Adobe Premiere Pro tutorial we’ll tackle:When to apply audio effects to multiple tracksUsing the Audio WorkspaceCreating a SubmixApplying audio effects to a SubmixWhen to Apply Audio Effects to Multiple Tracks in PremiereBefore we get into the details, lets talk about when you would need to apply audio effects to multiple tracks in Premiere Pro.Say that you have 2 tracks of  narration that you want to apply the same EQ to. The hard way would be to apply EQ to each clip on each track separately.The less hard way is to apply the effect to to each track, and the easiest is to apply the effect to a submit so the EQ effects multiple tracks.I tend to go ahead and make sub mixes in Premiere Pro even if I have just one audio track. That way if I do add multiple tracks later, the submit is already setup and I just assign the additional tracks.Using the Audio Workspace in Premiere ProUsing Premiere Pro’s workspaces save you time in that they set up a layout suited to specific tasks.  In this instace we’ll want to work with the Audio layout.Go to Window > Workspace> Audio. This workspace rearranges the layout, with the Audio Mixer on a tab with the Source Window and  the Project top left.Click on the triangle top left on the Audio Mixer to reveal the Effects and Sends panel.Creating a Submix in Premiere ProTo use the same effect on multiple Premiere Pro audio tracks, you create a submix and send both tracks to it, and apply the effect to the submix.For Audio 1, click in the Sends panel, and in the first slot click and select create stereo submix.Below that click on the Master pulldown and change it to submix 1.  Now Audio 1 is sent to submix 1.Repeat the steps to send other tracks to the submix.   Simple enough, right?  Now, let’s look at how to apply effects to submixes.Applying audio effects to a SubmixClick in the the top slot of the Effect panel (top left panel of the Audio Mixer) to add an Effect. (I added EQ).To adjust the EQ, double click  it to open the parameters for the EQ and adjust as needed (I rolled off the low and high end)You can add up to 5 effects and 5 submixes.  You can also rename your tracks and sub mixes as needed by clicking on their names (turns blue).Utilize the submix feature in Adobe Premiere Pro is a surefire way to make your editing more efficient!Got a Premiere Pro comment or tip to share?Let us know in the comments!last_img read more

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Gov’t to Target High-Risk HIV Groups

first_imgAn inter-ministerial group is to be established to engage various at-risk groups on HIV/AIDS awareness matters.Cabinet has given instructions for the setting-up of the group, which will involve the Ministries of Health, Education, and Youth and Culture.Minister with responsibility for Information, Senator the Hon. Sandrea Falconer, who provided details at Wednesday’s (July 3) weekly Jamaica House press briefing at the Office of the Prime Minister, said the move stems from a recent update on HIV/AIDS in Jamaica.The report revealed that HIV is prevalent among select groups of the population, including the 15 to 49 age group; ante-natal clinic attendees; female sex workers; men who have sex with men; inmates; homeless persons; and drug users.Senator Falconer said Cabinet was told that factors driving the epidemic include: persons having multiple sex partners; insufficient condom use; people with HIV who do not know they are infected; early initiation of sexual activity; and transactional sex (exchanging sexfor gifts or goods).Meanwhile, Cabinet approved two contracts valued a little over US$2 million, for the supply of anti-retroviral drugs. One contract is to be awarded to Ranbaxy Laboratories Limited (United States) to provide nine items for US$740,042; while Milan Laboratories Limited (India) will also supply nine items for US$1.45 million.The Ministry of Health, through a grant from the Global Fund, provides anti-retroviral drugs, free of cost, for persons living with HIV/AIDS, at public health facilities and treatment centres islandwide.Contact: Alphea Saunderslast_img read more

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Financial Institutions Support Cyber Security and Digital Forensics Conference

first_img Recommendations for amendments to strengthen the Cybercrimes Act are to be tabled in Parliament shortly. Banks, cambios and other financial institutions are showing keen interest in the two-day conference on Cyber Security and Digital Forensics, scheduled to begin at the University of the West Indies (UWI) Mona campus on September 30.“I am very impressed at the speed in which banking and financial institutions became associated with this conference. It is an expression of their own interest and concern for the security of their clients and the public,” says Professor of Communications Policy and Digital Media, and Director of the Mona ICT Policy Centre,Hopeton Dunn.Professor Dunn, who is also Chairman of the two-day conference, says three of these institutions, the National Commercial Bank (NCB), Jamaica National Building Society (JN), and First Global Bank, have committed senior representatives to make presentations and participate in the conference. The Police and the Ministry of National Security are also to play major roles in the conference.“I think that the banking sector is associating themselves with this conference to speak to the kind of concerns they need to critically address in a more wholesome way,” he adds.Minister of State in the Ministry of Science, Technology, Energy and Mining (STEM), Hon. Julian Robinson, addressing a JIS Think Tank, says it is in the best interest of the institutions to participate.“I think it’s important to note that they are playing a very active role, they are partnering with government in many areas because they recognise it is in their best interest. Whatever the field, no-one wants their systems being vulnerable,” Minister Robinson explains.According to Computer Hacking and Forensic Investigator, Georgia Gibson-Henlin, who is also an attorney-at-law, there is a great deal of insecurity in the cyber network and the conference will offer an opportunity to stakeholders to address the issues in a meaningful way.“A lot of reliance has been placed on it (global information network). A lot of our financial information has been put on it and so we have become at risk to hackers and persons with mal-intent,” she explains.“Part of why this conference is important is that we need a structured framework in terms of going forward; a structure within which to create the strategy, with multiple stakeholders,” she contends.Key issues to be addressed include: how to raise public awareness; information sharing; the matter of privacy; the creation of a cyber-security framework; and a cyber security strategy.  This will involve arriving at a decision on who is allowed to be involved and it takes on added significance out of the recognition that the networks are privately owned.The conference will also discuss Commercial Cyber Espionage, which is having an impact on financial enterprises in Jamaica.Minister Robinson, in acknowledging the occurrences of corporate espionage in Jamaica, says the conference will definitely address the concern in a fulsome way.“We’re not talking about a man hacking into a website and defacing it. We’re talking about criminals doing this for financial gain, or to prove a point. Imagine for example, the Air Traffic Control system (being hacked). You’ll quickly recognize the (significant) damage that can be done. There are just so many ways someone with a computer can create havoc and we need to be on top of that as a country,” he contends.The organisers of the conference are looking for specific outcomes with Professor Dunn promising that the second day will see the crafting of documents and the setting of actionable strategies.“So it’s not going to be about nice conversations; we’re going to be looking to take strong and specific action in association with different stakeholders,” he explains.In the meantime, Minister Robinson reveals that recommendations for amendments to strengthen the Cybercrimes Act are to be tabled in Parliament shortly. He says the proposed adjustments were made by a Joint Select Committee of Parliament which he chairs.The Cybercrimes Act has sanctions for the misuse of computer systems or data and facilitates the investigation and prosecution of such crimes. Provision has also been made for the Act to be reviewed every five years.The State Minister informs that the issue of cyber security is at the forefront of Government’s agenda and amending this legislation is one of several strategies being put in place to deal with cyber crimes. He further notes that a Cyber Emergency Response team was established with assistance from the International Telecoms Union.The conference will begin at 9:00a.m. each day at the University of the West Indies, Mona. Story Highlights Banks, cambios and other financial institutions are showing keen interest in the two-day conference on Cyber Security and Digital Forensics. There is a great deal of insecurity in the cyber network and the conference will offer an opportunity to stakeholders to address the issues in a meaningful way.last_img read more

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