Tag Archives: treatment

Rising HIV rates in DC is Cause for Concern

DC released its latest HIV/AIDS numbers this month, and they’re high enough to cause alarm among the National Black Leadership Commission on AIDS, ABC 7 reports. This group came to Capitol Hill to support a bill called HR 1964. The bill would provide funding for massive testing, treatment and education for people with AIDS. In Washington, D.C. 81 percent of the people who have AIDS are black.

A Black Leaders Support HIV/AIDS Bill As DC Releases Latest Numbers

A Black Leaders Support HIV/AIDS Bill As DC Releases Latest Numbers

The good news is that more people are living longer with HIV and taking precautions not to spread the disease, and more people are getting tested. But the rising number of people in DC living with HIV, 3 percent of the adult population, is considered an epidemic by the CDC.

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UNICEF and HIV/AIDS

UNICEF’s “Unite for Children, Unite Against AIDS” campaign has a good website to learn more about children at risk for and with HIV. It provides a link to the Children and AIDS: Fourth Stocktaking Report 2009 Summary, and lists out UNICEF’s 4 Ps. They are 1) preventing mother-to-child transmission of HIV, 2) providing pediatric treatment, 3) preventing infection among adolescents and young people, and 4) protecting and supporting children affected by HIV and AIDS.

Unite for Children, Unite against AIDS focuses on four areas that contribute towards the achievement of an AIDS- free generation. These Four Ps are based on global commitments made in the Millennium Development Goals and focus on the needs of children and their families.

Unite for Children, Unite against AIDS focuses on four areas that contribute towards the achievement of an AIDS- free generation. These Four Ps are based on global commitments made in the Millennium Development Goals and focus on the needs of children and their families.

Check it out if you’d like to learn more about what UNICEF is doing to fight HIV and protect children.

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New HIV/AIDS Care and Treatment Center at Mount Meru Regional Hospital

Arusha Times, Tanzania: Centre Promises New Lease of Life Amid HIV/Aids Threat

Arusha Times, Tanzania: Centre Promises New Lease of Life Amid HIV/Aids Threat

A new HIV/AIDS Care and Treatment Center has just opened at Mount Meru Regional Hospital in the Arusha Municipal, near AIDSTanzania’s community partner the U.A.A.C.C.  The center is funded through PEPFAR (U.S. President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief), and it will provide services to the 1.3 million residents of five districts of the Arusha Region and the neighboring Manyara Region.

It will be exciting to see if this new center creates any changes in HIV prevalence or in the perception of availability of treatment options in this area. The Arusha region is a large, diverse region with many people living far away from cities where treatment can be accessed. Perhaps this is an opportunity for a partnership between this Center, AIDSTanzania, and the U.A.A.C.C. in the future…

This Center is sure to create positive change in the lives of those living with HIV in Tanzania and hopefully have an impact on prevention as well.

Read the article here.

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Step 1: Drug delivery

Often the hardest part of getting a new drug working and on the market is the problem of delivery–how to get the drug itself to the correct place in the body. New research published in Nature usues nanoparticles as a way to deliver siRNA (small interfering RNA) directly to cells in the vaginal wall. The technology was developed with anti-HIV drugs in mind. The research done in mice shows succesful delivery of siRNA for green fluorescent protein (GFP) to these cells. Once the siRNA is active, GFP expression, readily visible under blue light, disappears from the “treated” cells. The idea is to use siRNA that targets HIV RNAs to similarly “turn-off” HIV.

RNA interfernce machinery is uibuquitous in eukaryotic cells [read: cells that people are made of] and is though to have developed as a way to protect the host genome [read: your DNA] from intruding viral RNAs. Using this to combat HIV is exciting. Since the siRNA disrupts the HIV pathway before the RNA can be reverse transcribed to DNA, I’m thinking this is a “reverse transcriptase inhibitor” type drug, but the news article doesn’t specify. Either way, the idea of embedding the drug in nanoparticles suggests a gel-type application system, putting it in the realm of microbicides, none of which have passed clinical trials yet.

The research team also realized the obstacles they still have to overcome– firstly, evidence that this system will be effective at knocking down HIV RNA. Trials in monkeys are apparently ongoing. Second, the amount of siRNA needs to be enough so that all cells containing HIV are targeted, otherwise, infection will still occur.

The importance of microbicides for women in sub-Saharan Africa is that it would give women a way to protect themselves without having to use a condom–an issue that can be stressful to women and cause suspicion from husbands. The most recent microbicide trial has been the most promising for reducing the chance of HIV infection, but still not statistically significant. However, another trial is scheduled for this same drug later this year.

For the siRNA paper see: Woodrow K.A. et al. Nature Mater. advanced online publication doi: 10.1038/NMAT2444 (2009).

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For the science-minded people…

The AIDS Reader is a scientific journal, with information on prevention and treatment of HIV.   Check it out if you’re a science person!

http://theaidsreader.consultantlive.com/home

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