God, AIDS, Africa & HOPE

Thoughts, inside, comments of a Catholic priest

Laudato Si

Seldom was an encyclical so much anticipated and then so much welcomed by almost all quarters of society with the exception of those denying global warming as a matter of principal. Having read the document there is indeed a unique beauty and meaning in how Pope Francis combined and interlinked ecology, poverty and economy as well as social justice. It feels like an updated “Pacem in Terris” written in 1963 by the good Pope Johannes XXIII: Here is someone catching at the right moment the sentiments and worries of all people of good will living in the global village.
A document, the Catholic Church can be proud to have produced and worth reading bit by bit, even if one doesn’t agree with faith as such or with the Catholic Church as an institution.

Much is already written about it – form your own opinion by reading the document yourself.
Here the link to the English version:
Laudato Si

Filed under: Catholic Church, Politics and Society, Society and living environment, , , , , , , , , , ,

Job offer: HOPE Doctor in Cape Town – South Africa (part-time)

HOPE Cape Town Association – HOPE Doctor

HOPE Cape Town, a local non-profit Organisation providing outreach and education in the field of Paediatric HIV and AIDS and related illnesses seeks a part-time medical doctor to co-manage the HOPE Doctor portfolio. Responsibilities of this position include, but are not limited to:

• Clinical work
Provide comprehensive clinical care to HIV infected children at community based state health care facilities.
Interact and liaise with the Tygerberg Paediatric Infectious Diseases doctors
•Research
Identify translational research opportunities; plan and implement formal and informal research
•Training
Manage the medical elective student program
Train and support the HOPE Community Health Workers
Provide external training and awareness as required
•Project management and support
Assist in planning, initiating and executing HOPE Cape Town Association projects and programs.
•Other
Interact with donors and media as required
Participate in HOPE Cape Town events
Oversee resistance testing and liaise between requesting doctors and the lab.

The HOPE Doctor will be based at the HOPE Cape Town offices at Tygerberg Campus, University of Stellenbosch, but will be required to travel to health care facilities and community based projects. The successful candidate will form part of the senior staff team and will report to the Program Coordinator. This is a part time position (20 hours per week).

Requirements:
•M.B.Ch.B (Bachelor of Medicine and Bachelor of Surgery)
•Valid Registration with HPCSA (Health Professions Council South Africa)
•Registration with MPS (Medical Protection Society)
•Excellent interpersonal skills
•Superior Communication Skills: Fluent in English (spoken and written); other languages an asset
•Advanced computer skills (Microsoft Office)
•Drivers licence with independent transport
•No criminal record
•Work permit (if not SA resident)

The following experience and skills would be advantageous:
•At least one year’s experience in managing HIV positive patients on ARV treatment (including children)
•Diploma in HIV Management of college of family physicians of South Africa (Dip HIV Man (SA))
•Research experience

Applications should include a covering letter detailing each of the identified qualifications and skills, proof of qualifications, a current CV and a minimum of two references. Completed applications may be forwarded to:
Dr Izane Reyneke
HOPE Cape Town
Phone 021 – 938 9930
Fax 021 – 938 6662
Email program @ hopecapetown.com
Suitable candidates will be invited for an interview
Closing date for applications: 29 June 2015

 

Filed under: HIV and AIDS, HIV Prevention, HOPE Cape Town Association, HOPE Cape Town Association & Trust, HOPE Cape Town Association & Trust, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Risk of AIDS, Serious Illness and Death Reduced by 53% with Early ART

Press Release of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases ( US Department of Health and Human Services)

Starting Antiretroviral Treatment Early Improves Outcomes for HIV-Infected Individuals
A major international randomized clinical trial has found that HIV-infected individuals have a considerably lower risk of developing AIDS or other serious illnesses if they start taking antiretroviral drugs sooner, when their CD4+ T-cell count—a key measure of immune system health—is higher, instead of waiting until the CD4+ cell count drops to lower levels. Together with data from previous studies showing that antiretroviral treatment reduced the risk of HIV transmission to uninfected sexual partners, these findings support offering treatment to everyone with HIV.
The new finding is from the Strategic Timing of AntiRetroviral Treatment (START) study, the first large-scale randomized clinical trial to establish that earlier antiretroviral treatment benefits all HIV-infected individuals. The National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID), part of the National Institutes of Health, provided primary funding for the START trial. Though the study was expected to conclude at the end of 2016, an interim review of the study data by an independent data and safety monitoring board (DSMB) recommended that results be released early.
“We now have clear-cut proof that it is of significantly greater health benefit to an HIV-infected person to start antiretroviral therapy sooner rather than later,” said NIAID Director Anthony S. Fauci, M.D. “Moreover, early therapy conveys a double benefit, not only improving the health of individuals but at the same time, by lowering their viral load, reducing the risk they will transmit HIV to others. These findings have global implications for the treatment of HIV.”
“This is an important milestone in HIV research,” said Jens Lundgren, M.D., of the University of Copenhagen and one of the co-chairs of the START study. “We now have strong evidence that early treatment is beneficial to the HIV-positive person. These results support treating everyone irrespective of CD4+ T-cell count.”
The START study, which opened widely in March 2011, was conducted by the International Network for Strategic Initiatives in Global HIV Trials (INSIGHT) at 215 sites in 35 countries. The trial enrolled 4,685 HIV-infected men and women ages 18 and older, with a median age of 36. Participants had never taken antiretroviral therapy and were enrolled with CD4+ cell counts in the normal range—above 500 cells per cubic millimeter (cells/mm3). Approximately half of the study participants were randomized to initiate antiretroviral treatment immediately (early treatment), and the other half were randomized to defer treatment until their CD4+ cell count declined to 350 cells/mm3. On average, participants in the study were followed for three years.
The study measured a combination of outcomes that included serious AIDS events (such as AIDS-related cancer), serious non-AIDS events (major cardiovascular, renal and liver disease and cancer), and death. Based on data from March 2015, the DSMB found 41 instances of AIDS, serious non-AIDS events or death among those enrolled in the study’s early treatment group compared to 86 events in the deferred treatment group. The DSMB’s interim analysis found risk of developing serious illness or death was reduced by 53 percent among those in the early treatment group, compared to those in the deferred group.
Rates of serious AIDS-related events and serious non-AIDS-related events were both lower in the early treatment group than the deferred treatment group. The risk reduction was more pronounced for the AIDS-related events. Findings were consistent across geographic regions, and the benefits of early treatment were similar for participants from low- and middle-income countries and participants from high-income countries.
“The study was rigorous and the results are clear,” said INSIGHT principal investigator James D. Neaton, Ph.D., a professor of biostatistics at the University of Minnesota, Minneapolis. “The definitive findings from a randomized trial like START are likely to influence how care is delivered to millions of HIV-positive individuals around the world.” The University of Minnesota served as the trial’s regulatory sponsor and statistical and data management center.
Prior to the START trial, there was no randomized controlled trial evidence to guide initiating treatment for individuals with higher CD4+ cell counts. Previous evidence to support early treatment among HIV-positive people with CD4+ cell counts above 350 was limited to data from non-randomized trials or observational cohort studies, and on expert opinion.
START is the first large-scale randomized clinical trial to offer concrete scientific evidence to support the current U.S. HIV treatment guidelines, which recommend that all asymptomatic HIV-infected individuals take antiretrovirals, regardless of CD4+ cell count. Current World Health Organization HIV treatment guidelines recommend that HIV-infected individuals begin antiretroviral therapy when CD4+ cell counts fall to 500 cells/mm3 or less.
In light of the DSMB findings, study investigators are informing all participants of the interim results. Participants will be offered treatment if they are not already on antiretroviral therapy, and they will continue to be followed through 2016.
The HIV medicines used in the trial are approved medications donated by AbbVie, Inc., Bristol-Myers Squibb, Gilead Sciences, GlaxoSmithKline/ViiV Healthcare, Janssen Scientific Affairs, LLC, and Merck Sharp & Dohme Corp.
In addition to NIAID, funding for the START trial came from other NIH entities, including the National Cancer Institute; the National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute; the National Institute of Mental Health; the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke; the Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development; the NIH Clinical Center; and the National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases. Funding was also provided by the National Agency for Research on AIDS and Viral Hepatitis (ANRS) in France, the Federal Ministry of Education and Research in Germany, the European AIDS Treatment Network and government organizations based in Australia, Denmark, and the United Kingdom.
The Medical Research Council Clinical Trials Unit at University College London; the Copenhagen HIV Program at the Rigshospitalet, University of Copenhagen in Denmark; the Kirby Institute at the University of New South Wales in Sydney, Australia; and the Veterans Affairs Medical Center affiliated with George Washington University in Washington, D.C. coordinated the work of the 215 START sites.
For more information about the START trial, see the Questions and Answers or visit ClinicalTrials.gov using study identifier NCT00867048.
NIAID conducts and supports research—at NIH, throughout the United States, and worldwide—to study the causes of infectious and immune-mediated diseases, and to develop better means of preventing, diagnosing and treating these illnesses. News releases, fact sheets and other NIAID-related materials are available on the NIAID website.

About the National Institutes of Health (NIH): NIH, the nation’s medical research agency, includes 27 Institutes and Centers and is a component of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. NIH is the primary federal agency conducting and supporting basic, clinical, and translational medical research, and is investigating the causes, treatments, and cures for both common and rare diseases. For more information about NIH and its programs, visit www.nih.gov.

NIH…Turning Discovery Into Health ®

 

Filed under: HIV and AIDS, HIV Prevention, HIV Treatment, Medical and Research, Networking, , , , , , , , , ,

Memories of the Ball of HOPE 2015

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More pictures under http://hopecapetown.com/Ball_of_Hope/

Filed under: Catholic Church, General, HIV and AIDS, HOPE Cape Town Association, HOPE Cape Town Association & Trust, HOPE Cape Town Association & Trust, HOPE Cape Town Trust, Networking, Politics and Society, SA-German Chamber of Commerce & Industry, Society and living environment, South Africa, Uncategorized, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

After the Ball is before the Ball…

Welcome to the Ball of HOPE 2015I am not sure the reader can relate to the relief and exhaustion one is overcome after the successful conclusion of an event like the Ball of HOPE.  Preparations for a ball normally start a year before by determining the date of the next year’s event and “save the day” memos are sent out to all having shown interest in the event. Then obviously if one wants to have certain performers or speakers it is within this time frame to approach them and ask them whether they could block the time and commit to next years event. 5 months before the Ball of HOPE activities become more obvious with sending out invitations, getting with the venue operators into the details of execution, having meetings about program details and also acquisition of raffle prices are on the to do list. From that very moment until 48 hours before the ball commences, there are permanent activities of registrations, invitations, changes, and even in the last 24 hours before the doors of the ball room open, there are last-minute requests and changes. As the Ball of HOPE becomes more and more also an international event, guests arrive in the week before and logistics to accommodate and entertain become more of an issue. Adrenalin is pumping in the last hours of the Ball of HOPE and only when the dance floor is open the organizers can sit down and simply relax for a couple of hours and enjoy simply their own hospitality. This goes until the next morning, when the relief and exhaustion sets in as described in the first sentence of this posting and then… all starts again … the circle of preparing and executing a successful Ball of HOPE..

And this post would not be complete without thanking all who contributed to this success this year with hard work and dedication, but also those who came as guests and supported the good cause of HOPE Cape Town. It was great to have the Brooklyn Holy Cross Senior School Choir again – together with HOPE Cape Town’s Goodwill Ambassador and MC Katlego Maboe as well as Kim, the beautiful singer and the musical band under the leadership of Adolf Thelen they all contributed tremendously towards a successful charity eve.

Besides relief and exhaustion there is a great sense of joy that so many hands joined forces to assist their brothers and sisters in need. And doing this while having fun means to truly be an ambassador for and of HOPE.

 

Filed under: HOPE Cape Town Association & Trust, HOPE Cape Town Trust, SA-German Chamber of Commerce & Industry, , , , , , , , , , ,

HOPE Gala Dresden

HOPE Gala Dresden - the event to be in DresdenOctober 31st, 2015
3 months to go.

Ball of HOPE

The Ball of HOPE - our charity event in Cape TownMay 14th, 2016
10 months to go.

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© Rev Fr Stefan Hippler and HIV, AIDS and HOPE.
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