God, AIDS, Africa & HOPE

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No time to rest in the fight against HIV and AIDS

Coming back from Europe and heading next week to the World Aids Conference in Melbourne, the news about the so-called “Mississippi Baby” feels like a punch in the gut and a damper to the hopes of a functional cure. The child known as the “Mississippi baby” — whose apparent cure was reported in The New England Journal of Medicine last fall — has had the virus return after more than two years off anti-retroviral therapy, according to specialists involved in the case who spoke in a Thursday news briefing. “Certainly, this is a disappointing turn of events for this young child, the medical staff involved in the child’s care and the HIV/AIDS research community,” said Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infection Diseases (USA), at the briefing. The development “reminds us that we still have much more to learn about the intricacies of HIV infection and where the virus hides in the body,” Fauci said in a statement. “The NIH remains committed to moving forward with research on a cure for HIV infection.”
Not only the NIH, but we all, the activists, researchers and those infected and affected have to acknowledge how bumpy the road to a functional cure or even a vaccine will be. This story ones again reminds us that HIV and Aids are not defeated yet. The easiness of European youth and society in believing that some pills would sort out those being infected – and further believing that this anyhow only applies to those others, those being gay or immigrants from Africa or injecting drug users should be re-evaluated after such news. HIV and Aids are still a treat to humanity and society and as we make progress, we can’t declare victory. Otherwise we look as stupid as then-president Bush declaring victory over Iraq on one of his war ships – look at the situation in the country in our days.
The news about the Mississippi baby should also serve as a warning to donors that withdrawing funding because we have won the battle is an illusion. The Global Aids Fund and all the NGO’s in the field of HIV, Aids and related illnesses need more funding to gain progress in the fight against the syndrome. We have achieved so much but there are still millions dying every year as a result of the pandemic and there are millions out there without treatment. Resistance is growing and we only have to look at TB and South Africa to see what could develop if we not keep watch. The virus is waiting for a re-run if society is not taking it serious anymore. And the dream of a HIV free generation will be blown up in shatters – therefore no time to rest in the fight against HIV and Aids.

Filed under: HIV and AIDS, HIV Prevention, HIV Treatment, Medical and Research, Politics and Society, Reflection, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Thank you for your support of HOPE Cape Town – Ball of HOPE

After the ball is before the ball – but first thank you to everybody who supported the Ball of HOPE in Cape Town last weekend. Here some pictures of the event and for those who still want to donate, the link of our online Web Donation page:

 

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

Internet based health tracker

mobile phone mast

mobile phone mast (Photo credit: osde8info)

My Health Tracker is a webpage under the “thebody.com” and it can help you organize your HIV treatment information privately and securely in one place. This way, you can take better charge over your health and keep track on what you are doing and how you take your medication.Whether with computer or cellphone or mobile tablet – all these items turn into a source of support. My labs keep track of your laboratory blood results, My meds helps you to list all your medication taken. My journal allows for a sort of diary and My reports let one create various graphs and reports to be printed out and take for example with to your doctor. In one word: An amazing helpful website recommended for those anyhow connected to internet via modern communication tools. And frankly: most people even in South Africa have a cellphone which can be used for social networks like Facebook. So it is simple just to add another and this time life-supporting tool for those living with the HI virus. To get to the relevant page click here.

Filed under: HIV and AIDS, HIV Treatment, Medical and Research, Uncategorized, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Sex worker denied PTMCT

At a conference in Johannesburg a sex worker spoke of how she was detained by the police when she was pregnant. Being HIV-positive, she was forced to default on her medication to prevent her from transmitting the infection to her unborn child. “The worst thing for me was being denied my ARV’s when I was on PMTCT (prevention of mother to child HIV transmission programme). I was pregnant and denied this treatment for the whole weekend. I felt it is the worst thing because it was about the child inside of me who could have gotten infected”, she said.

Read the whole article here

Filed under: General, HIV and AIDS, HIV Prevention, HIV Treatment, Reflection, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Good news and blood on the hands..

6.2 million people in sub-Saharan Africa are on anti-retroviral treatment in the moment, an unthinkable number of people some years ago. That is the reason why cutting the funding of UNAIDS and the Global Fund would spell out disaster. The opposite should be the case to beat the pandemic: 1.1 million people more on treatment since 2010 – let’s double the number in the next years every year and get the now 56% of people on treatment to the 100%. Treatment is prevention, we would  cut down with new infections a great deal.

Also the price cut from US $ 15.000 to US $ 80 today – what an achievement. Let’s not play with what we have achieved so far because with the exception of South Africa, most treatment programs in sub-Saharan Africa are funded from outside Africa. So we need the world to continue assisting us in the fight. And not only in funding, but also in watching out when doing trade agreements. 80% of all drugs coming here are from India. And we know that some European states and the USA are trying to cut down on the Indian ability to produce those life-saving drugs for trademark infringements. Every trade agreement which stops India to produce those drugs is a death sentence for people in Africa and in other places around the world. So one can only ask those in charge of negotiations to have these facts in mind and not ending up to sign up for bi-lateral agreements with the consequence of having blood on their hands.

Filed under: General, HIV Prevention, HIV Treatment, Medical and Research, Networking, Politics and Society, Society and living environment, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

13th HOPE Gala Dresden

HOPE Gala Dresden - the event to be in DresdenOctober 27th, 2018
11 months to go.

Ball of HOPE 2018

Join us @ The Westin in Cape TownMay 12th, 2018
5 months to go.

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