God, AIDS, Africa & HOPE

pensée of a Catholic priest

Only Southern Africa?

There is a perception that Southern Africa is the only hot spot of the HIV/AIDS pandemic.  But Eastern Europe and Central Asia have the world’s fastest-growing HIV epidemic according to the World Health Organization. It is said the epidemic there is concentrated mostly among injection drug users. Experts blame punitive drug policies, discrimination and trouble accessing treatment. They say the situation will not be contained until local governments affected by the epidemic change their AIDS policies. To read more click here.

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

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, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Toward a Cure: Virologic Control Documented in 14 Acute HIV Treaters

An interesting article not to be missed:

A new study released Thursday, July 26, at the XIX International AIDS Conference (AIDS 2012) in Washington, DC, found that 14 people living with HIV have achieved long-term non-progressing “viral controller” status after being treated with antiretrovirals (ARVs) during the acute phase of their infections. The fact that these individuals have shown no signs of viral load rebounds following termination of their prescribed treatment regimens may ultimately provide guidance to scientists pursuing “functional” HIV cure.

Read more in the orginal article of the POZ magazine: http://www.poz.com/rssredir/articles/hiv_contoller_cure_761_22772.shtml

Filed under: HIV and AIDS, HIV Prevention, HIV Treatment, Reflection, Society and living environment, , , , , , , ,

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, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Sangamo’s Possible ‘Functional Cure’ Gene Therapy

AIDSmeds reports that Sangamo BioSciences has begun new clinical studies of its promising gene therapy SB-728-T, a potential “functional cure” for HIV infection, according to a January 9 announcement by the company.  SB-728-T is a zinc finger DNA-binding protein transcription factor (ZFP TF). It disrupts the gene responsible for making CCR5 co-receptors on the surface of CD4 cells, to which HIV bonds. When CD4 cells can’t produce functional co-receptors, it is much harder for HIV to infect them.  The aim of SB-728-T therapy is to grow a new population of CD4 cells that are resistant to HIV infection, and thus make antiretroviral (ARV) therapy unnecessary. The rationale for using SB-728-T comes from the case of Timothy Brown, an HIV-positive man with leukemia who received two stem cell transplants from a donor who inherited two mutated CCR5 genes (CCR5 delta32), from his father and mother, and was genetically unable to produce CD4 cells that carry functional CCR5 co-receptors. Such individuals rarely become infected with HIV. And in cases where only one mutated CCR5 gene is inherited, HIV infection can occur, but the disease tends to progress slowly.  In Brown’s case, not only did the stem cell therapy cure his cancer, but it also appears to have cured his HIV infection. All efforts to locate HIV in the man’s body have been unsuccessful.

Sangamo is hoping that treating a person’s own stem cells with SB-728-T and then reinfusing them will, over time, replace HIV-susceptible cells with HIV-resistant CD4s and reduce the need for continuous antiretroviral therapy.

The whole story you find on AIDSmeds clicking the following link:

http://www.aidsmeds.com/articles/sangamo_728_studies_1667_21752.shtml

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

13th HOPE Gala Dresden

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

Ball of HOPE 2018

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

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