God, AIDS, Africa & HOPE

pensées of a Catholic priest

More therapy = more unprotected sex?

Scenery around KLCC park at night

 KLCC park at night (Photo: Wikipedia)

There is the argument, that antiretroviral therapy seen as prevention could lead to more unprotected sex in the future. That, so argue the people following this line,  will jeopardize treatment success and discourage from using a condom or taking other measures of protection. On the 7th International AIDS Society Conference on HIV Pathogenesis, Treatment and Prevention in Kuala Lumpur a study was presented addressing the issue. The results are encouraging:  A meta-analysis has found no increase in risk taking in people who are
taking antiretroviral treatment, compared to other people with HIV. In
fact, people on treatment had less unprotected sex and fewer sexually
transmitted infections. For more on this topic please continue reading here.

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

Job opening for a medical doctor @ HOPE Cape Town

Job description – HOPE Cape Town Doctor

The role of the HOPE Cape Town Doctor is to provide clinical service in pediatric HIV clinics, support relevant community projects and provide expertise in the training of health care workers and medical elective students. The clinical service will take 50 % and the training duties, the research, project support and general duties will take the other 50 % of task and duties. That means in detail:

Clinical duties

o Provide comprehensive clinical care to HIV infected children and adults at Tygerberg Hospital and peripheral clinics and communities

o Maintain good relationships with medical staff at Tygerberg Hospital and peripheral clinics in the communities by attending relevant meetings and ward rounds

o Responsible for the organization of the yearly Christmas party and other events for HIV positive children in the communities

 

Training duties

o Train and support HOPE Cape Town Community Health Workers (HCHW’s)

o With special focus on newly employed HCHW’s during their probation period

o Develop and teach an user friendly course for HCHW based on UNISA-text book “HIV care and counselling course”

o Develop HCHW’s annual training programme

o Responsible for the annual training content for the HCHW’s

o Develop training material and modules

o develop training material and modules of good quality for HWSETA accreditation

o eLearning

o responsible for teaching and training of all e Learning material

o supervision of the e Learning project and keep the contacts with all relevant role players

o Provide external training and awareness as required

o Train and supervise Medical Elective Students of the HOPE – KID CRU Elective

 

Applied research duties

o  Identify research opportunities based on demonstrated needs

o Plan and implement formal and informal research

 

Project support and general duties

o Liaison and networking with all relevant role players pertaining to all other relevant duties

o Provide medical information and expertise to non-medical personnel

o Assist in planning, initiating and executing HOPE Cape Town projects and programmes

o Provide consultative services for external collaborations

o Do media interviews and articles as required

o Attend training and meetings, like ward rounds and medical meeting, staff and other meetings

 

Filed under: General, HIV and AIDS, HIV Prevention, HIV Treatment, HOPE Cape Town Association, HOPE Cape Town Association & Trust, HOPE Cape Town Trust, Medical and Research, Networking, SA-German Chamber of Commerce & Industry, Uncategorized, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

When wild garlic makes you pregnant

Pius Fasinu(left), Prof Bernd Rosenkranz (right) and those involved in the research

Pius Fasinu(left), Prof Bernd Rosenkranz (right) and those involved in the research

HOPE Cape Town is not only working on grass root level but also involved in academic research; a holistic view of HIV and AIDS has been at the core of the work of  HOPE Cape Town since the beginning. With the permission of the author we publish this article explaining an exciting research on muti – the medicine of sangomas in South Africa through the PhD student Pius Fasinu:

When wild garlic makes you pregnant

Pius Fasinu

People who use traditional remedies together with conventional medicines may want to rethink their strategy, because the combination of these substances might be doing them more harm than good.

Researchers have found that certain African medicinal herbs, including wild garlic and the African potato, could interfere with how conventional drugs work in the body. The herbs included in the study are traditionally used to treat diseases such as fever, pain, diarrhea, asthma, cold, cough, infections, hypertension, depression and ailments related to HIV and Aids.

Preliminary results of the study being conducted by the Division of Pharmacology at Stellenbosch University (SU) have shown that the herbs can quicken or delay the elimination of conventional drugs from the body. “This adds to the risk of treatment failure or toxicity,” says Pius Fasinu, a doctoral student in pharmacology.

“Patients should tell their doctors if they are taking any herbal medicine, or at best avoid taking the herbs and conventional medicines together,” is Fasinu’s advice based on the findings.

Traditional medicine and especially the use of medicinal herbs are popular in South Africa. “While the use of medicinal herbs predates the emergence of HIV and Aids, a number of indigenous herbs are widely consumed as immune boosters and to manage the symptoms of this disease,” explains Fasinu, who is completing his research under supervision of Prof. Bernd Rosenkranz and Prof. Patrick Bouic of the SU Division of Pharmacology in the Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences.

The high disease burden and the strong attachment of traditional medical practices to culture and tradition have prompted various African governments to start integrating traditional medicine into the mainstream healthcare.

”Nearly two in every three people who live with HIV and Aids combine their antiretroviral drugs with medicinal herbal products,” adds the doctoral student who is doing an in vitro assessment of selected traditional medications used in South Africa and their pharmacokinetic drug interaction potential.

For purposes of his study, Fasinu consulted traditional healers and used available literature to identify and source the most popular herbal remedies used by people who also rely on conventional healthcare.

African potato (Hypoxis hemerocallidea), fat hen (Chenopodium album), devil’s thorn (Emex australis), cancer bush (Sutherlandia frutescens), sweet thorn (Acacia karroo) and wild garlic (Tulbaghia violacea) were included in the study, and were shown to interfere with the functioning of conventional drugs in the body.

The herbs were not tested for their therapeutic benefit or for their potential toxicity when they are taken on their own. Rather, herb extracts were tested to see what their effect was on the enzymes in the body that are responsible for metabolising and eliminating conventional drugs.

Fasinu’s tests showed that the herbal extracts inhibited the majority of these enzymes. “This suggests that conventional drugs taken with some traditional herbs may accumulate in the body because of the enzyme inhibition,” Fasinu believes. “This leads to toxicity.”

In some cases, herbal derivatives also had the opposite effect, in that it induced the production of more enzymes and therefore sped up the metabolism of the drugs. This could lead to the failure of conventional drug treatment because it is cleared from the body far too quickly to be beneficial. Samples from human livers that contain the active enzymes were used to assess the impact of herbal extracts on drug clearance. It provided the closest scenario to herb-drug combination in humans.

“Hypertension may persist if herbs are taken together with anti-hypertensive drugs, and pregnancy may occur when they are taken with contraceptive pills,” he cites some of the inadvertent consequences of using traditional and conventional treatments together.

“Despite the popularity among South Africans to use herbs and conventional medicine side by side, there is little information available on how safe this practice is,” a concerned Fasinu says. “Considering the potential consequences, it is best to exercise caution.”

 “Pius Fasinu, with the support of HOPE Cape Town”, phasynou@gmail.com

Filed under: HIV Treatment, HOPE Cape Town Association, HOPE Cape Town Association & Trust, HOPE Cape Town Trust, Medical and Research, Society and living environment, Uncategorized, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

From April 2013 1 pill per day..

Antiretroviral drugs

Antiretroviral drugs (Photo credit: DFID – UK Department for International Development)

 

This week the national Health Department of South Africa announced another major change in the treatment of HIV. Gone will be the days when AIDS patients will have to sort through a combination of pills every day – morning, day and evening – to control their HIV infection. As from April next year, patients will have the convenience of taking just one pill a day, which contains all three antiretroviral drugs that they need. This “fixed dose combination” – packaged in a single tablet will assist over 80% of the 1.8 million patients taking antiretrovirals in making their life and intake of medication much easier. Read here more about this great development in an article by Khopotso Bodibe.

 

 

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

Exercise and HIV

Gym

Gym (Photo credit: ivywoodavenue)

 

Even HIV can be combated by highly potential medication, there are indeed many side effects which a person living with the virus has to deal with. Within all the tools to reduce such side effects, going to the gym and exercising is one of the most successful one to keep body and mind in shape. To get some tips how and what to do best, read the article from Michael Mooney and Nelson Vergel here.

 

 

 

Filed under: HIV Treatment, Society and living environment, Uncategorized, , , , , , , , , , ,

14th HOPE Gala Dresden

HOPE Gala Dresden - the event to be in DresdenNovember 16th, 2019
87 days to go.

Ball of HOPE 2020

Join us @ The Westin in Cape TownMay 23rd, 2020
9 months to go.
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