God, AIDS, Africa & HOPE

pensées of a Catholic priest

Reading day…

There are so many articles and blogs about HIV and AIDS that one could read for days without getting through all of them. Here is a selection of what caught my eyes in the last days:

A dream to end AIDS – a short notice about one of the researches who discovered the HI virus. It reminds us of the long way still ahead for millions of people to be able to live with HIV

Truvada as PrEP lowers Herpes infection – a new study suggests the drug can also lower infection rates of genital herpes, despite opponent concerns that use of PrEP would lead to an increase in STDs including herpes

What spirituality really means – we all talk about it in our days and most people living with the virus discover it for themselves as a source of meaning and stability in life

8 ways to find your spirituality – putting the word into practice for those interested

What’s your long term risk in transmitting HIV – an interesting question and some maths has been applied in this article more for those into sciences and mathematical models

And always pop onto our website www.hopecapetown.com and get the newest information on what we are doing..

Enjoy reading!

Filed under: General, HIV and AIDS, HIV Prevention, HIV Treatment, HOPE Cape Town Association & Trust, HOPE Cape Town Trust, Medical and Research, Networking, Politics and Society, Reflection, Society and living environment, Uncategorized, , , , , , , , , , , , ,

From lesbian sex and HVI transmission to the banning of the Red Cross in Catholic Schools- interesting read in between

Going to the high volumes of articles and journals in the field of HIV and AIDS I thought the following could be interesting for you:

Lesbian sex is thought to be the most safe one, but there is a fresh report from Houston in Texas confirming a rare female to female transmission of HIV. It is further reported that this transmission took place between two women in a monogamous relationship. All details of the story are published in “Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report” – published 14.03.2014. To read a summary please click here

From the Mississippi Baby to the California Baby – we meanwhile know about the benefits of early treatment and the possibility of HIV eradication if treated within the first hours of infection.  Read more on this topic from the 21st Conference on Retroviruses and Opportunistic Infections here

From the CROI Conference as well there are new about safer sex without condom. Ever since the HPTN Study 052, it was concluded that having an undetectable HIV viral load strongly reduces the risk of HIV transmission. But how safe is condom-less sex if one’s viral load is undetectable? Read about the ongoing PARTNER study here

Hepatitis C – a short while ago a disaster for every person being HIV  has become a center of attention after treatment and cure evolved in a speedy way. The first medications have been retired shortly after introduction to make place for more effective treatment. Read about this exciting and important development here

HIV controllers were always an interesting study group. It was thought that those people could control HIV and were protected from getting sick. New research shows that the situation is more complicated and that such people have higher level of chronic inflammation. An interview with Jonathan Li, MD researching in this field might be giving interesting clues about the benefits and treats for those being naturally controlling HIV and you can read it here

Manila on the Philippines shows quite a rise on HIV infections and obviously the city responsible are trying to reign in with prevention messages and the free distribution of condoms. The dominant Roman-Catholic Church  condemns in the person of Auxiliary Bishop Broderick Pabillo this contribution and he calls to follow the example of Africa – where in his opinion only abstinence and fidelity has brought the numbers down. Read more about this interesting point of  view here

The Catholic Church in Belize has banned the Belize Red Cross amongst other organizations from all 200 Catholic Schools in the country. To read the response of the Red Cross click here

Filed under: Catholic Church, General, HIV and AIDS, HIV Prevention, HIV Treatment, Medical and Research, Politics and Society, Reflection, Religion and Ethics, Society and living environment, Uncategorized, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

HIV transmission and questions around it…

HIV Particle

HIV Particle (Photo credit: AJC1)

Even in a world where all information about HIV is out in the public there are still questions around transmission and viral load of people living with HIV. Especially when it comes to couples with one being positive and the other negative  these questions arise. In our South African context where there is a whole generation with many people being born and living with the virus, those questions are essential to be asked and answered properly.
Questions like:

* What is exactly viral load and how is it affected by HIV Treatment?
* What is a normal “viral load”?
* What does it mean to have an “undetectable” blood viral load?
* Is the viral load in the blood associated with a person’s risk of transmitting HIV?
* Does HIV treatment reduce the risk of sexual transmission of HIV?
* Is HIV transmission possible when the viral load in the blood is undetectable?
* What is the risk of HIV transmission when the blood viral load is undetectable?
* What does this all mean for people who want to use HIV treatment to prevent HIV transmission

The Body published an article from the Canadian AIDS Treatment Information Exchange Project on all these questions and it is worth reading for those interested. Click here to read the article.

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

Criminalization of HIV – AIDS

Bad criminal laws...Poisoning  –  terrorist attack  – bio-attack  –  murder  — attempted murder  –  assault

 

the labels of law are unbelievable – sometimes even if there is no knowledge of the infection or no transmission occurred

 

Did you know that giving birth, breastfeeding, spitting as a HIV positive person can bring you into jail in some countries?

 

In Sweden, even consent is declared invalid by law if transmission occurs

 

It is not those who know their status who drive the pandemic but those who don’t know. But would you go for a test when you know that a positive result might bring you in jail through your sexual activities, even if it is protected sex and no transmission occurs?

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

AIDS Gestapo…

Sometimes, discussions are getting out of hand – and this one has certainly gone out of hand. Offering cash prizes for getting tested is a decision, one surely can debate and argue about. But the question of criminalization of HIV transmission is a much deeper going one and Helen Zille, premier of the Western Cape (SA)  and TAC (Advocacy group) should avoid to debate it in a wording and style which does not help the cause. What is meant by “willing infecting” somebody – does it mean, that everybody, who has not done a test and having sex without protection is “willing” to pass on the virus. Or must there be a real intention, so consideration before the act? Fact is, that criminalization is not a tool for HIV prevention – common sense is also that I always expect from both persons engaging in sex to prevent a possible transmission in any case – be it HIV or any other STI.  Both have the responsiblity to either clarify it or protect or decide to take the risk in a responsible way. It can never be one-sided. Being on HAART for 6 month, undetectable and no STI means that the risk of transmission is likely to be the same like a broken condom.
Word like “AIDS Gestapo” or “racist” have no place in such a serious debate. It is about responsiblity, ending stigma, avoiding discrimination and protecting the rights of each and everybody even in the privacy of their bedrooms. A very sensible place – and a very sensible topic which deserves wording living up to the seriousness of the topic.

Read more: http://www.iol.co.za/news/politics/zille-slams-aids-gestapo-1.1192047

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

14th HOPE Gala Dresden

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

Ball of HOPE 2020

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