What About HIV?

#Whatabout ending discrimination against people living with HIV?

HIV Cure May Be Reality

Posted on | June 8, 2012 | No Comments

Dr Francoise Barre-Sinoussi, the noble prize winning scientist, has tantalizingly suggested that a possible cure for Aids may be imminent.

Revealing that she conceives that a cure for HIV is achievable, but is at present unable to give a time span on the much awaited antidote. It is over 30 years since the virus was noted and in the subsequent years more than 30 million people have succumbed to HIV/AIDS. In this time there has evolved many treatments and preventatives to stem the progression of the illness.

Post-SSRI sexual dysfunction is often an unwanted side effect of certain drugs used in the treatment of HIV/aids. Modern Erectile dysfunction treatments such as Pfizer’s Viagra and Cialis manufactured by Eli Lilly can however negate these unwanted side effects.

Full Article:http://www.uk-med.co.uk/Health/Nobel-Prize-Winner-That-Identified-HIV-Says-Cure-Is-Feasible

Driving Ability May Falter with Age in HIV-Positive Adults

Posted on | April 7, 2014 | No Comments

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FRIDAY, April 4, 2014 (HealthDay News) — Middle-aged and elderly people with HIV may have deficits in their mental skills that affect their ability to drive, according to a small new study.

The study included 26 adults with HIV (the virus that causes AIDS), aged 40 and older, who were given mental performance and driving simulator tests.

The level of the virus in the HIV-positive patients’ blood did not affect their driving performance, but being older was associated with poorer driving skills and slower visual processing speed, the researchers said.

The study was published recently in the Journal of the Association of Nurses in AIDS Care.

This area requires further research because by 2015, nearly half of the people with HIV in the United States will be 50 or older, said principal investigator David Vance, associate director of the Center for Nursing Research at the University of Alabama at Birmingham.

“Driving is perhaps one of the most [mentally] complex everyday activities, involving the ability to successfully negotiate one’s environment on the road by making quick decisions and attending and reacting to various stimuli,” he said in a university news release.

“The most pronounced and prevalent [mental] deficits in HIV are found in measures of speed and processing — functions essential to safe driving,” Vance said.

Although the study found that older HIV-positive people showed signs of impaired driving, it did not prove a cause-and-effect relationship.

“Previous research shows 29 percent of adults with HIV have indicated a decreased driving ability. That alone means it’s an area that requires further examination,” Vance said.

Article source: http://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/news/fullstory_145517.html

HIV home test kits given go-ahead

Posted on | April 6, 2014 | No Comments

HIV testThe test could involve taking a small drop of blood from a finger

Kits allowing people to test themselves for HIV at home can be bought over the counter in the UK for the first time – but none exist yet in Britain.

The change in the law means it is now legal for people to test and diagnose themselves at home.

Previously, people could carry out tests they ordered online at home and send away their results, but were diagnosed over the phone.

It is hoped the move will help the UK’s 25,000 undiagnosed HIV-positive people.

No tests have yet been developed that pass European guidelines, said the government’s health regulator.

Home testing for HIV was approved by the government last September but the law only came into effect on Sunday.

The Terrence Higgins Trust HIV charity said the tests could be introduced into the UK this year or in early 2015.

The UK is leading Europe in making the kits available over the counter, but they were introduced to the US in 2012.

Testing could involve taking a small drop of blood from a finger, or a swab from the inside of the mouth.

‘Key strut’ of HIV prevention

Dr Michael Brady, medical director at the Terrence Higgins Trust, said it was a “shame” the change in the law was coming into effect when no viable tests were available.

The charity recently ran a scheme where participants were able to test themselves at home, send the results away by post and then receive a diagnosis over the phone, or by text message, if negative.

Dr Brady said: “What we had not anticipated was just how popular the scheme would be, with demand very nearly outstripping supply on more than one occasion.”

The trust found that 97% of 915 users in its study said they would use the HIV self-sampling again. The charity said that in one weekend it received 3,000 orders for the test.

He said such feedback indicated home testing would form a “key strut” of the charity’s prevention work in the UK.

But Dr Brady added: “It [home testing] is not for everyone, which is why it is important to have a range of options available.”

He said it was important for users to access NHS facilities such as counselling and treatment if they found out at home they were HIV-positive.

‘Convenient and discreet’

A spokesperson for the Department for Health said: “The stigma surrounding HIV may mean that some people are afraid or reluctant to go to a clinic to be tested.

“The change in the law will mean self-test kits are now legal to buy, making the test process more convenient and discreet.”

She said although no kits meeting European standards were available in the UK, the government “expected this to change” in the next year.

“HIV testing remains free on the NHS – anybody with concerns can visit their GUM Clinic, GP or contact the Terrence Higgins Trust’s confidential helpline. Self-sampling kits are also available to buy,” she added.

Online tests ‘unreliable’

Heather Leake Date, HIV specialist pharmacist and spokesperson for the Royal Pharmaceutical Society, said the tests would help reduce the risk of new HIV infections.

She said: “HIV self-testing kits may help increase diagnosis by providing more choice for people who have been at risk but are reluctant to get a test in person from existing services.”

Ms Leake Date said kits currently available online could be unreliable and give “false results”.

She added: “When kits become available, people should buy from a trusted source and check for the CE mark, which means it will have been assessed for quality and safety.”

Article source: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/health-26888272#sa-ns_mchannel=rss&ns_source=PublicRSS20-sa

Ugandan clinics selling bogus HIV certificates

Posted on | April 3, 2014 | No Comments

Sign for HIV tests

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Many Ugandans are wary of getting tested because of the stigma of being HIV-positive

Private clinics in Uganda’s capital, Kampala, are selling fake HIV negative certificates to help people get jobs, an undercover investigation by BBC Africa’s Catherine Byaruhanga has revealed.

It is the tail-end of the morning rush-hour when I meet Sarah outside a popular supermarket in a suburb of Kampala.

She is a young woman in her 20s, with dreadlocks. She is anxious, and can hardly look me in the eye.

So I am careful not to push her too hard.

I, along with my BBC colleagues, spent several weeks trying to track down someone who had paid for a fake HIV-negative certificate.

Most of the people we spoke to were too scared to be interviewed. Sarah isn’t her real name – she would only talk to us if we hid her identity.

Continue reading the main story

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We visited 15 clinics – 12 were willing to give us a fake negative result”

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“I had to get the fake negative results because if I gave the company my positive results I was not going to get employed,” she told the BBC.

“I’m a single mother. I’m struggling. I need this money. I need this job for my child.”

We heard several accounts of people buying bogus HIV-negative results in order to get a job, to travel abroad or to lie to sexual partners because of the huge stigma against people with HIV here.

We went undercover to several clinics in Kampala, pretending to be HIV-positive job-seekers in need of a negative certificate to show prospective employers.

‘Global leader’

These were small private clinics – there are hundreds of them all over Kampala. Inside, there were a handful of staff, a doctor maybe but usually a nurse and a laboratory technician who carries out the testing.

We visited 15 clinics – 12 were willing to give us a fake negative result.

One laboratory technician said it was very risky for him to give a fake certificate and he could be arrested. After some negotiations, he agreed to write it for around $20 (£12).

Uganda fake HIV certificate

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A lab technician agrees to sell a fake certificate

The certificates have everything to make them look official, including the clinic’s official stamp and the health worker’s signature.

This evidence comes at a time when many people here are taking a critical look at Uganda’s HIV policies. For years, the country was seen as a global leader in the fight against the disease.

Twenty years ago, around one in five Ugandans had the virus, the government quickly got behind Aids campaigns and by 2005 the rate was brought down to 6.3%.

But in recent years the number of people with HIV has started to rise again, to 7.2% in 2012.

Once again, the government and activists are fighting to turn things around.

The message is: “Get tested”. Everywhere you go in Kampala there are billboards and posters urging people to find out their status.

Even President Yoweri Museveni and his wife have taken public tests.

The idea is once people find out they are HIV-positive they can get onto anti-retroviral medicines and be counselled so they don’t spread the disease.

But the massive social stigma means many are just too scared.

‘They don’t know’

Last year, a survey of more than 1,000 Ugandans living with HIV/Aids was carried out by the National Forum of People Living with HIV/Aids Networks in Uganda (Nafophanu). It found that more 60% of them faced stigma; either being shunned by relatives or friends or losing a job.

Many people in Uganda still see it as a disease of the immoral, those who have led a promiscuous life.

The HIV-positive people we have spoken to add that employers are not willing to hire them because they think the disease will make them less efficient at work.

Nafophanu head Stella Kentutsi says this stigma leads some HIV-positive people to avoid accessing health services.

This then leads to more people dying of the disease and passing it on to their partners.

Nicolette Uwimana has chosen to be open about being HIV-positive but, she says, that has made her life difficult.

She is a beautiful young woman, welcoming and very confident. Her purple extensions match her bright pink top with the printed slogan: “HIV stops with me”.

Nicolette UwimanaNicolette Uwimana says the first thing employers want to know is her HIV status

Ms Uwimana contracted the virus at the age of 10 after being raped. Her family initially took care of her but eventually kicked her out because her treatment became expensive. She now lives in a cramped room with four others.

Continue reading the main story

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It does not shock me Nevertheless, it’s a challenge for government and the country to pull up its socks and squarely face this problem”

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Ruhakana Rugunda
Uganda’s health minister

“My friends don’t even want to associate with me, those who are not positive,” she said.

“And when they hear my story they tend to point fingers – ‘You went looking for it,’ because they don’t actually know, they don’t understand what somebody goes through.

“And for quite some time now I haven’t been working because everywhere I go to look for a job the first thing they ask me is my status.”

Nonetheless, Ms Uwimana is adamant that sharing her story will give her peace of mind and help her come to terms with her ordeal.

For now, she earns some money by making jewellery and speaking at HIV events.

‘Going to die’

We showed our undercover footage to Uganda’s Health Minister Ruhakana Rugunda. He admits the government could do more to stop the issuance of fake HIV-negative results.

“It does not shock me [that people are buying bogus negative results] Nevertheless, it’s a challenge for government and the country to pull up its socks and squarely face this problem,” he told the BBC.

He said the police had handled some cases, but it is not a problem for them to solve.

Instead, companies should stop stigmatising job seekers who are HIV-positive, Mr Rugunda said.

Blood sampleA new bill could punish those who knowingly pass on HIV

“I think that’s discriminatory. I think that’s pushing people to tell lies and to fake certificates,” he told the BBC.

But there are no laws to protect HIV-positive people against discrimination. At the same time, the government is proposing legislation that activists fear will increase stigmatisation.

The HIV and Aids Prevention and Control Bill 2010 has clauses that aim to punish people who transmit the virus.

Health-workers will also be obliged to divulge the status of anyone they think could pass on HIV to their partner.

The US funds the majority of Uganda’s HIV programmes, mainly through non-governmental organisations. In the past decade, it has contributed more than $2bn.

Then-US President George Bush, Laura Bush, Uganda's President Yoweri Museveni and Janet Museveni listen to orphans singing in Entebbe, Uganda, on 11 July 2003The US has worked closely with Uganda to combat HIV/Aids

US ambassador to Kampala Scott DeLisi told the BBC he could not guarantee that US money had not gone to clinics giving out fake HIV-negative certificates.

But he says the responsibility to monitor programmes lies with Uganda.

“When they find these problems, they have to prosecute people. They have to show they’re serious about it.”

Sarah says she takes responsibility for breaking the law and lying about her HIV status but says she would do it again for the sake of her child.

“Why should I sit back and say: ‘Let me do the right thing’. At the end of the day, it’s me who’s going to suffer. It’s my child,” Sarah told the BBC.

“No-one is going to listen to me. I’m going to die and if I die just like that, who’s going to speak out for me?”

Are you in Uganda? Have you been affected by the issues raised in this story? You send us your experiences by emailing haveyoursay@bbc.co.uk using the subject line: “Uganda”.

Or you can get in touch using the form below.

Article source: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-africa-26859087#sa-ns_mchannel=rss&ns_source=PublicRSS20-sa

VIDEO: Rise in fake HIV tests in Uganda

Posted on | April 3, 2014 | No Comments

HIV is on the rise in Uganda despite successful awareness campaigns and billions of dollars of donor money.

In a deeply conservative society it’s a virus which has huge stigma attached that often means people who carry it struggle to find work.

A BBC Africa investigation has revealed a growing trend in Uganda to buy fake HIV negative results.

Catherine Byaruhanga has this exclusive report from Kampala.

Article source: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-africa-26864819#sa-ns_mchannel=rss&ns_source=PublicRSS20-sa

SA flavoured condoms to fight HIV

Posted on | April 3, 2014 | No Comments

Colourful condoms in Malaysia's southern seaside town of Pontian (22 January 2013)The condoms will be given out for free at universities and colleges

South Africa’s government will distribute coloured and flavoured condoms among students to end “condom fatigue”, the health minister has said.

Aaron Motsoaledi’s comments came after a survey showed that condom usage had fallen in South Africa.

The decline in usage may be because “the standard-issued choice condoms just aren’t cool enough”, he added.

South Africa has some 6.4 million HIV-positive people – more than any other country.

The survey, by South Africa’s Human Sciences Research Council (HSRC), showed the rate of people with HIV had risen from 10.6% in 2008 to 12.2% in 2012.

This was because of the combined effects of “new infections and a successfully expanded antiretroviral treatment [ART] programme”, the report said.

Many of those infected with HIV are living longer because they are being given treatment which a previous government refused to make available in state clinics.

Some two million people are now on the ART programme, however charities have warned that local clinics are running short of the drugs, Reuters news agency reports.

The latest study shows that condom use had declined, especially in the 15 to 24 age group.

The 2008 survey showed that 85% of males used them and 66% of females, but this had dropped to 67% and 50% respectively in 2012.

“The increases in some risky sexual behaviours are disappointing, as this partly accounts for why there are so many new infections still occurring,” said Leickness Simbayi, an investigator on the study.

Some three-quarters of those surveyed said they had a low risk of contracting HIV, even though 10% were already infected.

In his response to the report, Mr Motsoaledi said: “We need to inject enthusiasm into the condom campaign, and we are about to start rolling out new types of free, coloured condoms which are also flavoured.”

The condoms will be distributed for free at South Africa’s universities and colleges, he added.

Article source: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-africa-26853788#sa-ns_mchannel=rss&ns_source=PublicRSS20-sa

HIV-Infected Men at Increased Risk for Heart Disease, Large Study Finds

Posted on | April 2, 2014 | No Comments


National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID)

National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute (NHLBI)


Laura S. Leifman, NIAID

NHLBI Communications Office


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Embargoed for Release: Monday, March 31, 2014,
5 p.m. Eastern Time

NIH-supported research also identifies predictors of heart disease risk in this group

The buildup of soft plaque in arteries that nourish the heart is more common and extensive in HIV-infected men than HIV-uninfected men, independent of established cardiovascular disease risk factors, according to a new study by National Institutes of Health grantees. The findings suggest that HIV-infected men are at greater risk for a heart attack than their HIV-uninfected peers, the researchers write in Annals of Internal Medicine.

Plaque buildup in the arteries that nourish the heart, a condition called coronary atherosclerosis, narrows the arteries and increases the risk of heart attack. Credit: NHLBI

In addition, blockage in a coronary artery was most common among HIV-infected men whose immune health had declined the most over the course of their infection and who had taken anti-HIV drugs the longest, the scientists found, placing these men at even higher risk for a heart attack.
“These findings from the largest study of its kind tell us that men with HIV infection are at increased risk for the development of coronary artery disease and should discuss with a care provider the potential need for cardiovascular risk factor screening and appropriate risk reduction strategies,” said Gary H. Gibbons, M.D., director of the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute (NHLBI), part of NIH.

“Thanks to effective treatments, many people with HIV infection are living into their 50s and well beyond and are dying of non-AIDS-related causes—frequently, heart disease,” said Anthony S. Fauci, M.D., director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID), also part of NIH. “Consequently, the prevention and treatment of non-infectious chronic diseases in people with HIV infection has become an increasingly important focus of our research.”

NIAID and NHLBI funded the study with additional support from the National Center for Advancing Translational Sciences, part of NIH.

Past studies of the association between heart disease and HIV infection have reached inconsistent conclusions. To help clarify whether an association exists, the current investigation drew participants from the Multicenter AIDS Cohort Study (MACS), a study of HIV/AIDS in gay and bisexual men established by NIAID nearly 30 years ago.

“One advantage of the MACS is that it includes HIV-uninfected men who are similar to the HIV-infected men in the study in their sexual orientation, lifestyle, socioeconomic status and risk behavior, which makes for a good comparison group,” said Wendy S. Post, M.D., who led the study. Dr. Post is a professor of medicine and epidemiology at the Johns Hopkins School of Medicine and the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health in Baltimore.

Another advantage was the MACS’ size, with nearly 7,000 men cumulatively enrolled, 1,001 of whom participated in the new study. The participants included 618 men who were HIV-infected and 383 who were not. All were 40 to 70 years of age, weighed less than 200 pounds, and had had no prior surgery to restore blood flow to the coronary arteries.

Dr. Post and colleagues investigated whether the prevalence and extent of plaque buildup in coronary arteries, a condition called coronary atherosclerosis, is greater in HIV-infected men than HIV-uninfected men and whether that plaque is soft or hard. Coronary atherosclerosis, especially soft plaque, is more likely to be a precursor of heart attack than hard plaque.

The scientists found coronary atherosclerosis due to soft plaque in 63 percent of the HIV-infected men and 53 percent of the HIV-uninfected men. After adjusting for cardiovascular disease risk factors, including high blood pressure, diabetes, high cholesterol, high body mass index and smoking, the presence of soft plaque and the cumulative size of individual soft plaques were significantly greater in men with HIV infection.

In addition, by examining a subgroup of HIV-infected men, the scientists discovered two predictors of advanced atherosclerosis in this population. The first predictor deals with white blood cells called CD4+ T cells, which are the primary target of HIV and whose level, or count, is a measure of immune health. The researchers found that for every 100 cells per cubic millimeter decrease in a man’s lowest CD4+ T cell count, his risk of coronary artery blockage rose by 20 percent. The scientists also found that for every year a man had taken anti-HIV drugs, his risk of coronary artery blockage rose by 9 percent.

Because the investigators examined coronary artery plaque at a single point in time, further research is needed to determine whether coronary artery plaque in HIV-infected men is less likely to harden over time, or whether these men simply develop greater amounts of soft plaque, according to Dr. Post. In addition, she said, studies on therapies and behavioral changes to reduce risk for cardiovascular disease in men and women infected with HIV are needed to determine how best to prevent progression of atherosclerosis in this population.

The study was funded by NIH through grant numbers RO1-HL-095129, UL1-RR-025005, UO1-AI-35042, UL1-RR-025005, UM1-AI-35043, UO1-AI-35039, UO1-AI-35040, and UO1-AI-35041. The National Cancer Institute co-funds the MACS.

For more information about HIV/AIDS, please visit http://aids.gov .

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 Web site at http://www.niaid.nih.gov.

Part of the National Institutes of Health, the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute (NHLBI) plans, conducts, and supports research related to the causes, prevention, diagnosis, and treatment of heart, blood vessel, lung, and blood diseases; and sleep disorders. The Institute also administers national health education campaigns on women and heart disease, healthy weight for children, and other topics. NHLBI press releases and other materials are available online at http://www.nhlbi.nih.gov.

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®


WS Post et al. Associations between HIV infection and subclinical coronary atherosclerosis, Annals of Internal Medicine DOI: 10.7326/M14-1754 (2014).


Article source: http://www.nih.gov/news/health/mar2014/niaid-31.htm

HIV-Positive Inmates Benefit from Drug Treatment, Study Says

Posted on | April 2, 2014 | No Comments

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MONDAY, March 31, 2014 (HealthDay News) — Providing drug therapy to HIV-positive prison inmates helped a significant number of them achieve suppression of the virus before they were released, a new study finds.

HIV patients with so-called “viral suppression” are less likely to transmit the AIDS-causing virus to others, experts noted.

The study, published online March 31 in JAMA Internal Medicine, included 882 HIV-infected prisoners in Connecticut who were in jail for at least 90 days and were put on antiretroviral therapy (ART). Most of the prisoners were men, their average age was 43 and about half were black.

Nearly 30 percent of the inmates had viral suppression when they began their sentence, compared with 70 percent just before their release, the study found. Age, race, length of jail term, or type of antiretroviral regimen did not affect the likelihood of viral suppression, according to a journal news release.

“Treatment for HIV within prison is facilitated by a highly structured environment and, when combined with simple well-tolerated ART regimens, can result in viral suppression during incarceration,” said study author Dr. Jaimie Meyer, of Yale University School of Medicine, and colleagues.

But not every state has resources similar to those in Connecticut, another doctor pointed out.

“Unfortunately, the features of the excellent correctional care provided to HIV-infected persons in this Connecticut system are not available to all of the estimated 20,000 HIV-infected persons incarcerated in federal or state facilities,” Dr. Michael Puisis, a correctional consultant in Evanston, Ill., wrote in an accompanying commentary in the journal.

“While the Connecticut study is a positive accomplishment, HIV care in correctional centers still needs improvement in several areas,” he said. “We should take fullest advantage of the incarceration period, when people can receive supervised treatment, to improve their health and to develop discharge plans that will maintain these benefits on the outside.”

Article source: http://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/news/fullstory_145421.html

Study Adds to Signs Linking HIV to Heart Trouble

Posted on | April 2, 2014 | No Comments

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MONDAY, March 31, 2014 (HealthDay News) — Long-term HIV infection is linked to an increased risk of heart disease in men, a new study finds.

For the study, Johns Hopkins researchers looked at 618 HIV-infected men and 383 uninfected men, aged 40 to 70, in the Baltimore/Washington, D.C., Chicago, Pittsburgh and Los Angeles areas.

Study participants who had more advanced HIV and had been taking highly active antiretroviral therapy (HAART — a combination of drugs that target HIV) for a long time were more likely to have plaque buildup in their heart arteries and narrowing of the arteries.

This is called coronary artery disease and can lead to a heart attack, the study authors noted in a Johns Hopkins news release.

Previous research has suggested an association between HIV (the virus that causes AIDS) and heart disease, but the results have been inconclusive, according to the report published in the April 1 issue of the Annals of Internal Medicine.

Knowing about the link between long-term HIV infection and heart disease is important because treatment advances have led to HIV/AIDS patients living much longer, lead author Dr. Wendy Post, a cardiologist and professor of medicine at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, and colleagues pointed out.

These study findings show the importance of identifying and treating heart disease risk factors in HIV patients, especially those with more advanced HIV, added Post, who is also a professor of epidemiology at the university’s Bloomberg School of Public Health.

Although the study added to evidence of a link between arterial plaque and long-term HIV infection and treatment, it did not prove a cause-and-effect relationship.

The researchers plan to investigate whether earlier treatment with HAART might reduce heart disease risk in people with HIV.

Article source: http://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/news/fullstory_145424.html

Hepatitis C Patients with HIV May Face Higher Risk of Liver Disease

Posted on | March 20, 2014 | No Comments

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WEDNESDAY, March 19, 2014 (HealthDay News) — Among people with hepatitis C, the risk of serious liver disease is much higher in those who also have HIV than in those without the AIDS-causing virus, a new study finds.

This is true even among patients with HIV who are otherwise benefiting from antiretroviral therapy to treat the virus, the University of Pennsylvania researchers said.

They analyzed data from more than 4,200 patients with both hepatitis C and HIV who were receiving antiretroviral therapy. In addition, they looked at data on more than 6,000 patients with hepatitis C only. The patients received care between 1997 and 2010.

The HIV/hepatitis C patients had an 80 percent higher rate of serious liver disease than those with hepatitis C only, according to the study, which was published in the March 18 issue of the journal Annals of Internal Medicine.

Even HIV/hepatitis C patients who had a good response to antiretroviral therapy for HIV still had a 60 percent higher rate of serious liver disease than those with hepatitis C alone.

Serious liver diseases were higher among HIV/hepatitis C patients with advanced liver fibrosis, diabetes and severe anemia, and among those who weren’t black, the study also found.

“Our results suggest that serious consideration should be given to initiating hepatitis C treatment in patients co-infected with HIV and hepatitis C — particularly among those with advanced liver fibrosis or cirrhosis — in order to try to reduce the risk of serious, potentially life-threatening liver complications,” study lead author Dr. Vincent Lo Re III, said in a university news release.

Lo Re is an assistant professor of medicine and epidemiology in the university’s division of infectious diseases and the department of biostatistics and epidemiology, as well as an investigator at the Penn Center for AIDS Research.

“By taking action sooner, we may be able to reduce the risk of advanced liver disease in co-infected patients,” Lo Re added.

About 20 percent to 30 percent of HIV patients also have hepatitis C, likely due to shared causes of infection.

Article source: http://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/news/fullstory_145193.html

HIV Transmission Between Women Rare, But Possible: CDC

Posted on | March 14, 2014 | No Comments

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THURSDAY, March 13, 2014 (HealthDay News) — A case report of a woman who was infected with HIV during sex with another woman shows that such transmission of the virus is possible, health officials say.

The case occurred in Texas in 2012 and involved two women who were a monogamous couple for six months. One of them had HIV, and the other did not. The couple routinely did not take any protective measures during sex, and had engaged in sexual activity that resulted in the exchange of blood through abrasions.

The partner who had been HIV-free became infected. Health officials could find no other HIV risk exposures for the newly infected woman, and concluded that it was likely she was infected by her partner.

While the risk of HIV transmission between female sex partners is low, it can occur when bodily fluids such as menstrual blood and vaginal fluids come into contact with a cut, abrasion or a mucus membrane (the tissue that lines body cavities such as the mouth and vagina), according to the report authors.

The researchers said this case study emphasizes the need for all couples — including women who have sex with women — to take measures to prevent HIV transmission. These steps include avoiding all contact between HIV-infected blood or blood-contaminated bodily fluids and broken skin, wounds or mucus membranes.

The report is published in the March 13 issue of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report.

Article source: http://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/news/fullstory_145094.html

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