January 2007 Archives

Studies of AIDS prevention gels halted

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HIV/AIDS researchResearchers have halted two studies of an anti-AIDS vaginal gel in Africa and India after early results suggested it might raise the risk of HIV infection instead of lowering it.

It was "a disappointing and unexpected setback" to efforts to get a simple tool to protect women from the risk of AIDS through sex, the World Health Organization said.

More than half of all new infections with the AIDS virus in Africa involve women and girls. Scientists and groups like the Gates Foundation have long sought a method of protection women could use, even without their partners' knowledge, since many men refuse to use condoms.

The studies were testing Ushercell, a gel containing cellulose sulfate, a cotton-based compound developed by Polydex Pharmaceuticals, based in Toronto.

Death sentence nurses in Libya accused of slander

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trial in LibyaFive Bulgarian nurses condemned to death after being convicted of injecting Libyan children with the HIV virus that can cause AIDS have been accused of slandering police, their lawyer told AFP.

Othman al-Bizanti said the five face questioning on February 11 accused of "slander towards Libyan police officers" in relation to another case.

Their lawyer met the nurses on Monday and said they were "in a bad psychological state" after being told of the slander accusation.

seleniumHIV patients may have an effective weapon to lengthen their lives, thanks to selenium. Taking a selenium supplement daily appears to keep HIV at bay and also strengthen the immune system, according to research by the University of Miami.

In a double-blind study of 262 HIV patients divided between patients receiving the supplements and placebos, the patients who received 200 micrograms of high-selenium yeast each day fought the disease much better. When each patient was given a comprehensive medical exam at the end of the study 9 months later, the ones who took selenium daily had a lower amount of the HIV virus in their bloodstream and better immune cell counts compared to those who hadn't.

"It's no surprise that selenium is finally getting the credit it deserves as a potent antiviral mineral," said Mike Adams, author of "The Seven Laws of Nutrition."

No link between HIV and AIDS, court told

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HIV/AIDSAn expert witness in the appeal of a HIV-positive man convicted of having unprotected sex with three women has been accused of misleading an Adelaide court.

Perth medical researcher Eleni Papadopulos-Eleopulos has told the South Australian Supreme Court of Appeal that HIV does not exist.

The AIDS dissident is one of two expert defence witnesses in an application to appeal the conviction of Andre Chad Parenzee, 35.

Parenzee was found guilty of endangering the lives of three woman last January because he did not tell them he had HIV and had unprotected sex with them.

UN AIDS awareness sign with critical graphiti in Harare, Zimbabwe, concerning public relations hypocrisy on the AIDS pandemic.by Peter Tremblay

Is AIDS an "accident of nature", or bio-terrorism created by a hideous intelligence? The cure to the worsening AIDS pandemic may lie in appreciating its origins. Are we as human beings, still such a self-destructive and barbaric species, that individuals or groups among us, would resort to such a prospective Crime Against Humanity?

Let's hope not, but a growing constituency of doctors as well as scientists are expressing alarm at statistics which suggest that AIDS is a "bio-weapon" designed to target population groups.

A striking feature of AIDS is that it has ethno-selective characteristics. The rate of infection is twice as high among Blacks, Latinos and Native Americans as among whites, with death coming two to three times as swiftly. And over 80% of the children with AIDS and 90% of infants born with it are among these minorities. "Ethnic weapons" that would strike certain racial groups more heavily than others have been a long-standing objectives of eugenics movements. (See - A Higher Form of Killing: The Secret Story of Chemical and Biological Warfare by R. Harris and J. Paxman, p 265, Hill and Wang).

The vaccine of new generation against AIDS

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Russians did it?.. Wow. Great.

Institute of Immunology of Russian Academy of Sciences takes up a problem of AIDS in Russia.

Laboratory chief of physiology of immunity and allergy Georgi Gudia says about a new vaccine against AIDS: "Anti-HIV vaccine HIV - Ripol was developed in the Institute of Immunology". Said vaccine has passed all necessary preclinical trials, and, since 2005, has been passing clinical trials with volunteer attraction.

First trial stage is coming to an end, and medical experts claim they can surely say that the vaccine is harmless and well tolerated for human beings. Ripol vaccine is classified as so-called vaccine of new generation. Ripol is a proprietary development of Institute of Immunology and is unique in global practice; moreover, the vaccine affects not only the antigen, but also its carrier.

A Real-World AIDS Vaccine?

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Author: Tina Rosenberg

Last month, scientists invented the AIDS vaccine. Missed it? Perhaps that’s because you were still seeking the vaccine fantasy: the magic bullet, the impenetrable shield that finally pitches this disease into the trash bin, the shot that will end not only the AIDS epidemic but our anxiety about the AIDS epidemic as well.

The vaccine thunderbolt didn’t strike — and might never. Drearily, the real AIDS vaccine is likely to be imperfect: one more tool in our arsenal, to be used along with condoms and all our other tools. It will most likely avert millions of infections and save millions of lives. But it will not end the Age of AIDS.

Author: Toni Lawson

Has HIV-AIDS been created in laboratories funded by neo-conservative ideologues and "religious fascists" to depopulate vulnerable target groups, including blacks and other minorities, homosexuals, and perceived "decadent" sexually active individuals?

Wangari Maathai suggests that HIV-AIDS is "man-made", and consistent with depopulation policy agenda. Depopulation has been a pivotal agenda of the neo-conservative American Eugenics Movement, in order to "free-up" resources for rich elites, and away from "inferior groups".

The first African woman to win the Nobel Peace Prize, Wangari Maathai of Kenya, spoke out on the AIDS virus saying it was man-made and deliberate ploy created as a weapon of 'biowarfare'.

AIDS lounge is a safe place to get support

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aids lounge, at New Westminster's Purpose Society (courtesy of NewsLeader)By Michael McQuillan, NewsLeader

People who are HIV and AIDS positive suffer higher stress than most people. They also face stigma because of their disease. Those are two of the reasons the Purpose Society in New Westminster is now home to a comfort zone lounge.

“We wanted clients and the people who support them to come down and feel completely at ease,” said Edoye Porbeni, the project co-ordinator for Positive Spaces with the Lower Mainland Purpose Society.

“By having a safe, quiet space, this is a space where people can regroup and share their experiences with people who have the same struggles,” she said.

Delay with AIDS drug restores effectiveness, study says

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nevirapinePregnant women who are HIV-positive and take the drug nevirapine during labor to prevent infecting their babies should wait until six months after delivery to resume taking the drug to avoid developing resistance, a new study showed.

By following the findings, to be published in The New England Journal of Medicine on Thursday, mothers could reduce the chance of the AIDS drug failing to work when they need it for themselves.

It translates into very clear policy for how to treat AIDS in new mothers who received nevirapine to protect their infants, said Max Essex, an author of the study, which followed the cases of 218 women in Botswana.

Black men in focus in American HIV drug trial

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clinical trialsATLANTA - Aids research in the United States has often focused on gay white men because the virus was identified early in that group and they developed an effective lobbying voice.

But a clinical trial by the Aids Research Consortium of Atlanta is focusing on gay black men, who are not as well organised but who have a higher incidence of the disease.

The trial aims to determine whether an Aids drug is safe for people who are negative for HIV, the virus that causes Aids. It has stirred debate among participants and researchers about gay sexuality within the black community and its attitude to safe sex.

Richard Gere to India Sex Workers: Wear Condoms

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MUMBAI, India —  Actor and AIDS activist Richard Gere brought thousands of sex workers to their feet on Wednesday, urging them to insist their clients use condoms.

"No condoms, no sex!" Gere shouted at an AIDS awareness event in Mumbai, the country's financial and entertainment hub.

He urged the crowd of more than 15,000 people to repeat the chant after him. Gere and Indian actress Bipasha Basu presented awards to those spearheading HIV prevention campaigns.

Earlier, Gere met sex workers who explained how they use pictures and books to persuade fellow prostitutes to insist on safe sex. But they said it was difficult getting regular customers to use condoms.

viral geneticsAZUSA, Calif., Jan. 9 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ -- Viral Genetics (OTC Bulletin Board: VRAL) has identified two key peptides involved in its thymus nuclear protein or "TNP" technology currently under development for the treatment of HIV/AIDS. The active components of VGV-1, Viral Genetics' lead drug candidate based on TNP, were discovered by independent research laboratories and additional studies to confirm these findings are currently underway.

The compounds identified include two classes of peptides (small protein fragments) that occur naturally in a variety of mammals, including humans. While both have been studied and reported in the scientific literature predominantly as markers, their therapeutic uses have not been actively pursued to date.

In published studies, one of the peptides has been characterized as an immune modulator, possibly possessing natural antiviral and anti-infective properties. Researchers have also identified an association between levels of this peptide and certain viral infections and cancers.

State eliminates waiting list for HIV medication

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HIV in US West Virginia has been able to eliminate its waiting list for free life-saving drugs for people infected with HIV.

That's progress well beyond that in many other states. In South Carolina, for example, more than 350 poor people infected with HIV are on a waiting list for the drugs. That's the longest such list in the country.

West Virginia's AIDS Drug Assistance Program was able to get rid of the waiting list earlier this fall, thanks to Medicare Part D coverage and state funds.

"Right now, we have a staff of case managers that work at Title III clinics at Charleston Area Medical Center, West Virginia University and other access points," said Jay Adams, HIV care coordinator for the state's division of surveillance and disease control.

Duke researchers hail new HIV/AIDS test

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AIDS drugsDetecting whether patients with HIV/AIDS are infected with even small amounts of drug-resistant forms of the virus can be done with a test developed by researchers at Duke University Medical Center.

While other tests only pick up drug-resistant strains when they represent a significant portion of the virus in a person's bloodstream, the test developed at Duke may enable doctors to more accurately predict which medicines will work for patients and which drugs will ultimately fail.

"This can be huge," said Dr. Feng Gao, a Duke HIV/AIDS researcher and co-author of the article published online Sunday in the journal Nature Methods.

AHFAIDS Healthcare Foundation (AHF), the largest AIDS healthcare, prevention and education provider in the United States which operates free AIDS treatment clinics in the US, Africa, Latin America/Caribbean and Asia, has joined together in a groundbreaking new HIV/AIDS treatment and training initiative with China's Xinjiang Medical University (XMU) and the Xinjiang Medical University--Affiliated Hospital in Xinjiang Province, China.

The partnership will create a "Center of Excellence" -- a model for high-quality antiretroviral therapy (ART), medical training and a clinical preceptorship program in healthcare and medical management of HIV disease including the use of ART for persons living with HIV/AIDS -- at the Xinjiang Medical University--Affiliated Hospital in Urumqi, the capital city of Xinjiang Province. The collaboration, which will be known as the "AHF -- Xinjiang Medical University--Affiliated Hospital HIV/AIDS Treatment and Training Initiative", was recently formalized in a memorandum of understanding (MOU) between AHF and the respected Chinese medical institutions, and was celebrated in China in a formal dedication ceremony on December 26, 2006.

Analysis: AIDS plan faces deadly deficit

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PEPFARWASHINGTON, Jan. 5 (UPI) -- If Congress allows a funding shortfall in a key global AIDS relief program to continue, more than 100,000 people could die, U.S. Global AIDS Coordinator Mark Dybul said this week.

The President's Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief, or PEPFAR, is a five-year, $15 billion program designed with yearly increases in funding. But Congress has yet to approve $900 million in expected funding for 2007.

If that money is not appropriated, the program, which provides treatment for 822,000 AIDS patients in 15 focus countries, will have to stop enrolling new individuals by February. Its counseling and testing programs, which have thus far reached 19 million people, will also feel the budget squeeze.

HIV/AIDS in North Carolina

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HIV/AIDSWhile the nation's rate of HIV disease has largely stabilized, HIV/AIDS is still a growing epidemic in this state. The AIDS case rate in North Carolina rose 60 percent between 2000 and 2004, compared with a 4 percent increase nationally.

Here are some facts about the disease in North Carolina in 2005:

  • The overall HIV disease infection rate in the state was 21.1 cases per 100,000 residents. That translates to an estimated 29,500 residents with either HIV or AIDS, including people who are not aware they are infected.
  • New HIV/AIDS infections were diagnosed in 1,806 people.
  • The rate for blacks was seven times the rate for whites, at 61.4 cases per 100,000 compared with 8.6 per 100,000.
  • The highest rate of infection was among black males, with 88.6 cases per 100,000.
source - N.C. Department of Health and Human Services

Still the Clinton News Network

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ClintonBill Clinton was back on CNN on World AIDS Day being portrayed as an expert on how to stop AIDS. It shows how the media will not let any of Clinton's sex scandals interfere with his public rehabilitation. The Clinton answer, which is quite unique, is to use an international airline tax to buy more anti-AIDS drugs of dubious value.

The U.N.-backed Unitaid agency is using the proceeds from a global airline tax to pay the Clinton Foundation to buy and distribute the drugs. They don't tell you that the drugs are toxic and can kill, or that they may cause the AIDS virus to mutate, making the disease even more deadly. In other words, it's not an issue that the Clinton plan could make the problem worse.

New Test Spots Drug Resistance in HIV Patients

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HIV testHealthDay News -- Researchers report that they've developed a test that could give doctors a much clearer idea about which drugs to prescribe for patients infected with HIV.

Doctors already use a variety of tests to gauge whether the strains of HIV within a patient are immune to different types of AIDS medications. But the developers of this new test say their version is much more sensitive and can detect smaller levels of resistance to drugs in the bloodstream.

While more research is needed and it will take at least two years for a new test to become widely available, the development will hopefully allow doctors "to make an informed selection of an HIV drug and delay resistance," said study author Dr. Feng Gao, an associate professor at Duke University. "Patients can stay healthier for a longer time."

District Continues to Fail the Public on HIV-AIDS

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AIDS awarenessBy Raymond S. Blanks, The Washington Post

The promises made by former mayor Anthony A. Williams more than a year ago to bolster the battle against HIV have not been realized.

The HIV-AIDS epidemic in the District remains disturbing and depressing. The rate of infection remains 10 times the national rate. African American women make up 90 percent of all infected female residents, and many thousands of residents with HIV do not know their status.

Black residents make up 60 percent of the District's population but represent more than 80 percent of AIDS cases. Nearly 20,000 of the city's residents are living with HIV. Recent tests indicate that, among the 16,700 persons tested, 580 tested positive, a new increase of nearly 4 percent.

China: Youths in the west lack understanding of AIDS

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chinaYoungsters in western China know more than their parents about how HIV and AIDS are spread, but they still lag well behind their peers in more developed parts of the country, a recent survey suggests.

The survey found 73.3 percent of youth in western China know how the HIV virus is spread and what they can do to protect themselves. That is about 20 percent points lower than youth in the rest of the country.

Many young people in the west know the HIV virus can be contracted through unprotected sex and blood transmission, according to the survey, which was published by China's Juvenile Research Center and the National Research Center for Science and Technology for Development.

A Molecular Condom against AIDS

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During Sex, Vaginal Gel Would Liquefy, Release Anti-HIV Drug.

Dec. 11, 2006 - University of Utah scientists designed a "molecular condom" women could use daily to prevent AIDS by vaginally inserting a liquid that would turn into a gel-like coating and then, when exposed to semen, return to liquid form and release an antiviral drug.

"We have developed a new vaginal gel that we call a molecular condom because it is composed of molecules that are liquid at room temperature and, when applied in the vagina, will spread and turn into a gel and effectively coat the tissue," says Patrick Kiser, an assistant professor of bioengineering. "It's a smart molecular condom because we designed this gel to release anti-HIV drugs when the gel comes into contact with semen during intercourse."

Abbott documents reveal plan to boost AIDS drug sales

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norvirThe Wall Street Journal has a story revealing internal Abbott documents that reviewed its strategy to boost sales of Kaletra, its new AIDS drug. According to the report, documents and e-mails illustrate how company executives reviewed ways to manipulate the market for the AIDS drug by boosting the price of Norvir, its older AIDS therapy that is included with other drugs in combinational therapies.

Abbott execs considered pulling Norvir or selling it only in liquid form, which one exec noted tastes like 'someone else's vomit.' Abbott then decided to simply quintuple the price of Norvir, expecting that the furor over the sudden price hike - touted as a measure to accurately reflect the drug's real value - would fade as Kaletra sales rose.

An Overwhelmed D.C. Agency Loses Count of AIDS Cases

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HIV/AIDSBy Jose Antonio Vargas, Washington Post

In late August, barely a month into her new job, Marie Sansone of the District's AIDS agency was astounded by what she discovered: five boxes of unexamined HIV and AIDS cases that had not been touched in more than a year.

In the boxes were records of 2,000 to 3,000 cases that had yet to be entered in the city's database. The records are mostly from 2004 and 2005, some from 2003. Who's getting sicker, who needs treatment, who died. All boxed up.

"Oh, my goodness," Sansone, surveillance chief for the city's Administration for HIV Policy and Programs (AHPP), remembers saying.

 

Hong Kong finds new HIV clusters, urges tests

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HIV testingHong Kong is urging residents who have had unsafe sex to undergo HIV tests after it found two large clusters of new infections that point to an unparalleled fast and local spread of the virus in the city.

"This is a fast spread in a place with low HIV prevalence. We have never seen this before," Wong Ka-hing, a consultant for the Health Department's Special Preventive Program, said in an interview on Thursday.

The two clusters involve 46 men, but authorities have not ruled out the chance of more people, including women, being infected.

The men were diagnosed with HIV between November 2003 and September 2006. Their virus samples were so genetically similar that local scientists believe they probably passed the virus to one another.

AIDS activist and Lexington actor Michael Thompson dies

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By Linda B. Blackford, HERALD-LEADER

Michael Thompson, a Lexington actor and long-time survivor of AIDS who helped nourish thousands of Kentuckians with the same disease, died Monday. He was 51 and had been suffering from cancer.

Thompson founded Moveable Feast, which delivered hot meals to people in Central Kentucky suffering from HIV and AIDS, in 1998. He got the idea after nursing a destitute artist with AIDS who starved to death just a few blocks from Lexington’s city hall, said fellow activist and friend Robert Morgan.

The operation started in the basement of St. Augustine’s Church with one volunteer, Thompson himself. But thanks to his will and personality, it soon grew to an organization that still feeds 100 people a day. The group served its 100,000th meal just four years after it started.

Health Tip: Symptoms of HIV in Women

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HIV/AIDSHealthDay News -- Human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) is the sexually transmitted virus that causes AIDS.

Symptoms of infection vary, even between women and men.

Here's a list of common warning signs of HIV in women, courtesy of Epigee Women's Health:

Chronic vaginal or oral yeast infections. Persistent fever or frequent night sweats. Bruising easily. Exhaustion. Rashes on the body. Extreme weight loss. Purple-colored lesions on skin or mouth. Persistent diarrhea for one month or longer.

zimbwabweZimbabwe this year aims to more than triple the number of people on anti-retrovirals (ARVs) from the current level of 50,000, a senior official was quoted as saying.

"We hope that by the end of 2007, about 160,000 people would have been enrolled under the anti-retroviral programme and we are working hard to ensure that this happens," Owen Mugurungi, National co-ordinator of health ministry's HIV/AIDS programme, told the state-run Herald daily.

About 18 percent of the country's 12 million people are HIV-positive.

According to the government, at least 300,000 people need ARVs throughout the country. Doctors have said that people with a CD4 count of 200 or less should be on anti-retrovirals.

Libya's Gaddafi suggests spy link in HIV case

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trial in LibyaLibyan leader Muammar Gaddafi on Friday defended a court's decision to sentence five Bulgarian nurses and a Palestinian doctor to death for infecting more than 400 children with HIV, but said mystery surrounded the case.

"It is unimportant that the medics are sentenced to death or not -- if they committed a crime and are sentenced to death, that is the court's decision," Gaddafi told a gathering of officials, religious leaders and reporters in Tripoli.

"The important thing is why the medical team injected the children with AIDS. Who ordered you -- was it Libyan intelligence, American intelligence, Israeli intelligence or Bulgarian intelligence? This is what we have to find out."

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