March 2007 Archives

WHO support male circumcision to fight spread of AIDS

UN health agencies on Wednesday gave the stamp of approval for including male circumcision in the panoply of arms to fight the spread of AIDS, stressing though that its success also depended on safe-sex awareness, sensitivity and resources.

The World Health Organisation (WHO) and the specialised agency UNAIDS declared that millions of lives could be saved if circumcision were widely and safely practised.

They issued guidelines at a press conference in Paris following a debate among experts, health officials and grassroots groups in Geneva on March 6-8. 

"The recommendations represent a significant step forward in
HIV prevention," said Kevin de Cock, director of the WHO's HIV/AIDS Department.

German AIDS Action Plan Aims to Revive Awareness


german ad campaignThe German cabinet approved a national action plan against the spread of HIV and AIDS, which focuses on increased preventive measures and research into new strains of drug-resistant viruses.

When it comes to HIV and AIDS, the discrepancy between knowledge of the disease and actual behavior is widening, German leaders warned this week.

According to government statistics, almost 100 percent of the German population is aware of the most frequent modes of HIV transmission and ways to protect against infection.

clinical trialsLOS ANGELES, CA -- March 6, 2007 -- Raltegravir could be a viable therapeutic option for people with highly drug-resistant strains of HIV, according to findings from 2 studies presented here at the 14th Conference on Retroviruses and Opportunistic Infections (CROI).

The drug inhibits the enzyme HIV-1 integrase, making it effective against multi-drug resistant strains of HIV-1 and particularly CCR5-tropic and CXCR4-tropic strains, said investigator David Cooper, MD, director, National Centre in HIV Epidemiology and Clinical Research, University of New South Wales, Sydney, Australia.

In a presentation on February 28th, Dr. Cooper discussed the study -- Blocking integrase in treatment Experienced patients with a Novel Compound against HIV: MeRcK, MK-0518 (BENCHMRK)-1 -- which included patients in Europe, Asia/Pacific, and Peru.

Half Of HIV Spread By Newly Infected


aidsScience Daily — A new study led by McGill University researchers shows that half of all HIV transmissions happen when newly infected people don’t know they are carrying the virus and may not even test positive for it.

The study, published in the April edition of the Journal of Infectious Diseases and already available online, followed 2,500 patients in eight Montreal HIV clinics over eight years. It showed that newly infected patients are eight times more likely to transmit the virus than those in the chronic stage of AIDS given the same behaviour.

CD4 Count Predicts Non-Opportunistic Diseases in HIV


AIDSLOS ANGELES, Feb. 28 -- Like the traditional HIV-associated opportunistic infections, the toll of conditions such as heart and liver disease is also affected by the immune status of a patient, researchers reported here.

Most of us have previously assumed that prolonged survival and advancing age explain much of the increase in these common end-organ diseases" among HIV patients, said Jason Baker, M.D., of the University of Minnesota at the Conference on Retroviruses and Opportunistic Infections here.

But in fact, he told an oral abstract session, the increase is related to a patient's CD4 count.

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