Extraction of HIV Genetic Code Provides Information about Virus Emergence

American researchers have studied a tissue sample from the 1960s, recovering nearly the entire HIV virus genetic code. Based on this information, the researchers can determine accurately when the human immunodeficiency virus passed from chimps to humans. Some earlier estimates suggest this happened in the 1920s but the latest research establishes an earlier date in the 1900s. Determining when the HIV epidemics began is very important because the timeframe will enable scientists come up with the factors that facilitated the spread of the virus.

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The World Sees a Massive Reduction in HIV/AIDS Deaths Since 2010

The number of HIV deaths worldwide has gone down 33 per cent since 2010, a report by UNAIDS and the United Nations suggests. Unfortunately, some parts of the world have seen an increase in the number of newly infected individuals and the overall number of people living with HIV or AIDS. The report concludes that medical advances like HIV PEP and HIV PrEP have played an important role in controlling the epidemic and that researchers may soon be capable of formulating a reliable, effective and widely accessible cure.

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The World is Getting Closer to HIV Vaccine Development

Johnson & Johnson is just one of the pharmaceutical companies that will be carrying out a human vaccine HIV test. The company has already completed animal studies and it has established the safety of the vaccine. It will now have to work towards proving the vaccine’s effectiveness. Results from the trial are anticipated in 2023 but it isn’t the only experiment currently underway. A HIV vaccine trial is already taking place in Africa. The African study involves female volunteers due to the disproportionately high infection risk women in many African countries face.

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Over 210,000 Men in Singapore at Risk of HIV Infection, New Study Shows

A new academic analysis shows that the size of the population at risk of a HIV infection in Singapore is much larger than initially estimated. According to the National University of Singapore researchers, there are over 210,000 men engaging in sexual contact with other men – an activity that puts them at a high risk of infection. There are three additional at-risk groups – the male clients of female sex workers, the sex workers themselves and intravenous drug users.

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World’s Oldest HIV-Positive Person Celebrates 100th Birthday

HIV-positive individuals can lead long and productive lives nowadays. Miguel or the Lisbon Patient is the living proof of that claim. Diagnosed with early-stage AIDS when he was 84, Miguel has just celebrated his 100th birthday. While he does experience some minor age-related problems, Miguel is perfectly healthy and HIV is undetectable in his body. The doctors treating Miguel have decided to share his story in order to inspire HIV-positive individuals and help them seek treatment as soon as possible.

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News Update: Sentence Produced in Singapore HIV Registry Leak Case

A Kentucky court found Mikhy Farrera Brochez guilty of attempting to extort the Singaporean government in connection to the official HIV registry leak. The official sentence will be announced in September but Brochez faces jail time. He released the names and addresses of 5,400 Singaporeans and 8,800 foreigners featured in the official Singaporean HIV registry. Brochez said that he was doing whistleblowing to raise awareness about the unreliability of the registry. The Kentucky prosecution, however, refuted these claims and showed Brochez had been going after personal gains.

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Singapore Still Lags behind in Ensuring HIV Social Acceptance

Medicine has accomplished a lot in terms of treating HIV-positive individuals. HIV PEP, HIV PrEP and antiretroviral medications could make the viral load virtually undetectable. Regardless of medical advances, however, HIV acceptance in Singapore remains low. Even medical professionals contribute to the perpetuation of the stigma. Because of the negative attitudes, the number of people who get tested and who start receiving treatment early enough after an infection remains low.

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HIV Status of More Than 14,000 People in Singapore Leaked Online

In the beginning of 2019, the HIV positive status and the personal information of 14,200 was published online after the Singaporean HIV registry maintained by the Ministry of Health was breached. A US citizen staying in Singapore on an employment permit and a former Singaporean doctor have been identified as the individuals behind the breach. While both of them have received prison sentences, HIV positive individuals and advocacy groups worry about the repercussions of the leak. Some even claim HIV positive people could sue the government for the negligent handling of sensitive information.

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