In The News – HIV

Cancer drug that can potentially help with HIV cure

One of the more successful HIV treatment therapies being widely used is the HAART (Highly active antiretroviral therapy). This therapy works by suppressing the HIV viruses with drugs until they become almost undetectable, giving patients a chance to live virtually symptom-free for as long as they continue medication. However, if the patient stops treatment, HIV reservoirs which are undetected by the immune system will once again get a chance to kick-start the virus.

Another therapy that is being researched heavily right now is the “Kick and Kill” approach. This approach attempts to make the HIV virus more visible to the immune system by “kicking” them out of their dormant state and then kill it.

A research team from the UC Davis School of Medicine has discovered that PEP005, an ingredient used in cancer treatment, is very effective in re-activating latent HIV found in cells obtained from 13 subjects who are HIV positive.

PEP005 has not been tested in actual HIV-positive subjects and more time will be needed to see if it is safe for use as part of the “Kick and Kill” therapy.

>> See here for the journal

U.S. STI Clinics getting higher uptake of HIV Prevention Starter Kits

A recent research shows that more and more patients who are worried about potentially carrying an HIV virus are becoming open to the not-so-well-known HIV PEP starter kit(or postexposure prophylaxis in medical terms).

The PEP is very time reliant – meaning the sooner you have it, the more chances you have of getting rid of your HIV. However, the PEP is very seldom offered in hospitals and medical institutions free of charge for those who do not have insurance, and this was the reason why doctors regard the phenomenon as ‘filling an unmet need’.

In spite of this, the PEP was heavily accepted by the patients who were offered the treatment – 95% to be precise, showing that it has a lot of potential for further development.

>> Read the original report here

Hospitals in Brazil now provide early HIV treatment free of charge

Many medical studies claim that early detection and treatment of the HIV virus can result in a complete elimination of the disease from the infected patient’s body, up to 93% of the time. Based on this fact, the Brazilian government decided to give hospitals in the whole country the opportunity to provide its patients with a free and effective treatment that could get rid of their infection.

The treatment, post-exposure prophylaxis (or PEP), contains several different medications that require the infected to take it for up to a maximum of 28 days in order for it to be effective.

It is generally recommended to visit a center that offers PEP within 72 hours of contact, although it would be best to have PEP administered from the first few hours from the initial exposure.

PEP, although coming into fruition since 2011, has only been made available now for the Brazilian health centers, and is constantly being developed to be present in every hospital all around the world.

>> Read the original report here