Real Talk: A Ballooning Reservoir
The viral reservoir, whose stubborn presence is the main reason why attempts to cure HIV with standard antiretrovirals fall flat, may be as much as 60 times larger than scientists once conceived.
“We just need a realistic idea of what we’re up against,” says Dr. Robert F. Siciliano. “And for most people, we have to prepare ourselves that we don’t have a way to [cure them] now and it’s going to take a long time to do it.”
Coinfected With HIV and Hep C? Time To Party Like It’s 1996
The hep C revolution is upon us. Echoing the 1996 introduction of HIV antiretroviral cocktails, 2014 is all but certain to go down in history as HCV’s watershed year. Keep an eye out for Gilead’s ledipasvir and Bristol-Myers Squibb’s daclatasvir. They can be used interferon free and allow for 95%+ cure rates after as little as six to 12 weeks of treatment.
A ‘government’ video of the device at work shows what looks like a hand exerciser connected to a long, swiveling antennae, as well as several patients hooked up to a box-like machine. Part of the Army treatment also involves ground meat.
POZ Opinion: Another Miracle Baby, a Still-Broken System
Two Babies “Functionally Cured.” But to put treatment within reach to all pregnant women and newborns, we need to fix our broken healthcare system, and we need reproductive justice:
• We need Medicaid expansion in all states, and quality, accessible HIV testing and healthcare for all people (including the undocumented immigrants who are denied many of the promises of Obamacare).
• We need comprehensive mental health services and trauma-informed care for women and all other people living with HIV.
• We need policies and programs to allow women to access perinatal and health services that respect their human rights and that support them as parents, rather than using or threatening punitive measures, and
• We need to scale up comprehensive and combination HIV prevention strategies so women can protect themselves from HIV before, during and after pregnancy.
Hydeia Broadbent was born HIV positive in 1984; when she was 3, doctors diagnosed her with AIDS. (She defied a diagnosis by doctors that she wouldn’t live past 5.) We featured her on our cover in October 1997, as a young girl committed to the fight against the virus. Today, at 29 years old, Hydeia is still defiant, and is an outspoken advocate against a disease that many people believe has been cured. But that’s so not the case.
We couldn’t resist the opportunity to enlist Doge, the nonsensical Shiba Inu Meme pup for HIV/AIDS awareness. He has shown us that sometimes just a few simple words will do. So, in that spirit, repeat after us: Very HIV. Much AIDS. Need cure. Want now.
Fascinating study about using radioimmunotherapy (RIT) and highly active antiretroviral therapy (HAART) in HIV cure research. In RIT, which has been used for a while to treat cancer, antibodies charged with radioactive isotopes target and destroy cancer cells, while leaving untargeted (healthy) cells unharmed. Read more here.
After vaccinating 16 rhesus macaque monkeys, the scientists then infected them with a highly aggressive form of SIV. Nine of the monkeys gradually cleared the virus—the first time this feat has ever been achieved in this avenue of HIV study. After the investigators ground up all of the monkeys’ organs and analyzed 240 samples from each to look for virus, finding none, they pronounced the monkeys cured.
The Hepatitis C Drug Pipeline Report: A Groundswell to Become a Sea Change
Frantic competition between the major pharmaceutical players has accelerated progress to a breakneck speed. Scientists are charged with excitement over the promise of a new paradigm in hep C treatment: Simplified, all-oral, interferon-free therapies with high cure rates for broad swaths of the hep C population.