Thursday April 19, 2018

About 2.5 Million People Infected with HIV Each Year: Study

During the past decade, the rate of new infections has "stayed relatively constant" since its peak in 1997 of 3.3 million new infections per year

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An early clinical trial shows that passive immunization with an HIV-1 neutralizing antibody can help lower the amount of virus in the blood of an HIV-1-infected subject. Image source: Science Translated Medicine
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    • About 2.5 million people are infected with HIV every year, according to a recent analysis of a global AIDS study
    • According to the GBD 2015 study, 75 percent of the new HIV infections occurred in sub-Saharan Africa, while south Asia accounted for 8.5 percent and south-east Asia for 4.7 percent
    • Between 2005 and 2015 the use of antiretrovirals has increased from 6.4 percent to 38.6 percent for men and from 3.3 percent to 42.4 percent for women

About 2.5 million people are infected with HIV every year, according to a recent analysis of a global AIDS study.

During the past decade, the rate of new infections has “stayed relatively constant” since its peak in 1997 of 3.3 million new infections per year.  While the rate of annual death from HIV/AIDS has been in a steady decline from a peak of 1.8 million in 2005 to 1.2 million in 2015.

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“Although scale-up of antiretroviral therapy and measures to prevent mother-to-child transmission have had a huge impact on saving lives, our new findings present a worrying picture of slow progress in reducing new HIV infections over the past 10 years,” said lead author Haidong Wang.

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The report, which analyses findings of the Global Burden of Disease 2015 study, was published in the Lancet HIV Journal to coincide with the launch of the International AIDS meeting in Durban, South Africa.

According to the GBD 2015 study, 75 percent of the new HIV infections occurred in sub-Saharan Africa, while south Asia accounted for 8.5 percent and south-east Asia for 4.7 percent.

Hai Dong Wang Image Source: globalhealth.washington.edu
Hai Dong Wang. Image Source: globalhealth.washington.edu

It says that in southern Africa, more than one percent of the populations of Botswana, Lesotho and Swaziland were becoming infected with HIV. In Europe, Russia and Ukraine had the highest rates, while Cambodia had the highest rates in Asia.

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Between 2005 and 2015 the use of antiretrovirals has increased from 6.4 percent to 38.6 percent for men and from 3.3 percent to 42.4 percent for women.

Despite those increases, the study says most countries fall short of the UNAIDS target calling for countries to ensure that 81 percent of people living with HIV/AIDS are receiving ART by 2020.  Although according to report, no country has met that goal, Sweden, the United States, Netherlands and Argentina are all close at about 70 percent

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Newly Developed Tool to Battle HIV in Women

This novel tool may soon help women to combat HIV transmission

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HIV Aids is a deadly disease.
HIV AIDS

Scientists have developed a new tool that can potentially help protect women from being infected with the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV).

The tool — a vaginal implant — decreases the number of cells that the HIV virus can target in a woman’s genital tract.

Unlike conventional methods of HIV prevention such as condoms or anti-HIV drugs, the novel implant takes advantage of some people’s natural immunity to the virus.

The deadly disease of HIV is now preventable.
HIV is now preventable.

HIV infects the body by corrupting T-cells that are mobilised by the immune system when the virus enters a person’s body.

“We know that some drugs taken orally never make it to the vaginal tract, so this implant could provide a more reliable way to encourage T-cells not to respond to infection and therefore more reliably and cheaply prevent transmission,” said Emmanuel Ho, professor at the University of Waterloo in Canada.

When the T-cells stay resting and do not attempt to fight the virus they are not infected and the HIV virus is not transmitted between people.

When the T-cells stay resting, it is referred to as being immune quiescent.

However, “what we don’t know yet is if this can be a stand-alone option for preventing HIV transmission or if it might be best used in conjunction with other prevention strategies”, Ho added, in a paper appearing in the Journal of Controlled Release.

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The implant is composed of a hollow tube and two pliable arms to hold it in place.

It contains hydroxychloroquine (HCQ) which is disseminated slowly through the porous material of the tube and absorbed by the walls of the vaginal tract.

The implants were tested in an animal model and a significant reduction in T-cell activation was observed, meaning that the vaginal tract was demonstrating an immune quiescent state, the researchers said.  IANS