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Paired with a biannual testing programme, a combination drug used to prevent HIV infection has the potential to improve average per-person survival by nearly one year and block more than 270,000 HIV transmissions in India over a period of 15 years, says a study.
The once-a-day pill, called pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP), can reduce the risk of HIV acquisition by over 85 per cent when taken consistently.
The new study, published in the journal Clinical Infectious Diseases, suggests that making PrEP available to men who have sex with men (MSM) and people who inject drugs (PWID) in India may be a cost-effective way of curbing the epidemic in the country.
“We know PrEP helps stop the spread of infection; the question is whether it is a good use of limited resources? Our study shows that PrEP is a cost-effective strategy for both MSM and PWID in India. For these groups, especially in areas with high HIV incidence, PrEP is worth rolling out,” says lead and corresponding author Pooyan Kazemian of the Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH) in the US.
Using a widely-published mathematical model to project clinical and economic outcomes of HIV disease, the authors compared various prevention and testing programmes – including annual or biannual HIV testing alone, as well as PrEP paired with HIV testing – that could help reduce HIV infection and therefore improve survival for these high-risk groups.
Their findings suggest that PrEP would increase survival substantially by reducing infection risk, while more frequent HIV testing would provide little additional benefit.
“While the World Health Organization recommends quarterly HIV testing for those on PrEP, our analysis identifies PrEP with semi-annual testing as the cost-effective HIV prevention strategy for MSM and PWID in India,” said co-author Nagalingeswaran Kumarasamy of the Voluntary Health Services in Chennai.
However, the authors noted that a nationwide PrEP rollout would be quite costly.
If nearly 60 per cent of MSM and PWID across India participated in the programme, it would increase HIV care expenditures by over $900 million over a five-year period, the study said.
“Our findings suggest that geographic areas of highest HIV incidence should be targeted first to reduce the budget required,” said co-author Nomita Chandhiok of the Indian Council of Medical Research in New Delhi. (IANS)
Receiving compliments is something that a majority of us enjoy. Compliments, after all, make us feel good about ourselves. Sometimes compliments intended to be flattering turn out to be a tremendous turn-off, and in some cases, they are insulting. 'Beauty with brains is one of those compliments. So, is 'beauty with brains' a compliment? Without further ado, I would confidently say- NO! It doesn't matter what your gender, colour, or identity is. The answer is clearly a no.
Beauty with a brain suggests that you can only have one of these qualities and that you are an 'exception' if you possess both. "Oh, Wow! You are a beauty with brains" is a phrase that women often hear. This statement is used when a female exhibits characteristics that indicate she is intelligent. People are taken aback if they see a wise and beautiful woman because women are stereotyped to be either beautiful or brainy. The concern with this is that it is naturally assumed that men are intelligent. Women, on the other hand, are supposed to have a natural beauty. If she isn't attractive according to the norms laid down by society, it is expected that she would at the very least be intelligent. When someone manages to be both, it is regarded as a significant accomplishment.
People are taken aback if they see a wise and beautiful woman because women are stereotyped to be either beautiful or brainy. | Photo by Unsplash
Women are being stereotyped into two attributes: being attractive and being intelligent, and they are being conditioned to think that these characteristics cannot exist together. When you tell someone that they are not beautiful, you are implicitly attempting to fit them into the so-called "beauty standards" that today's era is so preoccupied with maintaining. And that is a significant issue. We are not required to fit in; we should take the risk of being unusual.
Many movies, television series, and even advertisements depict the female lead as someone who is the attractive one, well-dressed, with a face full of makeup and lovely hair. On the other hand, the intelligent girl is usually the one with unkempt hair, strange fashion sense, and little to no makeup.
While our generation has been the target of insulting and sexist slurs that have caused us to question our abilities on several occasions, let us work together to reverse the trend. Let us educate each other that beauty and intelligence can coexist and that we are all beautiful in our way and don't need to fit in the so-called standards set by our draconian society.
Keywords: women mental health, beauty, brains, men, intelligence society
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