July 27, 2012 at 1:00 am Comments (0)
A new Cochrane Systematic Review reveals that mobile phones could be a significant tool in helping HIV patients take their medication every day. Data from two Kenyan trials involving 966 HIV-positive adults were reviewed by researchers and found that patients receiving text messages reminding them to take their medications were less likely to miss doses.
The researchers are saying that text messaging could be used to help millions of HIV patients on antiretroviral therapy (ART) stick to these regimens. Antiretroviral therapy are given to HIV patients to make them feel better and live longer. When a patient miss a daily dose, it can result in the drugs no longer being effective and the patients could die.
Lead author Tara Horvath of Global Health Sciences at the University of California, San Francisco in the United States, said ” There is high-quality evidence for the benefit of sending weekly text messages to promote adherence to antiretroviral therapy. Clinics and hospitals should consider using weekly text messaging as a way to ensure HIV patients stick to their antiretroviral therapy regimens.”
The findings highlight the potential of text messaging in making a significant impact on the HIV epidemic, especially because HIV is much less likely to be transmitted to sexual partners in patients who are taking their daily medication.
More than 34 million people are presently living with HIV infection. The antiretroviral therapy, despite being very helpful in HIV patients, can have side effects that make medication adherence challenging.
June 26, 2010 at 6:09 am Comment (1)
With National HIV Testing Day just a day away, various news reports share the efforts of cities, counties and organizations towards increasing awareness regarding HIV/AIDS and HIV testing. In a previous post, we shared with you the effort of Atlanta Mayor Kasim Reed towards eliminating the stigma that usually accompanies the test by submitting to it.
At the Healing Waters Wesleyan Church in Beaufort, support for those who would like to discreetly undergo HIV testing is not just confined to an observance such as National HIV Testing Day. According to a feature on the Beaufort Gazette, small goodie bags that are decorated by a heart and filled with multicolored prophylactics as well as information packets on contraception and sexually-transmitted diseases are provided to those who would like to undergo testing every Sunday.
Serving as prevention education coordinator and health director for the church HIV/AIDS Ministry SHAPE (Spiritually-based HIV/AIDS Prevention and Education) is Donna Farrington, whose objective is to help prevent others from being HIV-positive, like she is now. In addition to providing awareness regarding HIV/AIDS, the ministry also provides spiritual and mental support to those who have been diagnosed with the disease, as well as for their families.
A National HIV/AIDS Fair has been organized for Saturday, beginning at 10 in the morning and lasting until 1 in the afternoon at the Healing Waters Wesleyan Church in Beaufort. There will be 20-minute HIV testing available, as well as counseling services for those who need them. There will also be diabetes and blood pressure testing available.
June 17, 2010 at 5:01 am Comments (0)
Under normal circumstances, being HIV-positive automatically means that one cannot become an organ donor. For an operation conducted in Cape Town in South Africa, however, being HIV-positive was not a deterrent for a kidney donor, as the recipient was also HIV-positive. Four transplants were done in Cape Town in 2008 and were described in an issue of the New England Journal of Medicine on Thursday.
Doctors in the United States are now wondering whether it is something that should be tried here as well. Since the first four transplants, five more have been done in the same hospital in Cape Town – Groote Schuur.
While no cure has been discovered for AIDS at this time, HIV-positive patients have survived for decades with the help of medications. A number of HIV-positive patients, however, also suffer from kidney problems and require dialysis, and they face higher risks than other patients requiring the procedure. With an eight-year wait for a possible kidney donor in the United States, allowing HIV-positive patients to donate organs will allow HIV-positive patients who need them to receive the organ sooner.
March 11, 2010 at 7:50 pm Comments (0)
An estimated 4,000-6,000 narcotics addicts who use syringes to inject themselves live in Zanzibar, a tropical archipelago inhabited by one million people and more well known for tourism and beach holidays than fir its current and terrible problem of drug abuse. To make matters worse many of these users are also infected with HIV heroin, a result of drug trafficking through east Africa making the narcotic more available.
“The problem is the increase in drug use. There is not any family that hasn’t been affected by someone taking heroin,” Mahmoud Mussa, coordinator of substance abuse and rehabilitation at the Ministry of Health and Social Affairs said.
Little reliable data on Zanzibar’s heroin usage exists but the U.N. Office on Drugs and Crime estimates heroin use in east Africa at about 100,000 and 1.33 million people, twice the quantity of the inhabitants using the drug throughout Africa.
Zanzibar has been established as a major heroin-consuming island,” said Reychad Abdool, regional HIV advisor for UNODC.”We believe there is an increase in trafficking through east Africa regarding heroin and this is going to be a major threat to building development and security in the future.”
November 8, 2009 at 7:30 am Comment (1)
Gone were the days when HIV seemed to be a dreaded disease in society. With the efforts of the government, people with or without the disease, are joining hands to put a stop to this problem. Part of educating the public is to impart some knowledge on what to do and what not to do when a friend gets hit by the virus.
As a friend, here are some things you should do. Start by learning more about the condition. By doing so, you become aware of HIV from its causes to its complications. This will lessen the grief that you and your friend will feel. Be the one to inform other concerned people. Boost their morale and learn to adjust to their new lives.
From knowing what to do, it is about time you proceed to things that you should not do when your friend has HIV. A true friend should not shy away from the one afflicted by the disease. Discrimination is a no-no as well. Do not hide the truth or be a doctor just to conceal the condition from others.
For full version of this article, please visit “Things to Do and Not to Do When You Learn a Friend is HIV Positive“.
October 3, 2009 at 7:51 pm Comments (0)
New hope in the quest to treat and vaccinate against the AIDS virus has finally begun to look possible! An experimental vaccine that has been developed and is currently undergoing testing has shown at least moderate success in preventing the virus from developing in those it was administered to in an initial trial. The vaccine is a combination of two previous vaccines which failed to have an effect but has offered the 16,000(the expansive trial was done in Thailand) who took it a more than 31% reduction in the risk of developing the virus.
While the success rate is still moderate it’s a much larger leap in the right direction than has been seen thus far. Strains that are common in Thailand were used for testing and so it’s not known how effective it will be against strains found in other parts of the world like Africa and the United States. Even a vaccine with a moderate success rate could help reduce the rate of those infected every year. 2 million died from AIDS in 2007 and everyday about 7,500 are freshly infected by HIV. This is the third large trial since testing was first tried in 1983 after HIV was discovered to be the cause of AIDS.
September 15, 2009 at 9:11 am Comments (0)
I wondered about HIV and was worried because I had unprotected sex with someone who had multiple partners. I knew that the best chance for treating HIV was to treat it before it turned into AIDS. Not all HIV cases turn to AIDS, which can be deadly if untreated. There is treatment for HIV that works. I did not want to go to my regular doctor for the test so I decided that the best way to test for this disease was to do an at home test.
The test was easy and confidential. I got my results in a matter of days. I was fortunate that the results were negative for HIV. I urge anyone who is sexually active to take and HIV test. Had my results been positive, I could have been spreading the disease further and endangering not only my health, but the health of others.
September 14, 2009 at 5:11 pm Comments (0)
HIV is no longer a fatal condition that leads to AIDS and death. There is treatment available for the virus and in some cases; the virus has disappeared from the system of some individuals who have been treated. While there is no cure yet for AIDS, those who have HIV can have a long and productive life with proper treatment. It makes sense for any sexually active individual to get an HIV test. But few people take this step.
The reason that people do not get an HIV test is that they are afraid of a stigma associated with the disease that is often transmitted sexually. You can get an HIV test in the comfort of your home in a discreet manner if you take an at home HIV test. The results are confidential and this can put your mind at ease if you are worried about AIDS.
September 14, 2009 at 4:14 pm Comments (0)
New hope for a vaccine for the AIDS virus has arisen after years of trial and error. Researchers have discovered two antibodies which are believed to be responsible for preventing the virus from developing in an African man. While it doesn’t mean that a vaccine is here now it may well be the starting point that researchers have been looking for all along.
These two broadly neutralizing antibodies are, according to research published in Science, capable of blocking the action of many strains of HIV. These antibodies target a section of HIV that had yet to be considered for research. Strangely this component of the virus isn’t part of the mutation that makes HIV almost entirely immune to antiviral treatment and previous attempts at vaccines.
Roughly 33 million people in the world are infected with the HIV virus and nearly 23 million have died from AIDS. The promise of a new possibility for treatment and prevention meets both hope and skepticism as so many other attempts at treating and eliminating the virus have failed.
The antibodies were discovered in a batch of 1,800 blood samples taken from across the globe from patients that hadn’t developed worsening symptoms from HIV. These people are more likely to develop antibodies against the virus than others and are thought to be a good source for them. So far it seems it may have paid off.
PG9 and PG16 were found on an African man infected with the virus who has yet to develop worsened symptoms. If molecules can be found that could help these antibodies be developed in the body it could well be the vaccine hoped for the world over.
September 1, 2009 at 4:23 pm Comments (0)
A Canadian study’s findings may offer new hope to treatment resistant heroin addicts. According to this research long-term users who were treated with medical heroin were better able to stick to the treatment than those who relied on methadone. Rates of illegal drug use and criminal activity also decreased among the participants who had previously failed treatment programs. Offering these users who are often considered untreatable a new hop in medical heroin also offers them a better chance at survival as along with better access to doctors and nurses who can treat them they are also evading the HIV and overdose risks they face with street heroin. This benefit also stretches to the community as the costs of treating a patient with medical heroin are much cheaper than those incurred by standard methadone treatment.
About 15-25% of heroin users don’t respond well to methadone causing them to drop treatment before it’s really begun. The number of users who stayed with treatment using medical heroin was 88% versus the much smaller 54% of those using methadone. Criminal activities also shower a large difference, with methadone users’ rate of activities reducing by 48% and medical heroin users reducing by 67%. Although the drug is unlikely to be approved in the U.S, hydromorphone, a drug that produces similar results, is already in use.