Monday, August 31, 2015

Indian government launched mobile app on HIV AIDS called HELP

Now, a mobile application called HELP (HIV Education and Linkage to Prevention) will provide complete information on HIV, increase awareness and risk perception.

The app will also prompt users to access HIV testing from the nearest centre free of cost. Ensuring confidentiality, with bi-lingual facility and easy compatibility, it is expected to reach more than 11 crore people across urban and rural geographies.

HELP app will be available in Google play store and App store, for a country with 200 million mobile Internet users, it is expected to reach over 11 crore people across the country.

The innovative mobile app was launched by the Indian Ministry of Health and Family Welfare in collaboration with AIDS Healthcare Foundation, Department of Telecommunications and National AIDS Control Organization.

J P Nadda, Union Minister of Health and Family Welfare, said that technology can open up endless opportunities to reach the young with authentic information on the services on HIV and AIDS. “Technology and youth are inseparable, however, inadequate access to information and complex messages from various sources can confuse the youth,” he said.

Nadda impressed on the need for using technology to guide and educate youth. “There is a dire need to motivate, inform and guide them. This mobile application, aptly titled, HIV education and linkage to prevention (HELP), will bridge the gap helping the youth to know their HIV status. It will transmit information personally to each of them which is a step ahead of door to door health services.”

The Government of India estimates

About 2.40 million Indians are living with HIV
83% are the in age group 15-49 years
39% (930,000) are among women
The epidemic is largely concentrated in only a few states — in the industrialized south and west, and in the north east - with 4 accounting for 55% and another 4 for an additional 22%
Most women are from rural India
Sexual transmission is responsible for 87.4 percent of reported HIV cases
According to WHO, addressing the issue of human rights violations and creating an enabling environment that increases knowledge and encourages behavior change are extremely important to the fight against AIDS. The National AIDS Control Organization (NACO), under the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare and numerous NGOs and CBOs are working on HIV/AIDS issues in India at the local, state, and national levels. India also receives technical assistance and funding from a variety of UN partners and bilateral donors - The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation’s Avahan program, Clinton Health Access Initiative, DFID, GFATM, USG (USAID, CDC and PEPFAR), UNAIDS, UNFPA, UNICEF, UNDP and WHO.

The main challenges faced​ are:

Availability of resources to meet the challenge
Insufficient personnel to address the issue in rural areas in form of government officials, healthcare providers, educators
Lack of internal funds to fight AIDS and HIV with the government. It has to rely on international agencies and NGOs to fund the initiatives
Inability to reach the remote rural areas where infections are high. Communities are proarchial and prefer to be by themselves
Lack of use of data for decision makers on programs and epidemiology essential to tailor response to HIV AIDS
Frequent change in government at local, state and national level and frequent policy changes leading to interuptions in efforts towards the cause
High turnover in state level project directors, resulting in limited continuity and variability in performance across states
Social and cultural factors
Unequal power relations and low status of women in society leading to limited access to human, financial, and economic assets. Women are unable to protect themselves and negotiate safer sex both within and outside of marriage
High social stigma and discrimination against people living with HIV and AIDS. There is harassment by police and ostracism by family and community.
Societal denial especially around men having sex with men, sex workers and their partners and injecting drug users
Poor education around sex in schools and in media
Structural considerations
Poor infastructure of hospitals and health care
High cost of healthcare and hospitals preventing affected people from approaching them for cure
Easy access to spiritual, traditional, herbal healers and medicine hawkers which doesnt provide the right treatment but disillusions on being treated whereas in reality there is no treatment.

Bhanu Pratap Sharma, Secretary, Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, said that the newly launched mobile app would complement the efforts of early testing and treatment. “It is vital that we use newer technologies to reach young people with messages on HIV. We stand committed to prevent the young generation from HIV/AIDS,” he said.

Navneet S Kang, Additional Secretary and DG, NACO, said that this application would enable the young to assess their risk to HIV and then, take a step forward and get themselves tested.

Kang added that HIV affects the people most at the productive or young ages. “There is a gap between the estimated number of people living with HIV and those who have tested and know their status. It is critical that people know their HIV status early so that a healthy and quality life can be led with the help of treatment,” he said.

Michael Weinstein, President, AIDS Healthcare Foundation, said that the app would aim to reach the unreached, “The collaboration is strategic as we intend to increase testing and reach the unreached through technology. This can only be achieved by greater identification and technology-based initiatives which can generate awareness about HIV and, thereby, lead to greater testing uptake,” he said.

India is one of the youngest countries in the world with 60% of its population less than 24 years of age. Both the Digital India and Skill India missions are the Prime Minister’s twin promises to the youth of India for a better future. With over 200 million mobile internet users in India, there’s a huge potential to club health services with mobile app technology to maximize outreach and coverage at minimal costs.

Palakkad Indias First Literate HIV Aids District

Palakkad has been declared as the first complete HIV/AIDS literate district in the state, thanks to the joint initiatives of civic authorities and KESS-HAPPI, a voluntary organisation.

In view of increasing number of HIV cases reported in Palakkad, the district panchayat had drawn up a door-to-door campaign programme to educate people about the perils of the disease and the need to discard discrimination against its victims. The six-month project, titled 'Jyothirgamaya', has covered 91 village panchayats and four municipalities in the district.

T.N. Kandamuthan, the district panchayat president while talking to the media persons said that the district earned the title with the help of a project that was implemented for the last nine months.

The project was undertaken by the Palakkad district panchayat and KESS-HAPPI, a voluntary organisation.The name of the project was Jyothirgamaya. 91 gram panchayats along with the help of four municipalities cooperated to implement this project in the district of Palakkad.

This particular project was aimed to increases awareness about AIDS and educates people regarding the discrimination and the social stigma associated with the victims of AIDS.

The governmental officials have spread a message which aims to protect the affected people and to rehabilitate them for a better life to come up to the mainstream of life.

The officers who were responsible and were in charge of the project visited every remote place of the district to provide the information to the uneducated people. The local people have gained a lot of valuable information from the initiative taken by these people.

Pamphlets were distributed to every remote village and household. Classes that were aimed to increase awareness amongst the people were conducted under this project.

Several rallies and quiz contests were also organized by the workers of Asha, Anganwadi and Kudumbasree. Several voluntary organizations also joined hands to make this project Jyothirgamaya a success for the district.

Seminars and awareness classes had been conducted and pamphlets had been distributed in every household, educational institutions and other establishments in these areas with the support of the members of KESS-HAPPI.

The declaration was made in a function last week, district panchayat president T N Kandamuthan said. The core objective of the initiative is to bring down the number of HIV cases in the district, he said.

"According to the available figures, there are 1200 HIV affected patients in the district. The objective of our mission is to check its further spread by educating public about its dangers," he told PTI.

The project is also aimed to remove the society's stigma and discrimination related to the disease, he said.

Hiv Cases on Rise in India

India has the third-highest number of people living with HIV in the world with 2.1 million Indians accounting for about four out of 10 people infected with the deadly virus in the Asia—Pacific region, according to a UN report.

India has the third largest HIV population in the world with approximately 2.1 million people suffering from it, but there are only eight lakh people who are undergoing Anti- Retroviral Therapy (ART) treatment, according to official data.

On World AIDS Day, Union Health Minister had sought the people's involvement to meet the global goals of zero new infection and death from HIV/AIDS. He had also stressed on raising awareness and boosting preventive methods as the key to the success of the mission.

However, the report notes that the programme has to customize its strategies to effectively address the emerging vulnerabilities and adapt them to suit the requirements of different geographical regions.

The report by UNAIDS, the United Nations programme on HIV/AIDS, said that 19 million of the 35 million people living with the virus globally do not know their HIV—positive status and so ending the AIDS epidemic by 2030 will require smart scale—up to close the gap.


The number of HIV patients has registered an increase in states where it was earlier being considered to be non-prevalent with 10 such states together accounting for 57 per cent of new infections in 2012.

According to a report compiled by National Aids Control Organization ( NACO) and Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR), although HIV prevalence declined at the national level, a reverse trend was seen in certain states like Odisha, Jharkhand, Punjab, Assam and Uttarakhand where HIV prevalence earlier was considered to be low.

The number of HIV patients has registered an increase in Bihar, one of the 10 low-prevalence states.

According to a report compiled by National AIDS Control Organization (Naco) and Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR), although HIV prevalence declined at the national-level, a reverse trend was seen in Bihar, Odisha, Jharkhand, Punjab, Assam and Uttarakhand, where HIV prevalence earlier was considered to be low.

Titled "India HIV Estimates-2012", the report points out that the 10 low-prevalence states of Odisha, Jharkhand, Bihar, Uttar Pradesh, Bengal, Gujarat, Chhattisgarh, Rajasthan, Punjab and Uttarakhand together account for 57 per cent of new infections.


"On the other hand, the six high prevalence states account for only 31 per cent of the 1.16 lakh estimated new infections in 2011 among adults," says the report.

These states are Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka, Maharashtra, Manipur, Nagaland and Tamil Nadu.

Indicating a positive trend in these states, it mentions that the adult HIV prevalence declined in these states during the period of 2007-2011. "India has done well overall but if you look state by state, there are varying trends," said UNAIDS India country co-ordinator Oussama Tawil.

Experts attributed the rise in the number of HIV-infected people in the state to better test facilities. According to them, awareness about the disease has also increased and more people are coming for pathological investigations.


The first—ever UNAIDS ‘Gap Report’ said after sub—Saharan Africa, the region with the largest number of people living with HIV is Asia and the Pacific.

At the end of 2013, there were an estimated 4.8 million people living with HIV across the region.

Six countries - China, India, Indonesia, Myanmar, Thailand, and Vietnam - account for more than 90 per cent of the people living with HIV in the region.

“India has the third largest number of people living with HIV in the world — 2.1 million at the end of 2013 — and accounts for about 4 out of 10 people living with HIV in the region,” the report said.

It said HIV treatment coverage is only 36 per cent in India, where 51 per cent of AIDS—related deaths occur.

In India, the numbers of new HIV infections declined by 19 per cent, yet it still accounted for 38 per cent of all new HIV infections in the region.

The proportions of people who do not have access to antiretroviral therapy treatment are 64 per cent in India.

In Asia and the Pacific, the number of AIDS—related deaths fell by 37 per cent between 2005 and 2013, the report said.

India recorded a 38 per cent decline in AIDS—related deaths between 2005 and 2013. During this period, there was a major scale up of access to HIV treatment, it said.

At the end of 2013, more than 700,000 people were on antiretroviral therapy, the second largest number of people on treatment in any single country.

In India, HIV prevalence among female sex workers dropped from 10.3 per cent to 2.7 per cent but it increased in the states of Assam, Bihar and Madhya Pradesh, the report said.

A look at the HIV prevalence among sex workers:



The estimated population size of sex workers is 868,000, of which 2.8 per cent is HIV—positive. In India, HIV prevalence among women who inject drugs was nearly twice that or more than the figures for their male counterparts, it said.

Monday, August 24, 2015

What are Common Health Issues Faced By Women in India

Women in India face issues like malnutrition, lack of maternal health, diseases like AIDS, breast cancer, domestic violence and many more.

Malnutrition

Nutrition plays a major role in and individual’s overall health, psychological and physical health status is often dramatically impacted by the presence of malnutrition.

India has one of the highest rates of malnourished women among developing countries. A 2012 study by Tarozzi have found the nutritional intake of early adolescents to be approximately equal. However, it is seen that the rate of malnutrition increases for women as they enter adulthood

Maternal malnutrition has been associated with an increased risk of maternal mortality and also child birth defects. Addressing the issues of malnutrition would have a beneficial outcomes for women and children.

Lack of maternal health

The lack of maternal health contributes to the economic disparities of mothers and their children.

Poor maternal health not only affects a child’s health in adverse ways but also decreases a woman’s ability to participate in economic activities. Therefore, national health programs such as the National Rural Health Mission (NRHM) and the Family Welfare Program have been created to address the maternal health care needs of women across India. Although India has witnessed dramatic growth over the last two decades, maternal mortality still remains high as in comparison to many developing nations.

India contributes to nearly 20 percent of all maternal deaths worldwide between 1992 and 2006. The primary reasons for the high levels of maternal mortality are directly related to disparities of economic conditions and cultural constraints limiting access to care.

However, maternal mortality is not identical across all of India or even a particular state urban areas often have lower overall maternal mortality due to the availability of adequate medical resources. For those states where there is higher literacy and growth rates tend to have greater maternal health and also lower infant mortality.

Suicide
Suicide is a major problem in India. The suicide rate in India is five times higher than that of the developed world. Furthermore, the rate of suicide has been found to be higher in women as compared to men in India.

The most common reasons for women's suicide is directly related to:

Depression
Anxiety
Gender discrimination
Domestic violence
The suicide rate is particularly high among female sex workers in India, who face numerous forms of discrimination for their gender and line of work.

Domestic Violence

Domestic violence is a major issues in India. Domestic violence is defined as acts of physical, psychological, and sexual violence against women is found across the world and is currently viewed as a hidden epidemic by the World Health Organization.

As per reports of India National Family Health Survey III ((2005-2006), 31 percent of all women reported having been the victims of physical violence in the last 12 months. However, the actual number of victims may be much higher. The study found that the poorest women faired worst among middle and high-income women.

Friday, August 14, 2015

What is surrogacy?

Surrogacy is when another woman carries and gives birth to a baby for the couple who want to have a child.A surrogacy arrangement or surrogacy agreement is the carrying of a pregnancy for intended parents. There are two main types of surrogacy, gestational surrogacy and traditional surrogacy. In gestational surrogacy, the pregnancy results from the transfer of an embryo created by in vitro fertilization (IVF), in a manner so the resulting child is genetically unrelated to the surrogate. 

Types of surrogacy 
There are two types of surrogacy — traditional surrogacy and gestational surrogacy. In traditional surrogacy, a surrogate mother is artificially inseminated, either by the intended father or an anonymous donor, and carries the baby to term. The child is thereby genetically related to both the surrogate mother, who provides the egg, and the intended father or anonymous donor.

A Traditional Surrogate acts as both egg donor and surrogate.  Traditional Surrogates are impregnated by a process called intrauterine insemination or IUI. A doctor transfers sperm taken from the intended father and transfers the sperm into the uterus of the surrogate so that natural fertilization can take place. Traditional Surrogacy creates a genetic link between potential parents & Surrogate mother, that’s why this type of surrogacy is merely chosen by the infertile patients. By using traditional surrogacy, the surrogate acts as both an egg donor and a actual surrogate as well, and she is impregnated with semen from the intended parents or any Sperm donor. 

This process is completed by using a process known as intrauterine insemination (IUI) or In Vitro Fertilization (IVF).Therefore, with traditional surrogacy, the surrogate is also called the biological mother of the child.

Traditional surrogacy is more controversial than gestational surrogacy, in large part because the biological relationship between the surrogate and the child often complicates the facts of the case if parental rights or the validity of the surrogacy agreement are challenged. As a result, most states prohibit traditional surrogacy agreements. Additionally, many states that permit surrogacy agreements prohibit compensation beyond the payment of medical and legal expenses incurred as a result of the surrogacy agreement.


Surrogacy Qualifications

Most surrogacy agencies and fertility clinics require surrogates to meet the following general qualifications:

a. Be in good physical and mental health;
b. Have carried and delivered at least one child;
c. Have had pregnancies that were all free of complications and were full-term;
d. Be less than 43 years of age (some clinics will accept older woman in certain circumstances; others have younger age cut-offs for all surrogates);
e. Be in a stable living situation; and
f. Not smoke or abuse alcohol.


In the past few years surrogacy has seen an increase in utilization, especially among very prominent social figures. Sarah Jessica Parker and Ricky Martin have both recently had children through surrogates. Will their happily ever after stories be the ones to change the negative public perceptions that have dominated the media for the past three decades? Or, are these stories simply highlighting the ways in which surrogacy can be seen as stratified reproduction, a technology only available for the wealthy? Both of these celebrity stories showcase how positive surrogacy can be for different people facing different realities of infertility. While this may be a step towards acceptance for surrogacy as a viable and accepted form of reproduction, there have been other stories featured recently within the New York Times emulating Baby M, reinforcing negative perceptions once again.


Based on available statistics, which are quite incomplete due to a lack of reporting regulations, about 1,500 to 2,000 surrogate/contracted babies are born per annum in the United States (Ali and Kelley 2008, 44). In addition, several thousands more are born each year as the result of a surrogate arrangement in a wide-variety of nations worldwide. Australia, Canada, and Brazil report numbers at least as large as those reported in the United States (Covington and Burns 2006, 371); and in India, where commercial surrogacy was legalized in 1992, poor women are recruited to gestate what may amount to hundreds (more likely thousands) of babies for couples throughout the world .



The medical risks of surrogacy

There are certain medical risks involved with surrogacy. These risks are similar to those that may be experienced with all other methods of assisted reproductive treatment. These may include:
Effects on the child born as a result of the treatment – IVF treatment has a greater chance of producing multiple births, which increases the chance of a premature birth and a baby that is below the normal birth weight.
Effects on the egg provider – there can be reactions to fertility drugs, including hot flushes, feelings of depression or irritation, headaches and restlessness. There is also a small risk of ovarian hyper-stimulation syndrome (OHSS) occurring, which can cause stomach pains, nausea, vomiting, shortness of breath and faintness. This condition is extremely rare.
Effects on the surrogate – there are the usual risks associated with any pregnancy and birth. These risks are increased with the age of the surrogate.


Celebrities for Surrogacy


Shah Rukh Khan and wife Gauri had a surrogate baby, AbRam, in May 2013.
Nicole Kidman and her husband, singer Keith Urban, had their second child through surrogacy in 2011.
Aamir Khan and Kiran Rao had a son via a surrogate mother in 2011.
Sohail Khan and wife Seema had their second child through surrogacy in 2011.
Elton John and his partner David Furnish had a son using a surrogate mom in 2010. This year they had another surrogate baby, also a boy.
Sarah Jessica Parker of Sex and the City fame and her husband, actor Matthew Broderick, had twin babies through surrogacy in 2009.
Robert De Niro and his wife Grace Hightower had a baby girl via a surrogate in 2011. De Niro and Hightower were 68 and 56 respectively at that time.


First Case of Surrogacy

The first "official" legal surrogacy agreement was enacted in the mid-1970's with the child who was referred to as Baby M. The same lawyer who brokered this agreement went on to found the Infertility Center, a company that arranges hundreds of surrogate births every year.

During that same time frame, surrogacy made the national and international news with the world's first "test tube" baby, Louise Joy Brown. Although this was not technically a surrogate mother situation, this event did pave the way towards what is now known as gestational surrogacy – a practice that is used today for implanting both sperm and egg in a laboratory to later be placed into the surrogate mother's uterus.

It wasn't until 1980 though, that the first paid traditional surrogacy arrangement was conducted. In this case, the surrogate mother, a 37-year old woman, was paid $10,000 for the successful delivery of a baby boy.

Thursday, August 13, 2015

Interesting Facts About HIV AIDS

HIV/AIDS remains one of the world's most significant public health challenges, particularly in low- and middle-income countries.As a result of recent advances in access to antiretroviral therapy (ART), HIV-positive people now live longer and healthier lives. In addition, it has been confirmed that ART prevents onward transmission of HIV.At the end of 2014, 14.9 million people were receiving ART worldwide; this represents 40% [37–45%] of the 36.9 million [34.3–41.4 million] people living with HIV.WHO has released a set of normative guidelines and provides support to countries in formulating and implementing policies and programmes to improve and scale up HIV prevention, treatment, care and support services for all people in need.



1. Where it Came From
Scientists identified a type of chimpanzee in West Africa as the source of HIV infection in humans. They believe that the chimpanzee version of the immunodeficiency virus (called simian immunodeficiency virus or SIV) most likely was transmitted to humans and mutated into HIV when humans hunted these chimpanzees for meat and came into contact with their infected blood. Over decades, the virus slowly spread across Africa and later into other parts of the world.
For many years scientists theorized as to the origins of HIV and how it appeared in the human population, most believing that HIV originated in other primates. Then in 1999, an international team of researchers reported that they had discovered the origins of HIV-1, the predominant strain of HIV in the developed world. A subspecies of chimpanzees native to west equatorial Africa had been identified as the original source of the virus. The researchers believe that HIV-1 was introduced into the human population when hunters became exposed to infected blood.





2. Earliest Cases
The earliest known case of infection with HIV-1 in a human was detected in a blood sample collected in 1959 from a man in Kinshasa, Democratic Republic of the Congo. (How he became infected is not known.) Genetic analysis of this blood sample suggested that HIV-1 may have stemmed from a single virus in the late 1940s or early 1950s.


There is some evidence that AIDS made the rounds in Europe following World War II, predicated on a wave of children dying from PCP, a disease which only afflicts those with weakened immune systems. Its presence is almost a sure sign that the patient has AIDS. A Dutch researcher traced the epidemic to the Baltic port city of Danzig, then found it spread throughout the continent. It is believed that the disease spread by the then relatively common practice of reusing needles. Surprisingly, approximately only one-third of the children died, suggesting the virus they contracted had not yet changed into the fully lethal version we recognize today.


3.Patient Zero
There was a great deal of conjecture in the late 1980's about Patient Zero, identified as Gaetan Dugas - a Canadian flight attendant who purportedly knowingly infected as many as 250 men a year on both sides of the Atlantic - said to have singlehandedly started the epidemic, but most of this is now largely discredited. Anyhow, no one ever believed he was the first to be infected. Computer models have estimated that the first human infection occurred about 1930, give or take 20 years. The earliest known infection of an identified human being dates back to 1959, found in a plasma sample taken from an adult male living in the Belgian Congo (later Zaire and now the Democratic Republic of the Congo). As to how, most of the loose talk on the street seems to assume sex between a human and a chimp, as the HIV-1 virus is almost identical to a simian virus found in chimpanzees. A human eating a chimp seems just as likely, and some evidence suggests that it may have occurred iatrogenically when chimps were used in developing a polio vaccine for humans. 


4.Camouflage

HIV/AIDS is so much more frightening than other diseases due to its ability to bypass the immune system and then destroy it. When the virus enters the system, it is cloaked in carbohydrate sugar molecules that cling to its surface, “fooling” our bodies into thinking the virus is a nutrient. However, research suggests that we may be able to use this adaptation against HIV. The sugar molecules it utilizes are slightly different from those normally found in the human body–enough so that it could 
be possible to synthesize a vaccine to help our bodies recognize the virus and force the immune system to attack.

5.Celebrities
According to the World Health Organization, 36 million people have died from AIDS since the first cases were reported in 1981. On this list, there are countless celebs who suffered from the deadly disease for different reasons. Here are several celebs who suffered from or suffer from HIV/AIDS
This list of famous people with HIV is loosely ranked by fame and popularity.The most famous person with HIV was Freddy Mercury . The Queen front man denied that he had tested HIV positive for most of his life. He only confirmed that he had HIV, and that it had developed into AIDS, two days before his death in 1991. Other musicians who have suffered from HIV include jazz poet Gil Scott-Heron, rapper Eazy-E, and Creedence Clearwater Revival guitarist Tom Fogerty. There are many other rappers and stars with HIV that you might not know about.
Brad Davis Known for his role in 'Midnight Express,' Davis was diagnosed in 1985 with HIV. He then purposefully overdosed in 1991.
Timothy Patrick Murphy An original cast member of 'Dallas,' Murphy died of AIDS related issues in 1988.
Three-time Grand Slam winner Arthur Ashe contracted HIV from a blood transfusion. He died from AIDS-related pneumonia in 1993.
Psycho star Anthony Perkins was very secretive about the fact that he had HIV. He died from complications with AIDS-related pneumonia in 1992.
NBA superstar Magic Johnson announced that he was infected with HIV in 1991. Johnson takes a variety of medications daily to prevent his HIV from becoming full blown AIDS.
Rock Hudson announced that he had AIDS in 1985. The actor died less than three months later.


6. Intentional Infection

In many countries, intentionally or recklessly infecting another person with HIV is a crime. In the United States, the Center for HIV Law and Policy says 32 states, including Iowa, and two territories -- Guam and the U.S. Virgin Islands -- have such laws on their books.HIV criminalization laws began in 1990 when the federal Ryan White CARE Act passed. That law mandated that states criminalize intentional transmission of HIV in order to get funding for treatment and prevention programs.

Some states took it a step further than federal law required, defining intentional transmission as failing to disclose positive status to a sexual partner. The second time the act was reauthorized, in 2000, the requirement that states must criminalize intentional transmission was removed.

The criminalization laws were put in place to protect the public -- to prevent cases where someone with HIV knowingly exposed others to the virus and did not disclose their HIV status before a sexual encounter.

7.Immunity
Human immunodeficiency virus immunity is the natural immunity of humans to HIV. A small percentage of humans are believed to have partial to possible complete immunity to HIV due to mutations in CCR5 receptors. It is estimated that the number of people with some form of immunity to HIV is under 1%.

In 1994, Stephen Crohn became the first person discovered to be completely resistant to HIV in all tests performed. He became the basis for multiple anti-viral medications used on HIV-positive patients today.

In early 2000, researchers discovered a small group of prostitutes in Nairobi, Kenya who were estimated to have sexual contact with 60 to 70 HIV positive clients a year without signs of infection.Researchers from Public Health Agency of Canada have identified 15 proteins unique to those virus-free prostitutes. Later, however some prostitutes were discovered to have contracted the virus leading Oxford University researcher, Sarah Rowland-Jones, to believe continual exposure as a requirement for maintaining immunity.

Individuals with HIV immunity have intrigued scientists for over a decade. How is it that the immune systems of some seem impervious to a virus that kills 2 million people around the globe each year?

Researchers have focused on a few proteins – called CCR5, CD4 and human leukocyte antigen – that may hold the key to this puzzle as well as offer the potential for new HIV treatments.

A new study at the University of Southern California shows mice with a mutation in the gene that encodes CCR5 have immunity to HIV. According to the researchers' report in the July issue of Nature Biotechnology, their work provides "proof of concept for a new approach to HIV treatment."

8.The Geoffrey Bowers Case
Geoffrey Francis Bowers (December 29, 1953–September 30, 1987) was the plaintiff in one of the first AIDS discrimination cases to go to public hearing.In August 1984, Bowers joined Baker & McKenzie as a litigation associate. Baker & McKenzie is an international law firm, and Bowers hoped to use his knowledge of Italian, German, French, Dutch and Spanish. The following year, Bowers began to experience throbbing headaches and to see yellow spots. He was diagnosed with meningitis.In April 1986, he was diagnosed with Kaposi's sarcoma and AIDS.In May 1986 the law firm's partners gave Bowers a satisfactory evaluation. Two months later, in July, they voted to dismiss him, without following normal termination processes, including consulting with his supervisor or asking for a list of his clients and billable hours. His supervisors objected to the decision, delaying its implementation. However, in October, 12 of the 15 partners again voted to dismiss him. He left the company on December 5, 1986

9. Search For a Cure

Researchers remain hopeful that they're heading in the right direction to finding a cure for HIV/AIDS.Two babies who were treated as infants for HIV lived for years without any signs of the virus.Now, one of them is testing positive for HIV again.But the treatments at least held the virus at bay for a while -- and that could lead to changes in treatments for people recently infected.

Scientists searching for a cure for AIDS say they have uncovered the basic chemistry of the HIV virus and that the most likely strategy for fighting the disease will be attacking it with another virus.

For almost a quarter of a century, scientists around the world have been trying to find a cure for the disease that has so far killed millions. The UN estimates that more than two million people were newly infected with the AIDS virus last year, more than half in sub-Saharan Africa. Researchers have developed a range of medicines that can substantially prolong the life of HIV-positive patients, but their high price is keeping them outside of reach of many.So scientists at the University of Miami are taking a different approach to attacking the virus.

Monday, August 10, 2015

Mouth Problems and HIV

This information is for people who have mouth (oral) problems related to HIV infection. It explains the most common oral problems linked to HIV and shows what they look like. It also describes where in the mouth they occur and how they are treated.
They are common

Oral problems are very common in people with HIV. More than a third of people living with HIV have oral conditions that arise because of their weakened immune system. And even though combination antiretroviral therapy has made some oral problems less common, others are occurring more often with this type of treatment.
They can be painful, annoying, and lead to other problems

You may be told that oral problems are minor compared to other things you have to deal with. But you know that they can cause discomfort and embarrassment and really affect how you feel about yourself. Oral problems can also lead to trouble with eating. If mouth pain or tenderness makes it difficult to chew and swallow, or if you can’t taste food as well as you used to, you may not eat enough. And, your doctor may tell you to eat more than normal so your body has enough energy to deal with HIV.
They can be treated

The most common oral problems linked with HIV can be treated. So talk with your doctor or dentist about what treatment might work for you.


If you have dry mouth

Dry mouth happens when you do not have enough saliva, or spit, to keep your mouth wet. Saliva helps you chew and digest food, protects teeth from decay, and prevents infections by controlling bacteria and fungi in the mouth. Without enough saliva you could develop tooth decay or other infections and might have trouble chewing and swallowing. Your mouth might also feel sticky, dry and have a burning feeling. And you may have cracked, chapped lips.
To help with a dry mouth, try these things:

Sip water or sugarless drinks often
Chew sugarless gum or suck on sugarless hard candy
Avoid tobacco
Avoid alcohol
Avoid salty foods
Use a humidifier at night
Talk to your doctor or dentist about prescribing artificial saliva, which may help keep your mouth moist.

Wednesday, July 22, 2015

Treatment after Post Exposure Prophylaxis PEP

WHAT IS THE TREATMENT AFTER EXPOSURE?
Prophylaxis means disease prevention. Post-exposure prophylaxis (PEP) means taking antiretroviral drugs (ARVs) as soon as possible after exposure to HIV, so that the exposure will not result in HIV infection. These drugs are only available by prescription. The PEP should be taken as soon as possible after exposure to HIV but certainly within 72 hours. Treatment with 2 or 3 ARVs should continue for 4 weeks, if tolerated.


WHO SHOULD USE PEP?
Occupational exposure:
The PEP has been standard procedure since 1996 for workers in the health area are exposed to HIV. Workers start taking medications within a few hours after exposure. Usually the exposure is from an accidental needle stick with a needle containing HIV-infected blood. PEP reduced the rate of HIV infection from workplace exposures by 79%. However, some workers may be infected with HIV who take PEP.

Other exhibitions:
In 2005 the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) has reviewed information on PEP. They have decided to be available also in situations not related to work. People can be exposed by having unprotected sex, in cases of rupture of a condom during sex, or sharing needles to inject drugs. In a study of PEP in 400 cases of possible sexual exposure to HIV, not one person became infected with HIV.


SHOULD PEP BE USED FOR NON-OCCUPATIONAL EXPOSURE?
Exposures at work are usually an incident that occurs only once. Others may be due to risk behaviors that often occur. Some think that PEP might encourage this unsafe behavior if people think that PEP is an easy way to avoid HIV infection.
There are other reasons why PEP might not be a good idea for non-occupational:
There have been no studies to show that PEP works for non-occupational exposure. It is not known how soon have to start PEP after exposure.
PEP is not a "morning after pill." PEP is a program that includes several medications to be taken at least 30 days and cost between $ 600 and $ 1,000.
For best results, you should take every dose of every PEP medication. Skipping doses may result in HIV infection. You can also allow the virus to develop drug resistance. If that happens they stop working.
The medications have side effects. Approximately 40% of workers did not complete PEP regimen due to side effects.
Despite these concerns, there is great interest in the use of PEP for non-occupational exposures. Most programs include counseling to inform and encourage people to avoid exposure to HIV.


HOW IS THE PEP?

The PEP should be initiated as soon as possible after exposure to HIV.

The Public Health in the US recommends using a combination of three antiretroviral approved for four weeks. Previous guidelines were based on the severity of exposure to HIV. This has been eliminated in the guidelines published in 2013. It is now recommended that all exposures are treated the same way.


WHAT ARE THE SIDE EFFECTS?
The most common side effects from PEP medications are nausea and feeling sick. Other possible side effects include headaches, fatigue, vomiting, and diarrhea. For more information, see the fact sheets on individual ARVs.

IN A NUTSHELL
Post-exposure prophylaxis (PEP) is the use of ARVs as soon as possible after exposure to HIV to prevent infection with the virus. PEP can reduce the rate of HIV infection in the area of ??workers health by 79%.
They have not seen the benefits of PEP for non-occupational exposure. This use of PEP is controversial because some believe it may encourage the practice of risky behaviors.
PEP is a program of four weeks and two or three ARVs, several times a day. The medications have serious side effects that may hinder completion of the program. PEP is not 100% effective and there is no guarantee that will prevent infection with HIV.

Friday, July 17, 2015

Pre Exposure Prophylaxis PrEp

WHAT IS PRE-EXPOSURE PROPHYLAXIS?
PrEP stands for Pre-exposure prophylaxis. Prophylaxis means disease prevention. PrEP is a new HIV prevention option for HIV-negative individuals to reduce their risk of HIV infection. PrEP for HIV prevention is the use of antiretroviral medications (ARVs) by HIV-negative individuals to reduce risk. Large research studies showed that PrEP could help prevent new HIV infections when used by people at high risk of getting HIV.

The only good research on PrEP is based on using the combination pill Truvada. Research showed over 90% reduction in HIV infections when taken four times a week PrEP taken daily reduced HIV infections by 99%. There is not enough information on other medications. We don’t know yet if other drugs or dose timing (like a few times a week instead of every day) might also be a good way to reduce risk of HIV.

Truvada as PrEP was studied in people who were at high risk of HIV infection. HIV-negative men who have sex with men, transgender women, and heterosexuals at high risk were studied. Results in these studies have varied, Major studies showed that daily Truvada as PrEP can reduce risk of infection between 44% and 90%. The studies showed that PrEP worked best for people who took the medication every day. 


HOW IS PrEP TAKEN?
PrEP is currently one tablet of Truvada daily. It can be taken with food, or between meals.There is research ongoing to look at other medications for PrEP.Truvada contains two medications, tenofovir (Viread) and emtricitabine (Emtriva). Truvada is only available with a prescription.


WHO SHOULD USE PrEP?
PrEP is more than simply taking HIV pills. The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has issued guidelines for the use of PrEP. One set of guidelines is for men who have sex with men. Another is for heterosexuals.
PrEP should be used by people who are at high risk of becoming infected with HIV by sexual activity
PrEP should be part of an overall HIV prevention program including condoms and counseling
Before taking PrEP, people should be tested to confirm that they are not already infected with HIV
People using PrEP should continue to be tested to make sure they have not been infected
They should also be tested for kidney damage, hepatitis B and any sexually transmitted diseases 



HOW SHOULD PEOPLE USING PrEP BE MONITORED?
The CDC guidelines recommend that people taking PrEP be seen every 2-3 months in order to:
Test for HIV infection
Check for side effects of Truvada
Check for problems taking PrEP every day
Reinforce condom use and other prevention messages



WHAT ARE THE LIKELY SIDE EFFECTS?
The most common side effects seen in the studies of Truvada as PrEP include headache, nausea, vomiting, rash and loss of appetite. In some people, tenofovir can increase creatinine and transaminases. These are enzymes related to the kidneys and liver. High levels can indicate damage to these organs. Long-term use of tenofovir can damage the kidneys.
Tenofovir can reduce bone mineral density . Calcium or vitamin D supplements may be helpful. This is especially true for people with osteopenia or osteoporosis.
Levels of lactic acid in the blood increase in some people taking tenofovir and emtricitabine. Liver problems including “fatty liver” may also occur.
In rare cases, people taking emtricitabine had some temporary changes in skin color.


DOES PrEP HAVE RISKS?
People with HIV have used Truvada, tenofovir and emtricitabine, for several years. They are generally easy to take. Possible long-term side effects include loss of bone mineral density and kidney damage.
Some people worry that people taking PrEP might think they are totally protected. They might be less careful about their sexual behavior. So far, this does not appear to be true.



THE BOTTOM LINE
Pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP) is the use of the antiretroviral medication Truvada before exposure to HIV, to reduce the risk of HIV infection. When Truvada as PrEP is used correctly and consistently, it can reduce the rate of HIV infection by sexual activity by as much as 90%.
The benefits of PrEP are potentially very high for reducing new HIV infections in people who recognize their risk of infection and can take Truvada to protect themselves. Some people fear PrEP may encourage unsafe behaviors, but this has not been seen.

Monday, July 13, 2015

New treatment a man with paralysis can walk again

After four years in bed, a man who had lost the movement of more than half of her body, able to walk again thanks to a new cell transplant treatment of your nasal cavity to the spinal cord.

Darek Fidyka In 2010, a Bulgarian man who then was 34 years old, was attacked repeatedly in the back with a knife. As a result of aggression, Fidyka his spinal cord was cut in two, losing the sensitivity of his body from the chest down.

Since then the patient had undergone various treatments, all unsuccessful, to regain feeling in part of his body paralyzed. In 2012 Fidyka started an experimental treatment that had the support of researchers from the Institute of Neurology at University College London and doctors at University Hospital in Wroclaw, Poland, with the result that, four years after the attack that fell on a bed, Darek was finally able to walk again with the aid of a support.

After four years in bed, a man who had lost the movement of more than half of her body, able to walk again thanks to a new cell transplant treatment of your nasal cavity to the spinal cord.

Darek Fidyka In 2010, a Bulgarian man who then was 34 years old, was attacked repeatedly in the back with a knife. As a result of aggression, Fidyka his spinal cord was cut in two, losing the sensitivity of his body from the chest down.

Since then the patient had undergone various treatments, all unsuccessful, to regain feeling in part of his body paralyzed. In 2012 Fidyka started an experimental treatment that had the support of researchers from the Institute of Neurology at University College London and doctors at University Hospital in Wroclaw, Poland, with the result that, four years after the attack that fell on a bed, Darek was finally able to walk again with the aid of a support.

The explanation of the operation in a graphical released by the BBC
The explanation of the operation in a graphical released by the BBC
The research made possible the start of the recovery of Derek Fidyka was conducted by the professor and researcher English Geoffrey Reisman, who since 1985 has studied the cells of the olfactory ensheathing glia (OEC, for its acronym in English), which is They found in the nose, which have an enormous capacity for nerve regeneration. Polish Pawel Tabakov neurosurgeon leaned on research and collaboration Reisman for transplanting cells OEC Fidyka his spinal cord.

In the first operation which was subjected to the patient, it was extracted one of the olfactory bulbs, thanks to this it was possible to grow the CSG cells, which were introduced through microinjection into the spinal cord of Fidyka a few weeks after the first surgery.

In a third surgery will nervous extracted ankle that was transplanted bone beside her, to serve as a support cell renewal while producing tissue. Three months later Fidyka realized that the operation was successful when he felt the muscle of his left leg began to grow. Six months after the third intervention Bulgarian could already take small steps with the help of a support and care for their physical therapists.

television program  BBC Panorama , Fidyka can now drive your car and move with the help of a walker. Furthermore, also partially he recovered sensations in the intestine, bladder and sexual functions.

Scientists do not yet know if Fidyka is an exceptional patient (apparently the first to regain mobility after having severed the spine), or if the treatment can be replicated and help other people with paralysis. For now, both Geoffrey Reisman as Pawel Tabakov are seeking funds to achieve operating OEC cells treatment in ten patients with spinal cord problems, before we can say whether his speech will always get stimulate the regeneration of this part of the body.

Wednesday, July 8, 2015

Alternatives for a diet rich in calcium

It is well known to all that cow's milk and dairy products are the best foods to provide us with calcium, because naturally contain vitamin D, essential for calcium absorption. But there are other foods that are capable of providing calcium such as vegetables, vegetables, legumes and fruits.

As a result, you can maintain a diet rich in calcium without resorting to dairy and given the problems that are emerging today because of multiple allergies and intolerances. Here we tell you which products are the best source of calcium , an essential element in a healthy and balanced diet.

Four key groups that we should focus are divided:

Vegetables: mainly include spinach, broccoli, cabbage, cabbage or onions.
Legumes: in this case chickpeas, lentils and soybeans.
Fruits: orange juice plus vitamin provide multiple benefits is a major source of calcium. We should also mention nuts, such as hazelnuts, almonds and walnuts among others.
Fish: in this group, sardines and squid are the two more calcium foods can give us.
Now we find it easier to develop a diet rich in calcium and prevent diseases caused by the lack or excess of this mineral in our bodies such as osteoporosis, decalcification, hypocalcemia, rickets in bones, stunted growth, among other conditions.

If you want to prevent these conditions or have symptoms of any of them, schedule an appointment by going to the Doc, on line platform that provides you with a medical directory with more than 20, 000 specialists who can schedule an appointment. With this service you can turn to a dietitian to help you plan a rich in calcium and according to your balanced diet.