Thursday, May 31, 2012

Scientists: Chagas disease is the ‘new HIV/AIDS’

By David Ferguson -

Chagas disease, or American trypanosomiasis, is set to be “the new HIV/AIDS of the Americas” according to a paper in the Public Library of Science (PLoS) journal “Neglected Tropical Diseases.” The New York Times cited the article Tuesday, saying that the social and economic impact of Chagas disease, which is a close relative of African trypanosomiasis, more commonly known as sleeping sickness, will be just as devastating in coming years as HIV/AIDS has been to Africa.
The paper’s authors, a group composed largely of faculty from Houston’s Baylor College of Medicine, argue that the spread of Chagas (which is named for the Brazilian physician who discovered it, Dr. Carlos Chagas) through Latin and Central America mirrors the early spread of HIV in several key ways. According to the study, approximately 10 million of the poorest 100 million people in the Americas have some stage of the disease, which like AIDS is highly stigmatized and disproportionately affects the poor.
Chagas is neither a virus nor a bacterium, but an incurable single-celled parasite like malaria and sleeping sickness.  Rural areas and poverty stricken communities are most commonly hit with Chagas disease because, according to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), the triatomine bug that carries the disease “thrives under poor housing conditions (for example, mud walls, thatched roofs), so in endemic countries, people living in rural areas are at greatest risk for acquiring infection.”

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Meridian man charged with exposing others to HIV

let's hope OMSJ is on this -  The Associated Press

Police in Meridian say a 37-year-old man was arrested over the weekend on suspicion of knowingly exposing two sexual partners to the virus that causes AIDS.
Craig Hinckley of Meridian was arrested Sunday morning. His first court appearance is set for Tuesday.
Investigators say both victims told investigators Hinckley did not reveal he was infected with the human immunodeficiency virus until after he had sex with them. One victim met Hinckley online in March and the second met him at a party on Friday. Police said the victims were 19 and 20, but did not say if they were male or female.
Detectives are concerned there could be more victims.

Read more here:

Thursday, May 17, 2012

Screening Release at Dr. office for HIV antibody

At a recent Dr. office visit: Question #18:

"Do you have any objection to routine screening for sexually transmitted diseases, including HIV antibody screening".

my answer: YES

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Study: Sudden heart death high among HIV patients

by Erin Allday San Francisco Chronicle staff writer. 

Patients with HIV infections are 4 1/2 times more likely to die suddenly from cardiac arrest than people without HIV, even if the virus is under control and they appear relatively healthy, according to a UCSF study.
The report, published Monday in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology, found that sudden cardiac death - which occurs when the heart unexpectedly stops beating - was the second-most common killer among HIV-positive patients. AIDS was the most common cause of death.
Researchers involved in the 10-year study believe no single cause is involved but say HIV patients and their doctors need to be more vigilant about being screened and treated for heart disease risks like high blood pressure and high cholesterol as their lives are being extended by antiretroviral drugs.
"Cardiac disease is a big issue as these people are living longer," said Dr. Zian Tseng, a UCSF electrophysiologist and lead author of the study. "HIV providers need to be aware of the risk of these patients dying suddenly."
Over the past two decades, the treatment of HIV has changed dramatically with the success of antiretroviral drugs. The medications can, in many people, suppress the virus to the point where it's undetectable in a patient's blood, and doctors have begun to see HIV infection as a chronic condition and not a death sentence.

Possible causes

But the trade-off is that the virus does damage over time, and perhaps so do the drugs used to treat it. Add to that the fact that HIV patients were slow to adjust to the idea that they could live much longer on the drugs, said Dr. Priscilla Hsue, director of the HIV Cardiology Clinic at San Francisco General Hospital and an author of the UCSF study.
They were reluctant to stop lifestyle choices that contributed to heart disease, such as smoking or heavy drinking, she said. But patients, and their doctors, are beginning to understand, and their thinking is changing, Hsue said.
"Now they're thinking, 'I could live another 25 years if I take care of myself,' " Hsue said. "And I'm really hammering on stop smoking, take blood pressure medication, watch your cholesterol."
The study looked at 2,860 HIV-positive patients who were treated in San Francisco General Hospital's HIV/AIDS ward from 2000 to 2009. In that period, 230 died - 57 percent of them from AIDS, 13 percent from sudden cardiac death, 11 percent from other natural diseases, and 19 percent from suicides, overdoses or unknown causes.
Notably, 86 percent of all cardiac deaths among those patients were sudden. In the general population, the number of sudden deaths is about half of those who have heart-related deaths.

Sunday, May 13, 2012

Unlimited insanity: Truvada to prevent HIV

 by Henry Bauer

In my memoir of serving as an academic dean, I had written “I would find myself thinking, Now I’ve seen everything; nothing can surprise me anymore, only to experience a novel surprise the next day or the next week”. That’s how I’ve been feeling the last few days as the media have being hyping the approval by the Food and Drug Administration of prescribing Truvada to prevent HIV infection — administering Truvada to perfectly healthy people as supposed prevention.
Truvada is emtricitabine (FTC) plus tenofovir (TDF). In “HAART is toxic: Mainstream concedes it, in backhanded ways”, I cited earlier blogs about the toxicity of tenofovir  and a few salient bits:
— The federal warning that “Tenofovir  . . . alone or in combination . . . may cause serious damage to the liver and . . .  lactic acidosis”
— The manufacturer’s warning that “Lactic acidosis and severe hepatomegaly with steatosis, including fatal cases, have been reported with . . . nucleoside analogs, including tenofovir”
— “increasing exposure to tenofovir was associated with a higher incidence of CKD [chronic kidney disease] . . . . and there are numerous studies . . . demonstrating that tenofovir is associated with impaired kidney function”.
For the combination of  FTC plus TDF, the NIH Treatment Guidelines (updated 14 October 2011) cite as advantages superiority in suppressing viral load and also these disadvantages:
“• Potential for renal impairment, including rare reports of Fanconi syndrome and acute renal insufficiency
• Potential for decrease in bone mineral density”
(as well as failure to suppress viral load when combined with nevirapine [!])

Saturday, May 12, 2012

Panel recommends approving Truvada to prevent HIV infection

By Saundra Young, CNN
Most of the more than 40 health care professionals, AIDS advocates and patients who addressed the committee implored its members not to recommend the drug for the new indication.

Did the Government listen?

A drug already approved for treatment of AIDS might one day be approved for prevention of the deadly disease in individuals at high risk.

Unlimited insanity: Truvada to prevent HIV

A U.S. Food and Drug Administration advisory committee recommended Thursday that the agency approve the drug, Truvada, for pre-exposure prophylaxis, or PrEP.
The committee voted 19-3 in favor of approval for the prevention indication -- PrEP for HIV-uninfected men who have sex with men and 19-2 with one abstention for HIV-uninfected partners in couples where the other partner is infected. The committee recommended by 12-8 with two abstentions in favor of approving the drug for individuals who engage in risky sexual behavior that could result in their contracting the virus.
Truvada, manufactured by Gilead Sciences, Inc., is a once-a-day pill used in combination with other HIV drugs. The nucleoside reverse transcriptase inhibitor does not rid the body of HIV. Instead, it prevents the virus from replicating in the body.
The FDA doesn't have to follow the recommendations of its advisory committees, but it often does.
Most of the more than 40 health care professionals, AIDS advocates and patients who addressed the committee implored its members not to recommend the drug for the new indication.
"There is no question that, if efforts on using PrEP is widespread, condom use and other means of preventing HIV infection will decrease," said Robert Elliott, a registered nurse. "At this point we simply don't know enough about how to increase adherence rates to work with the PrEP or how to counteract the risk compensation and the use of PrEP. Until then, PrEP is not and cannot be considered safe and effective for preventing HIV infections."
AIDS Activist Miki Jackson agreed. "A recommendation for the use of Truvada as PrEP is akin to issuing an engraved invitation for lawsuits," she said. "To knowingly recommend a drug as powerful as Truvada with such serious serious side effects and given to people who are perfectly healthy is frightening."
Michael Weinstein, president and founder of the AIDS Healthcare Foundation, said he was concerned that approval could lead a decrease in condom use. "Approving PrEP would be a reckless act," he said.
The FDA panel looked at safety and efficacy data from three clinical trials:
-- iPrEx, a study of men who have sex with men, found 43.8% fewer infections in men who got the drug versus those who got placebo;
-- in a Truvada study carried out by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in Botswana, infection rates were reduced by 63% overall in healthy men and women considered to be at high risk of infection;
-- the University of Washington's Partners in PrEP study of serodiscordant couples in Kenya saw 62% fewer infections in those taking Truvada and a 73% reduction in those who took a combination of Truvada and the HIV drug tenofovir.
Committee members also heard concerns about the drug's side effects, which can include nausea, vomiting, dizziness, loss of appetite and diarrhea, liver and kidney toxicity and loss of bone density.
But, after assessing the data, they concluded that Truvada is safe for men and women and effective in preventing infection.
And they had supporters. "What we need currently is additional tools for our powerful tool box," said Dr. Richard Elion, director of clinical research at the Whitman Walker Clinic in Washington. "We are not winning the battle. Please, were asking today to allow a modality that's still being developed to be added to our toolbox."
Kirk Myers, founder and CEO of Abounding Prosperity Inc., made a plea on behalf of African-Americans. "People need to be given the option to choose," said Myers, who is HIV-positive. "This drug is wanted. Another tool we can use. The right thing to do. Without this option, desperation will continue to drive up statistics of new incidents."
Chris Collins, vice president and director of public policy for the American Foundation for AIDS Research, said the data on the drug's prophylactic use were compelling and urged the committee not to limit access to it. "We need new tools to fight this epidemic that include treatment, condoms and education," Collins said. "PrEP is certainly not for everyone, but it may have a role in bringing HIV-infection rates down. It's time to learn how PrEP may be useful in the real world."
According to Dr. Peter S. Miele, a medical officer in the agency's Center for Drug Evaluation and Research, Truvada's safety and efficacy for the prevention of HIV-1 infection in high-risk individuals is supported by two large clinical trials. "Regular HIV testing, adherence and behavioral counseling on safer sex practices, including condom use, are essential components of healthcare delivery around PrEP," he said.
Truvada is not cheap. A month's supply costs about $1,200.

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Drugs or NO Drugs? ARVs, HIV and AIDS and one man's decision

by: Jonathan Barnett 
That’s my latest CD4 count, less than half the count from six weeks ago.
That’s it. I have tried as many alternative treatments as I can think of to reverse the decline. I will be starting my third round of pharmaceutical ARVs as soon as I can get a prescription and fill it.
This decision has been a long time coming, and in hindsight, I probably should have restarted a few months ago. There’s nothing magical about 97, or being below 100, but it’s as good a breaking point as any. I’ve long argued that there are two things to keep in mind about CD4 counts: one is the long-term trend; the other is single- or low double-digit counts.

No bounce left

For years, my CD4 count has bounced like a ping-pong ball, but that changed a few months ago. It’s been more of a straight line decline since last October, and a drop from nearly 500 in December 2010. Eight of the last nine tests have reported a decline. The CD4% (percentage), which is another way this marker is measured, has dropped from 20% last October to only 9% several days ago. I know some people who dismiss flow cytometry—the procedure used to measure t-cells like CD4—as unreliable, and I plan to debunk that notion in an upcoming post.
My counts have been decling much more
quickly for more than two years now.
Look folks, I’m not willing to wait for a serious infection to hit me before taking action. I have unquestionably performed above and beyond due diligence and have I tried many of the most promising alternative therapies. While those treatments may have been beneficial, and may have even slowed the decline, they haven’t managed to halt it, let alone reversed it.
To those who might be disappointed in my decision to restart ARVs: trust me, no one is more disappointed than I am. I might even be a bit discouraged… for about 5 minutes. Then I remind myself that when I first quit these drugs 13 years ago, I didn’t know how long I could go without them… Weeks? Months? I had 2 1/2 years free from them then. The second time I quit the drugs in 2003, I didn’t know how long I could go without them. I never imagined I would have more than nine years of freedom, and I don’t regret a day of it. In fact, I am very, very grateful.

Monday, May 7, 2012

Hidden in plain sight: The damage done by (HIV and AIDS) antiretroviral drugs

Posted by Henry Bauer
What’s plain to those not indoctrinated
evades the consciousness of the HIV/AIDS gurus

“hid these things from the wise and prudent, and
. . . revealed them unto babes”
 (Luke 10: 21)
One of the features of the HIV/AIDS phenomenon, seemingly astonishing and indeed incredible if one has trust in modern medical science, is that the mainstream literature is replete with documented, reproducible contradictions of standard shibboleths disseminated by mainstream sources.
Weiss & Cowan  point out that there’s no gold-standard HIV test, that there’s no such thing as a “confirmatory” test, that no HIV test can diagnose HIV infection, and that a large number of positive tests are false positives; yet mainstream practice continues to ignore these facts, and public defenders of the faith blather on about the desirability of universal testing.
Jay Levy  has enumerated all the things about HIV/AIDS that are not known — namely, all the central matters like how HIV could possibly do what it’s alleged to do.
And when antiretroviral drugs are mentioned, they are routinely described as life-saving — even though the literature is full of evidence that the drugs are anything but life-saving and instead are highly toxic. The Treatment Guidelines issued by the National Institutes of Health — and which need modification several times a year! — admitted long ago that the majority of “adverse events” experienced by PWAs on antiretroviral treatment are non-AIDS events, namely, organ failures and cancers linked directly to the antiretroviral drugs (see Death, antiretroviral drugs, and cognitive dissonance”, 9 May 2008). The toxicity of AZT was demonstrated in the very earliest clinical trial, and plaudits to the life-saving benefits of antiretroviral treatment judiciously omitted to claim benefits for the AZT and monotherapy era; yet practice continues to ignore the deadly nature of AZT and its ilk and they continue to be prescribed in the HAART cocktails; albeit not as AZT but as Retrovir or zidovudine or other NRTIs with even more exotic and unfamiliar names.
A very general type of damage done by antiretroviral drugs is to the mitochondria, the energy-producing centers of all our cells. Mitochondria have their own DNA, and damage to them is a life-long burden; it’s irreversible. It’s been known for a long time that the antiretroviral treatment of pregnant “HIV-positive” women, purportedly to prevent transmission of HIV, actually damages the mitochondria of the babies; see for instance the studies cited in What HIV drugs do” (2007/12/15); “First: Do no harm!” (2007/12/19);“Poison in South Africa” (2008/10/26); “Protease inhibitors cause oxidative stress” (2009/04/25);“Human cancers (≥20% of them) are caused by viruses!” (2010/01/23); HAART makes things worse: Elsevier journal publishes HIV/AIDS heresies” (2010/11/03).

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

New law aims to increase HIV/AIDS tests


New state law is removing a testing barrier for an infectious disease many people don't even know they have.
Signed by Gov. Deval Patrick on Friday, "An Act Increasing Screening for HIV" deletes the requirement that patients provide written consent to have an HIV test. Instead, patients will need only to give verbal consent to have an HIV test.
Between 25,000 and 27,000 Massachusetts residents are estimated to be living with HIV or AIDS, according to a news release from the Patrick administration. But about 21 percent of them — or more than one in five — don't realize they're infected, the release says, while citing statistics from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

POLICE ARREST HIV POSITIVE PEOPLE In Greece, publish photos, name and address - THEN FORCED INTO CAMPS

done for political motivated? public health concern?
"At least one thousand men had apparently never heard anything about AIDS and the use of condoms. One thousand men had most probably thought that AIDS is something like a seasonal flue."

Posted by keeptalkinggreece in Society

Thank God there are elections in Greece from time to time. Then some ministers zealously try to make things work an dprove that they have earned the title they got. One of elections 2012 slogan has been ‘sweep downtown Athens’. A bit due to real interest, a bit due to the rising of extreme-right Chrysi Avgi and residents of downtown Athens who are fed up with the hoards of illegal immigrants.

In coordinated actions, health and law enforcement units stormed basement appartments filled with illegal immigrants. They undergwent health tests and put into camps. In order to restore the reputation of Athens historical centre that was delivered to outcasts (drug junkies, illegal immigrants and prostitutes). After the immigrants were put into the camps, the second stage of cleaning Athens started: Get rid of the whores.

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

HIV and AIDS Soon To Be Classified A Communicable Disease say Dr. Fenton Ferguson

The Gleaner, Jamaica
HEALTH MINISTER Dr Fenton Ferguson has promised that steps are being taken to introduce legislation to classify HIV/AIDS as a communicable disease for the purpose of reporting and monitoring.
"This is going to be a very important piece of legislation because the question of stigma and discrimination would be, by that one stroke, a very important point that will again further the cause as it relates to persons affected by HIV/AIDS," said Dr Ferguson.