Anti-HIV medicines can cause damage to fetal hearts, research shows

A study by a Wayne State University and Children's Hospital of Michigan, Detroit Medical Center research team is shedding new light on the troubling question of whether the drugs often given to HIV-positive pregnant women can cause significant long-term heart problems for the non-HIV-infected babies they carry.

The study recently published in the journal AIDSshows that while the HIV medications have been successful in helping to prevent the transmission of the virus from mother to infant, they are associated with persistently impaired development of heart muscle and reduced heart performance in non-HIV-infected children whose mothers received the medicines years earlier.

"What our study indicates is that there's potentially a long-term price to be paid for protecting the children of HIV-infected mothers from the virus," said Steven E. Lipshultz, M.D., pediatrician-in-chief at the Children's Hospital of Michigan and chair of pediatrics for the Wayne State University School of Medicine. Dr. Lipshultz is a specialist in the study of long-term toxic cardiac effects among children affected by cancer and HIV drug therapies.

"These medicines have been very effective at reducing the rate of transmission of HIV from mother to child," added Dr. Lipshultz, the lead author of the study, "but the findings we've just published show clearly that further investigation of their long-term impact on the heart health of the children involved is needed.

Source: Wayne State University - Office of the Vice President for Research

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Публикувана от rosen -петък, 21 ноември 2014 - 13:19:25изглед за печат


От 21 до 28 ноември 2014 г. ще се проведе Европейска седмица, посветена на изследването за ХИВ (HIV Testing Week) –неправителствена инициатива, водена от група независими експерти, които работят в посока ранната диагностика на ХИВ инфекцията.
От България в Европейската седмица за изследване за ХИВ ще се включат 28 Регионални здравни инспекции (РЗИ), 26 неправителствени организации (НПО), подполучатели  на средства по Програма „Превенция и контрол на ХИВ/СПИН”, както и общини, училища, университети, търговски центрове и заведения, които осигуряват пространство за мобилните медицински екипи. 
РЗИ и НПО ще предоставят доброволно, анонимно и безплатно консултиране и изследване за ХИВ в цялата страна. Целта на инициативата е да повиши обществената информираност по отношение на вируса на човешкия имунодефицит, да популяризира изследването за ХИВ и да даде възможност на всеки да узнае своя ХИВ статус.
Факт е, че ефективното лечение на ХИВ, което е налично в европейските страни от средата на 1990-те години, доведе до рязко намаляване на случаите на СПИН и честотата на смъртните случаи, резултат от заболяването. 
Въпреки тези успехи се счита, че всеки трети европеец не е наясно с ХИВ статуса си. Броят на хората, заразени с ХИВ, продължава да нараства в Източна Европа. Експерти считат, че инфектираните с вируса в Европа възлизат на 2,3 милиона души. Основен проблем в целия регион е ненавременното диагностициране на инфекцията. 50% от ХИВ позитивните са диагностицирани късно, което забавя и достъпа им до антиретровирусна терапия.  
Изследването за ХИВ се приема за крайъгълен камък в превенцията на разпространението на вируса, причиняващ СПИН, като осигурява ранно откриване на заболяването и възможност за промяна в начина на живот на хората в посока безрисково поведение. Ранното диагностициране осигурява своевременно започване на лечение и пълноценен живот с нормална продължителност на засегнатите лица. Антиретровирусната терапия е важно условие за намаляване на риска от инфектиране за нови хора. 
Всичко това води до намаляване на разходите в системата на здравеопазването.  Данни за резултатите от Европейската седмица за изследване за ХИВ ще бъдат оповестени на 1 декември, Световен ден за борба срещу СПИН.

Публикувана от rosen -петък, 21 ноември 2014 - 09:37:11изглед за печат

Victory for LGBT community in BOTSWANA

Supported by our Linking Organisation BONELA, the High Court in Gabarone has ruled that LGBT organisations have the right to registration.

The case – which was heard on 14 November - was brought by 10 individuals from the LGBT organisation, LEGABIBO which is hosted by BONELA.

They argued that the refusal by the government to register their organisation violated their constitutional rights, including their rights to freedom of association, freedom of expression, and equal protection of the law.

“We are overjoyed at the outcome of the case. Lesbians, gays and bisexuals have long strived to be able to form an organisation which can support them and be their voice on matters that affect them,” says Caine Youngman, LEGABIBO Coordinator. “It has been a long and arduous journey towards recognition and we are relieved that the court has protected our rights”.

“Botswana’s HIV/AIDS National Strategic Framework 2010-2016 seeks to ensure equal access to health and social support services for all people regardless of race, creed, religious or political affiliation, sexual orientation or socio-economic status. LEGABIBO intends to work with government to improve access to health services for LGBT persons, and this judgment enables them to do so,” says Cindy Kelemi from Botswana Network on Ethics, Law and HIV/AIDS (BONELA).


Публикувана от rosen -четвъртък, 20 ноември 2014 - 16:54:57изглед за печат

HIV/AIDS drugs could be repurposed to treat AMD, researchers suggest

A landmark study published today in the journal Science by an international group of scientists, led by the laboratory of Dr. Jayakrishna Ambati, professor & vice chair of the Department of Ophthalmology & Visual Sciences at the University of Kentucky, reports that HIV/AIDS drugs that have been used for the last 30 years could be repurposed to treat age-related macular degeneration (AMD), as well as other inflammatory disorders, because of a previously undiscovered intrinsic and inflammatory activity those drugs possess

AMD is a progressive condition that is untreatable in up to 90 percent of patients and is a leading cause of blindness in the elderly worldwide. The two forms of AMD, wet and dry, are classified based on the presence or absence of blood vessels that have invaded the retina. A detailed understanding of the molecular mechanisms underlying wet AMD has led to several robust FDA-approved therapies. In contrast, there are no approved treatments for dry AMD thus far.

Nucleoside reverse transcriptase inhibitors (NRTIs) are the most widely used class of anti-HIV drugs. NRTIs are thought to be therapeutic in HIV/AIDS patients because they target the enzyme reverse transcriptase, which is critical for replication of HIV. Previous work from the Ambati lab found that a type of toxic molecule called Alu RNA accumulate in the retina to cause dry AMD; interestingly, Alu RNA and HIV are similar in that they both require reverse transcriptase to fulfill their life cycle.

In their Science publication, Fowler et al. report that multiple FDA-approved NRTIs prevented retinal degeneration in a mouse model of dry AMD. Surprisingly, this effect of NRTIs in the eye was not due to the well-known function of these drugs to inhibit reverse transcriptase. Instead, NRTIs blocked an innate immune pathway called the "inflammasome," even in experimental systems in which the NRTIs were not capable of blocking reverse transcriptase. In their report, they also showed that NRTIs were effective in other disease models that share common signaling pathways with the dry AMD model, including the "wet" form of AMD -- a disease that when treated still does not lead to substantial vision improvement in two-thirds of patients -- and graft-versus-host disease which is the major obstacle preventing successful allogeneic hematopoietic stem cell transplantation.

Source: University of Kentucky

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Публикувана от rosen -четвъртък, 20 ноември 2014 - 13:10:59изглед за печат

Why some people may be immune to HIV-1: Clues

Doctors have long been mystified as to why HIV-1 rapidly sickens some individuals, while in others the virus has difficulties gaining a foothold.

Now, a study of genetic variation in HIV-1 and in the cells it infects reported by University of Minnesota researchers in this week's issue of PLOS Genetics has uncovered a chink in HIV-1's armor that may, at least in part, explain the puzzling difference -- and potentially open the door to new treatments.

HIV-1 harms people by invading immune system cells known as T lymphocytes, hijacking their molecular machinery to make more of themselves, then destroying the host cells -- leaving the infected person more susceptible to other deadly diseases. T lymphocytes are not complete sitting ducks, however. Among their anti-virus defense mechanisms is a class of proteins known as APOBEC3s that have the ability to block the HIV-1's ability to replicate. Not surprisingly, however, HIV-1 has a counter-defense mechanism -- a protein called Vif that cons the T lymphocytes into destroying their own APOBEC3.

Suspecting differential susceptibility to HIV-1 might be related to genetic variations in this system, a research team led by doctoral student Eric Refsland and Reuben Harris of the University's College of Biological Sciences and Medical School took a closer look. First, the researchers found that HIV-1 infection boosts the production of one kind of APOBEC3, APOBEC3H -- suggesting it's a key player in fighting back. 

Then, using an experimental technique known as separation of function mutagenesis, they discovered that different people have different strengths/potencies of APOBEC3H, with some proteins expressed stably and others inherently unstable. The stable variations, the researchers found, were able to successfully limit HIV-1's ability to replicate if the infecting virus had a weak version of Vif -- but not for HIV-1 viruses that had strong Vif.

Source:  University of Minnesota

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Публикувана от rosen -четвъртък, 20 ноември 2014 - 13:05:13изглед за печат

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