Archive for the tag "ARVs"

PrEP makes no sense for discordant couples – corrected (15/07/11)

First PReP worked for gay men, and we were happy. Then it didn’t work for straight women, and we were sad. Now, two big studies in heterosexuals have shown it can work for straight couples, and we are deeply confused. Or at least I am. Taking anti-HIV pills every day cuts the risk of infection […]

HIV treatment really IS prevention, but… (19/05/11)

For some time now, I’ve been waltzing around casting doubt on the “treatment is prevention” mantra, the idea that putting people infected with HIV on meds sooner will reduce new infections, despite pretty good observational evidence that people on treatment are less likely to infect their partners. If I had been praying at the altar […]

The “HIV’s a pain” theory of prevention: can it work? (05/04/10)

So gay guys go on having unprotected sex after they are diagnosed with HIV, a new descriptive study of gay poz guys at a clinic in Boston tells us. Nothing new there, although it’s sobering to be reminded that one in two of the men who know they have HIV choose to bareback with someone […]

HIV in DC: still not everyone’s problem (17/03/09)

The very first post on this blog, on World AIDS Day 2007, compared HIV rates in the US capital with those in Ethiopia, Congo and Angola. Now the city has issued another excellent report on HIV, and people are begining to wake up to the disgrace (bloggers comment here and here and here and here). […]

The Wisdom of ART (26/02/09)

I’ve always been a big believer in the overlap between art and science. We’re seeing more of it these days — the idea of testing whole populations for HIV and sticking everyone who is infected on antiretrovirals as a way of putting a stop to the HIV epidemic has been dubbed Pop-ART, for example. I’m […]

Significant progress in HIV prevention (10/02/09)

Halleluliah! We’ve finally got something to be happy about in HIV prevention — a microbicide that cuts the risk of HIV infection by a third. You’d think everyone would be shouting for joy. But no, we’re bending over backwards to say we’re not sure it works. The product in question is Pro2000 gel, and the […]

High days and holidays — smoking ARVs (12/12/08)

Stories of kids smoking antiretroviral drugs to get high first surfaced in South Africa last spring. Picked up by the BBC last week, they are now burning through the WTF pages of the blogosphere. Should we give a damn? Interestingly, I can’t find anything anywhere from anyone who has actually nicked the pills off their […]

It’s not HIV that kills, but hospital administration (01/12/08)

To mark the 20th anniversary of World AIDS Day, and the 1st anniversary of The Wisdom of Whores, I offer a post stolen wholesale from Michael Buehler. ‘It is actually not HIV that kills us but the hospital administration’, says an Indonesian woman with HIV. Oh, and corruption in the Ministry of Health, complacent self-satisfaction […]

So we CAN treat our way out of this epidemic. Or can we? (26/11/08)

Many people, including the head of the WHO’s HIV division Kevin de Cock, have observed that “we can’t treat our way out of this epidemic”. Today, The Lancet publishes a paper by many people, including the head of the WHO’s HIV division Kevin de Cock, claiming that we can, in fact, treat our way out […]

Prepped for PrEP: are we ahead of ourselves? (24/11/08)

When I’m asked: What’s the next big thing in HIV prevention? I usually put Pre-Exposure Prophylaxis somewhere high on the list. We don’t yet know if giving out expensive drugs so that people can have unprotected sex without worrying about HIV will work. But I usually ask people to imagine the headlines in The Daily […]

Fake ARVs: two steps back? (17/11/08)

So Asia is awash with fake pills. No news there. Cops are seizing a fair few of them — 16 million in the last few months, worth US$ 6.6 million, according to Interpol. That’s a step forward. But that some of them seem to be antiretroviral drugs for HIV threatens two steps back. The first […]

Should we dump on negative advertising? (26/08/08)

As competition to treat people for HIV has hotted up, pharmaceutical companies have started dumping on one another. Using innuendo and not-quite-stated factoids, they are beginning to imply that the rival camp has something to hide (something they’ve no doubt learned from political campaigns). Those other drugs are toxic, discolouring, inconvenient. Activist groups and HIV […]

Australians told not to follow those wild Swiss (28/07/08)

Since the Swiss noted that people who take their meds correctly and don’t have other infections are unlikely to pass on HIV, the public health establishment has been in a tizz over how to react. Predictably enough, Australian researchers have done what epidemiologists with a point to make so often do: — they’ve reached for […]

Life after AIDS (29/05/08)

We’ve all known for ages that there are essentially two HIV epidemics in the world: a heterosexual epidemic in East and Southern Africa (some would say all of sub-Saharan Africa) and an epidemic driven by drug injection, sex between men and commercial sex in the rest of the world. Now there’s another distinction, too. There […]

Abstaining from common sense in Uganda? (27/05/08)

The First Lady of Uganda, Janet Museveni, thinks that increasing access to HIV treatment is making Ugandans more promiscuous, according to a story in Sunday’s The New Vision. We’ve certainly seen evidence of that in rich countries, and there doesn’t seem to be any reason it wouldn’t be the same in poorer parts of the […]

Treatment is prevention. And black is white (20/05/08)

Two of the Republican senators accused of holding to ransom some US$ 50 billion in US funding for HIV in Africa are fighting back. They are also ill-educated, badly confused, or lying through their teeth. After a Washington Post editorial accused them of foot-dragging on AIDS funding in part because they worried that money might […]

Cheap travel for mountaineers and HIV-positives in India (27/03/08)

India’s sprawling railway network will from next week allow HIV-infected people to travel half-price, the Economic Times reports. Since it’s India, there’s red tape to go with the red ribbons — the discount is only for second class travel to and from approved HIV treatment centres and people “have to produce (a) certificate in prescribed […]

And another thing from those sensible Swiss (05/02/08)

Buried in the controversial Swiss report on HIV treatment and transmission of the virus is a nugget about initiating treatment. (French report here, unofficial English translation here) They say that antiretrovirals should only be given when it is medically indicated, and not to prevent the onward transmission of HIV in discordant couples. Two reasons: in […]

HIV infection made (almost) simple (31/01/08)

Everyone knows about the behaviours that spread HIV. But if you’re at all hazy on the mechanics, how the virus actually manages its assault on an uninfected person, this video is for you. Thanks to Boehringer-Ingelheim for paying for this. See, Big Pharma’s not all bad…

A viagra, half an E, some ARVs: the new party pack? (23/01/08)

So if you give antiretrovirals to humanised mice (don’t ask) and then slosh their vaginas full of HIV, they don’t get infected, according to a new study from Paul Denton and colleagues at the University of Texas. None of the five mice treated with a combination of emtricitabine and tenofovir got infected, whereas 7 out […]

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