Aids is curable?


Saturday, October 21, 2006

Useful information related to Aids

What is AIDS? What causes AIDS?

AIDS stands for Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome.
An HIV-positive person receives an AIDS diagnosis after developing one of the CDC-defined AIDS indicator illnesses. An HIV-positive person can also receive an AIDS diagnosis on the basis of certain blood tests (CD4 counts) and may not have experienced any serious illnesses. A positive HIV test does not mean that a person has AIDS. A diagnosis of AIDS is made by a physician according to the CDC AIDS Case Definition.
Over time, infection with HIV (Human Immunodeficiency Virus) can weaken the immune system to the point that the system has difficulty fighting off certain infections. These types of infections are known as opportunistic infections. Many of the infections that cause problems or that can be life-threatening for people with AIDS are usually controlled by a healthy immune system. The immune system of a person with AIDS has weakened to the point that medical intervention may be necessary to prevent or treat serious illness.

What is the Difference Between HIV and AIDS?

HIV is the virus that causes AIDS.
H - Human: because this virus can only infect human beings.
I- Immuno-deficiency: because the effect of the virus is to create a deficiency, a failure to work properly, within the body's immune system.
V- Virus: because this organism is a virus, which means one of its characteristics is that it is incapable of reproducing by itself. It reproduces by taking over the machinery of the human cell.
A- Acquired: because it's a condition one must acquire or get infected with; not something transmitted through the genes
I- Immune: because it affects the body's immune system, the part of the body which usually works to fight off germs such as bacteria and viruses
D- Deficiency: because it makes the immune system deficient (makes it not work properly)
S- Syndrome: because someone with AIDS may experience a wide range of different diseases and opportunistic infections

How long does it take for HIV to cause AIDS?

Currently, the average time between HIV infection and the appearance of signs that could lead to an AIDS diagnosis is 8-11 years. This time varies greatly from person to person and can depend on many factors including a person's health status and behaviors. Today there are medical treatments that can slow down the rate at which HIV weakens the immune system. There are other treatments that can prevent or cure some of the illnesses associated with AIDS. As with other diseases, early detection offers more options for treatment and preventative health care.

What's the connection between HIV and other sexually transmitted diseases?

Having a sexually transmitted disease (STD) can increase a person's risk of becoming infected with HIV, whether or not that STD causes lesions or breaks in the skin. If the STD infection causes irritation of the skin, breaks or sores may make it easier for HIV to enter the body during sexual contact. Even an STD that causes no breaks or sores can stimulate an immune response in the genital area that can make HIV transmission more likely.

Where did HIV come from?
The most recent presentation on the origin of HIV was presented at the 6th Conference on Retroviruses and Opportunitistic Infections (Chicago, January 1999). At that conference, research was presented that suggested that HIV had "crossed over" into the human population from a particular species of chimpanzee, probably through blood contact that occurred during hunting and field dressing of the animals. The CDC states that the findings presented at this conference provide the strongest evidence to date that HIV-1 originated in non-human primates. The research findings were featured in the February 4,1999 issue of the journal, Nature.
We know that the virus has existed in the United States, Haiti and Africa since at least 1977-1978. In 1979, rare types of pneumonia, cancer and other illnesses were being reported by doctors in Los Angeles and New York. The common thread was that these conditions were not usually found in persons with healthy immune systems.
In 1982 the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) officially named the condition AIDS (Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome). In 1984 the virus responsible for weakening the immune system was identified as HIV (Human Immunodeficiency Virus).

How many people have HIV and AIDS?

Worldwide: UNAIDS estimates that as of December 2000, there were an estimated 36.1 million people living with HIV/AIDS (34.7 million adults and 1.4 million children under 15). Since the epidemic began, an estimated 21.8 million people have died of AIDS (17.5 million adults and 4.3 million children under 15).
An estimated 5.3 million new HIV infections occurred in 2000. During 2000, HIV- and AIDS-associated illnesses caused deaths of an estimated 3 million people, including 500,000 children under the age of 15.
In the United States: According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), there are between 800,000 and 900,000 people living with HIV. Through December 2000, a total of 774,467 cases of AIDS have been reported to the CDC; of this number, 448,060 persons (representing 58% of cases) have died.
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Saturday, October 14, 2006

Cipla launches new anti-HIV drug Viraday

Pharma major Cipla today (12/10/06) launched its fixed dose single pill anti-HIV drug Viraday priced at Rs 5,200 a month.
Viraday is a combination of three anti-HIV drugs - Efavirenz 600 mg, Tenofovir 300 mg and Emtricitabine 200 mg, a company official said in New Delhi.
"We are offering the drug at Rs 5,200 a month, which is a fraction of the international price of approximately $1,100 (about Rs 52,800 a month)," he said.
While the company is introducing this drug in India for the first time, it is also looking at export opportunity, especially in Africa, the official said.

International AIDS Candlelight Memorial - 2007 Theme & Poster Idea Submission

The Global Health Council chooses a new theme and poster each year for the International AIDS Candlelight Memorial. Posters are sent to coordinators who register with the Memorial, which takes place this year on Sunday, May 20, 2007. The theme and poster are unveiled on World AIDS Day, Dec. 1, which also marks the beginning of planning for the Candlelight Memorial in May. However, this year the Council is considering having a permanent slogan for the Memorial which will be the same every year. The Council welcomes you to submit any ideas for slogans and pictures to be considered for the poster. Your idea or picture could be a part of the official 2007 Candlelight poster, which is distributed worldwide. Please send your submissions to the councils website and explain why your submission is important to you. The slogan, which will be the same year after year, will be very similar to past year's themes such as "Lighting the Path to a Brighter Future," "Turning Remembrance Into Action," and "One Voice, Many Faces... United for Life." Only photographs from the past year's 2006 Candlelight Memorial will be considered and there is no monetary award for acceptance. If you are submitting a picture by email, please submit high resolution digital pictures. For the Council to use your photograph, you must also submit the complete contact information for the person responsible for each photograph. Please include a brief description of the photographs and a release form. Also complete and sign a Person Identification Form for each close-up photograph of individuals, especially those who have announced themselves to be HIV positive. All pictures sent to the Global Health Council will become property of the Council and may be used for publication.
Download Photography Release and Person Identification Form:
Photographs may also be mailed to:Candlelight MemorialGlobal Health Council1111 19th Street, NW, Suite 1120Washington, D.C. 20036

Friday, July 07, 2006

AIDS awareness through quiz shows in India

With number of HIV cases in the country rising at an alarming rate, government has embarked upon an ambitious project to spread AIDS awareness in the country. To make the country's youth more informed about the disease, quiz shows will be organised in 2016 schools in 252 districts of the country. Celebrity quiz masters Siddharth Basu and Mini Mathur have been roped in to act as anchors for some of the shows. "Quizzing as a learning activity has huge potential and correct information passed on through our shows will surely spread awareness about Aids," said Siddharth Basu. "Participants of these quiz shows will be drawn from different socio-economic zones, so that, all communities irrespective of their social or economic status gain from it," Aiyar said. The ministry of youth affairs and sports which has taken the initiative as part of its 'Youth Unite for Victory on Aids (YUVA)' programme expects the innovative effort to be a success in the rural areas also.

Aids Vaccine

More than 20 million men, women and children have died from AIDS.
AIDS now kills more people worldwide than any other infectious disease.
More than 40 million people are living with HIV. Nearly all will die from AIDS-related complications within the next two decades.
An estimated 5 million people were newly infected with HIV in 2003.
The world needs an AIDS vaccine
More than 95% of all new infections are in developing countries, making HIV/AIDS among the most serious threats not only to global health, but to global development.
Prevention programs-including education, condom and clean needle distribution and peer counseling-have slowed the spread of HIV, but have not stopped it.
Treatment advances have yielded important new AIDS therapies, but the cost and complexity of their use put them out of reach for most people in the countries where they are needed the most. In industrialized nations where drugs are more readily available, side effects and increased rates of viral resistance have raised concerns about their long-term use.
Only an AIDS vaccine can end the HIV/AIDS pandemic.
We can end the AIDS for all time
The scientific consensus is that an AIDS vaccine is possible. Non-human primates have been protected by experimental AIDS vaccines. Some people repeatedly exposed to HIV resist infection and mount HIV specific immune responses, providing important clues for the design of an effective AIDS vaccine. Other infectious diseases have been controlled by vaccines. Smallpox was eradicated in 1977 because of an effective vaccine. Polio has been eliminated in the Americas and projections are that it will be eliminated globally by the end of 2005. Measles and yellow fever have been controlled by vaccines.
The prospects for success have never been greater.
Advances in molecular biology and basic HIV research have led to the development of promising strategies for effective AIDS vaccines.
Imagine a World without AIDS.
No single organization or government can end the AIDS epidemic. Just as no country, no region, and no community is immune to HIV, all must play a role in the effort to bring the epidemic under control. With greater commitment from a range of governments, foundations, scientists and committed individuals the world will at last have a realistic chance of creating a vaccine to end AIDS for all time.
IAVI and its partners are committed to speeding the discovery and distribution of a safe, effective and accessible AIDS vaccine. Developing an AIDS vaccine to save lives and economies will be one of the world's greatest achievements. Not to do so would be one of its greatest failures.

Wednesday, June 14, 2006

India beats SA on AIDS:UN report

The Indian subcontinent is a major cause of concern in the global AIDS epidemic, with India alone accounting for two-thirds of HIV cases in the whole of Asia, according to a new report by the United Nations released today. The world's second-most populous nation has overtaken South Africa as the country with the most people living with the HIV virus, the specialised agency UNAIDS said.

An estimated 5.7 million Indians were infected by the end of 2005, the Geneva-based body said in its biennial study of the global epidemic. That compared with an estimated 5.5 million people in South Africa, which is grappling with one of the hgihest infection rates per capita in Africa, the hardest-hit continent, said UNAIDS. However, India's overall rate of adult infections paled compared to South Afric's because of the relative size of the population of the two countries.

While 18.8 percent of South African adults were living with HIV, the figure in India was 0.9 percent. Overall, Indian HIV cases accounted for two-thirds of Asia's total. Estimates of total deaths in India since AIDS was first indentified globally in 1981 range from 270,000 to 680,000. Most of the infections there were caused by unprotected heterosexual intercourse, according to unaids. States in southern India have traditionally been the hardest hit by the disease: in Tamil Nadu, for example, HIV rates of 50 percent have been found among prostitiutes. However, these regions have also made strides in fighting the disease. Tamil Nadu scaled up prevention efforts in the 1990s.

Monday, June 05, 2006

HIV/AIDS Treatment

Over the past 10 years, several drugs to fight both the HIV infection and its associated infections and cancers have become available.
Reverse transcriptase inhibitors: They interrupt the virus from making copies of itself. These drugs are AZT (zidovudine [Retrovir]), ddC (zalcitabine [Hivid], dideoxyinosine), d4T (stavudine [Zerit]), and 3TC (lamivudine [Epivir]). These drugs may slow the spread of HIV in the body and delay the onset of opportunistic infections.
Nonnucleoside reverse transcriptase inhibitors (NNRTIS): These medications are used in combination with other drugs to help keep the virus from multiplying. Examples of NNRTIS are delavirdine (Rescriptor) and nevirapine (Viramune).
Protease inhibitors: These medications interrupt virus replication at a later step in its life cycle. These include ritonavir (Norvir), a lopinavir and ritonavir combination (Kaletra), saquinavir (Invirase), indinavir sulphate (Crixivan), amprenavir (Agenerase), and nelfinavir (Viracept). Using both classes of drugs reduces the chances of developing resistance in the virus.
Fusion inhibitors: This is the newest class of anti-HIV drugs. The first drug of this class (enfuvirtide [Fuzeon]) has recently been approved in the United States. Fusion inhibitors block HIV from entering the human immune cell.
The antiretroviral viral drugs do not cure people of HIV infection or AIDS. They stop viral replication and delay the development of AIDS. However, they also have side effects that can be severe. They include decrease of red or white blood cells, inflammation of the pancreas, and painful nerve damage. Other complications are enlarged liver and fatty liver, which may result in liver failure and death.
The common side effects from protease inhibitors include nausea, diarrhea, and other gastrointestinal symptoms. These drugs can interact with other drugs and result in serious side effects.
Presently, a combination of several drugs called highly active antiretroviral therapy (HAART) is used to treat people with HIV. This treatment is not a cure. The virus still persists in various body sites, such as in the lymph glands.
People infected with HIV are prone to opportunistic infections. Various drugs are available to treat these infectious complications. These drugs include foscarnet sodium (Foscavir) and ganciclovir (Cytovene, Vitrasert) to treat cytomegalovirus eye infection, fluconazole (Diflucan) to treat yeast infections, and trimethoprim and sulfamethoxazole (Bactrim, Septra) to treat Pneumocystis carinii pneumonia.
Treatments for Kaposi sarcoma or other cancers include radiation, chemotherapy, and injections of alpha-interferon.