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A Model for the Rest of Us

The AP reports that the drug policy in Portugal is paying off.
posted by gman on Dec 27, 2010 - 39 comments

"....not a course of treatment for the faint-hearted."

Stem cell transplant has cured HIV infection in 'Berlin patient', say doctors. Doctors who carried out a stem cell transplant on an HIV-infected man with leukaemia in 2007 say they now believe the man to have been cured of HIV infection as a result of the treatment, which introduced stem cells which happened to be resistant to HIV infection.
posted by Fizz on Dec 14, 2010 - 34 comments

HIV Preexposure Prohylaxis -- Only $12,000 per person, per year

An article published in the New England Journal of Medicine online edition today announced study results that the use daily of antiretroviral medicine reduced rate the acquisition of HIV infection. The New York Times coverage highlighted the result that the preexposure prophylaxis protected more than 90% of study participants who took the medicine every day, as prescribed. An editorial in the NEJM noted, however, that compliance was problematic, with only 44%of study participants protected overall. [more inside]
posted by mercredi on Nov 23, 2010 - 15 comments

Do bears still shit in the woods?

The Pope approves the use of condoms
posted by Artw on Nov 20, 2010 - 180 comments

Tragedy Transposed, The Sounds of HIV

There is no question that HIV is an ugly virus in terms of human health. Each year, it infects some 2.7 million additional people and leads to some two million deaths from AIDS. But a new album manages to locate some sonic beauty deep in its genome. Sounds of HIV (Azica Records) by composer Alexandra Pajak explores the patterns of the virus's nucleotides as well as the amino acids transcribed by HIV, playing through these biologic signatures in 17 tracks. [more inside]
posted by infinite intimation on Nov 12, 2010 - 20 comments

The beauty of Molecular, Cell, and Microbiology

There has been a new discipline developing in molecular biology for some time now, Bioanimation! Projects have ranged in size from WEHI's colossal compilation to Harvard Biovision's magnum opus "Inner Life of the Cell" to commercially produced masterpieces to smaller projects by university PIs and enthusiasts. much [more inside]
posted by Blasdelb on Sep 25, 2010 - 29 comments

Study Answers and Raises Questions About HIV Virus and Origins

The HIV ancestor virus, SIV, has been around much longer than previously thought. The NY Times notes: "And that assumption in turn complicates a question that has bedeviled AIDS scientists for years: What happened in Africa in the early 20th century that let a mild monkey disease move into humans, mutate to become highly transmissible and then explode into one of history’s great killers, one that has claimed 25 million lives so far?" [more inside]
posted by questionsandanchors on Sep 16, 2010 - 61 comments

More Good News in the Fight Against HIV

A team of researchers from the Hebrew University has developed a treatment that completely destroys HIV-infected human cells in laboratory cultures, according to an article published last month in the scientific journal AIDS Research and Therapy. The full text of the article is available here as a PDF: Specific eradication of HIV-1 from infected cultured cells. Previously.
posted by stoneweaver on Sep 3, 2010 - 56 comments

Closer to a Cure?

A summary of two papers on newly-discovered antibodies that can neutralize 91% of HIV strains: "Structural Basis for Broad and Potent Neutralization of HIV-1 by Antibody VRC01" and "Rational Design of Envelope Identifies Broadly Neutralizing Human Monoclonal Antibodies to HIV-1"
posted by anotherpanacea on Jul 8, 2010 - 29 comments

The Ban on Blood Donation

Are the Rules That Determine Who Can Donate Blood Discriminatory? Canadian AIDS researchers Dr. Mark Wainberg and Dr. Norbert Gilmore say that while the ban on blood donation from men who have sex with other men may have been ethically and scientifically justified in the 1980's, it no longer makes sense. (CMAJ.) Even though the US FDA reaffirmed their long-standing ban in 2007, they plan to revisit the policy in June. [more inside]
posted by zarq on May 26, 2010 - 69 comments

"HIV is a virus, not a crime."

With AIDS, Time to Get Beyond Blame. Criminal laws related to exposure to or transmission of HIV are on the books in 32 American states, and in many other countries. In January, Darrin Chiacchia was charged with knowingly exposing a partner to HIV without warning him beforehand. He faces up to 30 years in prison. The high profile case has drawn criticism of the laws from those who believe they discourage testing, increase stigma, and intentional infections are sensational but rare and difficult to prove. Others have argued the laws do little to protect vulnerable populations and are bad legal policy. In the sensational but rare category: Nushawn Williams, who completed his sentence last week but remains incarcerated.
posted by availablelight on Apr 20, 2010 - 70 comments

Insurer targeted HIV patients to drop coverage.

"In May, 2002, Jerome Mitchell, a 17-year old college freshman from rural South Carolina, learned he had contracted HIV. The news, of course, was devastating, but Mitchell believed that he had one thing going for him: On his own initiative, in anticipation of his first year in college, he had purchased his own health insurance. Shortly after his diagnosis, however, his insurance company, Fortis [now Assurant Health], revoked his policy. Mitchell was told that without further treatment his HIV would become full-blown AIDS within a year or two and he would most likely die within two years after that." [more inside]
posted by ericb on Mar 17, 2010 - 139 comments

Conflict continues over homosexuality in Uganda

Petition against Anti-Gay Bill Delivered to Ugandan Parliament. Fierce debate continues in Uganda over the Bahati Bill, a controversial anti-homosexual law currently under consideration by the Ugandan government (prev). [more inside]
posted by allkindsoftime on Mar 2, 2010 - 32 comments

Luna Commons

Luna Commons is a database of sixteen free digital image collections built using Luna Imaging's Insight software. And there's a lot of cool stuff, well over a hundred thousand images all available for download in good resolution. Here are some of the collections featured: Pratt Institute Fashion Plate Collection, The Farber Gravestones Collection, Maps of Africa, Cornell Political Americana Collection and the The Estate Collection of art by HIV+ artists. The advanced search allows you to search across all collection, for example seeing everything across all collections about animals or New York or your birthyear. Whatever you look for, it's gonna bring up a boatload of interesting images.
posted by Kattullus on Feb 20, 2010 - 4 comments

The Future Gets Closer, Again

Interesting developments in med-tech: gene testing machines for doctors, a plan to engineer stem cells to kill HIV, a new way to repair damaged nerves, the next generation of retinal implants, and the first bionic fingers up for sale. (Bonus for those uninterested in medicine: the newest take on a Minority Report-style interface, courtesy of MIT.)
posted by StrikeTheViol on Dec 11, 2009 - 2 comments

Criminalizing Homosexuality in Uganda.

The Ugandan government is considering a law that would criminalize homosexuality, advocacy for gay rights, or even failing to report homosexuals to the govenment. And death for HIV+ gays. And who is behind this? An American group with purported ties to the administration called the Family. [more inside]
posted by idiopath on Dec 2, 2009 - 113 comments

December 1, 2009 — World AIDS Day

Tuesday, December 1, 2009 is the 21st annual World AIDS Day An estimated 33.4 million people worldwide worldwide are living with HIV/AIDS. Take a moment today to think about those you've lost, those who are still living with the disease, and how you can prevent yourself or others from becoming infected. [more inside]
posted by xingcat on Dec 1, 2009 - 23 comments

San Francisco GLBT Historical Society & B.A.R. create on-line database of HIV/AIDS obituaties

San Francisco's Bay Area Reporter, together with the GLBT Historical Society, are making available all of the gay newspaper's AIDS obituaries in an on-line searchable database. The database, to be unveiled on December 1, 2009, World AIDS Day, contains the obituaries for about 10,000 people. [more inside]
posted by ClaudiaCenter on Nov 29, 2009 - 17 comments

HIV vaccine shows promise

A new HIV vaccine is showing promising results, reducing the risk of contracting the virus by 32 percent. While further tests are still needed, the vaccine is a combination failed HIV vaccines AIDSVAX and ALVAC, based on the Canary Pox virus. The study itself faced criticism from the outset.
posted by borkencode on Sep 24, 2009 - 41 comments

A Whole New Meaning to 'Forefathers.'

The Circumcision v. HIV debate rages on. [previously and previously-er and previously-er still] The debate has been rekindled due to new findings. It is expected to be one of the main topics during the CDC's National HIV Prevention Conference this week, as the CDC is considering endorsing routine circumcision. The American Academy of Pediatrics is also considering revising their circumcision policy, thus making it covered under Medicaid. Naturally, there is a lot of criticism of the evidence. In related news, it appears that there is a modicum of the so-called 'Birthers' who believe Obama's citizenship can be proven by his penis.
posted by Lutoslawski on Aug 25, 2009 - 378 comments

Needle Exchange in the USA

The history of needle exchanges in the United States starts in 1986 with Jon Parker, a dyslexic Yale medical student and former IDU (intravenous drug user), who was arrested time and time again for providing sterile needles and supplies to drug users, to prevent infection and spread of disease. David Purchase started the first organized (and illegal) needle exchange in Tacoma Washington in 1988, which still exists 21 years later. [more inside]
posted by circle_b on Aug 16, 2009 - 42 comments

Publicizing HIV cases in the porn industry

After one performer tested positive this week, 16 previously unpublicized cases of HIV in the porn industry have emerged. Last time this happened, government officials called it an outbreak and porn production grinded to a halt for two months.
posted by hpliferaft on Jun 12, 2009 - 193 comments

We Will Illuminate Dark Places

Live Hope Love — Living and Loving with HIV in Jamaica.
posted by netbros on May 4, 2009 - 5 comments

women must be the sex workers, if they're the ones who go on strike...

Kenyan women call to mind Greek comedy, though perhaps they have other reasons to take a week off...
posted by mdn on Apr 30, 2009 - 17 comments

Intended Consequences: Rwanda's Children of Rape

Intended Consequences. It is estimated that 20,000 children were born as the result of rape during the 1994 Rwandan Genocide that claimed the lives of over 800,000 Tutsis. Many of these women also contracted HIV/AIDS as a result. Not only do the mothers have to live with memories of this incredibly horrible event, but they along with their children are shunned by other Tutsi survivors. [more inside]
posted by itchylick on Apr 20, 2009 - 22 comments

The Doctor Will Sue You Now

"If you’re ever looking for a warning sign that you’re on the wrong side of an argument, suing Medecins Sans Frontieres is probably a pretty good clue." Science journalist and blogger Ben Goldacre has released the missing chapter of his book, Bad Science, telling the story of Matthias Rath, vitamins and the AIDS crisis in South Africa. [Previously. Also.]
posted by xchmp on Apr 9, 2009 - 40 comments

Are We About to Eliminate AIDS?

New Scientist:
What if we could rid the world of AIDS? The notion might sound like fantasy: HIV infection has no cure and no vaccine, after all. Yet there is a way to completely wipe it out - at least in theory. What's more, it would take only existing medical technology to do the job.
[more inside]
posted by andoatnp on Feb 21, 2009 - 49 comments

Christine Maggiore has died

HIV/AIDS denialist Christine Maggiore has died. [more inside]
posted by lalex on Jan 5, 2009 - 206 comments

Out of Africa

Out of Africa. As award-winning Globe and Mail Africa correspondent Stephanie Nolen bids farewell to a place she's come to love, she reflects on how it has changed, and how it changed her. [more inside]
posted by netbros on Dec 16, 2008 - 4 comments

Imported beats domestic

Luc Montagnier, Francoise Barre-Sinoussi and Harald zur Hausen take the Nobel Prize in Medicine for the discoveries of the AIDS virus and HPV, respectively. Take that Gallo.
posted by dances_with_sneetches on Oct 6, 2008 - 20 comments

Not cool Rome, not cool at all.

New Scientist reports today that inhabitants of the former Roman Empire have much lower levels of a gene variant that protects against the virus that causes AIDS - CCR5-Delta32 to be exact. Previously, this genetic mutation had been attributed to the spread of the Black Death.
posted by Lizc on Sep 4, 2008 - 16 comments

The plague is over, lets party.

The plague is over, lets party. Article by Elizabeth Pisani describing the troubling consequences of a gay scene in a world where HIV is treatable and AIDS is avoidable.
posted by seanyboy on Jun 2, 2008 - 45 comments

Hot or not? No, Pos or not!

Think you can guess HIV status just by looking? Via NYTimes article
posted by ThePinkSuperhero on May 19, 2008 - 62 comments

Tales of the City

In 1974 - or 1976, depending who you ask - Armistead Maupin began writing "an extended love letter to a magical San Francisco” in the form of a serialized, fictional drama published originally in the Pacific Sun, the San Francisco Chronicle and the San Francisco Examiner, originally called "The Serial" which then became collectively known as Tales of The City. It is a suprisingly beautiful, deep, emotional, cosmopolitan and lasting tale about life in San Francisco in the turbulent, heady days of the 1970s and 1980s. Widely credited with and cherished for helping spread a little of the openess, tolerance and acceptance that San Francisco is now famous for. It then became a series of books - Tales of the City, More Tales of the City, Further Tales of the City, Babycakes, Significant Others, Sure of You - and lastly, the spin-off tale of Michael Tolliver Lives. Almost exactly twenty years after first publishing, it then became an excellent miniseries from the United Kingdom's Channel 4, which aired in the United States on PBS, but not without protest or limitations. [more inside]
posted by loquacious on May 4, 2008 - 39 comments

If after 20 years you don't succeed.

Maybe it's time to give up. Last year's failed clinical trial for Merck's HIV vaccine (which once appeared so promising) led many to claim that AIDS vaccine research is in crisis. According to an unprecedented poll conducted by The Independent most scientists involved in AIDS research believe that a vaccine against HIV is further away than ever and some have admitted that effective immunisation against the virus may never be possible. [more inside]
posted by three blind mice on Apr 24, 2008 - 59 comments

A Shot of Bleach Ought to Dew It!

"Some Florida teens believe drinking Mountain Dew or smoking marijuana will prevent pregnancy and that swallowing a capful of bleach will prevent HIV/AIDS."* As a result, lawmakers are pushing "for an overhaul of sex education in the state. State lawmakers said the myths are spreading because of Florida's abstinence-only sex education"* "On Tuesday, a bill that would 'require a more comprehensive approach' to sex education narrowly won approval from a state Senate committee."*
posted by ericb on Apr 4, 2008 - 61 comments

In search of Aids

Manipur, which has a population of 2,388,634, has the highest rate of HIV in the country, which is also the reason why it has the most number of NGOs working in the area. However, what is disturbing is that a day or two ago, one of these NGOs bribed a group of children into getting their blood tested, so that they could increase their chances of garnering more funds.
posted by hadjiboy on Jan 16, 2008 - 37 comments

13-Year-Old Ambassador of Hope

Austin Gutwein first became aware of the devastating impact of HIV/AIDS from a pen pal in Africa.“‘My pen pal [2006 video - 2:48]*...was the first one to open my eyes to the world outside of my own backyard,’ Austin says. One of the harsh realities that struck a chord with Austin was the fact that many kids become orphaned as a result of a parent contracting HIV. ‘I started to think about what it would be like if I lost my parents,’ says Austin. ‘I just felt called to help.’...On World AIDS Day [December 1] 2004, at age 10, Austin shot 2,057 free throws to represent the number of children who would be orphaned because of AIDS during that school day....Austin approached individuals in his community to sponsor his endeavor. That year [he] raised $3,000, which he gave to World Vision to be used to help eight orphans in Africa.” Three years later his non-profit, Hoops of Hope, raised $100,000 [2007 video - 2:32] which was used to build a residential school in Zambia for those orphaned -- and many infected -- by HIV/AIDS. Next year's goal -- to build a hospital. [more inside]
posted by ericb on Nov 30, 2007 - 18 comments

ten second rule...

Raven and Jason live together in Vancouver's downtown East Side. A touching short documentary about life on the edge.
posted by Flashman on Nov 23, 2007 - 72 comments

AIDS Invaded U.S. in 1969, Study Finds.

Long before storied 'Patient Zero' Gaëtan Dugas [previously] scientists now believe that HIV/AIDS "invaded the United States in about 1969 from Haiti, carried most likely by a single infected immigrant who set the stage for it to sweep the world in a tragic epidemic." A new study to be published this week in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences indicates that researchers conducted a genetic analysis of stored blood samples from early AIDS patients and now believe that HIV first entered the United States in the 1960s -- and not the 1980s. Other "studies suggest the virus first entered the human population in about 1930 in central Africa, probably when people slaughtered infected chimpanzees for meat."
posted by ericb on Oct 29, 2007 - 43 comments

Where there is no doctor

"Where there is no doctor", a "village health-care handbook", was originally published by Mexican health activists in 1973 as a response to a critical lack of medical care among Mexico's poor. Now available for free download, the book covers such topics as "Family Planning" [pdf], Healing without Medicines [pdf], Common Medicines, their uses and doses [pdf], the right and wrong uses of modern medicines [pdf], and (in the midwives edition) DIY abortion [pdf]. [more inside]
posted by Avenger on Oct 9, 2007 - 8 comments

Life still enjoyable after 30, experts say

The elderly are staying sexually active [WaPo], and this is a good thing. Although there is a sex-education gap among America's seniors. Play it safe, old folks!
posted by Avenger on Aug 23, 2007 - 55 comments

Nothing Is Perverse

How to Market a Deadly Disease: Ten provocative examples of AIDS awareness campaigns from around the world. Here are some more [YouTube]. NSFW. Via. [Previously/related: 1, 2]
posted by veronica sawyer on Aug 17, 2007 - 5 comments

Gimme a little kiss, will ya huh?

Three million long-haul truckers traverse India's 8,000-kilometer highway network for months at a time. According to studies, more than two-thirds of those men are having frequent unprotected sex, and it's a big problem. Seena Taan Ke is a campaign that's underway to create AIDS/HIV awareness among the truckers, featuring Bollywood celebrities as well as Hollywood celebrity Richard Gere. It's a good thing for a good cause. Well, up until Richard got a little frisky onstage and planted some kisses on Big Brother winner/Bollywood star Shilpa Shetty. Crowds of Indians are now burning effigies of both Gere and Shetty in protest. "Such a public display is not part of Indian tradition." said the spokesman for Hindu nationalist party Bharatiya Janata. Well, so much for AIDS awareness for truckers.
posted by miss lynnster on Apr 16, 2007 - 73 comments

In their own words...

In their own words... Researchers at the National Institutes of Health recall the early years of AIDS, from diagnosis of the then-unknown disease, to discovering the viral cause, and from there to the search for treatments. The site features interviews (including several with virologist Robert Gallo), early publications, and a collection of archived image materials.
posted by Blazecock Pileon on Apr 10, 2007 - 11 comments

An uncommon vacation.

Judy's tour diary (pdf, somewhat long) isn't your standard travelogue. The author is Judy Porter, a professor of sociology from Bryn Mawr Collge. Her expertise in the fields of AIDS and poverty are apparent as she paints a vivid picture of life in West Africa, and the health and social conditions that come with it. She also set up a web page that has links to a number of photo slide shows and hand shot video footage. West Africa has been extensively discussed previously.
posted by The Straightener on Mar 16, 2007 - 6 comments

The Challenge of Global Health

The Challenge of Global Health is an article written in the most recent Foreign Affairs, describing how "stovepiping" health care funding towards only HIV/AIDS, the shortage of health care workers in the West, and a vacuum of international health-care experts are all causing great damage to developing countries. The article was written by Laurie Garrett, author of The Coming Plague, Betrayal of Trust, as well as a Pulitzer Prize winner for her writing on Ebola. Previously on mefi: garrett resigns, comments on world leaders.
posted by thethirdman on Jan 23, 2007 - 7 comments

Sir Does Not Allow Me to Watch ‘Project Runway’

Sir Does Not Allow Me to Watch ‘Project Runway’ Maybe going to class to learn to express one’s inner kink is not such a good idea. (NSFW, but no pictures)
posted by joeclark on Jan 3, 2007 - 17 comments

Medics face death in Libyan HIV case

Death by firing squad is imminent (timeline) for a Palestinian doctor and five Bulgarian nurses accused of infecting 426 girls and boys at the al-Fatah Hospital in Benghazi with HIV, after having the sentence lifted a year ago and sent to retrial. Libya stands accused of using the children as diplomatic pawns and torturing confessions out of the health workers. Nature has published a series of articles refuting the dubious evidence provided by Libyan researchers, which many think was concocted to cover up the poor hospital hygiene that likely caused the infections in the first place. [previously]
posted by blendor on Dec 19, 2006 - 35 comments

Who knew?

The WHO says being circumcised significantly reduces a male's risk of HIV infection and recommends male circumcision as part of a "comprehensive prevention package."
posted by thirteenkiller on Dec 13, 2006 - 159 comments

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