HIV “Functional Cure” Found in Thai Red Cross Trial

92% of people who commence antiretroviral drug treatment witin two weeks of infection receive "functional cure" Thai Red Cross study finds.

A human HIV trial conducted as part of a Thai Red Cross Society (TRCS) research project has produced promising results for those who commence a course of antiretroviral drugs within two weeks of being infected by the HIV virus. The study, part of a “search 0101” research project by the Thai Red Cross, commenced in 2009 and involved 96 people. Lead researcher on the Thai Red Cross project, Dr Jintanat Ananworanich, said antiretroviral drugs were given to 26 people who had been infected with the virus for no more than two weeks. Blood tests taken after two weeks of treatment revealed that the white blood cells of 24 people, or 92 per cent of participants, contained no HIV virus. Describing … Continue reading

Thailand in HIV/AIDS Crisis

Of 9,470 new HIV/AIDS cases in 2012 37% were men having sex with men but less than 3.4% were sex workers

Thailand’s Aids Access Foundation (AAF) says news that Thailand is recording more than one new HIV infection each hour is proof the “country is in a crisis”, blaming the alarming number of new HIV infections on a lack of government interest and an inadequate allocation of money for HIV/AIDS prevention. Thailand’s Ministry of Public Health (MoPH) estimates that more *464,414 people are currently living with HIV/AIDS in the Southeast Asian kingdom renowned internationally for the accommodating males and females who work in the country’s thriving sex industry, though sex workers are said to represent the lowest at-risk group. (*Ed: Independent figures put the number of people living with HIV/AIDS in Thailand at more than 530,000) The ministry says almost 9,500 new HIV … Continue reading

Thailand records more than one new HIV case every hour

Soi Cowboy, Bangkok. Part of Thailand's notorious sex industry

Widely known as the sex tourism capital of the world, Thailand appears to be losing the battle against the spread of HIV with fresh statistics showing more than one new infection every hour and more than 8,700 new HIV positive infections annually. The alarming figure, which primarily includes only Thai citizens and few of the 15 million foreign tourists who visit the country annually, show that education programs regarding safe sex practices in the Southeast Asia nation are failing to halt the spread of the disease, despite the country having received almost $US235 million in Global Fund grants since 2003. The figures also raise questions over the success of the Thailand government HIV treatment program, with little more than half … Continue reading

Rapid HIV instant test kit shortage halts Kenya HIV testing

Trinity Biotech's Uni-Gold rapid HIV instant test kit

Kenyan government officials are blaming congestion at the Mombasa port for a rapid HIV instant test kit shortage that has all but put a halt to testing throughout the country. A report in PlusNews, the global online HIV and AIDS news service of the United Nations Integrated Regional Information Networks (IRIN), says HIV/AIDS counseling and testing centers across Kenya are turning people away due to the rapid HIV instant test kit shortage. The rapid HIV instant test kit shortage follows Standard Diagnostics’ Bioline® HIV 1/2 3.0 Rapid HIV Test Kit being suddenly removed from the UN World Health Organization’s list of approved rapid HIV instant test kits in December 2011, after the South Korea manufacturer failed quality assurance tests. There has … Continue reading

Microsoft founder throws The Global Fund a $750 million lifeline

The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation have thrown The Global Fund a $750 million lifeline

Microsoft founder and philanthropist Bill Gates, through the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, has thrown The Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria (The Global Fund) a $750 million lifeline coinciding with the group’s 10th-anniversary. Describing The Global Fund as one of the most “effective entities” the Gates Foundation supports, the former Silicon Valley tycoon and world’s second wealthiest man said he was disappointed at the focus on reports last year which detailed the misappropriation of some funds in Africa, saying “if you’re going to do business in Africa, you’re going to have some losses”. Mr Gates said it is “disappointing” to see some people focus on a “small misuse of funds. The internal checks and balances have worked … Continue reading