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

HPTN 052 trial finding antiretroviral drugs cut HIV transmission by 96% the most important science breakthrough of 2011

HPTN 052 trial that finds antiretroviral drugs cut HIV transmission by 96% lauded as Science Breakthrough of 2011

A clinical trial by the University of North Carolina’s School of Medicine at Chapel Hill that found HIV infected people who took anti- retroviral drugs (ARVs) are 96 percent less likely to transmit the HIV virus to their partner(s) has been proclaimed as the most important scientific breakthrough in 2011 by the prestigious journal Science. Led by distinguished Professor Myron S. Cohen, the HPTN 052 trial, funded by the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases and others, puts an end to long-standing speculation as to whether ARVs provide a double benefit – treating the HIV virus in infected people while simultaneously cutting transmission rates. The HPTN 052 trial began in 2007 with 1,763 predominantly heterosexual couples from Botswana, Brazil, … Continue reading

Global Fund to freeze HIV, TB, Malaria grants for two years

For HIV / AIDS patients in developing nations the majority of funding for treatment, care, and prevention in recent years has been supplied by the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria (Global Fund), with more than 200 million people globally benefiting from its grant disbursement programs. However, all of that is set to come to a rapid halt following an announcement last week that the Global Fund will only be able to finance essential services for on-going programs that come to their conclusion before 2014. Though nicely dressed up in gobbledygook double-speak, the sudden announcement has sent NGOs and those who work with HIV / AIDS patients into a frenzy, with no new programs to be funded for … Continue reading