India to treat all HIV positive people irrespective of CD4 count

Two years after the World Health Organisation recommended that antiretroviral therapy (ART) be initiated in people living with HIV irrespective of the CD4 cell (a type of white blood cell) count, India has aligned its policy with the guideline. In a major shift in the HIV treatment guidelines, Union Health Minister J.P. Nadda had recently... Continue Reading →

Controling HIV-like virus in monkeys by early intervention

In an interesting study, the immune system of monkeys was found capable of controlling HIV-like virus (simian-human immunodeficiency virus (SHIV)) when treatment with a combination of two broadly neutralising antibodies was started three days after infection. The immune system of the animals was found to control the virus even after the anti-HIV antibodies were no... Continue Reading →

Top health stories of 2016

On the health front, the year 2016 witnessed a few setbacks and but also a few positive developments. Here are the most important health developments of 2016 1. Trial results confirm Ebola vaccine provides high protection The Ebola virus that killed more than 11,300 people in three West African countries — Guinea, Liberia and Sierra... Continue Reading →

The self-test option for HIV

With the World Health Organisation releasing guidelines on HIV self-testing, a major obstacle in improving access to diagnosis has been cleared. Though much progress has been achieved in India in making HIV testing accessible and free of cost, many infected persons remain unaware of their status. Across the world, nearly 40 per cent of people... Continue Reading →

First CRISPR trial on humans set to begin

On June 21, the National Institutes of Health gave permission for starting the first ever clinical trial using CRISPR genome-editing technology, Nature news notes. The trial, which  will begin before the end of the year, will be carried out on 18 cancer patients to “help augment cancer therapies that rely on enlisting a patient’s T... Continue Reading →

A smartphone dongle to diagnose HIV, syphilis

A palm-sized dongle connected to a smartphone will soon be able to diagnose HIV and syphilis with good accuracy. The device, which was recently field-tested on 96 patients in Rwanda, had high sensitivity and specificity for both HIV and syphilis. The results are published today (February 5) in the journal Science Translational Medicine. Sensitivity and... Continue Reading →

Editorial: Irrational prejudice against HIV

That India still has no anti-discrimination law to protect the interests of HIV positive people shows how little the nation as a whole cares about them and how callous society is to their plight. As a result, discrimination against HIV positive people, including children, rears its ugly head time and again. The latest example is... Continue Reading →

India scores by battling HIV/AIDS but falls short fighting TB and malaria

The global burden and mortality from HIV/AIDS, TB and malaria across the world, and in the developing countries in particular, have dropped significantly since 2000, a report published today (July 24) in The Lancet points out. According to the report, the HIV epidemic appears “smaller than previously estimated,” while in the case of malaria, the... Continue Reading →

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