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 India to treat all HIV positive people irrespective of CD4 count

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 Editorial: Irrational prejudice against HIV

Editorial: Too early to cheer on HIV

Published in The Hindu on March 14, 2013 It is too early to celebrate the recent news of a breakthrough in the treatment of a baby infected with HIV. Despite the passage of a year after treatment for HIV was stopped and the viral load test returning negative results even at age 29 days, the … Continue reading Editorial: Too early to cheer on HIV

Was U.S. baby infected with HIV at all?

Published in The Hindu on March 7, 2013 A few days after the news broke of a “functional cure” in a HIV-positive Mississippian baby aged two-and-a-half, many questions have been raised whether the baby was indeed infected with HIV. “There are many instances where the mother’s HIV particles (HIV RNA) can be present in the … Continue reading Was U.S. baby infected with HIV at all?

Pilot project to test TB drug as prophylactic to HIV-infected

Published in The Hindu on December 15, 2012 The Chennai-based National Institute for Research in Tuberculosis (formerly Tuberculosis Research Centre) has started a pilot testing programme of providing for six months isoniazid TB drug as prophylactic to HIV-positive individuals. People recruited will include those on antiretroviral therapy (ART) too. The programme was started about two … Continue reading Pilot project to test TB drug as prophylactic to HIV-infected

Interim results of TB vaccine trial expected soon

Published in The Hindu on September 13, 2012 The preliminary results of the much anticipated Phase II TB vaccine trial conducted in 240 individuals who are HIV positive and those not infected with the virus will become available in December this year. The Phase II trial (Tuberculosis-014) began in November 2011 and is being carried … Continue reading Interim results of TB vaccine trial expected soon

Starting ART early prevents tuberculosis

That starting antiretroviral therapy (ART) in discordant couples, where one of the two partners is HIV positive, results in 96 per cent reduction in sexual HIV transmission became clear after the HPTN 052 trial. The trial took place between 2005 and 2010 in 12 countries, and had an intervention group and a control group. The … Continue reading Starting ART early prevents tuberculosis

Editorial: A hero — but no magic this

Published in The Hindu on November 15, 2011 If discrimination against people infected with HIV continues to be a major problem even today, despite innumerable initiatives to remove the stigma attached to it since the first case was reported in 1981, it must be remembered that the situation was scary in the early 1990s. It … Continue reading Editorial: A hero — but no magic this

Swine flu: AIDS patients not at greater risk of infection

Published in The Hindu on August 13, 2009 The immune system of people with HIV/AIDS is compromised.Yet, they are not considered to be at a greater risk of getting infected with swine flu compared with the general population. "HIV infected people are not at a greater risk of getting infected with swine flu compared to … Continue reading Swine flu: AIDS patients not at greater risk of infection

Treating TB, AIDS co-infection

Published in The Hindu on May 21, 2009 The Phase IV trial started in June 2006 to treat patients simultaneously for both TB and HIV has returned some important results. The trial once again reinforced the need to treat the afflicted for both the diseases simultaneously. According to earlier guidelines, patients were to be treated … Continue reading Treating TB, AIDS co-infection