More to be done for self-care in sexual and reproductive health in India

India has some distance to go before self-care interventions for sexual and reproductive health becomes freely available to women in need. Unlike home-based pregnancy testing, hurdles remain in accessing abortion pills, pre-exposure prophylaxis for HIV prevention and HIV self-test. Self-care, which mostly takes place outside the formal health system, is nothing new. What has indeed … Continue reading More to be done for self-care in sexual and reproductive health in India

Explainer: Why is China laying down gene editing rules?

Dr. He’s experiment violates the 2003 guidelines that prohibits the use of gene-manipulated embryos for reproductive purposes. China has posted the draft regulation requiring researchers to obtain prior approval from the government before undertaking clinical trials. It is now all set to introduce the gene-editing regulation. In a bid to make babies immune to infection … Continue reading Explainer: Why is China laying down gene editing rules?

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

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

HIV self-testing: ‘The benefits far outweigh the risks to society’

    The OraQuick In-Home HIV Test was recently approved by the FDA advisory committee for sale over the counter. FDA regulators will take a decision in a few months' time. The committee felt that the benefits of the oral swab test far outweigh the risks of false positive and false negative test results. Dr … Continue reading HIV self-testing: ‘The benefits far outweigh the risks to society’

Editorial: Gene therapy offers fresh hope

Published in The Hindu on December 14, 2011 While a quarter century of single-minded effort to find an efficacious HIV vaccine has met with only a limited success, a team of researchers led by Nobel Laureate David Baltimore has obtained promising results in prevention of HIV infection in mice by adopting a radically different approach. … Continue reading Editorial: Gene therapy offers fresh hope

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

Editorial: AIDS vaccine – a ray of hope

Published in The Hindu on September 24, 2011 The search for an effective AIDS vaccine began a quarter-century ago and after a series of failures, there finally appears some reason to cheer. The first signs of success are beginning to emerge, ironically, from a trial (RV144) that seemed destined to flop. The two vaccine candidates … Continue reading Editorial: AIDS vaccine – a ray of hope

Editorial: Promising microbicide

Published in The Hindu on August 12, 2010 Half of the 33 million people living with HIV worldwide are women. In South Africa, which accounts for 70 per cent of the global HIV burden, about one in three women in the 20-34 age group is estimated to be infected. Large numbers of women in countries … Continue reading Editorial: Promising microbicide

Editorial: Better news on the HIV front

Published in The Hindu on the September 28, 2010 Although nearly 7,500 new cases of HIV infection are reported every day globally, the good news is that incidence rates are steadily declining in most parts of the world. HIV incidence has fallen by more than 17 per cent globally over the past nine years. But … Continue reading Editorial: Better news on the HIV front