Phase-2 trial: A three-drug regimen clears coronavirus in seven days

A phase-2 trial found that COVID-19 patients with mild to moderate illness had no detectable virus seven days after treatment with a three-drug regimen — oral lopinavir-ritonavir, ribavirin and injectable interferon beta-1b. The control group took 12 days to clear the virus. A phase-2 trial involving participants with mild to moderate COVID-19 illness found no detectable virus … Continue reading Phase-2 trial: A three-drug regimen clears coronavirus in seven days

HIV cleared out after stem cell transplantation

For the second time, researchers have been able to clear HIV virus from the body (remission) by transplanting stem cells containing two mutant copies of a co-receptor CCR5 for HIV infection. The person with advanced Hodgkin’s lymphoma and HIV infection has been experiencing HIV remission for the last 18 months after antiretroviral therapy (ART) was … Continue reading HIV cleared out after stem cell transplantation

HIV: Tamil Nadu case turns the spotlight on safe blood availability

A 23-year-old pregnant woman in Tamil Nadu tested positive for HIV after receiving a unit of blood at a government hospital blood bank, indicating glaring lapses in screening procedures. The blood was donated on November 30 and transfused to the pregnant woman on December 3. Testing all donated blood units for a number of transfusion-transmissible … Continue reading HIV: Tamil Nadu case turns the spotlight on safe blood availability

IISc: HIV drug elvitegravir lowers the efficiency of immune system

The HIV drug elvitegravir shows significant inhibition in binding and cleavage of human DNA thereby causing distinct impairment of the immune system at higher concentration. A 3-fold reduction in immune activity is seen at 100 nM concentration and 8-fold reduction at 1,000 nM. In 70% of mice studied, the mature B cells responsible for immunity showed a reduction. … Continue reading IISc: HIV drug elvitegravir lowers the efficiency of immune system

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

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 The self-test option for HIV

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 First CRISPR trial on humans set to begin

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

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: A step closer to HIV prevention

Published in The Hindu on January 11, 2012   Time and again, HIV vaccine trials have proved right the dictum, ‘monkeys lie and mice do not always tell the truth'. Positive results in animals did not translate into good outcome in humans. However, the results of a recent study in rhesus monkeys show greater promise … Continue reading Editorial: A step closer to HIV prevention