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

Friends, relatives are not always safe blood donors 

India has come a long way in making safe blood available throughout the year, but much remains to be done before we reach the cherished goal of 100 per cent voluntary donation and the availability of safe blood across the country at all times. This is food for thought, especially on World Blood Donor Day … Continue reading Friends, relatives are not always safe blood donors 

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

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

Editorial: Encouraging voluntary testing

Published in The Hindu on January 16, 2009 The recent announcement by the Chief Minister of Himachal Pradesh that the State government was considering making pre-marital HIV/AIDS testing mandatory has brought to the fore the complex issue of devising an effective strategy to reduce HIV incidence while being sensitive to an individual’s rights. Other States … Continue reading Editorial: Encouraging voluntary testing

HIV: is early start of ART prudent?

Transmission of HIV from mother to child (vertical transmission) can be prevented by providing short-term antiretroviral therapy (ART) to the mother and just-born infant. By the same logic, can HIV transmission be reduced or even be prevented in the general population by starting ART immediately after a person is found to be HIV positive immaterial … Continue reading HIV: is early start of ART prudent?

Pilot study: good response to female prophylactic in TN

Published in The Hindu on August 28, 2008 The pilot project, where female condoms were provided to female sex workers (FSW) to help keep HIV infection at bay and undertaken at 11 sites across five States in the country, has met with a good response. The initiative was started on a pilot scale in March … Continue reading Pilot study: good response to female prophylactic in TN

Editorial: A glimmer of hope

Published in The Hindu on August 23, 2008 The search for a safe and efficacious AIDS vaccine has received a shot in the arm. The Phase I trial, aimed primarily at ascertaining the safety and HIV–specific immune response of a candidate vaccine, has yielded encouraging results in the exercise conducted at the Tuberculosis Research Centre, … Continue reading Editorial: A glimmer of hope

Phase I prime-boost vaccine trial to be conducted in Chennai, Pune

Published in The Hindu on August 16, 2008 Next year may see the start of a Phase I prime-boost AIDS vaccine trial at the National AIDS Research Institute (NARI), Pune, and the Tuberculosis Research Centre (TRC), Chennai. The prime to be used will be ADVAX, a DNA-based vaccine, and the boost will be the MVA … Continue reading Phase I prime-boost vaccine trial to be conducted in Chennai, Pune

India: AIDS vaccine trial results encouraging

Published in The Hindu on August 16, 2008 The final results of Phase I Modified Vaccinia Ankara (MVA)-based AIDS vaccine trial conducted at the Tuberculosis Research Centre (TRC) here and made available exclusively to this Correspondent, show that the vaccine is safe. Its ability to elicit HIV-specific immune responses in the volunteers was modest. “The … Continue reading India: AIDS vaccine trial results encouraging