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HIV treatment may help eliminate staph infection
Date: 2012-12-17 16:51:59

A recent study conducted by the New York University School of Medicine has found that a treatment for HIV may also be effective in warding off Staphylococcus aureus, also known as staph infection, which affects thousands of people annually.

The finding came about when Victor J. Torres, Ph.D., a bacteriologist, and Derya Unutmaz, M.D., an immunologist, were collaborating on research in which they analyzed a cell receptor named CCR5. Nearly 16 years ago, investigators at the NYU School of Medicine found that CCR5 is what HIV uses as a point of entry into T cells in order to proliferate throughout the body. Torres and Unutmaz found that when the staph infection enters the body, it releases a toxin known as LukED that binds to the receptor and causes it to die. CCR5 is crucial to the body's immunity defense system in staving off staph infection.

The researchers then conducted a second experiment in which they introduced the CCR5 receptor to an HIV medication known as maraviroc, which inhibits HIV from harming the CCR5. They then introduced the cells to the LukED toxins.

"The goal in blocking the toxin with maraviroc or similar agents is to give the upper hand to the immune system to better control the infection," said Torres.

They found that the maraviroc was able to shield the receptor from the LukED. They then tested the drug's effect on a mouse model and witnessed the same results. The investigators noted that they hope future clinical trials involving humans will also show the HIV drug's effectiveness in warding off the bacterial infection.

Staph infection facts... Full Story

Study shows microbicide gel may prevent HIV transmission
Date: 2012-12-07 22:08:47

A study published in the journal PLoS Pathogens was conducted by researchers at the European Combined Highly Active Anti-Retroviral Microbicides (CHAARM) consortium, shows that a newly developed microbicide gel may be able to prevent patients from contracting HIV.

The gel's active ingredient are peptides known as miniCD4s that act like the body's receptors where the HIV virus can access the body. Earlier laboratory research showed that the miniCD4s were able to prevent HIV from accessing individual cells in a dish as well as mucous membranes in a tissue sample.

The research investigators produced a gel with the miniCD4 peptides. It was put into six female cynomolgus macaques monkeys. An hour later, the doctors introduced the HIV virus into the vaginas of the primates. The virus was not present in the tissues of any of the animals, and there were no reactive antibodies detected. This demonstrates that the virus was completely inhibited from entering the monkeys' systems.

HIV statistics... Full Story

Antiretroviral treatment reduces hospitalization rates of HIV patients
Date: 2012-12-18 21:57:21

A recent study conducted by pharmacist and researcher Tony Antoniou found that the antiretroviral drug known as cART helped reduce the hospitalization rate of patients in Ontario who had HIV, which can be detected with a blood test.

During the study, Antoniou analyzed data from the Institute for Clinical Evaluative Sciences. He found that women with HIV and low-income residents with HIV have 15 percent and 21 percent higher hospitalization rates, respectively, than men and high-income patients, which he attributes to those sub-groups having more difficulty obtaining the medication.

"Although our study is overall a 'good news' story for persons with HIV in Ontario, the differences in rates of hospitalization over the past decade suggest that women and low-income individuals living with HIV may face challenges accessing medication and community-based care," said Antoniou.

He also noted that there needs to be universal access to HIV medications and that further investigations need to be done to reveal what causes the disparities in access to medications between different genders and income level populations.

Antiretroviral treatment... Full Story

HIV rates remain stable
Date: 2012-12-24 10:45:57
A recent report released by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) shows that HIV prevalence in the U.S. has remained stable in all age groups and ethnicities, although some groups remain disproportionately affected, notably African-Americans and men who have sex with men (MSM).... Full Story

Cardiac condition detected in children with HIV
Date: 2012-12-07 16:54:20
A study presented at the EUROECHO conference revealed that children with HIV have a 2.5 percent greater likelihood of developing atherosclerosis than those without the virus.... Full Story

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