New evidence suggests that drug-resistant AIDS lurk around the corner
Studies prove that treating HIV patients early lessens the spread of the disease
New evidence suggests that there are new drug-resistant mutations of the
AIDS virus on the rise. In response, researchers, doctors and patients
attending the world's largest AIDS conference are asking the
international community not to scale back on their ongoing efforts to
contain the disease.
The AIDS conference in Washington, DC will host 20,000 scientists, people living with HIV and policymakers. All will be seeking how figure to turn recent scientific advances into practical protections, in particular ways to stop the spread of the disease.
"We must resolve together never to go backwards," Dr Elly Katabira, president of the International AIDS Society said at the opening session of the International AIDS Conference this weekend.
"Future generations are counting on our courage to think big, be bold and seize the opportunity before us," Dr. Diane Havlir of the University of California, San Francisco, a co-chair of the conference declared.
The conference will host 20,000 scientists, people living with HIV and policymakers. All will be seeking how figure to turn recent scientific advances into practical protections, in particular ways to stop the spread of the disease.
Officials say that treating people with HIV early in the stages of the infection, before they are sick, is not only life-saving but also lowers their chances of spreading the virus through sexual intercourse.
Clinics from San Francisco to South Africa are pushing to get more people tested and hurried into treatment are already starting to see infection rates drop. According to such experts as Dr. Anthony Fauci, a leading U.S. AIDS researcher, healthy people who take the daily AIDS medicine Truvada lower their risk of infection from a sexual partner.
Countries with high infection rates still struggle with the question of how one gets the medicines to those who need them most.
A study published in The Lancet medical journal states that resistance to AIDS drugs is growing in parts of Africa. Tiny genetic mutations that make HIV immune to key frontline drugs have been increasing in eastern and southern Africa and should be a clear warning to health watchdogs.
Researchers Silvia Bertagnolio from the U.N.'s WHO and Ravindra Gupta at University College London found that the prevalence of resistant viruses in untreated people soared from around one per cent to 7.3 percent in eastern Africa, and from one percent to 3.7 percent in southern Africa, over an eight-year period.
Similar rates of 3.5-7.6 percent were also found in western and central Africa, Latin America and the Caribbean.
© 2012, Catholic Online. Distributed by NEWS CONSORTIUM.
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Pope Benedict XVI's Prayer Intentions for January 2013
General Intention: The Faith of Christians. That in this Year of Faith Christians may deepen their knowledge of the mystery of Christ and witness joyfully to the gift of faith in him.
Missionary Intention: Middle Eastern Christians. That the Christian communities of the Middle East, often discriminated against, may receive from the Holy Spirit the strength of fidelity and perseverance.
Keywords: AIDS, conference, Truvada, HIV, infection rates
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