AIDS

Remember Gilead, that wicked company that dared to cure hepatitis C and made a bunch of money doing so? If this doesn't ring a bell, go back a couple of decades. Perhaps you'll remember the company's anti-HIV drugs, you know, the ones that have essentially removed the term "AIDS" from the American vernacular (1) and are expected to completely end all new infections and deaths in Africa by 2030.

But despite four decades of research and one failed vaccine after another, AIDS has not been cured, only controlled. People who are HIV-positive must still take antiretroviral drugs for the rest of their lives to suppress the virus. But that could finally change. Gilead put a whole lot of that money...

Since the 1980s, great strides have been made in designing and producing new drugs to prevent and treat HIV-AIDS.  As a result, HIV infection has become a chronic disease that doesn't progress to life-stifling AIDS, at least in the developed world. Unfortunately, the same isn't necessarily true globally.  In parts of Africa, acquisition of HIV is still a massive problem. Women, in particular, are at high risk of acquiring the infection via sexual intercourse. Although condoms are the most effective non-pharmaceutical means of protection, their use is not under women's control. Prophylactic oral drugs and vaginal gels can also be effective — when used appropriately and consistently, but compliance is not always ideal. Thus, a means of intervention that doesn't require either daily...

Like an unlucky penny, Vladimir Putin keeps showing up in the American media. From allegations of election tampering to hacking emails, Mr. Putin chooses to stay relevant through notoriety. This has, bizarrely, earned him admirers all over the world.

For many reasons, this admiration is deeply misguided. Mr. Putin heads a kleptocracy and imprisons or murders political dissidents. And, as a shocking new essay in Foreign Policy explains, he fiddles while an HIV epidemic blazes through his country.

Today, there are an estimated 1.5 million people who have been diagnosed with HIV or AIDS in Russia, which has a population of...

hiv 2Acquired immune deficiency syndrome (AIDS) has been responsible for 35 million fatalities since it was first recognized in 1981.  The initial infection with human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) is considered an epidemic that ranks with the influenza pandemic of the early 1900s and the Bubonic plague of the 14th century with regard to the number of deaths each caused. Not one area of the globe has been spared HIV’s wrath and it has caused tremendous human suffering and considerable economic and political strain. For these reasons combating this disease is an international priority.

In 2014 the United Nations Programme...

HIV prevention via shutterstock HIV prevention via shutterstock

Truvada has repeatedly been shown to prevent sexual transmission of HIV from infected (mostly) men to their uninfected partners — both men and women — even when protection is not used. Depending on patient compliance, this protection can be as high as 100 percent. But, like most things, one size doesn’t fit all.

Data from a recent ...

Charlie Sheen via Shutterstock Charlie Sheen via Shutterstock

Charlie Sheen may be a bit wacky, but disclosing to the public his very real, and very serious diagnosis that he's HIV positive may have been the single biggest force in HIV awareness in over a decade. In fact, one could call it a sort of D-Day, or Disclosure Day, if you will, with regard to its magnitude.

In a quasi-experimental approach analyzing Bloomberg Terminal and Google trends,...

Screen Shot 2015-09-04 at 12.55.37 PMThirty years ago, if you were infected with HIV, you got AIDS. And then you died. Period.

Things have sure come a long way since then. First, AIDS cocktails became available in 1995 and the death rate from the infection dropped for the first time ever.

By the early 2000s, much better "AIDS cocktails" were approved, one after another, and the face of the disease no longer bore any resemblance to the nightmarish scene from just a few years before.

Some of the drugs there are more than 30 of them now were so good that by 2010, the predicted life...

hiv 2A recent study shows that early treatment for HIV results in a significant decrease in early illness and death.

"It's just more scientific evidence to back what we've been saying for a time now," said Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute for Allergy and Infectious Diseases, part of the National Institutes of Health which funded the trial.

The study involved more than 4,600 HIV-infected men and women in 35 countries...

HIVstructure_Carlos_exeIn March, we wrote about Indiana Governor Pence and his decision to finally allow for a clean needle exchange to stem the outbreak of IV-drug-induced HIV in Scott County, IN. Federal law currently forbids funding needle-exchange programs, even though there is zero evidence that such harm-reduction tactics encourage the spread of drug abuse.

A recent New York Times...

HIVstructure_Carlos_exeThis week New York State Governor Andrew Cuomo announced an ambitious plan to significantly reduce the state s AIDS population. Several obstacles exist to achieving his goal of reducing the virus prevalence, but one many point out is the high number of people with an undiagnosed HIV infection. In New York State, some estimate that as many as 22,000 people are unknowingly infected with HIV. Nationally it is estimated that 20 percent of the infected population is unaware of their status....