South African HIV-positive child 'in remission'

South African HIV-positive child 'in remission'

South African HIV-positive child 'in remission'

Last week, the United Nations warned that countries must halt the rise of AIDS drug resistance to prevent a swell in new infections and deaths and spiralling treatment costs.

He was commenting on a United Nations report that stated that Malaysia is one of the ten countries which together accounted for over 95% of all new HIV infections in the Asia-Pacific region.

"Intravenous drug users used to be the main driver for the increase (HIV infections) in the past five years, but it has gone down and only make up of 11% of the total transmissions".

"The partnership with the Swazi Ministry of Health was fundamental to the success of the survey", said Shannon Hader, MD, MPH, director of the CDC's Division of Global HIV & TB.

According to the UNAIDS agency, out of 36.5 million people who are HIV-positive, 19.5 million are now on treatment.

Avy Violari, from the Perinatal HIV Research Unit of the University of the Witwatersrand in Johannesburg, who presented the case study to the International Aids Society conference, said: "To our knowledge, this is the first reported case of sustained control of HIV in a child enrolled in a randomised trial of ART [antiretroviral therapy] interruption following treatment early in infancy". When the drug treatment ended, the virus was undetectable in the baby's blood - and has since remained so.

Once the threshold of 10 per cent has been reached, World Health Organization recommends those countries urgently review their HIV treatment programs.

"The more options we have, the more people we can treat better, and that is the ultimate goal of HIV treatment".

Patients with HIV drug resistance will start to fail therapy and may also transmit drug-resistant viruses to others. "The parts of the immune system that recognise HIV are often exhausted T-cells, they express immune checkpoint markers". He said, "This study shows us that we now have a new tool for managing HIV".

These are people infected by types of HIV that are resistant to at least one of the now available antiretroviral (ARV) drugs, according to the study report, published in the journal PloS One early this year. Our current strategy of daily pills is highly effective and means people can live long, healthy lives and cannot pass the virus on to others. "The people who are infected today will need therapy for the next 30 to 50 years, so the science of treatment has to evolve - and the science of prevention has to evolve as well to stop the pool of patients growing".

In 2016, an estimated 1.8 million people worldwide became newly infected with HIV, the UNAIDS report said.

"CDC's commitment as a longstanding stakeholder in the global HIV response, working side-by-side with ministries of health on evidence-based programs, has helped transform some of the world's most severe HIV epidemics".

The four countries are among 13 with the highest HIV rates where PEPFAR has been focusing its efforts.

Currently, it costs the government Sh20,000 annually to put one HIV patient on treatment. Sebelius said the Obama administration had released almost $80 million in grants this week to increase access to treatment, and is trying novel partnerships with community groups to help people stick with the medication daily for life.

David Redfern, chairman of GSK's majority-owned ViiV Healthcare HIV business, believes one thing is clear: competition is set to intensify.

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