Dr. Deborah Anderson from Boston University School of Medicine and her colleagues are challenging dogma about the transmission of HIV. Most research has focused on infection by free viral particles, while this group proposes that HIV is also transmitted by infected cells. While inside cells, HIV is protected from antibodies and other antiviral factors. Anderson chides fellow researchers for not using cell-associated HIV in their transmission models: "The failure of several recent vaccine and microbicide clinical trials to prevent HIV transmission may be due in part to this oversight." . The Journal of Infectious Diseases (JID) has devoted their December supplement to this important and understudied topic.
23 December 2014 | Medical News Today
Most microbicides work by targeting the virus itself, attempting to break it down or blocking its ability to infect a cell. However, the heightened infectiousness of HIV in the presence of semen appears to over-power any anti-viral effects the microbicides possess. The one exception to this finding is a different type of microbicide that acts on the host cells' receptors, stopping the virus from latching on from within. In the current study, this microbicide, [containing the drug called] called Maraviroc, was equally effective in preventing infection both with and without the presence of semen.
13 November 2014 | MedicalXpress
CDC director Tom Frieden says this about Ebola: "The only thing like this has been AIDS." In fact, the two viruses share similarities but also have big differences.
17 October 2014 | Poz magazine news
The Ebola virus is transmitted among humans through close and direct physical contact with infected bodily fluids, the most infectious being blood, faeces and vomit.
08 October 2014 | World Health Organization
It was long assumed that a major driver of the vastly greater prevalence of HIV infection in Zimbabwe, South Africa and other epicenters of the African HIV epidemic is intergeneratioal sex - sepcifically, young women having sexual realtionships with older "sugar daddies". Contrary to expectations, a recent high-quality, longitudinal study showed that participation in intergenerational sex did not impact the likelihood of contracting HIV infection.
05 September 2014 | Scientific American
Stigma, squeamishness and misunderstanding of anal sex is leading to research gaps and inaccurate information about the risks of this common sexual behaviour, and hindering effective HIV/AIDS prevention strategies, experts say. A move towards "sex positive" approaches could enhance social acceptance and increase protection.
28 August 2014 | IRIN
How mathematical models can help us better understand both the long-term probability of HIV transmission and the benefit of combining risk-reduction strategies.
04 July 2014 | Poz
Authors of a comprehensive review of literature reporting data on per-act HIV transmission risks have updated the last estimates produced by the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in 2005, and in the process have highlighted the importance of treatment and prevention reaching those at greatest risk.
05 June 2014 | Science Speaks
Efforts are underway to rid Uganda of the scourge of schistosomiasis but provision of clean water and good sanitation lags behind treatment efforts. The disease is linked to increased infection rates of HIV among girls.
16 May 2014 | The Lancet
Norwegian researchers believe that African women are more vulnerable to H.I.V. because of a chronic, undiagnosed parasitic disease: genital schistosomiasis. Also known as bilharzia and snail fever, it is caused by parasitic worms picked up in infested river water. It is marked by fragile sores in the far reaches of the vaginal canal that may serve as entry points for H.I.V.
11 May 2014 | New York Times