Thursday, July 23, 2009

HIV/AIDS Updates

Nothing truly ground breaking this morning, but a couple of neat little snippets you might be interested in:
  • Chimps are getting sick from a disease that looks suspiciously like AIDS. The theory has long stood that HIV is a mutated version of the far more pacific chimp disease, SIV, though there has been no actual connection ever made. Our closest evolutionary cousins are starting to get sick and dying off, offering both a threat and a hope. On the one hand, chimpanzees are endangered and a radically virulent new illness further threatens their precarious existence; on the other hand, scientists can study why the monkeys do or don't get sick and may be able to apply it to humans. It's being called 'the missing link.'
  • Circumcision in men has been finally proven to not be an effective prevention measure for female partners. But it may be protective for men who have sex with men. Meanwhile, people with HIV/AIDS are being encouraged to take their meds to reduce transmission. Call me old school, how about this: wear a condom, get tested, get your partner tested. :-) (As a side note: I will comment that I am of the belief that without extraordinary intervention, especially in the developed world, we may have reached the lowest possible infection rate. And by "extraordinary intervention," I'm talking cure or vaccine or microbicide.)
  • Women progress to AIDS faster than men, even with the same level of virus in their body. Did you know that? Actually, I didn't either. Rather than quote the article from Science Daily based on a paper coming out this week (which uses sentences like: "Earlier studies indicated that pDCs recognize HIV-1 using a receptor called Toll-like receptor 7 (TLR7), leading to production of interferon-alpha and other important immune system molecules." which I barely understood), I'll sum it up this way: it appears that, again, a woman's hormones fuck them yet again. That was kind of insensitive of me.
  • In perhaps the most interesting ethical HIV questions to come out in a long time, the porn actress who was diagnosed with the disease is suing over the privacy of her medical records. Apparently, the state of California has subpoenaed her health care provider for information regarding her health status, and, most specifically, her identity. Can we call that "career ending?" Fuck Cal/OSHA.
Remember, make sure you are getting tested. For most people, every 6 months to a year is completely reasonable, but consult your HIV tester or health care provider for a more thorough assessment for your sexual risk and reduction methods. Contact STOP AIDS at 513-421-2437 to schedule a free, 20-minute oral HIV test. And pick up some condoms while you're there.

1 comment:

goblinbox said...

1. I just finished reading an article about the incredibly high number of circumcisions being done in Africa as a method of reducing transmission. The boys are quoted as getting it done because their girlfriends like the way it looks.

2. Not insensitive at all. It's nice to get some recognition for the hell that is female hormones, thank you. ;-)