Wine Tasting Event to Benefit the HIV/HCV Resource Center

Wine tasting event to benefit the HIV/HCV Resource Center

Wednesday, May 17 from 5-7 at the Norwich Inn

 

Dan and Whits and the Norwich Inn team up together to offer monthly wine tastings that support local non-profits. We will receive a percentage of the proceeds from both ticket and wine sales from the the May 17 wine tasting.

 

The Norwich Inn will offer cheese platters, and several local vendors will also bring food to sample. There will be five or six reds and whites to try.  Advance tickets ($15) are available at the HIV/HCV Resource Center. Please contact Ryan (Ryan@H2RC/ 603 448 8887) for more details. We hope to see you there!

 

One in 10 children has 'Aids defence'

 

 

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By James Gallagher Health and science reporter, BBC News website

A tenth of children have a "monkey-like" immune system that stops them developing Aids, a study suggests.

The study, in Science Translational Medicine, found the children's immune systems were "keeping calm", which prevented them being wiped out.

An untreated HIV infection will kill 60% of children within two and a half years, but the equivalent infection in monkeys is not fatal.

The findings could lead to new immune-based therapies for HIV infection.

The virus eventually wipes out the immune system, leaving the body vulnerable to other infections, what is known as acquired human immunodeficiency syndrome (Aids).

The researchers analysed the blood of 170 children from South Africa who had HIV, had never had antiretroviral therapy and yet had not developed Aids.

Tests showed they had tens of thousands of human immunodeficiency viruses in every millilitre of their blood.

This would normally send their immune system into overdrive, trying to fight the infection, or simply make them seriously ill, but neither had happened.

Keep calm and carry on

Prof Philip Goulder, one of the researchers from the University of Oxford, told the BBC: "Essentially, their immune system is ignoring the virus as far as possible.

"Waging war against the virus is in most cases the wrong thing to do."

Counter-intuitively, not attacking the virus seems to save the immune system.

HIV kills white blood cells - the warriors of the immune system.

And when the body's defences go into overdrive, even more of them can be killed by chronic levels of inflammation.

Prof Goulder said: "One of the things that comes out of this study is that HIV disease is not so much to do with HIV, but with the immune response to it."

For scientists, the way the 10% of children cope with the virus has striking similarities to the way more than 40 non-human primate species cope with simian immunodeficiency virus or SIV.

They have had hundreds of thousands of years to evolve ways to tackle the infection.

"Natural selection has worked in these cases, and the mechanism is very similar to the one in these kids that don't progress," Prof Goulder said.

War or peace?

This defence against Aids is almost unique to children.

Adult humans' immune systems tend to go all-out to finish off the virus in a campaign that nearly always ends in failure.

Children have a relatively tolerant immune system, which becomes more aggressive in adulthood - chickenpox, for example, is far more severe in adults due to the way the immune system reacts.

But this does mean that as the protected children age and their immune system matures, there is a risk of them developing Aids.

Some do, some remain Aids-free.

Dr Ann Chahroudi and Dr Guido Silvestri, from Emory University in the US, said the study may have found the "very earliest signs of coevolution of HIV in humans".

In a commentary, they added: "It is not known whether it would be clinically safe for these newly identified HIV infected paediatric non-progressors to remain off-therapy.

"This assessment is further complicated by the fact that prevention of HIV transmission to sexual partners becomes relevant in adolescence."

People with HIV can have normal life-expectancy if they have access to antiretroviral drugs.

But their super-heated immune system never returns to normal, and they face greater risks of cardiovascular disease, cancer and dementia.

Prof Goulder believes these findings in children could ultimately help rebalance the immune system in all HIV patients.

He told the BBC: "We may be identifying an entirely new pathway by studying kids that in the longer term could be translated to new treatments for all HIV infected people."

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Prince Harry Gets Tested for HIV

Prince Harry Gets Tested for HIV

Prince Harry's recent posting of his HIV test live on Facebook lead to an upsurge of testing in England. 

Let's keep up the momentum here; if we all get tested, we will all know our status.                                                         Call for an appointment today! (603) 448-8887

 

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The World Could End AIDS if It Tried

NY Times Editorial; June 13, 2016

The world has made so much progress in reducing the spread of AIDS and treating people with H.I.V. that the epidemic has receded from the public spotlight. Yet by any measure the disease remains a major threat — 1.1 million people  from AIDS-related causes, and 2.1 million people were infected with the virus. And while deaths are down over the last five years, the number of new infections has essentially reached a plateau.

The United Nations announced a goal last week of ending the spread of the disease by 2030. That’s a laudable and ambitious goal, reachable only if individual nations vigorously campaign to treat everyone who has the virus and to limit new infections.

The medicines and know-how are there, but in many countries the money and political will are not. Besides shining a spotlight on the disease, it’s crucial that wealthy nations like the United States continue to pony up generously to underwrite what must be a global effort. Donors and low- and middle-income countries need to increase spending to $26 billion a year by 2020, the United Nations says, up from nearly $19.2 billion in 2014.

While still high, deaths attributable to AIDS are down 36 percent from 2010. That is largely because many more people are receiving antiretroviral drugs — 17 million people in 2015, compared with 7.5 million five years earlier. These medicines allow people to live near-normal lives and greatly reduce the risk of transmission to others.

But while some countries like South Africa (once a disaster zone) and Kenya have made tremendous progress in increasing treatment, many people who need the lifesaving therapy do not have access to it. Only 28 percent of those infected in Western and Central Africa were being treated in 2015, according to a recent United Nations report. The numbers were even lower in the Middle East and North Africa (17 percent) and Eastern Europe and Central Asia (21 percent). In some countries, people who test positive are told to come back when they get sick because of budget constraints, says Sharonann Lynch, an H.I.V. policy adviser at Doctors Without Borders. Many never return.

In other places, it can be hard to even reach people who need drugs because of war or the lack of a functional public health system. And many who need help are unwilling to come forward because they fear being ostracized or worse because they are gay, use drugs or are engaged in sex work. Discriminatory laws and attitudes in countries like Nigeria, Russia and Uganda have probably forced tens of thousands of people who need help into hiding.

In some countries, infections have actually increased, which helps explain why progress has plateaued over all. In Eastern Europe and Central Asia, for instance, 190,000 people became infected last year, up from 120,000 in 2010. And while the number of deaths is way down, the number of new infections was flat or down modestly over the same five-year period. This was also true of the United States, where an estimated 44,073 people were diagnosed in 2014, the most recent year for which the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention have published data, down from 44,940 in 2010.

These numbers do not argue for complacency, but instead for more vigorous public health campaigns, increased access to condoms, clean needles for drug users and prescriptions for pre-exposure drugs. There is still no cure for AIDS. But there are many ways to minimize its deadly consequences.

 

"Out and Safe" at the Main Street Museum

Please join us Tuesday, April 12th @ 6:30 pm for “Out&Safe”, a workshop all about keeping safe in conflicts of all kinds. In this forum centered around presentations by Grace Alden and Hilary Mullins, we will be discussing approaches to deescalation and non-defensive communication, as part of TRANSpossibilities, the Main Street Museum’s ongoing educational, outreach, and advocacy series.

https://www.facebook.com/mainstreetmuseum/photos/gm.189598248086155/977438712345043/?type=3

 



Syringe Exchange NHPR Interview

HIV/HCV Resource Center Executive Director Laura Byrne, NH Rep. Joe Hannon, Greenland Police Chief Tara Laurent and others discuss Syringe Exchange on NHPR's "The Exchange." 

http://nhpr.org/programs/exchange

March 22,2016                                      9:00am-10:00am