Examining the hypothesis that sexual transmission drives Africa’s HIV epidemic
The idea that sex is driving HIV epidemics in Africa is a hypothesis that requires renewed scrutiny, not defensiveness. In our view, the published evidence suggests that the heterosexual hypothesis is inadequate to explain fully the observed epidemic trajectories, especially in regions of intense transmission.
By David Gisselquist et al.
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Dirty needles misjudged in AIDS in Africa
The U.S. government has launched a review of all research linking AIDS and medical injections in Africa, possibly laying the groundwork for changes in how the legislation's $15 billion in funding is distributed. Previous estimates of dirty needle transmission are now considered too conservative. Read the AP report in Yahoo! News, or in CNN here.
Vpr R77Q is associated with long-term nonprogressive HIV infection and impaired induction of apoptosis
A higher frequency of a viral protein R (Vpr) mutation in patients with long-term nonprogressive HIV infection may help preserve the immune system by impairing the HIV virus. The authors’ analysis confirms previous studies and supports the idea that Vpr may serve as a mediator of CD4+ T cell depletion in HIV infection. Journal of Clinical Investigation 111, 1547 (2003).
High-risk behaviors among MSM in 6 U.S. cities: Baseline data from the EXPLORE study
Among 4295 men, 48.0% and 54.9%, respectively, reported unprotected receptive and insertive anal sex in the previous 6 months. The findings support the continued need for effective intervention strategies for men who have sex with men that address relationship status, serostatus of partners, and drug and alcohol use. American Journal of Public Health 93(6), 926, June 2003.
CD91 is up-regulated in monocytes of HIV-1-infected "true" long-term nonprogressors
A statistically significant increase in levels of CD91, the heat-shock protein (HSP) receptor, was observed in therapy-naive patients who had no evidence of ongoing viral replication. This difference was most notable on their monocytes. High levels of CD91 may be a host factor that contributes to the maintenance of long-term nonprogression. Could up-regulation of CD91 represent a useful therapeutic, and perhaps even a preventive, strategy against HIV? Blood 101(10), 4000, May 15 2003.