From the International AIDS Conference IAC

Linked with International Network for Economic Social & Cultural Rights, with Zi Teng – Hong Kong, and with Yuet Lin Yim – Hong Kong.

Excerpts: … This year’s IAC finds the theme of HIV drug treatment giving way to prevention, in fact. The argument is that it is simply not affordable to keep treating 4 million new infections each year—some 14,000 new infections a day. As Bill Gates, the bankroller behind a lot of these new methods, told a rapt crowd of thousands this week, “We have to understand that the goal of universal treatment…cannot happen unless we dramatically reduce the rate of new infections.” … Male circumcision has been around since the Old Testament, of course, but it’s only recently that a connection to HIV was suspected. The first ever circumcision trial showed in 2005 that men without a foreskin have a 60 percent lower risk of HIV infection. “Even in the most remote parts of Africa, there is now an awareness of the issue; it’s important to act on it,” Lewis told delegates today. “The men are lining up for the procedure in Swaziland.” Trials are underway in Kenya and Uganda to confirm the hopeful findings.

Researchers are also hoping the anti-herpes (HSV-2) drug acyclovir will emerge as a tool for HIV prevention. Data suggest that this disease, which occurs quite commonly in the U.S., increases HIV risk. “Fifty percent of new cases can be attributed to HSV 2,” said Canadian researcher Rafick-Pierre Sekaly at this morning’s science summary session. Two large-scale clinical trials are underway. One in Africa, Latin America and the U.S. that’s studying acyclovir treatment in HIV-uninfected people expects results in 2007. The other trial looks at herpes treatment in HIV-discordant couples in Africa, and is looking to 2008 … (Read the whole article on POZ.com).

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