Archive for February, 2015

Timothy Ray Brown: the accidental AIDS icon

Timothy Ray Brown, the first person cured of  HIV, is greeted by community members after a defeatHIV lecture at Seattle University in June 2013.  Photo by Bo Jungmayer / Fred Hutch News Service

The ‘Berlin patient’ didn’t ask to be cured of HIV; now he wants a cure for all Timothy Ray Brown became an icon the day he came out as the previously anonymous “Berlin patient” — the first and still only person in the world to be cured of the virus that causes AIDS. But the path to becoming the personification of hope for the 35 million people worldwide infected with HIV has been more challenging — and more convoluted — than many people realize. The…

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MHRP the U.S. Army medicine leads infectious disease and HIV vaccine research

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In 2004, U.S. Army Col. Jerome Kim, an infectious disease physician, flew to Bangkok to oversee a massive HIV vaccine study. It was the opportunity of a lifetime—and the stakes were high. If successful, it could be the first vaccine to show even moderate protection against HIV infection—a critical milestone in the fight against HIV. Sponsored by the U.S. Army in partnership with the government of Thailand, the Phase III clinical trial known as RV144 followed 16,000 Thai volunteers. The…

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Biologist’s Work on ‘Viral Reservoirs’ May Have Impact on AIDS/HIV

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A drug used to treat patients with multiple sclerosis and Crohn’s disease has confirmed how “viral reservoirs” form in patients living with HIV and AIDS and also proven effective in animal trials at blocking the pathways to those reservoirs in the brain and gut, according to new research conducted by Professor of Biology Ken Williams and colleagues from other universities. The drug, a humanized antibody called natalizumab, is produced by Biogen Idec Inc. under the brand name Tysabri and prescribed…

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Aggressive new HIV strain detected in Cuba

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A new HIV strain in some patients in Cuba appears to be much more aggressive and can develop into AIDS within three years of infection. Researchers said the progression happens so fast that treatment with antiretroviral drugs may come too late. Without treatment, HIV infection usually takes 5 to 10 years to turn into AIDS, according to Anne-Mieke Vandamme, a medical professor at Belgium’s University of Leuven. According to the study, published in the journal EBioMedicine, Vandamme was alerted to…

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amfAR’s $100M investment strategy aimed at curing HIV

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amfAR, The Foundation for AIDS Research, today announced that it has created a $100 million investment strategy in support of its Countdown to a Cure for AIDS initiative, launched last year with the aim of developing the scientific basis of a cure by 2020. The establishment of the amfAR Institute for HIV Cure Research within a major academic research institution with a grant of $20 million will be the centerpiece of the investment strategy. “This represents the greatest expansion of…

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