Wednesday, December 2, 2009

World AIDS Day and Rectal Microbicides in the Media

Rectal microbicides were mentioned several times in the news yesterday in conjunction with World AIDS Day. Here are a couple of  items that caught our eye - a rectal sampler as it were.

Statement from the National Institutes of Health on World AIDS Day 2009 

The National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID) accounts for approximately half of AIDS-related spending at NIH. NIAID Director Anthony S. Fauci, M.D., notes that "despite the many advances against HIV/AIDS, much remains to be accomplished. In particular, we urgently need improved prevention strategies and a cure for HIV infection, and NIH is funding hundreds of studies to achieve these goals."
For example, numerous studies are under way to test topical microbicides — creams, gels or other substances for application to the vagina or rectal mucosa to prevent HIV infection. Clinical trials are also testing the efficacy of pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP), a daily regimen of one or two antiretroviral drugs that is designed to prevent infection in uninfected individuals who are at high risk for the virus. NIH also plans to test the feasibility of a potential HIV prevention strategy known as test and treat that involves community-wide HIV testing and immediate treatment for people found to be infected.
A vaccine against HIV remains a key NIH priority. The HIV vaccine field recently was encouraged by data from a large clinical trial in Thailand in which a two-stage HIV vaccine regimen demonstrated the first signal from any human study that a protective vaccine for HIV may be possible.

A Different Longtime Companion: Reflections on World AIDS Day 2009
Dr. David Fawcett's blog

We need to remain vigilant about AIDS. We need to advocate for new treatment alternatives like rectal microbicides and redesigned prevention efforts. We need to remain informed and fight complacency. We need to end the stigma that surrounds AIDS to this day, undermining both prevention and treatment. Mostly, on this World AIDS Day, we need to remember the pain, the lessons, the courage, and the successes of the past and use them to renew and reenergize our continued work to end AIDS once and for all.

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