Dramatic impact of ART provision on HIV transmission to non-infected partners

Immediate initiation of Anti-Retroviral Therapy (ART) on diagnosis with HIV produces a 96% reduction in transmission to a non-infected partner. This is the remarkable finding of a large, multi-national, randomized clinical trial, begun in April 2005 by the HIV Prevention Trials Network (HPTN), and enrolling 1,760 HIV sero-discordant couples at 13 sites across Africa, Asia […]

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US Republicans prepared to put the poor at risk in order to make a political stand on abortion

A key provider of free STI testing and treatment to America’s poor and uninsured, Planned Parenthood (PP), faces the immediate loss of all public funding in Indiana State. This is thanks to a new law signed by Republican Governor Mitch Daniels (likely Republican presidential nominee) intended to defund sexual health service providers who perform abortions. […]

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British Association for Sexual Health and HIV (BASHH) conference May 2011

This week saw the British Association of Sexual Health and HIV (BASHH) descend on Newcastle, in the North East of England, and not far from the Angel of the North, one of the wonders of Britain. This meeting, attended by over 500 sexual health clinicians, always provides an impressive array of research studies from small […]

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Who wants to know their HSV-2 serology status, anyway?

Though 75% to 90% of HSV-2 infected persons may be unaware of their condition, they may still be capable of transmitting the infection. A recent study investigates the patterns of viral shedding and presumed infectivity in “asymptomatic” HSV-2 (i.e. HSV-2 in persons unaware of their condition prs to diagnosis) as against “symptomatic” infection. The occasion […]

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The potential of couple-based HIV prevention in Africa

A recent cross-sectional study of 1,542 HIV infected people in Soweto, S. Africa, correlates certain sexual risk behaviours against a number of characteristics, including the self-reported HIV status of the partner. Given most risk behaviours by HIV infected people in this area have been reported to be in the context of long-term (heterosexual) relations, the […]

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Is research on lesbian, gay, bisexual and transsexual health a public health priority?

Last month saw the publication by the US Institute of Medicine (IOM) of a report commissioned by the National Institute of Health (NIH): The Health of Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender (LGBT) People:   Building a Foundation for Better Understanding.  The report is a systematic review on the existing literature on all aspects of LGBT health, […]

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A biomarker for the efficacy of new antiretroviral microbicides?

A recent study claims to have proved the correlation between HIV-1 RNA in the genital secretions of infected individuals and HIV transmission (Spearman’s rank correlation coefficient ρ was 0.56 for endocervical samples, and 0.55 for semen).  Mechanisms of transmission of HIV transmission through genital mucosa are still not well understood.  But, prior to this study, […]

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The records of the US syphilis experiments in Guatemala: read them yourself!

Now open to public access: the documents at the heart of last October’s scandal over unethical experiments by US researchers in Guatemala.  In 1946-48, the US team, seeking an opportunity to study the effectiveness of penicillin against syphilis and gonorrhoea, conducted experiments involving the deliberate exposure to those diseases of 700 Guatemalan soldiers, mental health […]

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