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12 Feb 2016 - 12:10

The Verge

The first American kidney and liver transplants between people with HIV will be performed by researchers at Johns Hopkins University, The New York Times reports. If successful, scientists will be able to perform more of these transplants, and that could be huge for organ transplantation in the US; researchers at the university estimate that donations from people who are HIV-positive could save more than 1,000 people.

Currently, people living with HIV can receive organs from donors who don't have the infection. But transplants between two people with HIV were forbidden from 1988 until November 2013, when President Obama lifted the ban by signing the HIV Organ Policy Equity Act. Because of the ban, suitable organs from over 500 people with HIV went to waste each year, Dorry Segev, associate professor of surgery at the Johns Hopkins University, told the Times. Now Johns Hopkins says the institution has received transplant approval from the United Network for Organ Sharing — a non-profit organization that manages the country's organ transplant system. This means that the university's doctors will perform the first of these transplants as soon as they can find a recipient and a matching organ.

"Patients with HIV die "faster" on the waiting list"

9 Feb 2016 - 12:48

HERALD EDITORIAL COMMENT ON HIV DRUG RESISTANT

Reports that strains of HIV are becoming resistant to an antiretroviral drug, Tenofovir, commonly used to prevent and fight the virus should be taken seriously.
The paper, published in The Lancet Infectious Diseases journal, said poor administration of the drug, in terms of regularly taking the right levels of Tenofovir could be an explanation for the discrepancy.
HIV was resistant to Tenofovir in 60 percent of cases in several African countries, according to the study, covering the period from 1998 to 2015.
The research, led by University College London, looked at around 2 000 HIV patients worldwide. Given relatively high levels of adherence to HIV treatment in Africa, it becomes more relevant to explore factors affecting adherence in Zimbabwe at a time many success stories have been written.
While ART adherence is even better in Zimbabwe than in some countries in sub-Saharan Africa, such as Tanzania and Mozambique we have a few problems of our own.
Experience has shown that HIV care and treatment is complex and drug regimens must be carefully adhered to.
Sadly despite plenty of information and HIV awareness raising campaigns, in Zimbabwe adherence is often inhibited by stigma.
HIV is still associated with promiscuity and sort of criminalised by society especially in urban areas. There are some people who still treat HIV positive people like criminals.

28 Jan 2016 - 11:37

27 January 2016
Women at work in Nepal

By Danai Majaha

Family planning is not only about the rights of women and girls to make their own choices about having children and looking after their reproductive health, it's also key to global development. 

This was the underlying message during the official opening of the fourth International Conference on Family Planning (ICFP), currently taking place in Indonesia (25-28 January). In his opening speech, Indonesian President Joko “Jokowi” Widodo called on world leaders to ensure that the correct policies were implemented and resources invested, to promote safer pregnancies and childbirths.

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