Wednesday, March 4, 2009

HIV today

Gel prevents AIDS-like infection

Straits Times — A CHEAP ingredient used in ice cream, cosmetics and found in breast milk helps protect monkeys against infection with a virus similar to AIDS and might work to protect women against the virus, researchers reported on Wednesday.
The compound, called glycerol monolaurate, or GML, appears to stop inflammation and helps keep away the cells the AIDS virus usually infects, the researchers said.
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Stimulus allows ‘discretionary’ funds for HIV prevention

Westside Gazette — While congressional negotiators cut direct funding to prevent HIV and other diseases from the recently passed economic stimulus bill, HIV prevention funding could still be available through a discretionary “community-based prevention and wellness” fund, AIDS advocates said.
In order to obtain votes necessary for the bill’s passage, House-Senate conference negotiators cut from the House version of the bill $335 million to prevent HIV, viral hepatitis, other STDs, and TB. Republicans and some Democrats in the Senate had objected to including such funding in a stimulus package.
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Science & Medicine | Researchers Create HIV Strain That Can Infect Monkeys, Study Says

Kaiser Network — Scientists have created a strain of HIV that is able to infect and multiply in monkeys, leading to the possibility that researchers would be able to test HIV/AIDS drugs and vaccines in monkeys before testing them in humans, according to a study published in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, Reuters UK reports. The strain of HIV -- called simian-tropic HIV-1, or stHIV-1 -- was developed by altering a single gene in the human version of the virus to allow it to infect a pig-tailed macaque, according to researchers. Once injected into the monkey, the stHIV-1 reproduced almost as much as it does in humans; however, the animal ultimately suppressed the virus and stayed healthy. Paul Bieniasz, a researcher on the team from New York's Rockefeller University, said, "If our research is taken further, we hope that one day, perhaps in the not-too-distant future, we'll be able to make vaccines that are intended for use in humans and the very same product will be able to be tested in animals before human trials."
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