Tag Archives: Healthcare

Patient with HIV achieves remission following stem cell transplant at City of Hope

The patient, who underwent treatment for leukemia, became the fourth person in the world and the oldest to enter long-term remission of HIV following stem cell transplantation from a donor with a rare genetic mutation. A patient at the “City of Hope,” aged 66, received a transplant from a donor naturally resistant to the virus that causes Aids.

The 66-year-leukemia old’s was to be treated by a transplant, but the physicians also sought a donor who was inherently immune to the Aids virus, a strategy that had previously been successful in curing the “Berlin patient,” Timothy Ray Brown, in 2007.

The 'City of Hope' patient, named for the California hospital he is receiving treatment at, has been functionally cured of both HIV and his leukemia after a successfull stem cell treatment (file photo)

Because he does not want to be recognized, the most recent patient, who is the fourth to be healed in this method, is known as the “City of Hope” patient after the US hospital in Duarte, California, where he was treated.

The patient is the oldest and has had HIV for the longest; he was given the diagnosis in 1988, which he regarded as a “death sentence” that claimed the lives of several of his friends.

For over 30 years, he has received antiretroviral medication (ART) to manage his disease.

Patient with HIV achieves remission following stem cell transplant at City  of Hope | City of Hope
The treatment is incredibly risky as the body may reject the implants, killing the patient. Because of these concerns it is only to be used on people who are already at-risk of death because of a severe case of cancer (file photo)

Specifically, because the stem cell donor was not a family member, doctors who presented the findings ahead of the International Aids Society’s (IAS) 2022 meeting stated the instance made it possible for older patients with HIV and blood malignancy to obtain treatment.

Although the treatment was unlikely to be an option for the majority of people with HIV due to the risks of the procedure, Sharon Lewin, president-elect of the IAS, called a cure the “holy grail” and said the “City of Hope” case provided “continued hope… and inspiration” for people with HIV and the larger scientific community.

This electron microscope image made available by the US National Institutes of Health shows a human T cell, in blue, under attack by HIV, in yellow, the virus that causes Aids.

Scientists believe that the procedure is effective because the donor’s stem cells have a particular, sporadic genetic defect that prevents them from containing the receptors that HIV uses to infect cells.

The patient at the City of Hope ceased taking ART in March 2021 following the transplant three and a half years prior, which was followed by chemotherapy. The team reported that he has already endured more than a year of HIV and leukemia remission.

However, the Joint United Nations Programme on HIV/Aids (UNAids) presented data prior to the conference, which gets underway on Friday, demonstrating how the Covid-19 pandemic had stalled global efforts to combat HIV, including a reversal of progress in the world’s most populous region, Asia and the Pacific.

According to the research, hard-won advancement has stagnated, endangering the lives of millions of people.

The long-term drop in new HIV infections is flatlining globally. Even worse, UNAids reported that cases started to increase in regions of Asia and the Pacific where they had previously been declining.

The number of patients receiving HIV medications last year increased more slowly than it had in the previous ten years. The disparities are growing. In sub-Saharan Africa, teenage girls and young women are three times more likely to contract HIV than boys and men of the same age, with a new infection occurring every two minutes. The report also indicated that 650,000 people passed away from diseases related to HIV last year.

Official figures estimate that around 1.2 million Americans are suffering from HIV, but one-in-eight cases have not yet been diagnosed (file photo)

“This is an alarm to the world to say that Covid-19 has blown the Aids response significantly off track,” said Matthew Kavanagh, deputy executive director of UNAids.

Given that HIV testing slowed or even halted in many locations when Covid-19 hit, it’s possible that much more viral spread went unreported. This makes things even worse.

“People are exhausted with epidemics and pandemics,” said Dr. Anthony Fauci, the US government’s leading Aids expert. “We have to fight twice as hard to get HIV back on the radar screen where it belongs.”

Source: dailymail.co.uk

WHO declares a global health emergency over monkeypox outbreak

An alarming situation has been highlighted by the WHO. According to WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, the rapidly spreading monkeypox outbreak is a global health emergency, the organization’s highest degree of alert.

Monkeypox has affected over 15,800 people in 72 countries, according to a tally by the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) published on July 20 (stock image)

“I have decided that the global monkeypox outbreak represents a public health emergency of international concern,” WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said.

The declaration of a public health emergency of international concern improves international cooperation and information exchange.

WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus (above) made the decision to issue the declaration despite a lack of consensus among experts serving on the U.N. health agency's emergency committee

The declaration was made despite the WHO emergency committee’s inability to agree on whether or not to issue the emergency declaration.

Tedros said the outbreak is spreading rapidly and there is a “clear risk of further international spread.”

Guys who have several sexual partners and have sex with other men are heavily impacted by the monkeypox outbreak. More than 16,000 cases have been reported worldwide, and 2,891 cases have been verified in the United States, according to the Centers for Disease Control.

Doctor Molly Dickinson administers a dose of the monkeypox vaccine to Arthur Macedo, 37, in London

Monkeypox vaccinations are available, however, there is a shortage of them.

Monkeypox has existed in some areas of central and west Africa for decades, but until May, when officials discovered dozens of infections in Europe, North America, and other places, it was not known to cause significant outbreaks outside of the continent or to spread significantly among people.

Declaring a worldwide emergency indicates that the monkeypox outbreak is an “extraordinary event” that may spread to other nations and necessitates a coordinated international response.

Officials are urging gay and bisexual men to be aware of new lesions, rashes or scabs and get in contact with a sexual health clinic

The Covid-19 pandemic, the West African Ebola outbreak in 2014, the Zika virus in Latin America in 2016, and the current campaign to eradicate polio are just a few examples of public health emergencies that the WHO has previously designated emergencies.

191,000 doses have so far been sent to state and local health departments, according to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. By the middle of 2023, the federal government will reportedly have close to 7 million doses.

The use of Imnavex, a smallpox vaccine, to treat monkeypox was recommended for clearance by the European Union’s drug authority on Friday.

Source: dailymail.co.uk