Tag Archives: HIV

Approved For Sex :-)

The evidence now appears overwhelming if you have and maintain undetectable viral load you are NOT INFECTIOUS (e.g. Swiss Statement, HPTN052, PARTNER & Opposites Attract studies), there are zero examples of linked infections when someone has an undetectable viral load.

This knowledge and understanding of what undetectable viral load means has not yet fully permeated the consciousness of the communities we socialise and have sex with. So I am seeking opinions and comments on the following pics ( +U concept ,credit given to an individual who posted in the Facebook group TIM-The Institute of Many).

Approved for love +U SLSA

Approved for love +U Back  Approved for love +U

Picture A

 

 

 

 

 

Picture B

 

 

 

 

Picture C

 

 

Thank you for participating in the poll and I appreciate constructive comments 🙂
I will edit the post to reflect the votes given, publicly or privately.

Before Pills: PrEP Drives A Gay Sex Revolution

The before pills to prevent HIV are definitely part of the mix to ending HIV. The article below was first published in the September 2014 issue of OutinPerth Enjoy 🙂

Positive Advocate: PrEP Drives A Gay Sex Revolution

Cipriano Martinez

Which study was talked about more than any other at the AIDS 2014 Melbourne Conference? No, I’m not making this up, it was titled ‘iPrEx OLE!’, although I am happy to discuss the results over tapas and sangria.

Would you believe 1603 people were offered the chance to take the before pills Truvada, known medically as Pre Exposure Prophylaxis (PrEP). 1225 took up the challenge, the rest declined. After following everyone for 72 weeks (almost a year and half), no one who took Truvada as prescribed (a daily single pill) or for at least 4 times a week, acquired HIV. That’s right if you took Truvada as a before pill at least 4 times a week it was 100% effective. While approximately 13 guys from the 378 who didn’t take part in the study unfortunately acquired HIV, which equates to an annual incidence rate of 2.6%.

The World Health Organisation in July 2014 published new guidelines. The new PrEP recommendation constitutes a change from a conditional recommendation for PrEP use in demonstration projects to a strong recommendation endorsing PrEP as part of a package of prevention services for men who have sex with men.

The US has already approved the before pill (Truvada for PrEP). Recently Michael Lucas, founder/CEO of Lucas Entertainment, one of the largest porn film makers in New York revealed he was in a poz-neg relationship with Tyler Helms. The couple’s HIV prevention strategy of choice is for Michael to take the before pill consistently and Tyler to be successfully treated with HIV medication (a sustained HIV viral load like this is undetectable).

Love and the desire for intimacy is driving the personal pleasure and safety choices of some gay men. For pos-neg couples the additional protection of having their HIV negative partner on the before pill is transformational, facilitating the additional confidence needed for some to enjoy sex without taking perceived unnecessary risks to achieve closeness.

Many poz-neg couples have for years successfully relied only on undetectable viral load too prevent HIV transmission and are happy to continue this path.

When you consider the casual sex context, now guys who are HIV negative have another option on how to take personal responsibility for their sexual health and prevent HIV. Anxiety over condom slip ups will become significantly diminished and perhaps disappear altogether.

The before pill (Truvada, PrEP) has only just begun to radically change the sexual lives of gay men around the world. Liberating them from the fear of acquiring HIV from the unknown, untested, and unable or unwillingly condom users. The before pill to prevent HIV has the potential to protect other at risk populations too.

There will be some who will attempt to politicise, moralise and gate keep the introduction of the before pill to prevent HIV in much the same way as the contraceptive pill to prevent pregnancy was once heavily debated and stigmatised.

In the US this has already occurred, with terms like “Truvada whore” initially used to shame guys and discourage them from using their protection of choice. There may even be a few gay man who through personal experience and losses from HIV find this novel strategy to prevent HIV to confronting and prefer instead the comfort of the status quo and a singular drum beat, consistent condom use for all for all time.

Some, as reported by Peter Staley on his blog at POZ, have even taken to perverse and disgraceful tactic of pretending to have taken Truvada and described online a false failure. However I have complete confidence that effective science and the freedom to choose your own density will triumph over denial, delays and destructive misinformation.

Where to next? Be sure to let your local doctor, nurse, community worker, politician, whomever might assist know, that you have the right to protect yourself from HIV and demand access to the before pills (Truvada for PrEP), a gay sex revolution and the ending of the HIV epidemic is possible, when we turn to empower and respect each other’s informed choices.

Cipriano Martinez

Read more from Cipriano at positiveadvocate.com

Danish Breakthrough for HIV cure expected ‘within months’

The story was published by The Sydney Morning Hearld , it was also published by many others. I believe that the Danes are on the right track. Finding a way to release/flush out the hidden reservoirs (insert HDAC inhibitors) of HIV from our DNA and then having other drugs or our own boosted immune system (or a combination of both) eliminate them/inhibit future replication, sounds like a strong plausible basis for a cure. Wearing my optimists hat, I wish the Danish researchers and their collaborators speed and efficiency in their endeavor.

After posting this page I received some valid criticism from Gus Cains re hype. The original article has been resubmitted   Scientists’ hope for HIV cure

Below the original article.

Danish breakthrough for HIV cure expected ‘within months’

Jake Wallis-Simons
Published: April 29, 2013 – 3:00AM

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A breakthrough in the search for a cure for HIV will come ”within months”, researchers believe.

Danish scientists are expecting results showing that it will be possible to find a cure that is both affordable and can be provided to a large number of people.

They are running clinical trials to test a ”novel strategy” in which the HIV virus, which causes AIDS, is stripped from human DNA and destroyed by the immune system.

It has already been found to work in laboratory tests and the scientists are now running human trials.

The technique involves releasing the HIV virus from ”reservoirs” it forms in DNA cells, bringing it to the surface of the cells. Once it comes to the surface, the body’s immune system can kill the virus through being boosted by a ”vaccine”.

In vitro studies – those that use human cells in a laboratory – of the new technique proved so successful that in January the Danish Research Council awarded the team 12 million kroner ($2 million) to pursue clinical trials with human subjects.

Ole Sogaard, a senior researcher at the Aarhus University Hospital in Denmark who is leading the study, said: ”I am almost certain we will be successful in releasing the reservoirs of HIV.

”The challenge will be getting the immune system to recognise the virus and destroy it. This depends on the strength and sensitivity of individual immune systems.”

Fifteen patients are taking part in the trials, and if they are found to have been cured of HIV, the process will be tested on a wider scale.

The technique uses drugs called HDAC inhibitors, more commonly employed in treating cancer.

It is also being researched in Britain, but studies have not yet moved on to the clinical trial stage.

Telegraph, London

This story was found at: http://www.smh.com.au/national/health/danish-breakthrough-for-hiv-cure-expected-within-months-20130428-2imnp.htm

For some more hope read the article below

University of Minnesota doctors try to cure boy of HIV, cancer in risky operation

Could clearing HIV from its hiding place, make way for a cure?

Potential New Treatment for HIV, staff writers at the Star Observer, report on a trial, BIT225, conducted by Biotron limited. The potential new agent is reported to treat HIV infection hidden in reservoir precursor cells. I found this article to be exciting. Imagine if in the near future they are able to combine several agents to eliminate HIV hiding in the body. As an optimist again we are another step closer to a cure. 🙂

Could successfully suppressed HIV viral load be a defence against HIV criminalisation?

The HIV Justice Network reported on the German National AIDS Council production of a consensus statement on HIV criminalisation while having consensual sex. I liked the article, so I’ve decided to copy it to my blog.

Germany: National AIDS Council releases powerful policy statement on HIV criminalisation

March 13, 2013

The German National AIDS Council – an independent advisory body of the Ministry of Health consisting of experts from the fields of research, medical care, public health services, ethics, law, social sciences, as well as people from the civil society – has produced a consensus statement on HIV criminalisation during consensual sex.

A press release issued yesterday by the Federal Ministry of Health states (unnofficial translation from German)

HIV infection has become a treatable chronic disease. In Germany, life expectancy with appropriate medical care is nearly normal. However, people with HIV still experience limitations, especially in everyday social life. They are often stigmatised and discriminated against in both the workplace and in the home environment. Criminal court judgments and their public perception play in a crucial role in this context.

  1. The National AIDS Council points out that the following medical factors should be assessed in criminal proceedings: HIV is difficult infection to transmit compared to other sexually transmitted diseases. The transmissibility of HIV is primarily related to viral load. In the first weeks after infection this is particularly high, and can amount to several million viral copies per milliliter of blood. After a few weeks or months, however, the immune system, usually controls the infection. Once viral load drops the body can keep viral load low for months or years before medication needs to be taken. During this time, the risk of infection is much lower than in the early phase of infection. Once the immune system weakens, generally antiretroviral therapy commences. With effective treatment, the viral load falls below the detection limit (viral load less than 50 viral copies / ml blood). If viral replication is permanently suppressed completely, according to current medical knowledge, HIV is not sexually transmitted. The risk reduction of successful antiretroviral therapy is at least comparable to the correct use of condoms. It is assumed that a large proportion of HIV transmission takes place during the early stages of HIV infection, i.e. at a time, when those who are infected are not aware of their infection, because an HIV antibody test can only show infection after a few weeks.
  2. Against this background, the National AIDS Council emphasisesA criminal examination of HIV exposure or transmission related to consensual sexual intercourse must be consistent with the medical facts. The decision whether or not the criminal liability of onward transmission can be assigned to the person with HIV cannot be made as a matter of routine. In fact, the determining factor are the circumstances of each individual case, especially the legitimate expectations of both sexual partners. In any case, in a short-term, consensual sexual encounter both partners are responsible for the application of protective measures, regardless of the knowledge or the acceptance of one’s own status and the status of the other person. Attributing either partner as perpetrator or victim is not appropriate.
    Criminal proceedings regarding the transmission of HIV from consensual sexual intercourse do not contribute to HIV prevention. They can even be counterproductive in terms of the willingness of an individual to take an HIV test and in terms of open communication of sexual partners. In contrast, it is in the interest of the individual and society to increase willingness to take an HIV test.”

The evidence continues to accumulate

The study from Uganda below continues to build the strong evidence that people successfully on HIV treatments are in the translated words of the Swiss “non-infectious” (Search Swiss Statement for caveats and conditions).

Couples study in Uganda finds no HIV infections from partners on antiretroviral therapy.