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Study shows HIV ‘much harder’ to cure than previously thought

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  1. This is very disappointing news indeed, there has been renewed vigour and activity in recent years in a variety of approaches to finding a workable cure for HIV.

    Condom use, regular HIV / STI testing and starting treatment for HIV when appropriate for the individual concerned are the only way we can effectively reduce new HIV infections, & at the same time ensure those who have HIV are diagnosed early, which we know greatly improves outcomes here in the UK.

    More investment is required in both HIV cure research and also prevention efforts must be properly funded. I also suggest a complete overhaul of the funding arrangements for prevention. The short-term, salami slicing approach to HIV prevention is at the heart of why we are continue to see high levels of new infections amongst Gay and Bi-sexual men.

  2. I understand where THT are coming from and this is probably only part of a considered response, but there is no mention of how devastating such news is for those of us actually living with HIV.

  3. pommedemer 25 Oct 2013, 5:36pm

    Does this affect the research currently underway in Marseilles, France? They were making such headway and recently put 48 patients on a new treatment which protects the cells…. Its just confusing with so many different new therapy experiments active around the world, does this lab have the final say, or is it just their particular findings?

  4. Meanwhile gay guys are throwing caution to the wind and don’t care if they get infected or not. Its sad to see these on line hook up addicts trample over the activism and sacrifice so many made at the height of the AIDs epidemic.

    1. Yes let’s tar everyone with the same brush. The majority of gay men are not HIV+ and those that are need support not stigma. The stigma of HIV actually encourages risk as some people are still naive and thrust others to either know their status or be open about it, or assume they will be told without asking etc. Continuing to spread the word about prevention is more critical than casually suggestion everyone with HIV contracted it by throwing caution to the wind.

    2. Jock S. Trap 27 Oct 2013, 10:43am

      You’re talking about a minority of people yet seem to be tarring all… why?

    3. Sadly, Wooly, a frightening number of gay men, young and old, in the UK, the US, and in Australia and New Zealand, ARE doing just as you have said, as revealed in worrying statistics recently published. Why this is is not clear, but I suspect it’s partly due to the myth that everything is now hunky-dory, now that there are drug treatments available for HIV and people who are infected do not quickly die or in the most grotesque manner.

      1. From your posting Eddy it is almost that you begrudge the FACT (not myth) that the majority of people living with HIV can live a full, active life, contribute to society and expect to live to a ripe old age!

        Yes, there are some older people living with HIV who have had their lives curtailed & are debilitated as a consequence of toxic treatments & a very poor understanding of the virus back in the day.

        It always amazes me how people who do not have the virus wish to speak for those of us who do, & in doing so seem to want to paint the most dire picture of our health – would that be the same for a cancer patient in remission I wonder?

        Treatment works, is tolerable for most & prevents the virus from being passed on, this has to be something to celebrate rather than attempt to discredit.

        1. D_J, I am delighted if you are HIV and are as fit as a fiddle, but that is not the case for the majority of people with HIV. This was proven again recently. See:

          Quotes from the report:

          What role do anti-retroviral treatment (ART) side effects play? So what about those all–important side effects? How common are they and, if so, do they have a significant impact on quality of life?

          (See quotes in following postings.)

          1. The Baseline Survey does not “prove” anything Eddy as you so put it. This was a survey not a statistical analysis I of the effect HIV has on the health or otherwise, compared to the general population.

            The survey provides an important insight into the challenges faced by some people who live with HIV. To cherry pick some of the outcomes from the survey and then to suggest these findings are representative of the 55,000 (approx) receiving treatment shows a lack of understanding of the difference between a well designed, controlled study and a survey limited by a very small sample size.
            I am sure you are more than aware of, but have chosen not to acknowledge here in your comments

  5. Quote: “Somewhat reassuringly there are some people who said they had not experienced any side effects, but this was around one in 20 of those surveyed (6%). It’s clear from the survey that side effects remain a critical concern for people living with HIV. Side effects are a key reason people switch ART. And for 38% of people in the survey, a combination with minimal side effects was deemed the most important issue when choosing antiretroviral therapy (ART). One quarter (24%) were concerned that their medication had minimal long–]term impact on their body. Somewhat surprisingly only 17% of people felt that the possibility to take medicine once a day was the most important issue.”

  6. Quote: “Which ART side effects are most common? Almost two thirds of people (61% report sleeping disorders), just over half (52%) reported fatigue or anaemia, 49% reported gastro-intestinal side effects, 48% reported depression and 35% reported anxiety. In total 42% had raised the issue of side effects with their clinician in the past 12 months but in half of cases (54%) the treatment was not changed.

    What really surprised us is that slightly more than a quarter of people (28%) said they will wait until side effects are limiting or unbearable before raising it with clinician. We don’t believe anyone should put up with ongoing side effects from medication, if an alternative option is available, but understand that it can be difficult for some people to have the confidence to raise issues such as this with the clinic.”

  7. Quote: “How do ART side effects impact someone’s life? We asked respondents to rate how side effects impacted upon various aspects of their life; rating from not at all to completely. 40% of respondents said that the medicines they take majorly or completely impact upon their sex life, while work and personal life is impacted to the same extent for around one in three (31% and 29% respectively). Social life is impacted by the same extent for nearly a quarter of respondents (24%). Around 10% said there was no impact on these various areas of life. But remember 6% reported they have not experienced any drug side effects.”

    Source of all quotes above:

  8. Considering it’s (AIDS) has been around 30+ years now… I dub the author of this study Captain Obvious.

  9. I’m starting to believe in putting newly infected HIV positive people on medication asap is the way forward, not just for Treatment as Prevention but also for increasing the treatment options open to the patient in the future. Reducing the time in which the HIV reservoir is built up as much as possible would be ideal. Reducing infectivity would be good so that the psychological fear and anxiety from passing it on will be reduced too. It should only happen with informed consent. There are issues with the possible effects of taking the medication long term but I suspect that reducing the reservoir as much as possible is key…we can treat HIV in the blood but not so well in the reservoirs. Will be interesting to see what happens!

  10. Sorry to have to disappoint you Eddy but quoting from the Baseline Survey does not PROVE the majority of people living with HIV are in poor health and not as “fit as a fiddle” to use your words.

    The survey has huge limitations which you fail to recognise & was never intended to PROVE anything – but to provide valuable insight into the difficulties some individuals experience, which is a very important area to consider.

    Nevertheless, this is not a controlled study & readers should be advised to interpret your cherry picked quotes with caution. The survey sample size was extremely small when compared to the 55,000 individual accessing treatment & care here in the UK.

    To think these results could be replicated across the wider HIV cohort & PROVE your claim is foolish & shows a complete lack of understanding of statistical analysis, study design & control of variables that happen by chance.

    Why are you trying to discredit the remarkable HIV care & treatment here in the UK?

  11. DJ – you are right to point out that the limitations of the Baseline survey – as they themselves do in their introduction. However, this is certainly an area that doesn’t receive enough attention and I can personally testify to struggling with my HIV medication and the impact it has on my day to day life.

    These days, the main narrative around HIV is the importance of undetectable viral levels and how this both protects health and limits onwards transmission. This is all well and good but it does seem as if in the quest to get as many people as possible to be undetectable, the issues of side effects have taken a back seat. There’s no question that when compared with earlier regimes, today’s combinations are a huge leap forward, but that doesn’t mean they are problem-free.

  12. @ D_J/W6_bloke

    A little disingenuous to be posting here using two aliases to reinforce your own theories, no?

    1. I have no requirement to use a variety of aliases as you suggest.

      I am really not interested in your petty point scoring “David” and I really do not see the relevance of your comment to this particular thread!

      At least I can be identified by my avatar unlike yourself and many others here on PN, who make wild accusations just to agitate and discredit.

      Did you have anything to add to the debate “David”?

      1. Does your role on these HIV discussion alway have to be as agent provocateur, “W6_Bloke”?

  13. cont…

    And yet when I’ve attempted to talk about the difficulties I deal with, with various HIV doctors I’ve met with, their attitude tends to be to brush me off, or claim that I’m suffering from depression, or chronic fatigue syndrome. It’s as if the idea that HIV drugs could be possibly having any negative impact is unthinkable to them. I’ve reached the point where I’ve avoided going to my clinic because there really doesn’t seem to be much point in seeing doctors who can’t help and leave me feeling like a time-wasting hypochondriac.

    So the Baseline survey – which I’ve only just read about here – definitely rings bells with me, so it’s highly probable that my experiences have been replicated amongst other patients in HIV clinics across the country, if not a majority then certainly a sizeable number that have right to be listened to and taken seriously.

  14. Isaac, your experience of side-effects echoes that which were found by the Baseline survey. Those few who deny that the Baseline survey is representative of the difficulties of people living with HIV can offer no other proof than their own health. Of course one is delighted that they are in good health – or rather that they believe that they are in good health. (There is evidence that even those who believe they are in good health because of the way they feel and the way they look may not be in such good shape internally. Inflammation of the internal organs and brain has been found to be common in people suffering from HIV, despite low levels of HIV being present in the blood.) Beside the Baseline survey, which by virtue of it having been a UK survey really brings the situation home, only only has to look at the postings and threads on HIV/AIDS websites to observe that vast numbers of people suffering from HIV/AIDS and receiving treatment suffer a very wide range of side-effects.

  15. Edward Jason 7 Nov 2013, 8:32am

    HIV has taken so many lives so do cancer, I was having them both, I contacted Dr. Oraede, and I told him that I have HIV and Cancer. He told me that my case is a special case. That the items he needs will be much. I asked him how much it will cost me. He told me that it will cost me $600 only, I was only having $500, and I told him the amount I have. He told me that after the cure I should promise him that I will pay back the remaining $100, I told him that I will. He prepared a cure for me and sent it via Courier Delivery Service; I managed to pay for the delivery and legal practitioner that signed the good for the transfer to my country. I received the parcel, it was a portion, I drank it as he instructed me to, and I went to do a test I was healed, I was tested HIV negative and the cancer was no more, help me thank him, I haven’t seen a person like him before, I have paid him back in 3 fold, you can get your healing from him and him alone, contact him now dr.oraedespellhome@hotmail.

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