WWR: The Chase for a Cure, EGPAF in Malawi, and Treatments for Children

HIV (in yellow) attacking a human cell. Over thirty years after the beginning of the AIDS epidemic, how close are we to a cure?

Science magazine

This week, we’re reading about why one New York Times writer says the word ‘cure’ is still premature when discussing HIV, thinking about how working for EGPAF in Malawi has benefited a Global Health Corps Fellow, and learning about a recent study that argues an infrequently used treatment regimen might be more effective than current practices for treating pediatric HIV.

New York Times – “‘Cured of AIDS’? Not Yet” In this article, New York Times science and health reporter Donald McNeil spoke with doctors and HIV experts to gauge their reaction to the idea of a possible ‘cure’ for HIV. These experts say that though signs of a cure are reasons for optimism, they shouldn’t be viewed as a signal to terminate antiretroviral therapy (ART). Instead, news of a cure should shift current AIDS policies toward a focus on actively seeking out the newly infected and urging those already infected to adhere to their current treatment regimen.

EGPAF – “Building Relationships, Gaining Inspiration: A GHC Fellow Reports from Malawi” In this blog, Global Health Corps Fellow Andrea Garces writes about the experience and inspiration that she’s gained working with EGPAF in Lilongwe, Malawi for the last nine months. Garces talks about how important it was for her to understand the impact of the work that she’s doing, and how the communities she serves are working together to fight the spread of HIV.

EGPAF – “My Biggest Accomplishments” EGAF Ambassador Florence Ngobeni-Allen is a champion for mothers living with HIV fighting to have happy, healthy children. In her latest blog, she writes about her most prized achievements: her happy, healthy HIV-negative children, and her work creating an AIDS-free generation.

RedOrbit – “Study Finds Less-Used Regimen For Treating Children In Africa With HIV Is More Effective” Researchers from the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia , the Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania, and a number of other institutions conducted the first large-scale comparison of first-line treatments for HIV-positive children. They found that an initial treatment of the drug efavirenz is more effective than nevirapine in suppressing the virus in young children.

iTechPost – “HIV Vaccine Trial Of 2,500 Participants Stopped “ The National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID) announced this week that they would be terminating the first large-scale HIV vaccine trial due to its failure. According to the Institute, the two-part vaccine that was tested showed no benefit. Advocates in the field say that the halt of the trial shows the difficulty of developing a HIV vaccine.

Chelsea Bailey is Communications Assistant for the Foundation, based in Washington, D.C.