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Cure for HIV – 2nd person cured of HIV thanks to stem cell transplant



cure for HIV
credits: Andrew Testa/New York Times/Redux/eyevine

A man from London has become the second person in the world to be cured of HIV, doctors say.

Adam Castillejo is still free of the virus more than 30 months after stopping anti-retroviral therapy.

He was not cured by the HIV drugs, however, but by a stem-cell treatment he received for a cancer he also had, the Lancet HIV journal reports.

The donors of those stem cells have an uncommon gene that gives them, and now Mr Castillejo, protection against HIV.

In 2007, Timothy Ray Brown became the first person ever whom doctors declared to be cured of HIV. At the time, they referred to him publicly as the Berlin patient.

His journey toward a cure was not straightforward. After having received an HIV diagnosis in the 1990s, Mr. Brown received antiretroviral treatment — the usual course of action for an HIV infection.However, later on, he also received a diagnosis of acute myeloid leukemia, for which he eventually required a stem cell transplant.

As he was looking for a suitable donor match, his doctor had the idea to try an experiment. He looked for a donor with a specific genetic mutation that made them practically immune to HIV.Receiving stem cells from this donor, it turned out, not only treated Mr. Brown’s leukemia but also cured the HIV infection.

What is the treatment?

Stem-cell transplants appear to stop the virus being able to replicate inside the body by replacing the patient’s own immune cells with donor ones that resist HIV infection.

Adam Castillejo – the now 40-year-old “London Patient” who has decided to go public with his identity – has no detectable active HIV infection in his blood, semen or tissues, his doctors say.

It is now a year after they first announced he was clear of the virus and he still remains free of HIV.Lead researcher Prof Ravindra Kumar Gupta, from the University of Cambridge, told BBC News: “This represents HIV cure with almost certainty.

“We have now had two and a half years with anti-retroviral-free remission.”Our findings show that the success of stem-cell transplantation as a cure for HIV, first reported nine years ago in the Berlin Patient, can be replicated.

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But it will not be a treatment for the millions of people around the world living with HIV.

The aggressive therapy was primarily used to treat the patients’ cancers, not their HIV.

And current HIV drugs remain very effective, meaning people with the virus can live long and healthy lives.

Prof Gupta said: “It is important to note that this curative treatment is high-risk and only used as a last resort for patients with HIV who also have life-threatening haematological malignancies.

“Therefore, this is not a treatment that would be offered widely to patients with HIV who are on successful anti-retroviral treatment.”

But it might offer hope of finding a cure, in the future, using gene therapy.”

How does it work?

it is not a success way to implement as a cure for HIV on all patients.

CCR5 is the most commonly used receptor by HIV-1 – the virus strain of HIV that dominates around the world – to enter cells.

But a very small number of people who are resistant to HIV have two mutated copies of the CCR5 receptor.

This means the virus cannot penetrate cells in the body it normally infects.

Researchers say it may be possible to use gene therapy to target the CCR5 receptor in people with HIV.

It is the same receptor the now jailed Chinese scientist He Jiankui worked on when he created the world’s first gene-edited babies.

Is it a permanent cure for HIV ?

The tests suggest 99% of Mr Castillejo’s immune cells have been replaced by donor ones.

But he still has remnants of the virus in his body, as does Mr Brown.

And it is impossible to say with absolute certainty his HIV will never come back.

Mr Castillejo told the New York Times: “This is a unique position to be in, a unique and very humbling position.

“I want to be an ambassador of hope.

“I don’t want people to think, ‘Oh, you’ve been chosen.’

“No, it just happened.

“I was in the right place, probably at the right time, when it happened.”

Prof Sharon Lewin, from the University of Melbourne, Australia, said: “Given the large number of cells sampled here and the absence of any intact virus, is the London Patient truly cured?

“The additional data provided in this follow-up case report is certainly encouraging but unfortunately, in the end, only time will tell.”

Commenting on these findings, other researchers involved in the study express the hope that, in the future, scientists may be able to use state-of-the-art gene editing tools as part of interventions meant to treat and cure HIV.

Dr. Dimitra Peppa, who is from the University of Oxford in the U.K. and co-authored the study, notes that “[g]ene editing using the CCR5 has received a lot of attention recently.”

Nevertheless, she points out, there is still a long way to go before such therapies may become viable.

“There are still many ethical and technical barriers — e.g., gene editing, efficiency, and robust safety data — to overcome before any approach using CCR5 gene editing can be considered as a scalable cure strategy for HIV,” she says.

Credit:BBC News

Why The Humanity Post?

The World Health Organization has named depression as the greatest cause of suffering worldwide. In the U.S., 1 out of 5 deals with depression or anxiety. For youth, that number increases to 1 in 3.

The good news is that 40% of our happiness can be influenced by intentional thoughts and actions, leading to life changing habits. It’s this 40% that The Humanity Post  help to impact.

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May is Mental Health Month



mental health

May is Mental Health Month, an important opportunity to raise awareness and promote understanding of mental health issues. This year, the theme of Mental Health Month is “Tools 2 Thrive,” which focuses on practical tools and resources that can help individuals improve their mental health and well-being.

Mental health is a critical component of our overall health and well-being, but it is often overlooked or stigmatized. According to the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI), one in five adults in the United States experiences a mental health condition in any given year. Despite the prevalence of these conditions, many people still face barriers to accessing the care and support they need.

One of the key messages of Mental Health Month is that mental health is essential to everyone’s overall health and well-being, and that we all have a role to play in promoting mental health and reducing stigma. This year’s “Tools 2 Thrive” theme focuses on a range of practical tools and resources that individuals can use to improve their mental health and well-being.

Some of the key tools and resources highlighted by NAMI this year include:

  1. Accepting and acknowledging your emotions – This involves recognizing and accepting your feelings, rather than trying to push them away or suppress them. This can help you develop a greater sense of self-awareness and improve your ability to cope with stress and difficult situations.
  2. Connecting with others – Social connections and relationships are important for our mental health and well-being. This can involve reaching out to friends and family, joining a support group, or participating in a community activity.
  3. Creating healthy routines – Developing healthy habits and routines can help promote mental health and well-being. This can include getting enough sleep, eating a balanced diet, and engaging in regular physical activity.
  4. Finding purpose and meaning – Having a sense of purpose and meaning in life can help promote mental health and well-being. This can involve identifying your values and goals, pursuing hobbies and interests, or volunteering in your community.
  5. Seeking professional help – If you are struggling with a mental health condition, it’s important to seek professional help. This can involve talking to your primary care provider, seeking out a mental health professional, or accessing community resources.

In conclusion, Mental Health Month is an important opportunity to raise awareness and promote understanding of mental health issues. By focusing on practical tools and resources that individuals can use to improve their mental health and well-being, we can help reduce stigma and promote a more supportive and inclusive society. Let’s all take steps to prioritize our mental health and support those around us who may be struggling.

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Bill Gates’ Foundation Promise $750M For COVID-19 Vaccine Developed By Oxford Scientists



Bill Gates' Foundation Promise $750M For COVID-19

Bill Gates has one again ventured up to help the world battle against COVID-19, this time through his philanthropic endeavor Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. The tech billionare has poured in $750 million to guarantee the worldwide gracefully of a potential coronavirus immunization being created by British medication creator AstraZeneca.

AstraZeneca is working with scientists from Oxford University for the potential antibody. In spite of the fact that the vaccine is still in the improvement stage, the organization has just dedicated to its large scale manufacturing and accessibility. The thought is to abbreviate the long course of events of vaccine creation.

The new funds will be used to increase the supply of the vaccine globally. With this, the total units of the vaccine available for dispense (once developed) will be more than 2 billion.

Representative Image (Credit:GettyImages)

The Charity Foundations

According to a discharge shared by AstraZeneca this week, the understanding has been made with Coalition of Epidemic Preparedness Innovations (CEPI) established by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, and Gavi, the vaccine partnership.

The $750 million agreement will be used to “support the manufacturing, procurement and distribution of 300 million doses of the potential vaccine, with delivery starting by the end of the year.”

In addition to the agreement with CEPI and Gavi, AstraZeneca has also reached a licensing agreement with Serum Institute of India (SII), the world’s largest vaccine manufacturer by volume, to supply one billion doses for low-and-middle-income countries.

Global Distribution

Representative Image (Credit:GettyImages)

AstraZeneca had just reserved 300 million of the potential vaccine to the US and 100 million to the UK. “The Company is building various gracefully chains in equal over the world to help worldwide access at no benefit during the pandemic,” it says.

With the new deal with SII, AstraZeneca has now promised 1 billion doses of the vaccine for low and middle-income countries. Out of these, 400 million will be provided by the end of 2020, the statement confirms. 

The organization had the option to make 1 billion units of the vaccine a month ago. At present, Phase II/III variants of the vaccine are being tried on around 10,000 grown-ups in the UK according to AstraZeneca. On the off chance that its clinical preliminaries end up being fruitful, the primary portions of the vaccine could be prepared by as ahead of schedule as September.


Why The Humanity Post?

The World Health Organisation has named depression as the greatest cause of suffering worldwide. In the U.S., 1 out of 5 deals with depression or anxiety. For youth, that number increases to 1 in 3.

The good news is that 40% of our happiness can be influenced by intentional thoughts and actions, leading to life changing habits. It’s this 40% that The Humanity Post  help to impact.

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New test technique offers more secure measurements of hydroxychloroquine



New test technique offers more secure measurements of hydroxychloroquine

LONDON: Researchers have built up another technique to measure levels of the medication of hydroxychloroquine in patients with the rheumatic infection foundational lupus erythematosus.

The technique developed by specialists at Uppsala University and Uppsala University Hospital in Sweden may likewise be valuable in different regions, for example, in the treatment of Covid-19.

Hydroxychloroquine was originally used to treat malaria but has also proven effective with SLE and rheumatoid arthritis (RA), the researchers said.

Today it is prescribed to all SLE patients since it ensures against flares of the ailment. Tests are currently being led to check whether it can likewise be utilized to treat Covid-19, they said.

A disadvantage of hydroxychloroquine is its side effects which can be avoided, however, if the dosage is adjusted for each patient. To achieve the protective effect against flares in SLE while also minimising the risk of side effects, researchers developed a method that can be used in the medical care system to measure hydroxychloroquine levels in the blood of SLE patients.

The method, described in the journal Arthritis Research and Therapy, is based on high-resolution mass spectrometry.

The researchers went through available data on hydroxychloroquine measurements.

They saw that results from measurements on whole blood, plasma and serum were not comparable with each other.

“It was indicated that there were significant contrasts between various reports, and there appeared to be huge individual contrasts,” said Kim Kultima, Associate Professor at Uppsala University.

They compared the levels of hydroxychloroquine in plasma, serum and whole blood in SLE patients.

The team concluded that the levels in whole blood were about twice as high as in serum and plasma. Whole blood analyses were also the most dependable.

“One striking outcome, and a significant understanding, was that levels in entire blood for patients recommended a similar measurement could vary by up to multiple times between people. This demonstrates a huge individual variety in how the drug is processed,” the specialists said.

One problem pointed out by the study is that the services for electronic information on medicinal products in Sweden (FASS) provides concentrations of hydroxychloroquine in plasma.

The researchers judge that these values provide an inaccurate and inappropriate picture for monitoring medication levels in patients.

“We also have to be very careful about drawing hasty conclusions about whether hydroxychloroquine is effective with Covid-19.

“What we cannot deny is that the examination strategy will ideally prompt better information for giving the correct doses to SLE patients who are endorsed the medicine,” the analysts said.

The team are planning to measure the levels of the medication in the blood of Covid-19 patients if the substance proves effective.


Why The Humanity Post?

The World Health Organisation has named depression as the greatest cause of suffering worldwide. In the U.S., 1 out of 5 deals with depression or anxiety. For youth, that number increases to 1 in 3.

The good news is that 40% of our happiness can be influenced by intentional thoughts and actions, leading to life changing habits. It’s this 40% that The Humanity Post  help to impact.

Continue Reading


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