A group of surgeons in Baltimore announced a major breakthrough in science and medicine after they finally made a successful organ transplant to an HIV-positive patient from an HIV-positive donor. This has been a long battle for all stakeholders, with millions of AIDS patients all over the world hoping against hope that something positive will eventually come out in the search for treatment. While this one is nothing close to a treatment, it cannot be denied that it is a welcoming option, especially for those with AIDS who already have failing livers or kidneys.
According to ABC News, Johns Hopkins University have confirmed that the recipients, one receiving a kidney and the other receiving a liver from a deceased donor, are already in recovery. In the past, organs from people infected with HIV are no longer deemed suitable for donation. According to a transplant expert in Hopkins, Dr. Dorry Segev, the breakthrough is nothing short of a new opportunity in life for patients who have been suffering for so long. The doctor is a prominent name in pushing for the right to perform the operation to patients when the U.S. government banned it for more than two decades. He believes that hundreds of HIV patients will be benefiting from it.
Most people are left wondering why there's a need to perform an HIV-to-HIV transplant when patients can just seek a donor who isn't a carrier. Accordingly, the most advanced and modern medications designed for AIDS today have transformed the disease into a chronic type of illness instead of a fast killer. As a result, patients are expected to live longer than expected while in the process suffering organ failure. While HIV patients are allowed to receive organs from donors who don't have the disease, everyone knows how long that line is. So if this new method will be ironed out, it means there will be better opportunities for patients to take organs that are in a way specifically intended for them since HIV-positive donors cannot give their organs to anyone who needs that but doesn't suffer from the same disease. more >>
A South African mayor is defending her controversial decision to award college scholarships to 16 girls who can prove their virginity, arguing that the unconventional scholarship offer will prevent the spread of disease, as well as unwanted pregnancy.
Dudu Mazibuko, mayor of the Uthukela district of the KwaZulu-Natal province, has argued that despite criticism from the feminist women's rights group, People Opposing Women Abuse, she believes these scholarships will "reduce HIV, AIDS and unwanted pregnancy" among young girls in the area, which has some of the highest incidences of AIDS in South Africa," according to the BBC.
The 16 university-age women who would be eligible for the scholarships would be subject to routine virginity tests, the mayor told BBC News. more >>
The US Food and Drug Administration has announced the implementation of a new blood donation policy that allows gay men to donate blood.
Reversing a 30+ year policy, the FDA announced Monday that homosexual men can donate blood provided that they do so after having abstained from sex for at least one year.
"As part of today's finalized blood donor deferral guidance, the FDA is changing its recommendation that men who have sex with men (MSM) be indefinitely deferred – a policy that has been in place for approximately 30 years – to 12 months since the last sexual contact with another man," stated the FDA. more >>
On the eve of World AIDS Day, Pope Francis admitted Monday that the question about whether the Roman Catholic Church should condone condom use to help prevent the spread of HIV is a complicated issue for the moral of the church.
During an in-flight press conference on the return trip from his six-day visit in Africa, a German journalist asked the pontiff: "We know that condoms are not the only method of solving the epidemic, but it's an important part of the answer. Is it not time for the church to change its position on the matter? To allow the use of condoms to prevent more infections?"
As the Catholic Church has historically opposed all forms of contraception and teaches abstinence is the best way to prevent sexually transmitted diseases, Pope Francis responded by saying that he felt that the journalist's condom suggestion would only have a small effect on a larger problems facing the continent, the Catholic News Agency reports. more >>
Coming of age in the 1980s, I can remember the palpable fear and uncertainty that existed in the early years of the HIV and AIDS epidemic. For a long time, this diagnosis was not only a death sentence but one that came with a social stigma that its victims carried with them to their graves.
And then America was introduced to a young boy in Indiana named Ryan White, who had contracted the virus during a blood transfusion. He showed us that this is a virus that does not discriminate; it is one that impacts people of all ages, on all continents, of all races, and from all socioeconomic backgrounds. Ryan White showed us that every AIDS victim is a child of God, worthy of dignity and respect, and fighting the disease took on a moral dimension that had been absent.
Over time, the stories of Ryan White and other victims of HIV and AIDS created an important groundswell of support for policies to combat HIV/AIDS. A landmark law named after Ryan White has helped millions of Americans, including many low-income patients in Florida, receive the life-saving treatments they need. Early on in my Senate term, I saw firsthand how critical this program could be when we succeeded in pressuring the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services to clear the waiting lists of 8,600 patients in 13 states — including over 3,800 in Florida — for the AIDS Drug Assistance Program. more >>
After paying "upwards of $10 million" to extortionists to keep his illness secret, actor Charlie Sheen publicly admitted on Tuesday morning that he is HIV positive.
"I am in fact HIV-positive," Sheen confessed to Matt Lauer during a "TODAY" show interview.
The confession comes after gossip website radaronline.com sparked speculation earlier this month about an unnamed actor's HIV positive status. The National Enquirer identified Sheen as the actor in a report on Monday and several other media outlets did the same. more >>