AIDS

Stethoscope
jasleen_kaur / Flickr Creative Commons

Scientists have set their sights on finding a cure for AIDS. At the opening of the International AIDS Society conference in Vancouver, AIDS researchers made a call to action for a worldwide shift in HIV treatment.

They now suggest that doctors provide medication immediately after a diagnosis instead of first waiting for the signs of illness to appear.

Image of Veteran AIDS Activist Sean Strub
Sean Strub

  

Sean Strub is best known as the founder of POZ magazine and the first openly HIV-positive person to run for Congress. 

New research from Duke University may help make an effective vaccine for HIV-AIDS. Four years ago a potential vaccine showed some protection for about a third of recipients, but was not an overall success. Barton Haynes is a senior author on the latest study and the director of the Duke Human Vaccine Institute. He says the research looks at how that original vaccine achieved limited success.

Federal money will help get HIV and AIDS drugs to North Carolinians waiting for financial help.

Leoneda Inge: There are about 280 HIV and AIDS patients in the state on a waiting list to help pay for life-sustaining drugs. The state received three-million-dollars from the Health Resources and Service Administration to go toward funding the Aids Drug Assistance Program. Lisa Hazirjian heads the North Carolina Aids Action Network.

When the AIDS epidemic hit in the 1980s, it was a scourge unlike any other, one that weakened the body’s defenses and left victims to die an agonizingly slow death. Now, new treatments have made HIV/AIDS a manageable disease, while a cure and vaccine seem like more of a possibility than ever.

A network of health experts, policymakers and advocates in the fight against AIDS are gathering for a conference today near the state capitol.

Leoneda Inge: The rate of new HIV cases in North Carolina is 41-percent higher than the national rate. Lisa Hazirjian is the Executive Director of North Carolina AIDS Action Network.

Lisa Hazirjian: It is very scary and it’s part of a southern situation where throughout the southeast we see disproportionately high incidents of new HIV infections.

A new facility for the treatment of HIV, AIDS and other infectious diseases opens today in Greensboro. It's a joint project between Moses Cone Memorial Hospital and HIV/AIDS care providers in North Carolina. Doctor Jeff Hatcher is the medical director of the clinic. He says it's the only infectious disease facility in the state that offers several different services in one place:

FHI worker Joseph Galloway detects holes in condoms by filling them with water.
Rose Hoban

When people think of global health, they might picture heroic doctors or selfless nurses. But many others work behind the scenes in global health, doing work that’s much less sexy, but equally essential.  Some of those people work here in the Triangle in a lab that tests life-preserving and life-saving products shipped around the world. Central to their work is testing condoms for safety and effectiveness.  In the next installment of our series, North Carolina Voices, Global Health Comes Home, Rose Hoban takes a visit to FHI’s product testing lab.