HIV

Juni Asiyo wearing traditional Kenyan clothing.
Juni Asiyo

Sub-Saharan Africa has the most serious HIV and AIDS epidemic in the world. In 2012, roughly 25 million people were living with HIV, accounting for nearly 70 percent of the global total. 

The battle is ongoing, as researchers, educators, and doctors continue to work to stop AIDS once and for all.

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. 

HIV microscope image, virus, disease
Duke University

In the last year, Durham County has seen about 100 new cases of HIV reported. It's also seen about 20 new cases of syphilis.

Generally speaking, that's on par with other metro areas in the state, which are seeing more cases of STDs, while North Carolina's rural areas are seeing a decline.

It's hard to know what is accounting for the rise. The most obvious possibility is an increase in unsafe sexual activity. But there's also a chance that, as screening becomes more commonplace and more effective, we're simply identifying more cases that were there to begin with.

HIV microscope image, virus, disease
Duke University

Duke researchers say a protein in breast milk may be a key in preventing babies from contracting HIV from their infected mothers. 

The protein Tenascin-C is produced by the body to aid in helping wounds heal.  Doctors found after isolating the breast milk component that it neutralizes HIV transfer even as breast-fed babies are exposed multiple times daily.  

Sallie Permar is a professor of pediatrics at Duke.  She says their questions now center on moms with HIV.

For more than a decade, the number of people in our nation who've newly contracted HIV has gone down two percent. But the South doesn't share in that small victory. During the same period of time, the number of people contracting the virus in the South has risen 36 percent.

Logo for ONE CALL, an HIV call center.
NC School of Public Health

A new statewide call center at UNC-Chapel Hill called ONE CALL will connect people diagnosed with HIV to the medical care, counseling, and other resources they need.

More than three quarters of those living with HIV in North Carolina do not seek treatment. Those who do receive proper treatment have a normal life expectancy and are much less likely to pass the virus on the their partners.

HIV microscope image, virus, disease
Duke University

Researchers at Duke University are using a flaw in an HIV vaccine in order to develop new formulas to fight off the virus. 

HIV microscope image, virus, disease
Duke University

Duke University researchers are several steps closer to developing a vaccine to help the body fight HIV. 

A team of doctors was able to find and track down rare  individuals whose immune systems can produce enough antibodies to combat the virus that causes AIDS. 

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.

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.

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