HIV

Craig McLaughlin grew up around tigers, ostriches, monkeys and other exotic animals on his step-father's farm in Pittsboro, N.C.
Craig McLaughlin

Craig McLaughlin was given 12 years to live when he was born with hemophilia in 1957. With the help of developments in medicine and some good fortune, McLaughlin exceeded the life expectancy and eventually started a family.

But along the way, he experienced hard bumps in the road. As a child, McLaughlin battled constant physical pain and social isolation. He was diagnosed with HIV from a blood transfusion as a young adult. 

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.

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.

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.

HIV & Sex

Aug 9, 2011

Dr. Myron Cohen presented a paper at this summer's Global AIDS Conference in Rome that caused a sensation. Cohen, a Distinguished Professor of Medicine, Microbiology and Immunology and Public Health at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, displayed a new treatment that would allow people with HIV to have normal sex lives without worrying about infecting their partners.

Researchers at UNC Chapel Hill will be leading an effort to find a cure for HIV AIDS. The National Institutes of Health awarded a $32 million, 5-year grant to UNC. That money will then be distributed to 19 different laboratories at 9 different academic institutions. David Margolis is a professor of medicine, microbiology, and immunology in the UNC School of Medicine and is a lead researcher with the project. He says previous efforts have lead to anti-retroviral drugs that have improved and prolonged the life of people with HIV.

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.

Cross-Cultural Research Provides Links to Durham

Jun 30, 2010
Study Coordinator Randy Rogers at Juneteenth Festival with research associates Kim Gibson and Alexandria Horne
Rose Hoban

Drug treatments for HIV have given new hope to patients with the virus. But the Holy Grail for researchers is finding a way to prevent HIV from being transmitted in the first place. Scientists are testing vaccines, drugs, gels that kill the virus – all without success. The only way to prevent HIV transmission – still – is to convince people to change their behavior. And that’s not easy.  A group of people in Durham are trying to find better methods for HIV prevention – and they’re using techniques refined by researchers working in other cultures.