What We’re Reading

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A study released in this month’s issue of AIDS found that men and women undergoing a highly active antiretroviral therapy (HAART) regimen in South Africa were less sexually active than those who had not initiated HAART. Researchers followed more than 6200 HIV-positive men and women for seven years.  Treatment also reduced the number of partners and the frequency of unprotected sex.

A new mobile phone-based technology cuts diagnosis time for HIV-infected babies from three months to two weeks, maximizing their chances for survival. According to a story from SciDev, blood samples from infants are sent to a centralized laboratory for testing, and the Early Infant Diagnosis (EID) system allows these labs to send test results to local clinics instantly via short message service (SMS) to cell phones. The pilot program in Uganda, where there are only seven labs equipped to test for HIV, has more than doubled treatment rates in HIV-positive infants.

Another piece on the Center for Global Development blog analyzes why mobile phones have been successful in international development.

A study from Oxford University and South Africa’s University of the Witwaterstrand finds that children with caregivers suffering from AIDS are more likely to have educational and mental health issues. According to study authors, this is the first study to measure the effects of AIDS in caregivers on children.

New research from Massachusetts General Hospital and Harvard University shows that slight differences in five amino acids may account for why some people can suppress HIV with their immune system, making them healthier than other patients who cannot do the same. Researchers say this may provide an important clue about how to create a vaccine to prevent against AIDS.

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