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Treatment in asymptomatic individuals may speed up the development of deadlier virus strains

Even as researchers creep closer to eliminating the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) in some patients via intense multi-drug therapies and early treatment, researchers at the University of Southern California warn that the responsible treatment may give rise to new killer strains that resist drugs.

The USC study hits close to home as the Los Angeles county targets men who have sex with men (MSM) -- a high-risk group for HIV/AIDS -- with a so-called "test and treat" strategy.  The strategy pushes for universal testing -- particularly between MSM and other high-risk groups.  It calls for early retroviral drug treatment in individuals who test HIV positive.

The approach has thus far lowered the death rates and decreased the number of cases.

The USC researchers dug into data on MSM infections, which account for 82 percent of total known HIV infections nationwide.  Using data from the Centers for Disease Control, internal data, and knowledge of drug resistance, the researchers modeled the occurrence of drug resistant viral strains if the "test and treat" strategy was aggressively followed over the next several years.

The study suggests that the rates of multiple-drug-resistant HIV (MDR) could jump from 4.79 percent to 9.06 percent.

HIV treatment
Early HIV treatment may increase drug resistant viral strains.
[Image Source: Tomorrow Global]

The researchers say their results show a danger of over-treating the disease with drugs.  They suggest that while the widespread testing is a good idea, that the medical establishment should back off preemptive treatment in asymptomatic individuals.

USC Professor Neeraj Sood, who was a lead author on the study, suggests that much of the benefit comes from the knowledge of infection status.  He comments, "We’re not saying that testing everybody and treating everybody is bad. All we’re saying is that you should proceed with caution and closely monitor the prevalence of multi-drug-resistant HIV as you scale up the test and treat model.  Prior studies show a dramatic reduction in risk-taking behavior by individuals once they know their HIV-positive status."

The research was funded by the Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development and published in an edition of this month's Clinical Infectious Diseases journal.

Sources: USC [press release], Clinical Infectious Diseases [abstract]

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RE: Quicker Death or Drug Resistant HIV
By superstition on 3/26/2013 8:44:40 PM , Rating: 2
Pardon me for not feeling particularly sorry for this class of individuals.

Yeah, people deserve to get sick, suffer and die because they like having intimate contact with others. They should just blow each other up with drones. I hear there's a new medal being designed to celebrate that. Make war not love.
It looks like they started the spread of this virus

Ask Nancy Reagan why she and Ronald didn't speak about HIV publicly for seven years but did laugh at a comedian's AIDS joke.
and are now busy mutating it as well.

People evolved to have sex with each other. Unfortunately, viruses and bacteria also evolve.
All in the name of gratification.

That's why people get up in the morning rather than shooting themselves. They are gratified by the experience of living.

I suppose planet Earth would be in better condition if that were to change.

The point here is that judging people is all well and good, but it doesn't accomplish anything. Men evolved to want to have sex, lots of it. Gay men happen to not have women in the mix to resist that. They also don't have the ability to get married and raise a family in most states (and don't have national marriage recognition). It is a fact that risky sex practice frequency is correlated with the level of oppression. This is why black "MSM" have higher HIV rates than whites. It's not because blacks are inferior people. It's because society oppresses them more.

The origin of HIV is complex and may have started in Haiti sometime in the 1920s. In any case, it's absurd to blame gay men for spreading it when no one knew anything about its existence or function. It was originally called "gay cancer" because no one knew it was a virus. Reagan, as I said, covered up the disease and helped it to become an epidemic. If you want to find blame, look at him first.

Yes, people who have unsafe sex, especially anal sex, do bear responsibility today. At the same time, no one does these things due to their character alone. There are lot of influences that make this issue far more complex.

As far as I know, also, heterosexual sex is the largest source of HIV infection internationally today. It is not a "gay disease". Lesbians also have the lowest STD rates. If we're going to argue that they are superior people, then we should say they're superior to heterosexual males as well. Does that mean we should give male infants sex reassignment, to stop HIV transmission? After all, penile anal sex is by far the best conduit for the virus.

No one cares who you feel pity or empathy for, although empathy is something that separates a normal person from a serial killer.

By DrizztVD on 3/27/2013 8:08:13 AM , Rating: 2
Well, that worked better than I expected. This sh*t easy. I'm going to pop a champagne bottle cork now and celebrate my first troll post.

"This is from the It's a science website." -- Rush Limbaugh

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