1. Pets makes it easier for women to fight HIV
The fight against HIV becomes a tad easier if you have pets around, says a new study. Having pets like dogs or cats makes things easier for women affected by HIV. The study conducted by the Case Western Research University aims at finding newer ways to help women fight HIV and other chronic illnesses. The research focuses on the factors that make HIV positive women manage their illness and follow the medical expert’s advice and take medications routinely all at one go. Twelve focus groups comprising of forty eight women were organized to arrive at the conclusions about the research topic.
2. Antiviral drugs may trigger birth defects
n order to prevent the disease from getting transmitted to their children, HIV positive mothers take a variety of antiretroviral drugs. While the drug does certainly prevent babies from being born with the deadly HIV virus, it can trigger a plethora of birth defects like palate and cleft lip all the same, says a new research. In the study, researchers have tried exploring the links, if any, between palate and cleft lip and antiretroviral drugs. The study has found a close link of 26 palates and cleft lip events to antiviral drugs like nelfinavir, efavirenz and abacavir. The drugs showed considerably high odd ratios. While the study may not establish casualty, it certainly points at the possibilities of an association.
3. Middle age divorced women more prone to HIV contractions
Middle age divorced women are more vulnerable to an HIV contraction than their unmarried younger counterparts, says a new research. The study, led by an assistant professor from the University of Pennsylvania, shows that divorced women have fewer inhibitions about indulging in unprotected sex compared to unmarried girls. Since older women are not afraid of getting pregnant, they shed their guard during sexual encounters with multiple partners quite easily. This makes them vulnerable to sexually transmitted diseases like HIV, the study reveals. In addition, with growing age, physiological changes take place inside a woman’s body to make her more susceptible to a virus contraction.
4. Secrets of an old drug for treating HIV unearthed
An old drug, abandoned by the community since the emergence of modern anti-retroviral therapies, is once again creating news. In a research conducted by the University of California, the scientists revealed the precise mechanism through which the drug fights diseases and infections. Called interferon, the drug is based on a variant of protein produced naturally by the human body to fight infections. Purified interferon was suggested in the early days of HIV because the drug succeeded in alleviating a majority of the symptoms. However, little was known of the interferon’s functionalities. Recent experiments have shown how the drug works to suppress HIV viruses. The new work seeks to highlight the mysterious constituents of the human immune system, called restriction factors. These are chemicals produced by the body to prevent HIV from getting other cells infected. Interferon works by mediating the functionalities of two restriction factors, the new findings reveal.
5. Researchers discover the real ways in which the human immune system fights HIV
A group of researchers at the New York University Langone Medical Center have discovered the exact mechanism used by the immune system to prevent HIV viruses from spreading. If harnessed, the mechanism can lead therapeutic research into a new era of development. Virus researches, especially those delving in HIV, are aimed at trying to figure out the resistance mechanisms applied by the body. Next, they concentrate on unearthing the reasons behind the virus’ win over such mechanisms. The research primarily focused on a variety of protein known as SAMHD1. Studies show that dendritic cells which contain the protein are very much resistant to HIV infections. Ever since the discovery came to the fore, scientists have been working on the particular characteristics of SAMHDH1 that help keep the cells protected.