Tag Archives: HIV

Turing Pharma CEO Martin Shkreli defrauded investors with ‘a web of lies,’ prosecutor says

Drug company executive was vilified for dramatically boosting drug prices

By CBC News

Pharmaceutical entrepreneur Martin Shkreli, vilified for buying up drug companies and then dramatically boosting the prices of some medications, has been charged by the FBI with securities fraud related to his former hedge fund and a drug company he once ran.

Shkreli, 32, currently the CEO of Turing Pharmaceuticals, was taken into custody at his New York City home Thursday.

Read more » CBC
See more » http://www.cbc.ca/news/business/martin-shkreli-arrest-fbi-1.3369271

 

British superbug outbreak ‘could kill 80,000’

Exclusive: A Government report warns that tens of thousands could die because of new strains of bacteria and viruses resistant to drugs

By

Up to 80,000 people in Britain could die in a single outbreak of an infection due to a new generation of superbugs, according to an official Government forecast.

In total, some 200,000 people could be infected if a strain of disease resistant to antibiotics took hold, according to official forecasts which reveal the potential casualty toll for the first time.

Within 20 years, outbreaks of common flu could become “serious” for patients as drugs become useless and routine surgery could be curtailed due to the risk of infection, it is warned.

Scientists are increasingly concerned about the impact of antimicrobial resistance (AMR), which makes routine antibiotics or antivirals drugs ineffective against diseases that have formerly been brought under control.

It would mean that the huge gains made since the discovery of penicillin in curbing conditions such as pneumonia and tuberculosis and rendering surgery and childbirth safe could be lost.

David Cameron has warned that such a scenario would see the world “cast back into the dark ages of medicine”.

The new figures are given in the National Risk Register of Civil Emergencies, a document compiled by the Cabinet Office that assesses the challenges posed by terrorism, disease, natural disasters and industrial strife.

For the first time, it contains an assessment of the dangers posed by AMR, which it describes as a “particularly serious” issue for the UK.

The document says: “Without effective antibiotics, even minor surgery and routine operations could become high-risk procedures, leading to increased duration of illness and ultimately premature mortality. Much of modern medicine, for example organ transplantation, bowel surgery and some cancer treatments may become unsafe due to the risk of infection. In addition, influenza pandemics would become more serious without effective treatments.”

It adds: “The number of infections complicated by AMR are expected to increase markedly over the next 20 years. If a widespread outbreak were to occur, we could expect around 200,000 people to be affected by a bacterial blood infection that could not be treated effectively with existing drugs, and around 80,000 of these might die.

“High numbers of deaths could also be expected from other forms of antimicrobial resistant infection.”

Already, there are no longer any effective drugs against one strain of E.coli, a bacterial infection that can prove lethal.

Analysts have also looked at the potential casualties from an increasing drug resistance in Klebsiella pneumonia, a form of bacterial pneumonia, and Staphylococcus aureus, a skin infection, as well as HIV, tuberculosis and malaria.

Read more » The Telegraph
See more » http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/health/news/11517558/British-superbug-outbreak-could-kill-80000.html

Immune upgrade gives ‘HIV shielding’

By James Gallagher Health and science reporter, BBC News

Doctors have used gene therapy to upgrade the immune system of 12 patients with HIV to help shield them from the virus’s onslaught.

It raises the prospect of patients no longer needing to take daily medication to control their infection.

The patients’ white blood cells were taken out of the body, given HIV resistance and then injected back in.

The small study, published in the New England Journal of Medicine, suggested the technique was safe.

Some people are born with a very rare mutation that protects them from HIV.

It changes the structure of their T-cells, a part of the immune system, so that the virus cannot get inside and multiply.

Read more » BBC
http://www.bbc.com/news/health-26451427

Bee Venom Destroys Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV)

Nanoparticles carrying a toxin found in bee venom can destroy human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) while leaving the surrounding cells unharmed. The research was conducted by the Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis. The Nanoparticles carry melittin, which is the principal active component of bee venom. Melittin fuses with the HIV virus and destroys it’s protective envelope while molecular bumpers prevent the nanoparticles from harming the body’s normal cells. Bee venom is known to disrupt cellular walls and destroy tumour cells as well.

Bee venom contains a potent toxin called melittin that can poke holes in the protective envelope that surrounds HIV, and other viruses. Large amounts of free melittin can cause a lot of damage. Indeed, in addition to anti-viral therapy, the paper’s senior author, Samuel A. Wickline, MD, the J. Russell Hornsby Professor of Biomedical Sciences, has shown melittin-loaded nanoparticles to be effective in killing tumor cells.

The new study shows that melittin loaded onto these nanoparticles does not harm normal cells. That’s because Hood added protective bumpers to the nanoparticle surface. When the nanoparticles come into contact with normal cells, which are much larger in size, the particles simply bounce off. HIV, on the other hand, is even smaller than the nanoparticle, so HIV fits between the bumpers and makes contact with the surface of the nanoparticle, where the bee toxin awaits. (1)

Most anti-HIV drugs inhibit the virus’s ability to replicate. This is an anti-replication strategy that does nothing to stop the infection, and many strains of the virus have found ways around these drugs and continue reproducing. Given this discovery, a new vaginal gel could possibly be used in places where HIV is prominent. It can be used as a preventative measure to stop the initial infection and prevent the spread of HIV. The bee venom HIV study was published a several days ago in the journal Antiviral Therapy.

More than 34 million people are living with HIV/AIDS worldwide, and over 3 million of them are under the age of 15. Everyday, thousands of people contract HIV around the world.

– See more at: http://www.collective-evolution.com/2013/03/13/bee-venom-destroys-human-immunodeficiency-virus-hiv/#sthash.7Amjn3a3.dpuf

Drug Policies Fuel Deadly Hepatitis C Epidemic

Punitive Approach Endangering Public Health

(New York) – Governments should ensure that efforts to reduce illicit drug use do not increase vulnerability to infection with hepatitis C or impede access to treatment, Human Rights Watch said today in response to a report by the Global Commission on Drug Policy. The report, released on May 30, 2013, urges reform of existing drug policies to protect public health, minimize human rights violations, and ensure access to health care for drug users.

The 20-page report, “The Negative Impact of the War on Drugs on Public Health: The Hidden Hepatitis C Epidemic,” was released in advance of the 23rd International Harm Reduction Conference, Vilnius, Lithuania, June 9 to 12.  Lithuania lies on the frontiers of the world’s fastest growing hepatitis C and HIV epidemics in Eastern Europe and Central Asia.

“Punitive drug laws expose drug users to unnecessary illness and even death from hepatitis C,” said Rebecca Schleifer, health and human rights advocacy director at Human Rights Watch. “The epidemic makes it urgent for governments to reform these laws to protect both drug users and the public health.”

The report recommends urgent and wide-ranging reforms of international drug control policies to protect the health and other human rights of drug users.

The report says that repressive drug policies have failed to reduce the worldwide illicit drug supply, and fueled the growth of organized crime, violence, and mass incarceration of people who use drugs. These failed policies have also fueled a “viral time bomb” – a massive hepatitis C epidemic that threatens serious and long-term global human, social, and economic costs.

Human Rights Watch research in many countries including the US,Ukraine, Russia, Thailand, Canada, Kazakhstan, and Bangladesh – has documented how criminal laws relating to drug use and possession for personal use, and related law enforcement practices drive people away from lifesaving information and health services.

Continue reading Drug Policies Fuel Deadly Hepatitis C Epidemic

Situation dire as spending on health declines

By Nasir Iqbal

ISLAMABAD: The Economic Survey 2010-11 has painted a bleak picture of the health sector, particularly with regard to the infectious and other diseases.

According to the survey report, the HIV epidemic has moved from a low-prevalence to concentrated state with 90,000 to 100,000 people testing positive for the virus — about 0.1 per cent of the total population.

As the situation unfolds, the crisis among high-risk groups, especially the users of injected drugs, is getting deeper. The total number of full-blown AIDS cases stands at 3,050. A recent survey among the high-risk groups indicates an average HIV prevalence of 20 per cent among consumers of injected drugs.

The survey noted that Pakistan still ranked eighth among the countries with the highest burden of tuberculosis (TB) in the world. The disease accounts for 5.1 per cent of the total national disease burden.

About drug abuse, which is spreading fast and affecting the country in many ways, the survey said the menace entailed heavy social and economic costs. ….

Read more : DAWN

Diet may help to control Aids!

Why are some people with Aids (Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome) actually HIV- negative? The old traditional wisdom tells that a healthy person easily resists foreign invaders, while a weak one is susceptible to almost every thing. Based on this philosophy a healthy diet is an important to control the Aids.
Fresh washed vegetables are rich in several vitamins, mineral and antioxidants. Raw vegetable and fruits are good source of enzymes. Vitamin C and E work together as a team to fight with free radicals to save us from a damage to our system. Aids patients need considerable amounts of vitamin C to build immunity to protect against the infection. Vitamin C stimulates white cell activity and helps the cells to surround viruses, different studies supports vitamin Cs ability to inhibit the replication of HIV and other pathogenic microorganisms. This may help: Taking 1 gram (1000 mg) vitamin C five times a day everyday may helps not to spread Aids quickly. The human friendly bacteria which found in yogurt help rebuild the micro flora in the intestine that have been weakened by repeated antibiotic. Therefore, yogurt has immune- boosting effects. Garlic has great antiviral properties; it works as a natural antibiotic, antiviral and anti-fungal. It has proven effectiveness again viruses such as herpes I, II, and shingles because of its ability to suppress human cytomegalovirus in vitro it may work against HIV virus. Garlic helps to protect from free radical damage and it eliminate toxins from the system. Garlic is contains allicin. Allicin compound is an antibacterial and antiviral agent. Vitamin B complex  daily is important for building up red blood cells and activating natural killer cells. Vitamin E is a powerful antioxidant to help increase the cell’s antiviral capabilities. Magnesium and Zinc are trace minerals. Several studies show that the supplement of 10 mg of Magnesium and 05 mg of Zinc improves immune function of the body.  And the juice of greens or fresh vegetables such as Carrots, beets, garlic, ginger, lemons, and bitter melon is a good and may help to reduce spreading Aids. Try not to consume sugar and sugar products, Cake and cookie products, and white flour products because it literally feed the virus to grow quickly. Eat deep water fish. Drink 8 to 12 glasses of crystal clean fresh water.