An Unseen Storm

Despite the success of ARV’s, Toxoplasmosis still remains a serious medical concern for people with HIV/AIDS
By Christopher Romano & Timothy Ray Brown

The protozoan intracellular parasite, toxoplasma gondii (toxo), is still one of the most causative agents of disease and death in HIV/AIDS patients even in the post combination antiretroviral therapy era. Estimates indicate that 30 to 50 percent of humans carry the parasite which often causes toxoplasmic encephalitis in immunocompromised populations. Toxoplasmosis remains profoundly under studied and underfunded as evidenced by the fact no one will be talking about this devastating pathogen at this year’s IAS International Conference on HIV Science.

Continue reading An Unseen Storm

Dollars and Sense in the Era of Tooth and Claw

Chad S. Johnson and Chris Romano

The emergence of another fiscal cliff bogyman has been deterred for a few weeks, as the House, allowing a welcome reprieve from countdown clocks and diatribes about the end of western civilization as we know it, prepares for summer recess. We were all thoroughly distracted by the ache and convolutions of our elected officials bemoaning one another’s consistent failure to produce solutions that don’t devalue the gratuity of their corporate benefactors. People living with HIV/AIDS around the country, and around the world – and their family and friends – sat before the late night glare of 24/7 media outlets, wondering if the rational, genuine commitment to saving the essential benefits of millions of people is even a slight priority for the Trump Administration and its congressional allies.

Continue reading Dollars and Sense in the Era of Tooth and Claw

Other Dragons at our Feet

The impact of the economic policies of a crazed administration on “Getting to Zero” and other necromancy at IAS 2017

Chad S. Johnson and Chris Romano

At IAS2016 in Durban, South Africa, we never truly anticipated being witnesses to the specter of an unprecedented economic and political unraveling of progress towards defeating this generation’s signature epidemic. The well-intentioned speeches, proclamations, and community building in Durban, realized on that idyllic Indian Ocean coast, now seem distant and naïve, as U.S. communities like Baltimore, Rochester, and the South Bronx fight against the threatened regressive policies of Washington.  As poverty and AIDS have come to be constant companions, without effective advocacy and scientific breakthroughs, scarcity and disease are settling in for an unwelcome, extended stay.

Continue reading Other Dragons at our Feet

Nevada Department of Corrections Discrimination Against HIV- Positive Inmates

A recent Justice Department report has cited extensive discriminatory and stigmatizing policies by the Nevada Department of Corrections. The NDC institutes a policy that houses inmates living with HIV apart from the general population, based on unfounded and scientifically disproven fears that HIV can be casually contracted.

Continue reading Nevada Department of Corrections Discrimination Against HIV- Positive Inmates

Oral Care & Viral Reservoirs

Oral Report
Could something as simple as oral care affect viral reservoirs?

Research performed at Case Western found increased levels of HIV in the saliva and blood of people who had severe periodontitis (inflammation of the gums around the teeth). They discovered byproducts of bacteria, called metabolic small chain fatty acid (SCFA), that are associated with periodontitis, which can work together to awaken dormant HIV and cause it to reactivate, leading to an increase in residual HIV.

Continue reading Oral Care & Viral Reservoirs