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
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
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
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
The HIV vaccine field is just now beginning to recover from the disappointments of prior large-scale vaccine studies and is beginning to show momentum, but where is that momentum headed? While much has been learned from those prior studies and vaccinology in general, one could well argue that HIV vaccine efforts are not as robust as they could be, likewise they do not take into consideration the overall picture of the requirements for an HIV vaccine. In particular, AIDS is a pandemic requiring cost-effective treatment. Even a partially active vaccine would have great benefit if they were cost-effective, easy to use and safe.
Continue reading Taking stock of current HIV vaccine efforts