Virology: Weapons of mutational destruction
An oft-proposed strategy for fighting viral infections is to design drugs that induce a high rate of mutation, potentially causing the viruses to succumb to "error catastrophe." A recent cluster of papers describes a new function for a cellular protein called APOBEC3G that may act in just this way to block the replication of retroviruses such as HIV.
By Vineet N. KewalRamani and John M. Coffin
Antiretroviral drugs for tuberculosis control in the era of HIV/AIDS
Antiretroviral (ARV) drugs can prevent TB by preserving immunity but cohort analysis shows that early therapy, plus high levels of coverage and compliance, will be needed to avert a significant fraction of TB cases. However, ARVs could enhance the treatment of TB while TB programs provide an important entry point for the treatment of HIV/AIDS.
By Brian G. Williams and Christopher Dye
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Prevalence of unsafe sexual behavior among HIV-infected individuals
The Swiss HIV Cohort Study: There is no evidence that self-reported unsafe sexual behavior is more prevalent among HIV-infected individuals with optimal viral suppression. However, unsafe sex is associated with other factors. Journal of Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndromes 33(4), 494, 1 August 2003.
New York City: Report finds low condom use, HIV testing
A new report by the city's Department of Health and Mental Hygiene found that 42 percent of New Yorkers with multiple sexual partners said they did not use a condom the last time they had sex. As many as 1 in 4 HIV positive New Yorkers does not know s/he is infected.
Desperate labs: Monkeys wanted
Public-health crises ranging from AIDS to the fear of bioterrorism have led to a monkey shortage that has scientists paying $5,000 to $10,000 per monkey, buying one another's "used" primates, even trading in monkey futures rights to rhesus macaques in the womb.
Plasmid chemokines and colony-stimulating factors enhance the immunogenicity of prime-boost vaccines
Plasmid cytokines can markedly improve the immunogenicity of DNA prime-viral vector boost vaccine strategies and can partially compensate for antivector immunity. Journal of Virology 77(16), 8729-8735, August 2003.
South African hospitals a 'high AIDS infection risk'
A shocking picture of poor clinical practice, inadequate sterilisation facilities and a high HIV/AIDS prevalence rate among young health-care workers, has emerged from preliminary findings of a national study of health-care workers conducted by the Human Sciences Research Council (HSRC), and presented at the South African National AIDS conference. (See also recent AIDScience article here).