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Top 10 HIV Clinical Developments of 2012

December 2012

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Obama Wins

No matter whether you are red, blue or purple in the face, the re-election of President Barack Obama is a big deal if you treat HIV infection. Foremost, Jan. 20, 2013 will not be Day 1 of a renewed effort to repeal the Affordable Care Act (ACA). The ACA will proceed.

Meanwhile, get those Medicaid application forms ready, because a few more million people will become eligible for this public health program. Practically, this may mean more people living with HIV, especially men, will be able to get their medications at no cost. It could also promote health care engagement for people such as young MSM, who generally don't see doctors; this may allow for more testing and counseling.

What happens to ADAP? Will HIV-infected patients be shunted to Federally Qualified Health Centers? Will states make up their own sets of care packages that short-change patients? These and many other questions will need to be answered. However, this is a big deal -- and we will all begin to deal with it over the year to come.

David Alain Wohl, M.D., is an associate professor of medicine in the Division of Infectious Diseases at the University of North Carolina and site leader of the University of North Carolina AIDS Clinical Trials Unit at Chapel Hill.


Copyright © 2012 Remedy Health Media, LLC. All rights reserved.
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Reader Comments:

Comment by: Ashley (QMsiijnYJx) Thu., Jan. 10, 2013 at 10:18 am EST
the HIV virus is very fragile once it is oudtsie of the human body. when it is exposed to the air, it dies in about 2 hours. so, dried semen will only have dead HIV cells. you are safe.
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Comment by: Mani (UubwaSyASLWZnBAlN) Thu., Jan. 10, 2013 at 9:29 am EST
I've talked to both my patrens about it at differnt times. My mom thinks it nessasary. She knows that teens r going to have sex and they need to be educated.My dad thinks its better to be educated then to not know anythingI think sex-ed is needed for everyone. I never though my dad (the republican who was in the army) Would be so libral
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Comment by: harleymc Tue., Dec. 25, 2012 at 11:02 pm EST
I was very happy to read this article.
I'm someone who's been on combinations containing boosted PIs and suffer badly with them. When my current script runs out in a few days I'll be switching to TDF/FTC/rilpivirine + raltegravir (already on the raltegravir). It was reassurring to read of an improvement in outcomes.

It's one thing to have a fabulous viral load but when side effects are both vile and life threatening, a change sounds brilliant.
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Comment by: Anonymous Mon., Dec. 17, 2012 at 10:48 am EST
good message of hope
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Comment by: Sean (Dublin, Ireland) Fri., Dec. 14, 2012 at 6:38 am EST
Thanks for the section called "The Cure Agenda". If YOU are feeling optimistic, that makes me feel optimistic.

Happy Yule!
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Comment by: Patrick D (South Deerfield, MA) Thu., Dec. 13, 2012 at 3:56 pm EST
Dr. Wohl writes "In the past, I have played with the HIV therapies of patients doing well, and on more than a few occasions I have been burned," then describes some of the benefits that may come from switching from a more complex drug regime to a more simplified one. Dr. Wohl clearly has his patients best interests in mind, but I want to remind him that when a switch in meds fails (temporarily or permanently) for patients who had been doing well on an older regime, it isn't the doctor who gets burned, it's the patient. I have had occasion to remind my own doctors of this, when they seem to want to fiddle with a regime that is working perfectly well, with negligible side effects, for no other reason than to put their signature on my treatment.

It can indeed be a benefit to simplify a drug regime, especially for patients who have trouble taking their meds in the first place. But as I've reminded several doctors, for many HIV patients, HIV drugs are not the only drugs we're taking (and that's not taking supplements into account), so simplifying the HIV drug regime alone doesn't result in not taking other drugs at other times of the day, and thus may not be a strong reason for changing a regime that's working.
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