News / Africa

Minutes After HIV Transmittal Can be Vital to AIDS Prevention

Dr. Anthony Fauci gives a media briefing at VOA, 7 July 2010
Dr. Anthony Fauci gives a media briefing at VOA, 7 July 2010

Multimedia

Audio
Joe DeCapua

A top U.S. health official says the first few minutes after HIV infection may be a window of opportunity to prevent the AIDS virus from firmly taking hold in the body.

The HIV that’s present during initial infection is different from the virus that replicates over time.  And that difference is very important.  So says Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID) at the National Institutes of Health.

“The events that occur within literally minutes to hours from the time a person gets exposed actually determines what’s going to happen for that person either getting infected or the nature of the disease and the opportunities to block those early events by either pre-exposure prophylaxis, microbicides or vaccines,” he says.

One example of pre-exposure prophylaxis is the use of anti-retroviral drugs as a preventive measure.  Currently, the drugs are most often administered after HIV infection is confirmed and the immune system is weakened.  Microbicides are a gel, cream or suppository that releases a drug.

Evolution of HIV

Fauci says, “We’re getting a very good feel that the virus that transmits to an individual is different a bit from the virus that ultimately evolves after months and years of replication.”

He describes the virus initially transmitted as being “very restricted in its diversity…which interestingly, may make it even easier to block than we would have thought.  Now having said that, we haven’t been successful in blocking anything right now.  But the nature of the virus is something that is very important.”

Fauci will discuss the “brief window of opportunity and vulnerability” at this month’s 18th International AIDS Conference in Vienna.

“Once the virus establishes itself and truly begins to replicate, it establishes what we call a reservoir that is almost impossible, with the tools that we have now, to eradicate,” he says.

Studying those early infections, Fauci says, could lead to insights for better prevention and treatment of HIV/AIDS and the development of a vaccine.

He says test results of a new microbicide will be released at the AIDS conference.  Past microbicides have failed to block HIV, but this candidate releases antiretroviral drugs.

Dr. Fauci made his statements at a news conference Wednesday held at VOA.

Watch or listen to the full briefing.

You May Like

China Investigates Former Powerful Security Chief

Former security chief and member of Politburo Standing Committee, Zhou Yongkang, under investigation for suspected 'serious disciplinary violation' More

India, US Look to Reset Ties During Kerry Visit

This week's talks will be first high level interaction between two countries since Prime Minister Narendra Modi took charge More

Video Young African Leadership Program Renamed to Honor Mandela

YALI program, launched by President Obama in 2010, aims to build skills in business, entrepreneurship, public management and civic leadership More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Vietnamese Staging Chinese Product Boycott After Oil Rig Spati
X
Reasey Poch
July 28, 2014 7:18 PM
China recently pulled an oil rig from an area of the disputed South China Sea that Vietnam also claims. Despite the action, the incident has had a lingering effect on consumers in Vietnam. VOA's Reasey Poch reports from Hanoi on an effort to boycott Chinese products.
Video

Video Vietnamese Staging Chinese Product Boycott After Oil Rig Spat

China recently pulled an oil rig from an area of the disputed South China Sea that Vietnam also claims. Despite the action, the incident has had a lingering effect on consumers in Vietnam. VOA's Reasey Poch reports from Hanoi on an effort to boycott Chinese products.
Video

Video ESA Spacecraft to Land on a Comet

After a long flight through deep space, a European Space Agency probe is finally approaching its target -- a comet millions of kilometers away from earth. Scientists say the mission may lead to some startling discoveries about the origins of the water on earth. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video Young Africans Arrive in US for Leadership Program

President Barack Obama's Young African Leadership Initiative has brought hundreds of young Africans to the United States for a six-week program aimed at building their knowledge and skills in fields such as public administration and business. Out of the 50,000 young Africans who applied for the program, just one percent was accepted. VOA's Laurel Bowman caught up with some of those who made the cut and has this report.
Video

Video In Honduras, Amnesty Rumors Fuel US Migration Surges

False rumors in Central America are fueling the current surge of undocumented young people being apprehended at the U.S. border. The inaccurate claims suggest the U.S. will give amnesty to young migrants from the region. As VOA's Brian Padden reports from Honduras, these rumors trace back to President Obama's 2012 executive order to halt deportations for some young undocumented immigrants already living in the United States.
Video

Video Students in Business for Themselves

They're only high school students, but they are making accessories for shoes, fabricating backpacks and doing product photography - all through their own businesses. It's the result of a partnership between a non-profit organization that teaches entrepreneurship and their schools. VOA's Mike O'Sullivan and Deyane Moses met the budding entrepreneurs near Los Angeles.
Video

Video Astronauts Train in Underwater Lab

In the world’s only underwater laboratory, four U.S. astronauts train for a planned visit to an asteroid. The lab - called Aquarius- is located five kilometers off Key Largo, in southern Florida. Living in close quarters and making excursions only into the surrounding ocean, they try to simulate the daily routine of a crew that will someday travel to collect samples of a rock orbiting far away from earth. VOA’s George Putic has more.

AppleAndroid