News & Events

It can treat AIDS, say Indian researchers at the World Homeopathy Summit in Hyderabad, on Saturday.
A breakthrough research by Hyderabad-based JSPS Government Homeopathic Medical College, and Indian Institute of Chemical Technology (IICT), extracted some homeopathic medicine from snake venom, Crotalus Horridus. It shows that it can stop the multiplication of the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV), according to dna.


Good News for Prevention of HIV AIds 

Developers hope the BioSure HIV Self Test will help identify the estimated 26,000 people in Britain who have HIV but do not yet know.
“Knowing your HIV status is critical and the launch of this product will empower people to discreetly test themselves when it is convenient to them and in a place where they feel comfortable,” explained BioSure founder Brigette Bard.
Early diagnosis reduces the risk of passing the disease on to other people and also raises the success rate of modern treatments, which now make the disease manageable.


People diagnosed late are 11 times more likely to die in the first year after diagnosis,” she added.
The kit reacts to antibodies — proteins made in response to the virus — in a drop of the person’s blood, producing two purple lines in the event of a positive diagnosis.
The self-test, which is only available via the Internet, can only detect antibodies three months after the patient has become infected meaning it cannot diagnose the virus before then.
All positive results must be confirmed by professional health workers, experts said.
Rosemary Gillespie, chief executive at HIV charity Terrence Higgins Trust, said it was “great to see the first self-test kits being approved.
“However, it is important to make sure people can get quick access to support when they get their result.”
Currently, those who fear they may have been infected have to collect a blood sample at home and send it to a laboratory, waiting five days for the result.
There are almost 110,000 people in Britain living with HIV, which can lead to AIDS if the sufferer’s immune system becomes badly damaged.
A similar test in the US has been available since 2012, giving a result in around 30 minutes from a sample of the person’s saliva or blood




While testing a recently developed molecule, JP-III-48, on samples from HIV-positive patients, researchers at the University of Montreal in Canada observed something groundbreaking. The molecule had the ability to open up HIV “like a flower.” Although this finding is still in its early stages, the team hopes it may set the foundation for new preventive HIV measures and even possibly a way to eliminate the virus from those already infected.

Part of the reason why scientists find it so difficult to create a vaccine for HIV is that the virus has a unique way of evading the immune system. Although the host creates antibodies against HIV, without a way to physically reach the virus, it is difficult for the human body to mount an effective immune response against it. A recent study, now published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, suggests a way around HIV’s defenses.

The virus is similar to a tightly sealed can. Figuring out a way to “open” HIV would allow antibodies to reach the most vulnerable parts of the virus and eliminate infection.

Harvard and University of Pennsylvania researchers developed JP-III-48, but Montreal researchers were the first to successfully test it on HIV-positive patients. The molecule imitates CD4, a protein located on the surface of T lymphocytes. CD4 acts as a doorway to the T cell and allows HIV to enter and infect. It was in the Montreal study that the researchers added JP-III-48 to the serum of patients infected with HIV-1 (the most common form of HIV) and witnessed the flower-opening effect.

“Adding the small molecule forces the viral envelop to open like a flower,” lead author of the study, Jonathan Richard, explained in a press release. The molecule forces the virus to expose parts which are recognized by the host’s antibodies. The antibodies then create a sort of bridge with some cells in the immune system and form an attack. “The antibodies that are naturally present after the infection can then target the infected cells so they are killed by the immune system,” Richard added.

So far, JP-III-48’s effect on HIV has only been observed in serum taken from HIV-positive patients, but the researchers hope to soon test this “can opener” molecule on primates with a simian version of the virus.

The researchers speculate that this discovery could have huge potential in research into developing a vaccine against HIV. Another factor that makes HIV so difficult to fight is that even if the virus is completely eradicated from the body, traces of it still remain dormant in HIV "resevoirs," waiting to return once treatments cease. The team believes that the “can opener” molecule can play a role in overcoming this defense. If scientists can develop a way to “shock” the HIV traces out of hiding, then they can be killed using the “can opener” molecule and already present antibodies.


Study Confirms Benefits of Early HIV Treatment


By the Editors

Early treatment for patients with HIV is associated with over a 50% reduction in risk for serious illness or death, according to study data released by the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID).

In the START study, over 4500 asymptomatic people with HIV and CD4+ cell counts >500 were randomized to receive immediate antiretroviral therapy or to wait until the count dropped to 350. In an interim analysis, after roughly 3 years' follow-up, there were 41 cases of AIDS, serious non-AIDS events, or death in the early-treatment group versus 86 in the deferred-treatment group.

In a news release, NIAID Director Anthony S. Fauci said, "Early therapy conveys a double benefit, not only improving the health of individuals but at the same time, by lowering their viral load, reducing the risk they will transmit HIV to others. These findings have global implications for the treatment of HIV."

When to START ART? No Longer a Question


The results of the START study support starting antiretroviral therapy in all HIV-infected patients, even those with high CD4-cell counts.


U.S. guidelines recommend starting antiretroviral therapy (ART) in all HIV-infected patients. Until now, however, randomized trials supporting this approach in patients with high CD4-cell counts have been lacking. To address this issue, START trial investigators randomized adults with CD4 counts >500 cells/mm3 to either initiate ART immediately or defer therapy until the count fell to ≤350/mm3. Based on an interim review in May 2015 (NEJM JW Infect Dis Jul 2015), the trial was stopped early; now the results have been published.

START enrolled 4685 patients in 35 countries. The median baseline CD4 count was 651 cells/mm3. In the deferred group, the median CD4 count at ART initiation was 408 cells/mm3. Patients were followed for a mean of 3 years. The main findings:

  • Incidence of the primary composite endpoint — any serious AIDS-related event, serious non–AIDS-related event, or death — was 57% lower in the immediate-ART arm than in the deferred arm (0.60 vs. 1.38 events per 100 person-years). In both groups, most events occurred when CD4 counts were >500 cells/mm3.

  • Immediate ART reduced both AIDS-related and non–AIDS-related events, but the benefit was greater for the former (hazard ratios, 0.28 and 0.61, respectively).

  • Tuberculosis, Kaposi sarcoma, and lymphoma — the most common AIDS-related events — all occurred less frequently in the immediate-ART group.

  • Cancer rates (combining AIDS and non-AIDS malignancies) were lower in the immediate-ART group, but cardiovascular disease rates were similar between groups.

  • The benefits of immediate ART were similar between high-income and low/ moderate-income regions.


It is fitting that the START trial results are being presented this week in Vancouver, the same place where successful combination ART was first announced at a meeting almost 20 years ago. The theme of that earlier meeting was “One World, One Hope,” highlighting the gap we face to this day. If (as expected) the WHO recommends ART for all, the gap between the number on treatment worldwide (15 million) and the number needing therapy (37 million) will grow. START represents the closing of one chapter — ART is indicated for all — but the continuation of the challenge put to us in 1996: Diagnose, engage, and treat all people living with HIV.

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A new HIV drug could mean the end of daily pills even sooner than expected. But it also would mean injecting yourself twice a week.

PRO 140, manufactured by Cytodyn, is an injectable antibody that already has shown complete viral supression for more than 10 months in two patients in phase II clinical trials. Because not all of the 21 patients in the trial received the drug at the same time, some only have demonstrated viral suppression for six months. 

Cytodyn is a manmade antibody, not a synthetic drug, and so far has shown no toxicities.

HIV Equal listened in Friday afternoon on an investor update for the drug. While the presentation contained several “forward-looking statements,” which essentially can be described as speculation, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and National Institutes of Health (NIH) have shown confidence in PRO 140.

The FDA has given the drug fast-track designation, and the NIH has funneled more than $20 million toward research, including $8 million to test the drug in patients with substance abuse-induced adherence problems.

Use of the drug calls for patients injecting themselves with it twice weekly – once in each thigh. Cytodyn hopes to get its NDA (new drug application) to the FDA as early as November of next year. If approved it could become the first injectable antibody in the world to treat HIV, with potential revenues of $1 billion annually, investors were told Friday.

Phase III trials are set to begin soon in patients who have failed to achieve viral suppression with their current regimens. Cytodyn will be given a week to show efficacy. If the drug achieves a success threshold of about half of what it demonstrated in phase II in terms of viral suppression, the other half of the 300-person blinded placebo trial will be given the drug, too.

PRO 140 works as a viral entry inhibitor, meaning it actually blocks HIV from entering a cell. Most medications work by inhibiting the enzymes HIV needs to replicate once it gets inside the cell.

“The PRO 140 antibody appears to be a powerful antiviral agent leading to potentially fewer side effects and less frequent dosing requirements as compared to daily drug therapies currently in use,” the company declared in a news release. 

The inventor of PRO 140, Dr. Paul Maddon, will be overseeing the phase III trials. “Maddon is a molecular virologist and immunologist who has made major contributions to our understanding of HIV entry and infection,” the news release stated. “As a graduate student at Columbia University, he isolated the gene encoding CD4 and demonstrated that CD4 serves as the primary receptor for entry of HIV into immune system cells.  While at Progenics (another biotech company), Dr. Maddon and his collaborators discovered that a second receptor, CCR5, is also required for HIV entry.  He led the discovery and development of PRO 140, a humanized monoclonal antibody to CCR5 designed to treat HIV infection.”