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According to a new study published in Science Translational Medicine, a 10th of children have a “monkey-like” immune system that stops them developing AIDS.

The study found the children’s immune systems were “keeping calm”, which prevented them being wiped out.

An untreated HIV infection will kill 60% of children within two and a half years, but the equivalent infection in monkeys is not fatal.

The findings could lead to new immune-based therapies for HIV infection.

HIV eventually wipes out the immune system, leaving the body vulnerable to other infections, what is known as acquired human immunodeficiency syndrome (AIDS).UNAIDS report 2015

The researchers analyzed the blood of 170 children from South Africa who had HIV, had never had antiretroviral therapy and yet had not developed AIDS.

Tests showed they had tens of thousands of human immunodeficiency viruses in every milliliter of their blood.

This would normally send their immune system into overdrive, trying to fight the infection, or simply make them seriously ill, but neither had happened.

Counter-intuitively, not attacking the virus seems to save the immune system.

HIV kills white blood cells – the warriors of the immune system.

When the body’s defenses go into overdrive, even more of them can be killed by chronic levels of inflammation.

For scientists, the way the 10% of children cope with the virus has striking similarities to the way more than 40 non-human primate species cope with simian immunodeficiency virus or SIV.

They have had hundreds of thousands of years to evolve ways to tackle the infection.

This defense against AIDS is almost unique to children.

Adult humans’ immune systems tend to go all-out to finish off the virus in a campaign that nearly always ends in failure.

Children have a relatively tolerant immune system, which becomes more aggressive in adulthood – chickenpox, for example, is far more severe in adults due to the way the immune system reacts.

This does mean that as the protected children age and their immune system matures, there is a risk of them developing AIDS.

Some do, some remain AIDS-free.

People with HIV can have normal life-expectancy if they have access to antiretroviral drugs.

But their super-heated immune system never returns to normal, and they face greater risks of cardiovascular disease, cancer and dementia.


Charlie Sheen is confirming he is HIV positive as he appears on NBC’s Today show.

“I am here to admit that I am HIV positive,” the former Two And A Half Men star said.

The news bring to an end days of intense media speculation.

“I have to put a stop to this onslaught this barrage of attacks and of sub truths,” Charlie Sheen said, adding he was diagnosed four years ago.

Charlie Sheen revealed he had paid “enough to take it into the millions” to keep people from going public about his illness over the years.

The said when he revealed his HIV status to friends “the truth became treason”, leading to “blackmail and extortion and a circle of deceit”.

“I trusted them, they were in my inner circle and thought they could be helpful. My trust turned to their treason,” Charlie Sheen said, adding a prostitute took a picture of his medication and threatened to sell it to newspapers.

“I think I release myself from this prison today,” he said.

Charlie Sheen admitted that his use of drink and drugs was a “bad decision” but said it was “impossible” that he would have passed HIV on to anyone else.

He said he does not feel any stigma attached to the illness.

“I have the responsibility to better myself and help a lot of other people. With what we’re doing today, others may come up and say thanks Charlie, thanks for kicking the door open.”

Photo Twitter

Photo Twitter

Speaking about the time prior to his diagnosis, Charlie Sheen said: “It started with a series of cluster headaches and sweating – I was hospitalized I thought I had a brain tumor – after tests they said this was the situation. It’s a hard three letters to absorb.”

Charlie Sheen rose to fame in the 80s with hit movies including Platoon and Wall Street and, in 2011, was the highest-paid actor on TV thanks to his sitcom role.

He has frequently struggled with drink and drug abuse.

Charlie Sheen, who played a hedonistic bachelor in Two And A Half Men, was fired from the show in 2011 after a downward spiral in his personal life that was often played out in public.

Production had been suspended after he entered rehabilitation for reported drug and alcohol abuse.

Charlie Sheen – the youngest son of West Wing star Martin Sheen and brother of actor Emilio Estevez – has also had a troubled personal life and has been married three times.

He first marriage was to Donna Peele in 1995 but they split up after a year. His second marriage was to former Bond girl Denise Richards, with whom he has two daughters. They divorced in 2006 and he married Brooke Mueller, with whom he has twin sons.

Charlie Sheen was then due to marry Scottine Ross, but the wedding was called off.


Antiretroviral therapy (ART) is a combination of drugs used to treat HIV.

It is not a cure, but can control the virus so that patients can live a longer, healthier life and reduce the risk of transmitting HIV to others.Antiretroviral therapy HIV

Antiretroviral drugs prevent HIV from multiplying, which reduces the amount of the virus in the body.

Having less HIV in the body gives the immune system a chance to recover and fight off infections and cancers.

By reducing the amount of HIV, antiretrovirals also reduce the risk of transmitting the virus to others.


According to the World Health Organization (WHO), everyone who has HIV should be offered antiretroviral drugs as soon as possible after diagnosis.

The health agency’s latest policy removes previous limits suggesting patients wait until the disease progresses.

The WHO has also recommended people at risk of HIV be given the drugs to help prevent the infection taking hold.

UNAIDS said these changes could help avert 21 million AIDS-related deaths and 28 million new infections by 2030.Antiretrovirals HIV treatment

The recommendations increase the number of people with HIV eligible for ARVs from 28 million to 37 million across the world.

The challenge globally will be making sure everyone has access to them and the funds are in place to pay for such a huge extension in treatment. Only 15 million people currently get the drugs.

Michel Sidibe, of UNAIDS, added: “Everybody living with HIV has the right to life-saving treatment. The new guidelines are a very important steps towards ensuring that all people living with HIV have immediate access to antiretroviral treatment.”

The WHO announcement comes after extensive research into the issue.

A US National Institutes of Health study due to run until 2016 was stopped early after an interim analysis found giving treatment straight after diagnosis cut deaths and complications, such as kidney or liver disease, by half.


Free bassist Andy Fraser has died in California aged 62.

The London-born musician died on March 16 after a long battle with cancer and AIDS, according to an official statement regarding his death.

The Riverside County coroner said the cause of death was not yet known and remains under investigation.

Andy Fraser became a founding member of the British group when he was just 15.

He wrote most of his material with Free lead singer Paul Rodgers, who went on to front bands Bad Company and The Firm.Andy Fraser dead at 62

“A survivor of both cancer and Aids, Andy was a strong social activist and defender of individual human rights,” the statement read.

“He leaves behind his daughters Hannah and Jasmine Fraser, and their mother Ri, his sister Gail, brothers Gavin and Alex, and many friends and associates in the industry.”

Andy Fraser’s All Right Now was Free’s biggest hit, peaking at No 2 in the UK singles chart and No 4 in the US.

All Right Now was recognized by the American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers in 1990 for achieving over a million radio plays.

In 2006, Andy Fraser and Free singer Paul Rodgers were honored by the BMI in London to mark three million radio and television plays of All Right Now in the UK.

According to an interview with Free drummer Simon Kirke, All Right Now was written “after a bad gig in Durham”.


According to a major scientific study, HIV is evolving into a milder form, becoming less deadly and less infectious.

The research team at the University of Oxford shows the virus is being “watered down” as it adapts to our immune systems.

It said it was taking longer for HIV infection to cause AIDS and that the changes in the virus may help efforts to contain the pandemic.

Some virologists suggest the virus may eventually become “almost harmless” as it continues to evolve.

More than 35 million people around the world are infected with HIV and inside their bodies a devastating battle takes place between the immune system and the virus.

HIV is a master of disguise. It rapidly and effortlessly mutates to evade and adapt to the immune system.

However, every so often HIV infects someone with a particularly effective immune system.HIV infections take milder forms

“[Then] the virus is trapped between a rock and hard place, it can get flattened or make a change to survive and if it has to change then it will come with a cost,” said Prof. Philip Goulder, from the University of Oxford.

The “cost” is a reduced ability to replicate, which in turn makes the virus less infectious and means it takes longer to cause AIDS.

This weakened virus is then spread to other people and a slow cycle of “watering-down” HIV begins.

The team showed this process happening in Africa by comparing Botswana, which has had an HIV problem for a long time, and South Africa where HIV arrived a decade later.

The findings in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences also suggested anti-retroviral drugs were forcing HIV to evolve into milder forms.

It showed the drugs would primarily target the nastiest versions of HIV and encourage the milder ones to thrive.

The group did caution that even a watered-down version of HIV was still dangerous and could cause AIDS.

HIV originally came from apes or monkeys, in which it is frequently a minor infection.


CDC Director Dr. Thomas Frieden has said that the Ebola outbreak in West Africa is unlike anything since the emergence of HIV/AIDS.

A fast global response could ensure that it did not become “the next AIDS,” the director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) said.

The presidents of Liberia, Sierra Leone and Guinea appealed for more aid to help fight the disease.

The Ebola outbreak has killed more than 3,860 people, mainly in West Africa.

More than 200 health workers are among the victims.

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Doctors treating a HIV-infected baby in Milan, Italy, say that giving drugs within hours of infection is not a cure.

The newborn infant cleared the virus from their bloodstream, but HIV re-emerged soon after antiretroviral treatment stopped.

Doctors had hoped rapid treatment would might prevent HIV becoming established in the body.

Experts said there was “still some way to go” before a cure was found.

Drug treatments have come a long way since HIV came to global attention in the 1980s and infection is no longer a death sentence.

However, antiretrovirals merely clear the virus from the bloodstream leaving reservoirs of HIV in other organs untouched.

The hope was that acting before the reservoirs formed would be an effective cure.

Drug treatments have come a long way since HIV came to global attention in the 1980s and infection is no longer a death sentence

Drug treatments have come a long way since HIV came to global attention in the 1980s and infection is no longer a death sentence

Doctors at the University of Milan and the Don Gnocchi Foundation in the city have reported a case, in the Lancet medical journal, of a baby born to a mother with HIV in 2009.

Drug treatment started shortly after birth and the virus rapidly disappeared from the bloodstream. HIV was undetectable at the age of three.

The doctors said: “In view of these results, and recent reports of apparent cure of HIV infection, and in agreement with the mother, we stopped antiretroviral therapy.”

For one week everything seemed fine, but in the second week, after treatment stopped, the virus had returned.

In July 2014, a baby girl in the US born with HIV and believed cured after very early treatment was found to still harbor the virus.

Doctors said tests on the four-year-old child from Mississippi indicated she was no longer in remission.

The Mississippi girl had appeared free of HIV as recently as March, without receiving treatment for nearly two years.

Only one person has been “cured” of HIV.

In 2007, Timothy Ray Brown received a bone marrow transplant from a donor with a rare genetic mutation that resists HIV.

Timothy Ray Brown has shown no signs of infection for more than five years.

According to a new study, the rate of HIV infections diagnosed in the US has fallen by a third over the past decade.

After examining cases from all 50 states, the study found that the diagnosis rate fell to 16.1 per 100,000 people in 2011 from 24.1 in 2002.

Experts celebrated the findings as a hopeful sign that the AIDS epidemic may be slowing in the US.

However, there was a rise in new cases of HIV among gay and bis**ual men aged under 24 and over 45.

HIV is the virus that causes AIDS, a disease which destroys the immune system.

The World Health Organization (WHO) estimates 35 million people globally have the virus. More than 1 million people in the US are thought to be infected, with 18% unaware of their infections.

From 2002 to 2011, 493,372 people were diagnosed with HIV in the US, researchers said.

The rate of HIV infections diagnosed in the US has fallen by a third over the past decade

The rate of HIV infections diagnosed in the US has fallen by a third over the past decade

As well as an overall decline, declines were also seen in the rates for men, women, whites, blacks, Hispanics, heteros**uals, injection drug users and most age groups.

Researchers said the only group in which diagnoses increased was gay and bis**ual men.

“Among men who have s** with men, unprotected risk behaviors in the presence of high prevalence and unsuppressed viral load may continue to drive HIV transmission,” the report said.

The study also found diagnosis rates dropped even as the amount of testing rose.

In 2006, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommended routine HIV testing for all Americans aged 13 to 64.

The percentage of adults ever tested for HIV increased from 37% in 2000 to 45% in 2010, according to CDC data.

Although experts say reasons for the US decline in infections are unknown, it is in line with a global downturn in the AIDS epidemic.

Last week, the UN said that there were 2.1 million new HIV infections worldwide in 2013, down 38% from 2001.

The study was released online by the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA) ahead of the International AIDS Conference that started in Melbourne, Australia, on Sunday.

A second baby carrying the HIV virus, which leads to AIDS, may have been cured through early treatment, the US researchers have revealed.

Antiretrovial drugs were reportedly administered to the baby in California just four hours after birth.

The unidentified 9-month-old child is now said to be HIV negative.

It is the second such case after an HIV-positive Mississippi infant brought into remission following early treatment was reported in 2013.

A second baby carrying the HIV virus may have been cured through early treatment in California

A second baby carrying the HIV virus may have been cured through early treatment in California

“This is a call to action for us to mobilize and be able to learn from these cases,” Johns Hopkins University paediatrics specialist Dr. Deborah Persaud said at a Boston medical conference.

No trace of the virus can now be found in the infant’s blood or tissues, the doctor revealed.

Dr. Deborah Persaud said the 9-month-old child is still receiving a three-drug anti-AIDS cocktail, while the three-year-old Mississippi child stopped receiving antiretroviral treatments two years ago.

“Really the only way we can prove that we have accomplished remission in these kids is by taking them off treatment and that’s not without risk,” Dr. Deborah Persaud added.

Both children are reported to have been born to mothers infected with HIV, which weakens the body’s immune system.

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