Archive by category | AIDS

Trouble in the HIV field

When I went to the HIV vaccine meeting in Whistler last month, I heard some rather disturbing tales of people upset at the NIH. Some of the behind the scenes complaining I wrote about here. The rest became a news story about conflicts between HIV scientists and the NIH that runs in our May issue.  Read more

Of men and monkeys

I realize that my previous blog entry makes it sound as if HIV researchers are a complaining and bitter bunch. Far from it. They do complain, but they are also one of the friendliest and most unpretentious group of researchers anywhere. They can go from discussing how quickly HIV can wipe out the immune system to the latest in footwear and eyewear in a flash.  Read more

Denying AIDS

My New Yorker mag arrived Monday with an article about a topic that’s all too familiar to us, here at Nature Medicine. Science reporter Michael Specter wrote about AIDS denialists — or dissenters as they like to call themselves — who say either that HIV does not cause AIDS or that antiretroviral drugs do more harm than good, and that most scientists are in the pockets of the pharmaceutical industry. That last bit may be debatable, but to us and to everyone we consider credible, there’s no doubt that HIV causes AIDS or that antiretroviral drugs are safe.  Read more

Gels, creams and melting condoms

Liquid condom? Sounds kinky, but it could actually be a clever and much-needed health tool. Scientists have come up with a condom that forms a gel-like coating in the acidic vagina. When it comes into contact with the alkaline pH of semen, it turns into liquid, releasing an antiviral drug against HIV.  Read more

The kindest cut

Did you hear this, men? Losing a little bit of your skin could cut your risk — and perhaps ours — of getting AIDS. The NIH reported yesterday that circumcision halves the risk of HIV infection. This is such good news that the agency decided to stop two trials early so they could offer circumcision even to men in the control arm.  Read more