The 1st December each year is marked as World AIDS Day; at OneCoWork we wanted to take this opportunity to expand a bit more on the topic and the continuously changing technology around it.
Now, what is AIDS exactly? AIDS is a set of symptoms caused by HIV, a virus that attacks cells in the immune system, which is our body’s natural defence against illness.
A person who has AIDS refers to a person whose immune system is too weak to fight against infections. At first, this will lead to the development of certain defining symptoms and illnesses, while later on, when the infections are very advanced and if left untreated, it can lead to death. However, not everyone who has HIV develops AIDS as well.
Although there is currently no cure for HIV, technology is evolving and in the next paragraphs, we’ll take a look at the current treatments and where we are heading to in the future.
The Current State-of-Play
Many governments and institutions participate in HIV/ AIDS research, which not only includes sex education, encouraging testing and drug development such as vaccines, but also researching new cures and developing new technologies to advance.
In South Africa for example, a mobile app was developed (Aviro HIV) to make it easier for doctors to give the right treatment and the right advice to the patient while consulting. It provides real-time feedback and guidance to guide both the doctor and the patient - an interactive and helpful tool for both parties.
Hope for the Future
In July 2018, after nearly 40 years of research, a possibly significant breakthrough in HIV treatment may have been recorded in the search for effective treatment and cure for the HIV virus. Scientists trialled a new HIV vaccine and it worked: nearly 400 healthy, uninfected adults have mounted an immune response against the vaccine and tolerated it well. The difference between the other vaccines that have been trialled, is that this one is using a strategy where all different types of HIV viruses are being targeted and not just one. Looking at the positive results, we expect further tests on the way.
In November 2018, A second HIV breakthrough came in, when the drug Gammora eliminated up to 99 percent of the virus within the first four weeks of treatment. The results show that the drug significantly reduced the viral load in human subjects by killing HIV-infected cells and not harming the healthy ones.
While both breakthroughs concerning HIV are still in an early stage, they have offered significant hope to the carriers.
World AIDS Day is one of the eight official Global Public Health campaigns marked by the World Health Organisation (WHO). Looking at the fact that that as of 2017, AIDS has killed between 28.9 million and 41.5 million people worldwide, and that an estimated 36.6 million people are living with HIV - it is no surprise.
On World AIDS Day, let’s raise awareness of the AIDS pandemic caused by the spread of HIV infection and inform ourselves about the newest technologies concerning the topic.
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You may also be interested in our World Diabetes Day article, highlighting how one member at OneCoWork is changing the way children with diabetes learn about their condition. https://onecowork.com/en/blog/explaining-diabetes-to-children-world-diabetes-day
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