OUT provides direct health services to the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) community, MSM, sex workers, and injecting drug users, including HIV testing, counselling, treatment and general lifestyle advice and support.

OUT has been in existence for more than 21 years and is dedicated to the building of healthy and empowered LGBT communities in South Africa and internationally, while reducing hetrosexism and homophobia in society.

NEW HIV STRAIN IN RUSSIA

  • Category: News
  • Created: 24 October 2013

new hiv strain found in russia A Siberian research centre claims that a new, possibly more dangerous, strain of the HI virus is spreading “at a rapid rate” in Russia.

The Moscow Times said that the 02_AG/A subtype was first found in the city of Novosibirsk in 2006.

The strain is now responsible for more than 50% of all new infections in the region, said the Novosibirsk Koltsovo science city.

Natalya Gashnikova from the Vektor state biotechnology research centre at Koltsovo stated that the new strain “might be the most virulent form of HIV in Russia”.

The newspaper further reported that the subtype has also “been detected in the North Caucasus republic of Chechnya, as well as the former Soviet republics of Kyrgyzstan and Kazakhstan”.

It is unclear how the new strain responds to ARV treatment.

While the battle against the global epidemic is showing results elsewhere, HIV infection rates continue to increase in Russia, Eastern Europe, and Central Asia.

According to UNAIDS, it is “the only region where HIV prevalence clearly remains on the rise”.

Efforts to combat the virus are hampered by a conservative culture in which sex education in schools is limited and social stigma against HIV positive people is said to be rampant.

Between 2001 and 2011, the estimated number of people living with HIV in Eastern Europe and Central Asia increased from 970 000 to 1.4 million, says UNAIDS in its most recent fact sheet on the area.

Source: www.mambaonline.com

SPOTTING HIV: THE SYMPTOMS

  • Category: News
  • Created: 07 November 2013

OUT site hiv symptoms october 2013 article We all know that being HIV positive is no longer a death sentence if your treatment is well managed, but you may not know that tackling the virus sooner rather than later is often better for your health – and could add years to your life.

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COCAINE MAY INCREASE HIV RISK

  • Category: News
  • Created: 08 October 2013

Scientists say that they have shown that cocaine use appears to make immune cells more susceptible to HIV.

It’s often said that the spread of HIV has been fuelled by substance abuse, and not just when it comes to shared needles. It’s known that drug use also often leads to high-risk sexual behaviour.

There is, however, relatively little research into how drugs can impact the body’s defences against the virus. But a new UCLA study published in the October issue of the Journal of Leukocyte Biology examines how cocaine affects a unique population of immune cells called quiescent CD4 T cells, which are resistant to the virus that causes AIDS.

The results, say researchers, is that Cocaine makes the cells susceptible to infection with HIV, causing both significant infection and new production of the virus.

“The surprising result was that the changes cocaine induced on these cells were very minimal, yet they were sufficient to fuel infection,” said the study’s senior author, Dimitrios Vatakis, an assistant professor of medicine in the division of hematology–oncology at the David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA.

For the year-long laboratory study, the researchers collected blood from healthy human donors and isolated quiescent CD4 T cells.

They exposed the cells to cocaine, then infected them with HIV. They harvested the samples over different time points to trace the cells’ susceptibility to infection at different stages of HIV’s life cycle, comparing the infected cells with untreated cells.

They found that a three-day exposure to cocaine made the cells more susceptible to HIV infection by stimulating two receptors in the cells, called σ1 and D4. The findings suggest that cocaine use increases the pool of T cells in the human body that can become infected by the virus.

The researchers caution that, as with all laboratory studies, the results may not necessarily be borne out in the same way in the real world. They noted, however, that they have data from animal models that support and strengthen their observations.

Researchers also said that the results suggest that there could be “significant implications” for HIV positive individuals who abuse or use stimulants such as cocaine.

The next stage in the research will be to more closely examine the means by which cocaine makes these once-resistant cells susceptible to infection and if the drug does indeed lead to a higher viral reservoir.

OUT IN AFRICA 2013 - PART 2

  • Category: News
  • Created: 02 October 2013

out in africa is back part 2 2013 blue warmest colour OIA is back! The 20th Out In Africa Gay & Lesbian Film Festival's 2013 final edition takes place in Jozi at Nu Metro Hyde Park and in CT at both Nu Metro and Cinema Nouveau V&AC Waterfront from 18-27 October. 

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