Servicing the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender community

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.

MEN’S HIV ERADICATED AFTER STEM-CELL TRANSPLANTS

The patients had been on long-term antiretroviral therapy for HIV when they developed lymphoma. To treat the cancer, they underwent reduced intensity chemotherapy followed by stem-cell transplants.

Since the transplants, Dr. Henrich has been unable to find any evidence of HIV infection.

Henrich and fellow researcher Daniel Kuritzkes had first announced last year that the men showed no traces of the HI virus eight months after they received the transplants. The men were, however, still on anti-HIV drugs at the time.

Dr. Henrich then withdrew the patients’ antiretroviral therapy and performed several sophisticated tests looking for signs of the virus returning in blood and other tissues. One of the men has now been off treatment with no detectable virus for approximately 15 weeks, and the second man for seven weeks, with similar results.

However, the researchers stressed that is too soon to draw any definitive long-term conclusions that the man have been ‘cured’ of the HIV. More definitive answers will emerge as these patients continue to be closely monitored, they said.

“These findings clearly provide important new information that might well alter the current thinking about HIV and gene therapy,” said Kevin Robert Frost, CEO of amfAR. which helped fund Henrich’s work.

“While stem-cell transplantation is not a viable option for people with HIV on a broad scale because of its costs and complexity, these new cases could lead us to new approaches to treating, and ultimately even eradicating, HIV.”

The first person to be cured of HIV, Timothy Brown (“the Berlin patient”), also underwent a stem-cell transplant in 2007 to treat his leukaemia.

These two new cases differ significantly, however, in that the stem-cell donors of the two men lacked the genetic mutation that renders a person virtually resistant to HIV infection.

Dr. Henrich’s patients also did not undergo the intensive chemotherapy or total body irradiation that preceded Brown’s stem-cell transplant.

“Dr. Henrich is charting new territory in HIV eradication research,” said amfAR Vice President and Director of Research Dr. Rowena Johnston. “Whatever the outcome, we will have learned more about what it will take to cure HIV.”

Services
Have you been threatened, hit, raped or had your property damaged or stolen because you are gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender or intersex (LGBTI)? Then you have been a victim of a hate crime.
OUT offers exciting training to mainstream service providers and other interested parties. The training assists individuals to understand themselves as sexual beings.
Currently OUT distributes safer sex packs to a range of venues in Tshwane that are utilised by gay men and lesbian women. These packs also include responsible sex messaging, appropriate barrier methods and lube.
OUT's Engage Men’s Health project offers free and confidential sexual health services to gay, bisexual and other men who have sex with men (MSM).