Drug ‘can greatly reduce risk of HIV infection’

Posted in HIV, Medical, news, pozzie life with tags , , , , , on November 26, 2010 by iamhivpositive

A drug used to treat HIV-positive patients may offer gay and bisexual men some protection against contracting the virus, the authors of a new study say.

Trials of the combination drug Truvada among nearly 2,500 men suggested it could reduce the chances of male-to-male HIV infection by 44%.

Those using the drug regularly could further reduce the risk of infection, it was claimed.

The study is published in the New England Journal of Medicine.
Pills and condoms

Truvada is the trade name of a drug manufactured by the California-based company Gilead Sciences Inc which combines two antiretroviral drugs, used to treat Aids.

But this new study looks at whether it could be used to prevent HIV infection in the first place.

Almost 2,500 gay or bisexual men were randomly selected in Peru, Ecuador, Brazil, South Africa, Thailand and the United States. Half were given the pill, half were given dummy tablets.

All the men were also given condoms and counselling on safe sex.

What the researchers found after about a year of testing was that the drug appeared to cut male-to-male HIV transmission by 44%, when the group taking the pill was compared with the placebo group.

Those who took the pill regularly were deemed to have reduced their risk of infection further, by up to 73%, and blood tests were run to confirm this relationship between pill-usage and protection levels.

The research was funded by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, and the federal US body, the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID). The pills were donated by their manufacturer.

NIAID director, Dr Anthony Fauci, conceded more work needed to be done, but called the results impressive.

“This has been done in men who have sex with men. We need to know if we get similar results in women as well as in heterosexual men, which we have reason to believe we will,” he told the BBC.

“We also need to get a long term view of were there any toxicities. We didn’t see anything that was significant but we need to follow that for a long period of time.”
Questions and concerns

The trial does of course raise questions and concerns. Is it possible, for instance, that the results were skewed by greater condom use in the group that took the pill; and won’t such findings encourage some men to dispense with condoms altogether in favour of a drug?

There is also the issue of prohibitive cost of Truvada, which retails in the US for around $36 a day, and which makes the drug unaffordable to many possible users.

Dr Fauci argues that the two groups were fully randomised and says that drugs can only play a complementary role in the war on HIV. Condoms and fewer partners, he said, remain the first line of defence.

“We’re hoping that if this does become a useable tool in prevention, then the associated counselling will complement the effect of the drug and stop people becoming cavalier about it and say ‘now I have a pill I don’t have to worry’.

“That’s exactly the opposite of what we want to happen. We want to add something rather than have it replace something.”

Sir Nick Partridge, chief executive of the Terrence Higgins Trust, called the trial results “potentially significant”.

“It’s vital that we expand the ways we can prevent HIV transmission, particularly amongst those most at risk,” he said in a statement. “This trial proves that HIV treatment will have an impact on prevention, but that it’s not ready for widespread use yet.

“Three major hurdles are still going to be its cost, the risks of drug-resistant strains of HIV developing and taking a drug treatment every day.”

By Neil Bowdler
Science reporter, BBC News
source: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/health-11820963

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Sa Parking Lot

Posted in lovelife, Personal, pozzie life, thoughts with tags , , , , , , , on November 24, 2010 by iamhivpositive

Tanga. Yan siguro ang tawag sakin dahil gagawin ko ang gagawin ko ngayon.

Lahat ay handa ng umalis at naghihintay na lang ng elevator pababa. Medjo maliit lang ang elevator sa gusaling yaon kaya’t di lahat ay nakasakay sa unang elevator na nagbukas. Kaming dalawa ay nakabilang sa mga naunang nakasaky. Tahimik lang ang lahat marahil ay pagod o di kaya ay wala lang talagang mapagusapan. Isa isang nagbabaan sa iba’t ibang palapag ang iba pa naming kasama hangga’t sa kaming dalawa na lang ang natira sa loob. Ilang sandali pa at muling bumukas ang elevator at kami ay lumabas na rin mula rito.

Inimbitahan niya ako na sumabay na lang sa kanya at ihahatid niya ako sa pinakamalapit na sakayan dahil malakas ang ulan sa labas. Tumanggi pa ako nung una dahil sa tingin ko naman ay titila naman din ang ulan. Ngunit medyo mapilit siya at ako ay tuluyan nang di nakatanggi.

Sa tingin ko ay pansin nya ang malamig kong pakikitungo sa kanya nung araw nay un. Tanghali pa lang ay magkasama na kami at simula’t sa pol ng magkasama kami nung araw na yun, ako’y medyo ilag na talaga sa kanya.

“Is there something wrong?” Tanong niya sakin habang kami ay nanananghalian.
“Nothing… I’m just not in the mood… don’t mind me… mawawala din to…”

Pero sa totoo lang, nung mga oras ding yun, unti unti ko nang binubuo ang aking magiging “piece” sa kanya. Paano ko kaya sasabihin ng hindi siya masyadong masasaktan o hindi niya maiisip na ang taas naman ng tingin ko sa sarili ko?

Sumakay kami sa kanyang sasakyan. Sabi niya dun na lang daw kami mag-intay para mas malamig at makaupo kami ng maayos. Ito na. Ito na ang tamang timing na hinihintay ko. Ngayon ko na sasabihin sa kanya. Tinangka niyang hawakan ang aking kamay ngunit nagkunwari ako na di ko ito napapansin. Siya ay biglang nagakmang ako ay aakbayan ngunit di ko na napigil ang aking sarili at ako ay medjo napaangil.

“Ei, wag ka muna makulit please… medyo irritable ako ngayon e… snappy ba… sorry”

Ok lang ang kanyang maikling sagot at siya ay biglang natihimik. Tiningnan ko siya. Base sa kanyang reaksyon, alam kong siya ay naiinis na din sa aking pakikitungo sa kanya nuong araw na iyon.

“Ano ba talaga ang problema? Ilabas mo na… para hindi ka na mabad mood…”

At doon na ako nagsimula…

Sinubukan kong ipaliwanag sa kanya ang aking nararamdaman ngunit di ko ito madiretso.

“Ummm…. Sige… First, I don’t want to mislead you or anything… let’s just enjoy what we have… like, you can go date other people and same goes for me… but if you still want to ask me out, it’s fine… we can go out… I want us to be friends first… mas maganda kasi kapag ganun, I mean, yung foundation ng relationship natin… if ever man na magflourish… kung hindi naman magdevelop into something romantic… atleast we’re friends… ayoko lang magrush… right now, I’m trying… but sana talaga maging friends lang muna tayo… like walang holding hands or kissing… plain friends ba… then we’ll see from there if ever…”, ang mahaba at dire-diretso kong tugon…

“Ok… “ ang kanyang sagot….

YOGA FOR LIFE W A D 2010 activities

Posted in pozzie life, yoga with tags , , , , , , , , on November 23, 2010 by iamhivpositive

Yoga for Life invites everyone to celebrate World AIDS Day (WAD) on December 1 (Wednesday) by lighting 108 candles to symbolize the faith, hope and love of the HIV community and to support this year’s “Light for Rights” WAD theme. We will conduct a special kirtan session, one of the oldest sacred music traditions in the world, to express our common gratitude and promote our continued effort to achieve stillness of mind and spir…it.

Please bring 1 pocket notebook and a pen. A vegetarian dinner will follow to also celebrate Yoga for Life’s 6-monthsary and the upcoming wedding of Charmaine Cu-Unjieng (co-founder).

December 1, Wednesday, 7:00-9:00pm
Conference Rm., 28th Floor, Medical Plaza Bldg.
25 San Miguel Ave., Ortigas Center

We would also like to share our love and support to the bigger community affected by HIV and AIDS through the following activities:

Yoga for Life Goes to RITM – Celebrating Life through Yoga and Meditation
December 3, Friday, 3:00-4:30pm
Executive Lounge, RITM
( yoga mats will be provided )

Yoga for Life Joins the LGBT Pride March

December 4, Saturday, 2:00pm
Tomas Morato, Quezon City

See you there, Namaste

Paulo Leonido +63917 388-9658
Charmaine Cu- Unjieng +63917 540-4247

Sparks Missing…

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , on November 15, 2010 by iamhivpositive

I am worried. Yes, I can also say that I was a little bit scared that time. He was driving continuously and just ignores me whenever I ask him about our destination. Until finally, when we stopped because of the stoplight, he looked at me and told me to just trust him…

Honestly, now that it has been days since this incident happened, I don’t really think that he was going to do something bad towards me that night… let’s just say that I was thinking too much that time… I was paranoid…

The road that we are taking started to get steeper and steeper… I felt that we are climbing a mountain… I looked outside of the window and finally, I was able to see some signs from the stores that we are passing by… we are actually heading to Antipolo. Gosh! I never imagined that night that I am going to Antipolo… I just shut my mouth and just continued to wait until we finally reached our destination.

“Dito na tayo…” he said. As he pulled over to an empty space in a car park near the edge of I think is a cliff.

My jaw dropped when I saw the view. I can see the whole city from where I am seating. It was amazing! (Yes, it was my first time to see that kind of sight from Antipolo… I guess you can call me, ignorant…lol).

He started searching something from his pocket and asked me if I have the lighter that we bought from the convenience store. I searched my pockets as well but I wasn’t able to find any. His expression changed and I can see that he was disappointed. He reached for something at the back of his car. It was a cake! I was surprised… I was overwhelmed with all that he prepared for this day. He apologized for missing the lighter, he was supposed to light a candle and will ask me to make a wish. I said it’s all good. It was more than enough. He made this day, special enough… worth remembering.

We stepped out of his car and decided to go to an empty space where we can see the view clearly. It was dark and cold… the cool air from the mountains makes me chill… as I look into the other side, I saw tiny lights from the city… they are so small that they can pass as stars from where I am standing… I took a deep breathe as I am overwhelmed with the view, it was just so… romantic? perfect? … or it was a moment of appreciation… appreciate that I am still alive and was given a chance to see this view… call me drama queen and all… but that’s what I really feel…

He held my hand… and I let him. We appreciated the view together until we decided to head back to the car. Once we were able to sit comfortably again, he started telling me sweet nothings and he’s hoping that we will still be together to celebrate my birthday next year.

Then it struck me. The word – “together”. Yes, that moment, I searched my heart for what I am feeling towards him. I like him alright, he’s nice and very much a boyfriend material… but I didn’t feel any spark. Yes, that elusive spark!

He came closer and with his movement, he was implying that he wanted to kiss me. Right! A kiss! A kiss might bring the spark so I allowed him. As his face comes closer to mine, I closed my eyes and opened my heart… hoping that this will ignite the spark that I need.

His lips were soft and he kissed very sweet. After that, I tried to search my feelings once again… and still there’s nothing… And with that said… I had a dilemma… This is our 2nd date and the 1st date is no different with the 2nd. I didn’t feel any romantic connection…

I looked at him after we kissed and he smiled… a hopeful smile… a smile that I know, will soon be erased once I tell him what I actually feel…

Stars and Spark!

Posted in etc, Personal, pozzie life, thoughts with tags , , , , , , , , , , on November 11, 2010 by iamhivpositive

It was dark and cold… the cool air from the mountains makes me chill… as I look into the other side, I saw tiny lights from the city… they are so small that they can pass as stars from where I am standing… I took a deep breathe as I am overwhelmed with the view, it was just so… romantic? perfect? … or it was a moment of appreciation… appreciate that I am still alive and was given a chance to see this view… call me drama queen and all… but that’s what I really feel…

Earlier…

Slowly, I started to hear noises from the outside… I’m awake. Today is a very special day I told myself, I should make it a good day no matter what. Smiling, I opened my eyes. It was still early to prepare for work so I just decided to stay in the bed. I cuddled with the pillows under my blanket and just embraced the excitement of what’s going to happen that day.

When I finally realized that nothing special is going to happen that day since I didn’t plan anything, I was able to calm myself. I just smiled and started to prepare for work.

At work was nothing special either, though towards the end of my shift, my boss asked our team to head to a fast food chain and eat. Whilst eating, he explained that the reason for the treat was because it’s my special day. I was touched and everyone greeted me. I honestly wanted to cry but they started cracking jokes that stopped my tears from falling…

As the night falls, I waited for a friend who asked me if he could take me out for dinner. He picked me up from the office and as I sat myself on the passenger seat, he handed me a box. He asked me to open it. It was a box full of chocolate. I smiled. I like chocolates! I mean, who doesn’t right? I was touched by his sweetness… we just met 2 weeks ago and I’m surprised by his knowledge about my favourites.

He told me that we are gonna go to a place which can make me happy, I was intrigued. What is it this time? But I was excited, obviously, I think he did a research about me. After parking, he lead me to a sort of like a bazaar but as we come nearer, I hear dogs barking. And as we entered the bazaar my heart melt as I see little puppies… I LOOOVEEE dogs! And he knows it too! He toured me in the bazaar showing me all the cute puppies like he is a tour guide. After which he asked me if I would like to have dinner already and I said yes.

We crossed the street and entered the restaurant just in front of the bazaar. I remember telling him that I like filipino foods maybe the reason why we are eating in one that day. The food was very delicious and again, I was… impressed and touched by all of what he did. When we finished eating… we headed back to the car park and decided to go home.

On our way home, I suddenly felt alarmed and worried… the road that he is taking is not leading south… it’s somewhere else… I started feeling scared… after all of what he did, I don’t know what he is capable of doing… call me paranoid and judgemental or what, but that time, it didn’t really feel right…

he drived fast and it was already late… I don’t know where were going and whenever I ask him, he just tells me to wait…

Birthday!

Posted in etc with tags on November 4, 2010 by iamhivpositive

It’s my birthday today… =) yun lang… hehehe

Travel!

Posted in etc, Personal, pozzie life, thoughts, travel with tags , , , , , , , , , , on October 26, 2010 by iamhivpositive

If there is one thing that I would really love to do but can’t, besides going back to school, it will have to be traveling. Believe it or not, I haven’t been anywhere outside Metro Manila ever since I was in High School? Except of course when we have team buildings in Pansol, Laguna or in Puerto Galera, but whenever we have that, it’s still more of work and less of relaxation. I would want to just travel and just relax… or just have some personal time to think and reflect…

A friend from Canada who just arrived here in the Philippines went to the office and told me that she is planning to go to Boracay. She saw an ad in the internet and is recruiting some more people to join her so that they can avail of the very affordable promo rate. I got excited, I’ve never been to Boracay myself and would want to go there for a holiday! I told her I’m in and she asked me to recruit 2 more since we need to be 4 in the group to avail the package. I did not waste my time and immediately asked some friends and even on Facebook. In just a matter of 2 hours, we’re complete!

Next day, there was a message in my facebook inbox from my friend that she found a better offer, same rate but instead of going to the crowded and busy Boracay, it’s going to be the jaw dropping and relaxing Coron, Palawan. (sorry bout the adjectives, lol) The reason why I said yes to her when she offered this trip to me was because of the destination. I really wanted to go to Boracay… after all, I heard a lot of stories meeting their soul mates in that lovely place. After a little bit of convincing and showing me of the breath taking pictures in Coron, I agreed. It’s a deal and we are leaving by the end of the year…

I’m happy that somehow I already made a start with my plan of traveling. Coron, is a good 1st destination and I just have to make sure that I’ll bring a camera, sun block and enjoy! Hopefully next year I could do this again… no, I will definitely do this again! Who knows I might even go outside of the country since I have been out of the country yet… =)

I think it would really be nice to see other places… beautiful places, meet people, experience other culture and also rediscover myself… so that before I finally close my eyes, I will be filled with beautiful picturesque images of the places I’ve gone to and memories… I won’t let what’s in me to stop me from traveling and experiencing everything that is out there… I’m ready to pack my bags and start moving….