China joins fight to end AIDS epidemic by 2030

UNAIDS has set a target to end AIDS as a public health threat by the year 2030, and China has incorporated this global vision into its strategic planning. The Chinese government will be increasing its support of AIDS prevention by setting up funds and encouraging more social participation. A key at-risk group is adolescent men who have sex with men due largely to being uninformed and not using protection. In an attempt to address the rising infection rate in the youth population, Beijing plans to install condom vending machines on university campuses to increase access and reduce infection rates among students. Follow the link below to learn more.

Antibody shows promise as treatment for HIV

Antibody treatment, a technique commonly used to treat cancer, is showing promise in prevention, treatment, and even potentially curing HIV. A lot of work and research is still necessary to determine whether this approach can be clinically useful, with the main concerns being long-lasting efficacy and cost of treatment. HIV mutates rampantly with every replication and can evade antibodies, making treatment with a single antibody of limited effectiveness and unfortunately only temporary. HIV's mutation rate necessitates immunotherapy being made of a combination of antibodies, but this increases the cost as well. However, the cost of antiretroviral therapy has fallen in the past two decades, creating hope in cost reduction for antibody immunotherapy. Follow the link below to see the full article.

More Efforts Needed to Keep Children in HIV Treatment

In a first-ever systemic review of its kind, researchers at Boston University Center for Global Health and Development estimate the average rates of retention in antiretroviral therapy in pediatric patients from low- and middle-income countries is similar to retention rates for adults--declining from 88% after 12 months to 67% after 36 months. Follow the link below to read the full article. This high rate of attrition for children is concerning considering that "pediatric disease progression tends to occur faster than for adults in the absence of treatment." Interventions to address this high attrition rate seen in pediatric populations are needed in order to increase survival, especially when treatment is started early. Follow the link below to see the full article.

New HIV/AIDS Infections Surged 15% in China in 2014

In 2014, China reported 104,000 new HIV/AIDS infections, an almost 15% increase from 2013. Although this is a substantial escalation, China still has a lower infection rate than the United States-- nearly half a million people in China are living with HIV or AIDS compared to the 1.2 million HIV positive individuals in the United States in a population a quarter of the size of China's. Regardless of the comparison, the surge in new infections highlights the need for China to do more, starting with addressing the stigma and promoting sexual education. This need is especially apparent due to the significant rise in infection rates among China's youth. Follow the link below to see the full article.