A new analysis of an HIV prevention trial previously known to have poor outcomes has now revealed that
behavioural measures used for assessing adherence were inaccurate.
The World Health Organisation now recommends that all HIV positive pregnant mothers be put on lifelong ARVs in spite of their CD4 count in a bid to keep both mother and baby healthy, writes Joyce Chimbi
Although hawking foodstuff along the busy Eldoret- Nakuru highway in Rift Valley Province is what she did to earn a living, Margaret Wairimu* had nonetheless made a name for herself as a traditional birth attendant in a remote village in Burnt Forest.
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In the late 1970’s, a young man working in a nondescript building at the University of Nairobi was struggling to piece together scientific information that would explain how the immune system responds to infectious diseases.
This study was happening at World Health Organization sponsored immunology Research Centre, and the young scientist in the laboratory was Professor Job Bwayo, who met his death last Sunday evening at the hands trigger happy thugs.
In major nightclubs in Nairobi, a new phenomenon is taking shape: the number of male sex workers is on the rise as more men turn to the act as away of eking a living.
While many people have associated Mombasa with men who sell anal sex, it is emerging that Nairobi is now a hot-spot for this business.
Men who engage in this act for commercial reasons are easy to come by than was the case in the past, says Dr Joshua Kimani, whose research work has enabled him to come into contact with some of them.
Puzzled by a section of prostitutes in Majengo slums who had managed to resist HIV infection even after being exposed to it, a group of scientists decided in 1987 to understand why this was the case.
This amazing finding made them follow these women keenly for over five years to find out what made them tick.
By 1992, they concluded that the women’s immune system was able to elicit certain cells known as cytotoxic T-lymphocyte (CTL), also called killer T-cells that had the ability to destroy the HIV infected cell before the virus replicated.
Buoyed by these findings, donors in 1996 gave the researchers funds to establish conclusively why these women were able to resist HIV infection.
Local scientists have managed to identify 10 HIV positive Kenyans with an antibody that could hold the key to developing an effective AIDS vaccine.
The individuals, who the scientists say have powerful antibodies that neutralise the virus, stopping it from infecting new cells, have neither used any antiretroviral drugs nor been attacked by opportunistic infections despite living with the virus for over nine years.
As they exchanged pleasantries and sat next to each other during the launch of the 2007 Kenya AIDS Indicator Survey (KAIS) yesterday, very few people knew all was not well.
The release of the findings of this study had started on a very acrimonious ground, with some government officials not willing to be part of a gathering that would release them.