World AIDS Day 2016: All We Know About Cure…

While a new study for World AIDS Day 2016 finds that the number of people infected with the virus went down in the past year, news about a cure for the virus that is currently being developed keeps coming in from Israel. A Wider Bridge follows the news closely, and here’s what we know so far.

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In January 2016 the news broke that research for a cure at the Hebrew University, led by Prof. Abraham Loyter and Prof. Assaf Friedler, passed successfully, and a drug is being developed. read the story

On November 1st it was reported that a drug that was developed at the Hebrew University in Jerusalem is now being tested. The drug causes HIV-infected cells to self-destruct without harming the rest of the body. The drug was inserted into test tubes containing the blood of ten AIDS patients currently being treated at the hospital, and was found to decrease the HIV virus count in the blood samples by as much as 97 percent in just eight days. Read more

Later in November we got the latest reports, in which the Hebrew University -invented drug is now being developed by Zion Pharmaceutical – a company that currently is looking for a CEO, because its private investors want to stay anonymous. read more

Israel: “significant decline” in HIV infections

There was a “significant decline” in the rate of new HIV carrying LGBT men aged 15 to 64 who were last year reported as becoming HIV carriers, the Health Ministry reported in advance of World AIDS Day on December 1.

There were 125 new carriers in 2011 compared to 148 four years before. Even though Israel’s rate of HIV carriers among homosexuals is lower than in most of Western Europe and after years of ministry interventions to prevent infection, the health authorities decided in 2013 to jointly launch with homosexual groups a comprehensive national program to fight aids in the gay community. Continue reading in the Jerusalem Post

When Grandma is HIV Positive

When Shosh discovered that she had been infected with HIV 26 years ago, growing old was the last thing she thought about. “Receiving that news in 1990 meant a death sentence,” says the 67-year-old whose full name is being withheld to protect her privacy. In the first few years after her diagnosis, Shosh stopped buying things for the long term; she certainly never bothered with a pension or a financial safety net for the future. “I knew my days were limited,” she says.

But Shosh survived. Her story exemplifies a different era in the fight against the HIV virus. She is one of some 36 million HIV-positive people around the world. Continue reading in Haaretz