World AIDS Day: PeerJ Academic Editors Highlights

World AIDS Day is celebrated on December 1st every year to raise awareness about HIV/AIDS and to demonstrate international solidarity in the face of the pandemic. The WHO’s focus for the 2013 campaign is improving access to prevention, treatment, and care services for adolescents (10-19 years), a group that continues to be vulnerable despite efforts so far. There is no cure for HIV infection. However, effective treatment with antiretroviral drugs can control the virus so that people with HIV can enjoy healthy and productive lives.

In honor of World AIDS Day, we asked some PeerJ Academic Editors, working in this field, if they could tell us a little bit about their work.

image

Dr. Mark Wainberg is the Director of the McGill AIDS Centre and a Professor of Medicine and of Microbiology and Immunology at McGill University, Montreal, Quebec Canada. Past President of the International AIDS Society and of the Canadian Association for HIV Research, he is well known for his initial identification of 3TC [lamivudine–brand names Zeffix, Heptovir, Epivir, and Epivir-HBV] as an anti-viral drug, in 1989. He told us about his major research activities on HIV.

“Our research team has long been interested in the topic of HIV drug resistance and the mechanisms whereby drug resistance can occur. We have helped to define the conditions under which certain anti-HIV drugs should no longer be used in therapy because of drug resistance mutations, and we are able to make recommendations to clinicians in regard to the use of compounds that will remain effective. We have also established how some drug resistance mutations in the reverse transcriptase and integrase genes of HIV may severely compromise viral replicative capacity as well as the activity of these enzymes that are targeted by relevant drugs. We hope to further develop this concept as a component of HIV curative strategies.”

image

Dr. Steffanie Strathdee is the Associate Dean of Global Health Sciences, Harold Simon Professor and Chief of the Division of Global Public Health in the Department of Medicine at the University of California San Diego School of Medicine. She is also an Adjunct Professor at the Johns Hopkins University. Dr. Strathdee is an infectious disease epidemiologist who has spent the last two decades focusing on HIV prevention in underserved, marginalized populations in developed and developing countries. She told us about her hopes and motivations.

“In the early 1990’s when I was still a PhD student, I lost both my PhD advisor and my best friend to HIV/AIDS within the same year. Through this devastating duo of events, I had what I can only describe as a calling. I pledged my career as an epidemiologist to HIV prevention. My goal is to put myself out of a job. Since these early days, I realized how the real drivers of HIV infection are social, political and economic conditions that our society has created. My current work focuses on developing and evaluating HIV prevention interventions that alter the HIV ‘risk environment’ rather than placing the onus of responsibility for change solely on individuals. I hope that through this approach we may be able to alter not only the risk of HIV infection at the population level, but other diseases that share common risk factors.”

image

Dr. Zandrea Ambrose is an Assistant Professor in the Division of Infectious Diseases of the Department of Medicine, and in the Graduate Program in Molecular Virology and Microbiology, University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine. She is the Co-Director of the Imaging Core of the Pittsburgh Center for HIV Protein Interactions. We asked her to comment on her research.

“My laboratory investigates HIV prevention, treatment, and eradication with the use of basic cellular and molecular virology as well as animal models of HIV/AIDS. Since the 1990s, combination antiretroviral therapy to treat HIV-infected individuals has saved millions of lives globally. Unfortunately, HIV drug resistance is still a problem and my lab is studying the emergence and persistence of drug-resistant viruses in the blood and within tissues. These resistant viruses could spread to uninfected partners, impacting treatment and prevention methods. In addition, new drug targets for better therapies are needed and we are investigating novel interactions of HIV with proteins in human cells, which can be exploited for drug development. Although there is no cure for HIV, recent studies have given hope for new treatments to eliminate HIV-infected cells from individuals. My lab also is determining how virus persists in cells and how these cells are distributed throughout the body. While examining the blood is informative, it will not reveal infected cells in other anatomical sites that may not be accessible by some drugs. These studies will guide us in targeting therapies to these tissues for eradication, which can hopefully lead to an HIV cure.”

image

Dr. Christian Althaus is a SNSF [Swiss National Science Foundation] Ambizione Research Fellow at the Institute of Social and Preventive Medicine at the University of Bern, Switzerland. He shared his thoughts on HIV with us.

“Our understanding of HIV infections has changed dramatically during the last decade. The success of combination antiretroviral therapy offers new opportunities to fight the disease, not only at the level of infected patients, but also at the population level as a whole. Nevertheless, many questions remain open, such as to what level antiretroviral therapy can reduce transmission of HIV or which factors determine the outcome of an infection. Observational studies of patients cohorts, virological and experimental experiments as well as mathematical modeling need to act in concert to solve those remaining issues.”

We are grateful to our Academic Editors for their participation in this post, and we encourage you to support World AIDS Day.

Dont forget that from now until end-2013, we are running a special offer for free PeerJ Publications.

  • Sandy Fletcher

    Truthfully, i was tested HIV + positive last 3years. I keep on managing the drugs i usually purchase from the health care agency to keep me healthy and strengthen, i tried all i can too make this disease leave me alone, but unfortunately, it keep on eating up my life, this is what i caused myself, for allowing my fiance make sex to me insecurely without protection, although i never knew he is HIV positive. So last few 4days i came in contact with a lively article on the internet on how this Powerful Herb Healer get her well and healed. So as a patient i knew this will took my life 1 day, and i need to live with other friends and relatives too. So i copied out the Dr Atiti the traditional healer’s email id, and I mailed him immediately, in a little while he mail me back that i was welcome to his temple home were by all what i seek for are granted. I was please at that time. And i continue with him, he took some few details from me and told me that he shall get back to me as soon as he is through with my work. I was very happy as heard that from him. So Yesterday, as i was just coming from my friends house, Dr Atiti called me to go for checkup in the hospital and see his marvelous work that it is now HIV negative, i was very glad to hear that from him, so i quickly rush down to the nearest hospital to found out, only to hear from my hospital doctor called Browning Lewis that i am now HIV NEGATIVE. I jump up at him with the test note, he ask me how does it happen and i recede to him all i went through with Dr Atiti I am now glad, so i am a gentle type of person that need to share this testimonies to everyone who seek for healing, because once you get calm and quiet, so the disease get to finish your life off. So i will advice you contact him today for your healing at the above details: Email atitilovespell@gmail.com

  • Sandy Fletcher

    Truthfully, i was tested HIV + positive last 3years. I keep on managing the drugs i usually purchase from the health care agency to keep me healthy and strengthen, i tried all i can too make this disease leave me alone, but unfortunately, it keep on eating up my life, this is what i caused myself, for allowing my fiance make sex to me insecurely without protection, although i never knew he is HIV positive. So last few 4days i came in contact with a lively article on the internet on how this Powerful Herb Healer get her well and healed. So as a patient i knew this will took my life 1 day, and i need to live with other friends and relatives too. So i copied out the Dr Atiti the traditional healer’s email id, and I mailed him immediately, in a little while he mail me back that i was welcome to his temple home were by all what i seek for are granted. I was please at that time. And i continue with him, he took some few details from me and told me that he shall get back to me as soon as he is through with my work. I was very happy as heard that from him. So Yesterday, as i was just coming from my friends house, Dr Atiti called me to go for checkup in the hospital and see his marvelous work that it is now HIV negative, i was very glad to hear that from him, so i quickly rush down to the nearest hospital to found out, only to hear from my hospital doctor called Browning Lewis that i am now HIV NEGATIVE. I jump up at him with the test note, he ask me how does it happen and i recede to him all i went through with Dr Atiti I am now glad, so i am a gentle type of person that need to share this testimonies to everyone who seek for healing, because once you get calm and quiet, so the disease get to finish your life off. So i will advice you contact him today for your healing at the above details: Email atitilovespell@gmail.com

  • Sarah David

    MY TESTIMONY I am Sarah David from USA I Never believed i was ever going to be HIV Negative again,Dr James has given me reasons to be happy, i was HIV positive for 2years and all the means i tried for treatment was not helpful to me, but when i came on the Internet i saw great testimony about Dr James on how he was able to cure someone from HIV, this person said great things about this man, and advice we contact him for any Disease problem that Dr James can be of help, well i decided to give him a try, he requested for my information which i sent to him, and he told me he was going to prepare for me a healing portion, which he wanted me to take for days, and after which i should go back to the hospital for check up, well after taking all the treatment sent to me by Dr James i went back to the Hospital for check up, and now i have been confirmed HIV Negative, friends you can reach Dr James on any treatment for any Disease like HIV/AIDS ,HERPES, DIABITES, HPV , he is the one only i can show you all up to, reach Dr James on his

    email.drjamesherbalsolutiontemple@gmail.com /drjames92@hotmail.com ……… or whatsapp number____+2348153863900 may god bless you sir for your good works………

  • lucy

    My name is Lucy Williams from U.S.A. My heart is filled with so much joy as I write this testimony. I want to tell the world about a great man called Dr. Adaobi who cured my husband and I of HIV/AIDS with herbal medicine. My husband and I have be hiv/aids positive for the past four (4) years. We have tried so many solutions and my husband even fall into the hands of scam. One fateful day while browsing the internet I saw a testimony by one mr. John on how this great Dr. Adaobi cured his seven (7) years hiv/aids through herbal medicine so I decided to give a try, a try that changed our life for good. So I contacted this great man and he send some herbal medicine for me and my husband which we took within five (5) days. It was a great surprise when we went for test the following day and it came out negative. God will bless you Dr. Adaobi, you will leave long. Because of the joy you brought into my family again. You can also contact him on his email. adaobisolutiontemple@gmail.com. You can also call him on phone: +2349060446408 or add him up on whatsapp: +2349060446408