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Advances in the works for STDs

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CDC’s new estimates show that there are about 20 million new infections in the United States each year.Just this year new guidance from the CDC suggests the number of treatment-resistant infections to the once curable disease is on the rise. Gonorrhea, the second most common STD in the United States is becoming resistant to the antibiotics used to treat it, New HIV drugs are urgently needed for people who can no longer use products due to drug resistance or side effects. Treponema pallidum he bacterium that causes syphilis is slow to change its genetic code but currently there are some strains showing resistance to oral drugs such as erythromycin.

VivaGel®(SPL7013, or astodrimer sodium) a new condom to developed to fight against HIV/AIDS, HPV and other sexually transmitted diseases has the ability to kill viruses with 99.9 efficacy. Astodrimer sodiums ; an antimicrobial drug first designed to fight HIV and other STDs. The condom Is coated with a gel containing the ingredient. Clinical trials have been completed.

HIV
Researchers from the University of Washington just recently have developed a dissolvable fabric that absorbs anti-HIV drugs that could be placed into a cardboard tampon applicator for easy insertion into the vagina, or even made into the shape of a vaginal ring used for contraception. The team explained that the fibers can hold an array of anti-HIV drugs, and studies are currently underway to test their capabilities.

To develop the fibers the team dissolved a polymer and combined it with the drug maraviroc an FDA approved drug for the treatment of HIV that created a substance that was syrupy in texture. Then it was electrically charged with a high-voltage generator before being passed through a syringe. The charge on the substance creates a a long string from the syringe. This string then spins and accumulates on an electrically grounded surface. The researchers believe these fibers hold promise for faster HIV protection in women. esearchers are currently focused on developing prototypes based on user guidance that can be tested for safety and efficacy in animal models.

Earlier this year researchers led by investigators from the CDC developed a vaginal gel to protect women from HIV. The team created a microbicide gel containing integrase inhibitors which means the gel can be applied after intercourse. The gel contains a 1% solution of an antiretroviral drug called raltegravir (Isentress).

The gel has been tested on monkeys by applying the gel to three female macaque monkeys 30 minutes before exposure to HIV, while a group of 10 monkeys received a placebo gel, applied twice a week for seven weeks. Among the monkeys who had received the antiviral gel , two out of three were HIV free. The second time the gel had applied to six monkeys 3 hours after HIV exposure, while four monkeys were given a placebo gel. The gels were applied twice a week for 2.5 months. The results showed five out of six monkeys were protected from HIV and all four monkeys who had the placebo had HIV. The team notes the gels effectiveness needs to be improved before clinical trials.

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Researchers from the University of Washington found the drug pritelivir substantially curbed "viral shedding" in people with genital herpes, meaning it decreased the amount of time the virus was active and potentially transmissible to patients' sexual partners.

The study included 156 adults with HSV-2 infections. They were randomly assigned to one of five groups. One group received placebo pills, while the other four took different doses of pritelivir. Over a period of 28 days patients on the highest dose of the drug (75 mml/d) had shown viral shedding on only 2% of the days compared to 17% in the placebo group. The group who received 400mg dose once weekly also showed significant viral shedding. No side effects were noticed from the drug. Further trails are on hold currently. Last May, the U.S. FDA suspended the work after research in monkeys showed some unexpected blood and skin abnormalities. According to researchers "We haven't seen those effects in humans.”

Other studies have included
Researchers from Aarhus University and Aarhus University Hospital in Denmark in a pilot study showed the anti-cancer drug romidepsin can activate hidden HIV. The drug increases the virus production in HIV-infected cells between 2.1 and 3.9 times above normal and that the viral load in the blood increased to measurable levels in five out of six patients with HIV infection.

HIV can hide in a "state of hibernation" in the so-called CD4 cells. These cells are a part of the body's immune system, but the CD4 cells cannot fight the virus themselves; killer T-cells can. However, killer T-cells cannot tell if a CD4 cell contains "hibernating HIV virus. When the virus is activated and moves towards the bloodstream it leaves a trace on the outside of the infected CD4 cells. In principle this means that the killer T cells can now trace and destroy the HIV-infected CD4 cells.

Last year research from Africa had suggested that that basic multivitamin and selenium supplements could possibly lower the risk that untreated people with the AIDS virus will get sicker over a two-year period.

Researchers divided nearly 900 HIV-infected patients in the African country of Botswana into several groups; a placebo (sugar pill) multivitamin including B, C and E vitamins, multivitamin along with supplements of the mineral selenium and just selenium.

Overall, the risk that the disease would progress over the two years of the study was fairly low: 32 of the 217 who took the placebo suffered progression of the disease compared to 17 of the 220 who took the vitamin/mineral combination.

Dr. Marianna Baum, PhD, RD, professor of dietetics and nutrition at Florida International University's Stempel School of Public Health and author of study had commented "Only the combination of vitamins plus selenium was effective.” "For U.S. patients, this latter point is relevant, as there's a huge variety of supplements available. I would suggest talking with a doctor before taking any supplements."

Next the researchers want to observe if the supplements help patients already taking anti-retroviral medications.