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Obama shifts $100 million into funding AIDS research

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Politico44 announced on Dec. 2, 2013 that President Obama has committed $100 million in funding for research to find a cure for AIDs. Jennifer Epstein released an article Obama launches effort aimed at HIV cure.

The goal of this new research is to find ways to prevent HIV and to find treatments that put AIDS into remission so that the patients do not have to continue drugs for the remainder of their lives. Obama stated that we are working towards the day when there is a HIV free generation.

While the US has focused on retrovirus treatments for HIV, an alternative study has been carried out in Africa for people with HIV that have not yet progressed to AIDS. Because anti-retrovirus drugs are so expensive, many people in Africa have not received the anti-retroviral treatment (ART) available in the US.

The Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA) published an article JAMA Study: Multivitamins and Selenium May Slow HIV Progression on Dec. 2, 2013 outlining the results of a study carried out in Botswana. From the report, the conclusions were stated

“This randomized clinical trial included 878 patients infected with HIV subtype C with a CD4 cell count greater than 350/μL who were not receiving ART at Princess Marina Hospital in Gaborone, Botswana, between December 2004 and July 2009.

Researchers concluded that in ART-naive HIV-infected adults, 24-month supplementation with a single supplement containing multivitamins and selenium was safe and significantly reduced the risk of immune decline and morbidity. Micronutrient supplementation may be effective when started in the early stages of HIV disease.”

It has been said that necessity is the mother of invention. Since many African countries cannot afford the costs of providing ART drugs for those infected with HIV, the study based upon using selected vitamins and selenium has shown promise. The progression from HIV to AIDS was nearly 50% less for those taking the vitamin and selenium combination versus those taking the placebo, selenium or vitamins individually.

It would be very advantageous if the US research on AIDS drug treatment included using vitamins and supplements to slow the progression of HIV. Since a great deal of the research done in the US is by major pharmaceutical companies, there is a reduced likelihood of vitamin and supplement research being carried out without supervision by the FDA and the research coordinators funded by Obama’s initiatives.

You can also get information about a new AIDS treatment approach that works at the cellular level. This research works at the cellular level and tricks the HIV virus into releasing its toxic components into the drug stream without entering vulnerable cells that would propagate the HIV leading to AIDS.

Contact Senator Sherrod Brown and Senator Rob Portman to ask them to hold hearings on the AIDS research and the use of vitamins and selenium along with anti-retrovirus treatment (ART). Contact Speaker of the House, John Boehner, and Congressman Pat Tiberi and Congressman Steve Stivers to support the same studies.

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