PISA – 28 GIUGNO 2004
"Curare l’AIDS in Africa – Il contributo di Pisa a DREAM"
Il 28 giugno alle ore 16,30 l’Università di Pisa e l’Azienda Ospedaliera Pisana organizzano un convegno dal titolo: "Curare l’AIDS in Africa – Il contributo di Pisa a DREAM".
Il convegno è l’occasione per dare avvio al programma dell’Università e dell’Ospedale di Pisa di sostegno a DREAM in Africa, che prevede l’invio di studenti e specializzandi della Facoltà di Medicina di Pisa nelle zone dove si realizza DREAM, la formazione di personale sanitario africano sia in Africa che a Pisa, cure specialistiche in Italia per i malati che ne avessero bisogno.
Al convegno partecipano il rettore dell’Università, il Direttore Generale dell’Azienda Ospedaliera Pisana, il Sindaco, le organizzazioni di volontariato presenti nel territorio.
Per la Comunità di Sant’Egidio sono presenti don Matteo Zuppi e il prof. Leonardo Palombi.
|New HIV assay sensitive to 2 copies/mL
|WASHINGTON (Reuters) – An assay based on detection of HIV antigen p24 may be more sensitive than existing tests, U.S. researchers said on Monday.|
The test may be useful for screening donated blood and monitoring patients, the developers at the University of Maryland’s Institute of Human Virology said.
They said it is 25 times more sensitive than the best technology currently available. "This new ultra-sensitive testing method, known as Real-Time Immuno-PCR, will allow us to detect HIV earlier and at much lower levels," said Dr. Niel Constantine, who helped develop the test.
Writing in the July issue of the American Journal of Clinical Pathology, Dr. Constantine’s team said the new test detects the viral protein p24, rather than antibodies or viral nucleic acids.
"Each virus particle contains about 3,000 molecules of p24 as compared with only two copies of nucleic acid, so there’s a greater amount of target to detect," Dr. Constantine said.
"It’s an advance over current methods in that we can detect down to the equivalent of two copies of RNA as compared with current methods which have been validated to only 50 copies," his colleague, Janet Barletta, added in a statement.
"We have submitted a patent for this test for the prion protein," Dr. Constantine added in a telephone interview. He believes it could be used to screen blood for Creutzfeldt Jakob disease or HIV.
"If you could save 4 to 5 infected units a year, it would be important to do that," Dr. Constantine said. "You could further protect the blood supply."
It should also be useful for monitoring a patient’s response to HIV treatment.
The research team is also developing a low-cost, battery-operated version of the test that could be used in developing countries.
|Bush to add Vietnam to global AIDS initiative|
|WASHINGTON 2004-06-23 (Reuters) – President George W. Bush will include Vietnam in his $15 billion plan to combat global AIDS, passing over harder hit India and China in expanding the initiative to Asia, U.S. officials said.|
In a speech on HIV/AIDS on Wednesday, Bush will designate Vietnam 1 of 15 "focus countries" eligible to share in the $15 billion, only a fraction of which has actually been disbursed so far.
"The president will announce tomorrow that the 15th country will be Vietnam," a senior U.S. official said.
Once designated, the United States can sharply increase funding to nongovernmental organizations that provide AIDS services in Vietnam.
Bush will also free up $500 million in funds already appropriated to provide more immediate relief to combat AIDS.
The choice of Vietnam is controversial. The 14 other focus countries are in Africa and the Caribbean, and some activists want to keep the resources for countries most in need.
Officials said they chose Vietnam because they believe they could have a bigger impact there than in China or India, where the disease has spread more broadly to the general population.
"We need to address some of these brush-fire countries before they get out of control," one congressional aide said of the rationale for adding Vietnam to the list.
Some religious conservatives, an important political base for the Republican president, may object to aiding a former foe that is Communist run. The State Department has criticized Vietnam for the arbitrary imprisonment of people for peaceful expression of religious and political views.
In his 2003 State of the Union address, Bush pledged $15 billion to help combat HIV/AIDS, effectively tripling U.S. spending over 5 years, but some AIDS activists have accused him of not living up to his commitment.
Congress approved $2.4 billion for this year and is expected to provide about $2.8 billion in fiscal 2005. AIDS groups lobbied for $3 billion a year.
These groups welcomed the program’s expansion to Asia, but complained that Bush’s proposed budget would cut assistance by almost two thirds to the U.N.-backed Global Fund to Fight AIDS, tuberculosis and malaria, threatening its operations in Africa.
"The original vision of the Fund is being completely undermined by the Bush administration," said David Bryden, spokesman for the Global AIDS Alliance.
White House officials denied that Bush was backing away from his commitment to support the fund.
Last month, the Bush administration opened a new front in the battle to get cheap AIDS drugs to the poorest countries that need them, saying it will consider approving and providing cheap, multiple-dose generics. AIDS groups have accused the government of catering to big pharmaceutical companies that make the brand-name drugs under lucrative patents.
Vietnam has about 130,000 people living with AIDS, the U.S. official said. The government has d