Πέμπτη, 4 Ιουλίου 2013

Two men ‘cured’ of HIV with bone marrow transplant.

Boston doctors believe Timothy Ray Brown, the Berlin Patient, was not just a one-off after two more patients are believed to have been 'cured' with cancer treatment.
Two men are believed to have been 'cured' of HIV in Boston, with a bone marrow transplant similar to the Berlin Patient.
Two men may have been ‘cured’ of HIV in Boston.
The patients, who underwent bone marrow transplants several years ago for cancer, no longer have any detectable levels of HIV in their blood cells.
It is too early to tell whether they are still infected with the virus, so doctors are cautious about saying the two are ‘cured’.
‘I don’t want to use the “cure” word,’ said Doctor Timothy Henrich, a Brigham infectious diseases associate physician leading the study, according to Boston News
‘If they remain virus-free in a year, or even two years, after [stopping] therapy, then we can make a statement that the chances of the virus returning are very low.’
Henrich’s team are presenting its findings at the International AIDS Society Conference in Malaysia today (3 July).
Last summer, it was first reported that HIV, the virus that causes AIDS, was easily detected in the patients’ blood prior to their bone marrow transplants but could not be found eight months after the surgery.
The two men suffered from Hodgkin’s lymphoma, a cancer of the blood.
At the time, the men remained on HIV medications for safe-keeping. But now, the two patients have stopped taking their medications, with one coming off 15 weeks ago, and the other seven weeks ago.
The researchers carefully tested the patients’ blood weekly, and said they could find no signs of HIV. Henrich also removed and tested a piece of tissue from one of the patient’s intestines.
‘HIV could still be hiding in the brain, gut or lymph nodes,’ Henrich said.
The Boston findings are remarkably similar to the ‘Berlin patient’ called Timothy Ray Brown, who was given a bone marrow transplant for leukaemia and appeared to have been cured of HIV.
He is believed to have been the only person to be cured of HIV. 
It was later found the bone marrow donor had a genetic mutation, CCR5-delta32, which is thought to provide resistance to the virus.
Since then, many doctors have longed to see if it was possible to genetically alter bone marrow cells to resemble the CCR5-delta32 mutation.
That way, they could give HIV patients their own genetically altered cells to wipe out the virus.
Bone marrow transplants are risky and possibly lethal, with doctors saying it is not a practical or ethical way of treating HIV.
In a statement made to Gay Star News, HIV and AIDS charity Terrence Higgins Trust’s Medical Director Dr Michael Brady said this case suggests the Berlin Patient was perhaps not a one-off.
He said: ‘For most people with HIV, it would be more dangerous to undergo a transplant than to continue managing the virus with daily medication.
‘While this is by no means a workable cure, it does give researchers another sign-post in the direction of one.
‘Until a cure is found, we urge people to continue using condoms and testing for HIV if they’ve put themselves at risk.’
The two, who were not identified, were ‘very positive’ about participating to help further research, Henrich said.
The patients will continue to be tested weekly and their medications will be returned if HIV is detected.
Πηγή:www.gaystarnews.com

Same-sex families hit the big screen in animated film The Boxtrolls.

The trailer for a new animated film features two dads, two moms, and a bunch of other cooky relatives.
The new Boxtrolls film features same-sex parents.
The Boxtrolls film will prove ‘families come in all shapes and sizes, even rectangles’.
Brought to us by Laika, the same stop-motion animation studio that brought gay jock character Mitch in 2012’s ParaNorman, the trailer for Boxtrolls talks about same-sex parents.
The trailer opens by saying: ‘Sometimes there's a mother, sometimes there's a father, sometimes there's a father and a father, sometimes both fathers are mothers.
Travis Knight, CEO of Laika, said: 'The Boxtrolls is a visually dazzling mash-up of gripping detective story, absurdist comedy, and steampunk adventure with a surprisingly wholesome heart.
‘The Boxtrolls is a moving and human story with timelessness and powerful emotional resonance.’
Πηγή:www.gaystarnews.com

Microsoft to tackle anti-gay trolls online.

Gaming giant unveils a 'Reputation' system for Xbox One, which will segregate homophobic, sexist, abusive gamers.
Xbox One will unveil a 'Reputation System' aiming to segregate homophobic players.
Microsoft is planning to tackle homophobic trolls when it launches its new console the Xbox One.
The computing and gaming giant will isolate idiots who choose to use anti-gay, sexist, racist or general abuse towards other players on multiplayer online games.
It will have a ‘Reputation’ system, tracking gamers’ behavior when playing.
Speaking to gamer site Official Xbox Magazine, Microsoft’s senior product manager Mike Lavin said: ‘What we’re looking at doing is creating a very robust system around reputation and match-making.
‘Ultimately if there’s a few percent of our population that are causing the rest of the population to have a miserable time, we should be able to identify those folks.’
He joked the ‘segregated’ area of Xbox Live would be its own ‘version of hell’.
Lavin also suggested gaming groups would be given a score for their whole group reflective of the lowest person’s score in that group, in the hope peer pressure would force a change in order to raise the group’s gaming reputation.
‘We’re one of the only platforms that really take an interest in exploring and investigating major problems, and this extends from sexual harassment, to age harassment, to gender to everything else under the sun,’ Lavin said .
‘Really fostering a sense of community and providing an infrastructure for that is a huge deal.’
Microsoft has previously been criticized for what some believe to be homophobia. But the organization also has a strong LGBT staff group and has been faster than most tech firms to embrace pro-LGBT policies and support equality moves.
In 2008, a gay player was forced to change his Xbox Live screen name ‘theGayergamer’ because other members found it offensive.
Another player, shortly afterwards, was banned from the network after identifying herself as a lesbian. The policy was changed in 2010.
In 2009, Microsoft was forced to pay out after a gay employee sued the company for failing to do anything when co-workers branded him ‘Fag Boy’.
The company later met with GLAAD in order to combat homophobia on Xbox Live.
Πηγή:www.gaystarnews.com