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Berlin patient still cured of HIV

It’s been several years since we first heard about the miraculous Tim Brown, aka, the “Berlin Patient,” who was then believed to be cured of HIV. It’s been several years since we first heard about the miraculous Tim Brown, aka, the “Berlin Patient,” who was then believed to be cured of HIV. A recent update on his condition was just published in the journal “Blood”.

Some scientists had thought, as is usually the case in HIV infection, that Brown’s long-lived, virus-infected cell-reservoirs might eventually begin reproducing HIV again. That has not been the case according to the report.

After several years of recovering from procedures that included a transplant of unique HIV resistant stem cells, his immune system appears to have reconstituted on “the systemic level as well as in the gut mucosal immune system…” with no sign of HIV. The report concludes, “…our results strongly suggest that cure of HIV has been achieved in this patient.”

Tim Brown’s case has now spawned a demand for more HIV cure-related research. A recent report by the AIDS Policy Project noted that only three percent of the US AIDS budget goes to such research. UCSF is now enrolling patients for one such study. Call it “Berlin Patient Lite” involving a less invasive procedure using a person’s own immune cells. The cells will be extracted, then re-programmed, then re-infused with the hope they will continuously fight off HIV and perhaps even provide a cure. Considering a working vaccine is a distant possibility and that HIV drugs costs tens of billions a year, cause life-threatening side effects, and are available worldwide to only about a third who need them, it seems reasonable to attempt efforts towards a cure. We suspect that Tim Brown would be the first to agree. For more on the new study go to questclinical.com.

Music naughty and nice

With the new year here perhaps you have had enough of top ten lists. If not, Boston’s Start Strong program just released its 2nd annual list of the top 10 songs that portray and glamorize both healthy and unhealthy relationships. The list uses fun, support, respect, and trust as criteria to measure positive songs, and drama, disrespect, obsession, partner manipulation as criteria for negative relationship songs.

This year’s top healthy and unhealthy relationship songs (and the artist) are rated below, so parents please take note.

Healthy Relationship Songs:

1. “If It’s Love,” Train
2. “Teenage Dream,” Katy Perry
3. “Everything To Me,” Monica
4. “Smile,” Uncle Kracker,
5. “If We Ever Meet Again,” Timbaland (with Katy Perry)
6. “Naturally,” Selena Gomez
7. “When I Look At You,” Miley Cyrus
8. “Nothin On You,” BoB
9. “Mine,” Taylor Swift
10. “Just The Way You Are,” Bruno Mars

Unhealthy Relationship Songs:

1. ‘Lil Freak,” Usher
2. “Hot Tottie,” Usher
3. “Love The Way You Lie,” Eminem (with Rihanna)
4. “Misery,” Maroon 5
5. “Only Girl,” Rihanna
6. “You Love Is My Drug,” Kesha
7. “F**k You,” Cee Lo Green
8. “Deuces,”  Chris Brown (with Tyga)
9. “Eenie Meenie,” Justin Bieber (with Sean Kingston)
10. “Give It Up To Me,” Shakira (with Lil Wayne)

Dating violence: warning signs

Whether pop music influences human behavior is a debate for another time. According to a new study, however, dating violence among teens is a real problem, and not just violence committed by boys. Published in the Archives of Pediatrics and Adolescent Medicine, it asked 1400 Boston High school students if, during the past month, they had been violent with a date or someone they had sex with, a fellow student or peer, or a sibling.

Violent behavior was defined as pushing, shoving, slapping, hitting, punching, kicking, or choking one or more times. One-fifth of the students (18 percent) admitted committing an act of violence against a date or sex partner with a significantly larger amount (26 percent) being girls than boys (9 percent).

Another important finding was that those who committed a violent act against a peer or a sibling were more likely to commit an act of violence against a date or sex partner. This was especially so for boys.

Source: healthylivingnews.org

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