Promising breakthrough in eradicating HIV

by Terry Lee Derrick
Staff writer

A drug called valproic acid, an anti-convulsant, has been discovered to “wake up” dormant HIV infected cells in the body in order to help wipe them out.

The study on valproic acid has been led by Dr. David Margolis of The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. In the study four patients on standard therapy were given valproic acid twice daily over three months. The dormant infected cells were reduced by 75 percent in three out of four patients. “This finding, though not definitive, does suggest that new approaches could cure HIV in the future and is significant conceptually,” says Dr. Margolis.

According to Dr. Margolis, current drugs work to wipe out active HIV cells, but there are places in the body, like lymph nodes and brain, where there are these dormant or “sleeping” cells and if the virus enters those cells it becomes inactive as well rendering it immune to treatment. This could be a major breakthrough in wiping HIV out of the body entirely and literally becoming HIV free. If this kind of treatment were possible a patient might take drugs for two or three years and then become virus free and taken off drugs permanently.

Dr. Jean-Pierre Routy, a professor at McGill University in Montreal Canada who also studies dormant HIV says, “This is a very impressive first try. It is enormous in just three months treatment to have such an effect.”

Dr. Robert Siliciano, a professor at John Hopkins University , first discovered the dormancy problem. He is more skeptical about these results leading to a cure anytime soon. “It is extremely unlikely this approach would work. One is assuming that one drug “understands” the mechanism(s) involved with a dormant cell of which there may be several. Also 99.999 percent of all virus must be killed in order to be HIV free, and if there is only one dormant cell hiding somewhere in the body and is not affected it can quickly multiply and bring the virus right back to its previous quantity.”

WhistlePig + Alfa Romeo F1

SHOREHAM, VT (September 13, 2023) — WhistlePig Whiskey, the leaders in independent craft whiskey, and Alfa Romeo F1 Team Stake are waving the checkered flag on a legend-worthy release that’s taking whiskey to G-Force levels. The Limited Edition PiggyBack Legends Series: Alfa Romeo F1 Team Stake Barrel is a high Rye Whiskey selected by the Alfa Romeo F1 Team Stake drivers, with barrels trialed in their wind tunnel to ensure a thrilling taste in every sip.

The third iteration in WhistlePig’s Single Barrel PiggyBack Legends Series, the Alfa Romeo F1 Team Stake Barrel is bottled at 96.77 proof, a nod to Valtteri Bottas’ racing number, 77, and the precision of racing. Inspired by Zhou Guanyu, the first Chinese F1 driver, this Rye Whiskey is finished with lychee and oolong tea. Herbal and floral notes of the oolong tea complement the herbaceous notes of WhistlePig’s signature PiggyBack 100% Rye, rounded out with a juicy tropical fruit finish and a touch of spice.

Keep readingShow less
by Spectrum Medical Care Center

Nurse Practitioner Ari Kravitz

When I started medical transition at 20 years old, it was very difficult to get the care I needed for hormone replacement therapy because there are very few providers trained in starting hormones for trans people, even though it’s very similar to the hormones that we prescribe to women in menopause or cisgender men with low testosterone.

I hope more providers get trained in LGBTQ+ healthcare, so they can support patients along their individual gender journey, and provide the info needed to make informed decisions about their body. I’ve personally seen my trans patients find hope and experience a better quality of life through hormone replacement therapy.

Keep readingShow less

Descanso Resort swimming pool and lounge area

Descanso Resort, Palm Springs' premier destination for gay men, just received Tripadvisor's highest honor, a Travelers' Choice "Best of the Best" award for 2023. Based on guests' reviews and ratings, fewer than 1% of Tripadvisor's 8 million listings around the world receive the coveted "Best of the Best" designation. Descanso ranked 12th in the top 25 small inns and hotels category in the United States. Quite an accomplishment!

Open less than two years, Descanso Resort offers gay men a relaxing and luxurious boutique hotel experience just minutes away from Palm Springs' buzziest restaurants, nightclubs, and shopping. Descanso has quickly established itself as a top destination for sophisticated gay travelers, earning hundreds of 5-star guest reviews and consistently ranking in Trapadvisor's top positions alongside brother properties Santiago Resort and Twin Palms Resort.

Keep readingShow less