US Ambassador Commends Nigeria’s Fight Against HIV/AIDS

The United States Ambassador to Nigeria, Stuart Symington, has commended the Federal Government and agencies involved in the provision of care and treatment for HIV/AIDS patients.

This is in collaboration with the American Presidential Emergency Plan for Aids Relief.

The envoy gave the commendation after inspecting a laboratory and other equipment donated by the U.S to the Aids Prevention Initiative Nigeria (APIN), a Public Health Initiative in Jos, Plateau state.

Since 2004, the Nigerian government as well as other donor agencies have been involved in providing care and treatment to HIV and AIDS patients in collaboration with the American Presidential Emergency Plan for aids relief.

An estimate of about 3.2million people are living with AIDS in Nigeria, experts say all hands must be on deck to reverse this alarming statistics.


Source: Channels TV

New AIDS vaccine ‘cures’ five patients, report claims.

Three weeks after Prof. Maduike Ezeibe of Michael Okpara University of Agriculture, Abia State claimed to have discovered a cure for Human Immuno-deficiency Virus/Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome (HIV/AIDS), Spanish scientists over the weekend said five patients living with the disease are virus-free seven months after taking a new vaccine.

According to a study published in New Scientist but first reported by DailyMailUK Online, the treatment, developed by researchers in Spain, allowed the patients to stop taking regular antiretroviral (ARV) drugs – the current method of suppressing HIV.

Scientists have yet to test the results in a large-scale clinical trial, but they say the vaccine may be a “functional cure.”

Dr. Beatriz Mothe, from the IrsiCaixa AIDS Research Institute in Barcelona, Spain, said: “It’s the proof of concept that through therapeutic vaccination we can really re-educate our T cells to control the virus. This is the first time that we see this is possible in humans.”

Mothe and her colleagues used an HIV vaccine made by Professor Tomáš Hanke from the University of Oxford in the United Kingdom (UK).

The study included 13 participants, who had taken ARVs for a little over three years on average – all within six months of being infected.
After four weeks, eight of the patients saw the virus rebound. But the other five patients have gone six to 28 weeks without having to restart the treatment.

The virus became temporarily undetectable, but it has never gone above 2,000 copies per milliliter, which is the criterion to restart treatment.

Meanwhile, the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control and Prevention (NCDC), Dr. Chikwe Ihekweazu, told The Guardian yesterday that there is no cure for HIV/AIDS as claimed by Ezeibe. “No, there is no cure for HIV. It is important that we do not deceive our people. There is no cure for HIV. However, treatment is available that allows those infected to live healthy and productive lives. We encourage everyone to get tested, know their HIV status and if positive, get treatment in one of many centres in Nigeria. Treatment is free,” he said.

Ihekweazu said NCDC wants to avoid giving false hope to patients who may now abandon their Anti Retro Viral (ARVs) drugs thus leading to an increase in prevalence and mortality from the disease. He said the agency also does not want a situation where the trust of partners and donors in the country’s health system is lost.

How about the claim of HIV cure by Prof. Ezeibe? The NCDC boss said: “Science is universal and there is no place for sentiments when it comes to science. While I would love for this breakthrough to come from Nigeria, there should be no emotional considerations in assessing the validity of scientific evidence.


Source: The Guardian

Nigeria AIDS agency warns against HIV cure ‘publicity’

The Director General of the National Agency for the Control of AIDS, Sani Aliyu, has expressed displeasure with the publicity given to the claim of a cure for HIV/AIDS by a Nigerian professor.

Mr. Aliyu, in a statement by his office on Monday, said it was a great disservice to the vulnerable group of HIV patients for the media to disseminate such claims in the absence of scientific evidence.

Maduike Ezeibe, who is a Professor of Veterinary Medicine and Clinical Virology at the Michael Okpara University of Agriculture in Umuahia, Aba State, had claimed he had produced a drug that could cure HIV.

He said the drug he produced with “Aluminium Magnesium Silicate” had been successfully tested on ten persons living with HIV.

The Minister of Health, Isaac Adewole, on Monday disclosed that the Federal Government had mandated the National Institute for Medical Research and the College of Medicine, Ibadan to do a proper study of claims of HIV cure in the country.

While responding to questions on the position of government on the claims at a Town Hall meeting in Ilorin, Kwara State, Mr. Adewole said getting a cure would be of public health interest to the country but that any claim would have to be subjected to standard scrutiny.

“We are concerned that the publicity given to these claims will stop patients with HIV from taking life-saving antiretrovirals and give them false hope of a cure,” the NACA Director General said on the claim in the statement on Monday.

“There are long established, tried and tested routes for the discovery, development and validation of modern medicines before they can be registered and used for treatment in humans and animals.

Mr. Aliyu called on academics to follow legal and scientifically-acceptable methods in conducting their researches and to avoid making premature claims that are capable of derailing the huge progress made in the last two decades in the war against HIV/AIDS.

“Millions of lives have been saved as a result of modern antiretroviral treatment and people living with HIV can now look forward to a normal healthy future”, he said.

Aliyu also calls on editors of media houses in Nigeria to seek comments from the leadership of the relevant government parastatals and professional bodies when it receives new research findings related to the agency’s areas of responsibility.

“We assure you that we will respond rapidly and constructively to any queries”, he stated.

He also encouraged people living with HIV to continue to take their medication and to see their doctors if they have any concern or call the NACA helpline (6222) for information.

Nigeria has about three million people infected with HIV, the second highest number in the world after South Africa.

Adequate funding needed to eliminate HIV/AIDS by 2030 – NACA DG

Adequate funding is the only way to meet the target set for the elimination of HIV/AIDS by 2030, the Director General of National Agency for the Control of AIDS, Sani Aliyu, has said.

Mr. Aliyu spoke in Abuja on Tuesday at the opening of the 3rd National Council on AIDS, with the theme: “Nigeria’s HIV/AIDS Response: Taking Charge of Our Destiny.”

He stressed that if the country must win the fight to eliminate the scourge, it must act now.

He said to meet the target set for the elimination of HIV/AIDS by 2030, it was necessary that all the tiers of government increase funding of HIV/AIDS programme.

Mr. Aliyu lamented the inability of the country to fund HIV/AIDs programme. He said with donor funding, especially by the country’s biggest contributors, PEPFAR, dwindling from $488,614,277 (76 per cent) in 2012 to 358,614,280 (70.8 per cent) in 2016, the Nigerians have to take charge of their destiny

“If we have to achieve the test and treat strategy of ensuring that 90 per cent of the populace know their status, 90 per cent of those tested must be placed on ART and 90 per cent of persons on treatment will have viral suppression to prevent zero AIDS related deaths.”

Mr. Aliyu stressed that state governments have no choice but to take ownership of the programme by providing funds.

“For those of you who have budget line for the disease, I urge you that you keep it up, and for those who don’t have budget line for HIV, now is the time to do so. We should know that donor funds are dwindling”, he said.

While stating his vision for the agency, the Director General stated that people should understand the fact they are not only to survive the transmission, but that the epidemic should be defeated.

The National Council on AIDS is a creation of the Act establishing NACA and the highest technical decision-making body in Nigeria on HIV/AIDS. The purpose of the Council is to provide technical direction on all HIV/AIDS issues in the country.

Supporting Mr. Aliyu’s argument, the President of Network of People Living with HIV/AIDS in Nigeria, NEPWHAN, Victor Omoseye, urged government to set up a National Aids Funds like every other countries.

“One way forward is for us to have a National Aids Trust Fund that can take charge of domestic resources.

Citing countries like the UK, Uganda and Botswana where the trust has worked, Mr. Omoseye posited that “whatever any country is bringing to any country will be a support to the National AIDS Trust Fund.”

While commending the effort of NACA, Mr. Omoseye said that a lot people were now accessing treatment than in 2007.

“There is now less discrimination. Today, collectively, we are moving the nation forward.

“Though we still need to put our hands together to do more. One way for us to take our destiny into our hands is for us to sustain the national response,” he said.


Source:  Premium Times

Czech fugitive wanted for intentionally spreading HIV arrested in Thailand

A Czech fugitive wanted in his homeland for knowingly spreading HIV to multiple victims has been arrested on a Thai resort island after living in the country for more than a year, police said Wednesday.

Zdenek Pfeifer, 49, was detained at his apartment on the island of Phuket on Tuesday evening, Thai Interpol said in a statement.

His arrest came after reports warning of his presence in the popular holiday nation went viral on Thai social media this week.

“Thai police will contact Czech Interpol once he has been prosecuted for local violations,” Thai Interpol said, adding he was arrested for illegally overstaying his visa.Czech media reports said Zdenek fled the country in June 2015 after he was charged with deliberately infecting more than a dozen men with HIV, including a minor.

Colonel Krissana Pattanacharoen, Thailand deputy national police spokesman, said Pfeiffer faced “sex offence” charges back home.

He first entered Thailand in June 2015 on a tourist visa which ran out in August of that year.

“Along the way we received the red notice from Interpol and police arrested him yesterday for overstaying,” he told AFP.

Lieutenant-General Nathathorn Prousoontorn, commander of Thailand’s immigration police, told reporters that there was currently no complaint filed locally that Pfeiffer had knowingly infected anyone with HIV.

Phuket is a hugely popular southern Thai island known for its many resort hotels as well as a seedy red-light district centred around Patong Beach.

Borno Records 512 New HIV Cases in IDPs’ Camps

The Executive Secretary, Borno Agency for the Control of HIV/AIDS, Malam Barkindo Saidu, says 512 new cases of HIV infections have been recorded in Internally Displaced Persons camps in the state.

He spoke on Sunday in Maiduguri while briefing journalists.

Saidu said that the cases were recorded after voluntary screening in some IDPs’ camps in the state.

He pointed out that two out of the 512 persons were children.

“We are currently conducting voluntary screening on HIV/AIDS in IDPs’ camps across the state to determine the status of the people, especially those rescued from the Boko Haram terrorists.

“As at last week, we have recorded 512 positive cases, among which two are children,” Saidu said.

He said that the state had witnessed rising cases of the virus due largely to the Boko Haram terrorism.

“Currently, 2.4 per cent of the population of the state are living with HIV and AIDS, which translates to 108,000 persons, going by the record of the National Population Commission.

“But only a tiny portion of these people can access treatment because most antiretroviral centres have closed,” Saidu said.

He explained that only 32 out of the 90 antiretroviral centres were still operational in the state.

“Before the Boko Haram terrorism, we had 90 treatment centres across the state, but only 32 are still functional today.

“The rest have been closed down due to the Boko Haram terrorism,” Saidu said.

He called on the Federal Government and donor agencies to intervene in the HIV and AIDS control in the state.


About 500 Nigerians die of HIV/AIDs daily – NACA

At least 500 Nigerians die of HIV/AIDs daily, with an average new infection of 600 people every day, says Sani Aliyu, Director General, National Agency for the Control of AIDs, NACA.

Mr. Aliyu gave the figure during an interview with the Nigerian Television Authority, NTA, about HIV/AIDs, aired on Saturday night.

He said although the country has achieved great heights with the support of government and the international community, a lot of help is still needed from private individuals to address the challenges posed by the existence of HIV/AIDs in Nigeria.

Mr. Aliyu noted that Nigeria is still the second most affected country with HIV/AIDs, globally behind South Africa. He called on government and stakeholders to ensure increased education of the girl child and women empowerment as a means of addressing the challenge.

He added that the global theme for this year’s event to mark the World AIDs day, “Hands up for HIV/AIDs prevention,” was adjusted for Nigeria, to match with the country’s current prevalence rate of 3 per cent.

“You know that for Nigeria the topic for this year is not ‘hands up’; when you say hands up you are giving up. It’s ‘hands on’ for us in Nigeria,” said Mr. Aliyu.

About 72,000 adolescents are reportedly living with HIV in Lagos State, officials have said.

Also according to the Borno State’s coordinator for HIV/AIDs, no fewer than 5,000 Internally Displaced Persons, IDPs, in 27 camps in the state are currently living with the virus.

Borno records 512 new HIV cases in IDP camps

The Executive Secretary, Borno Agency for the Control of HIV/AIDS, BOSACA, Barkindo Saidu, says 512 new cases of HIV infections have been recorded in Internally Displaced Persons, IDPs, camps in the state.

He spoke on Sunday in Maiduguri while briefing journalists.

Mr. Saidu said that the cases were recorded after voluntary screening in some IDP camps in the state.

He pointed out that two out of the 512 persons were children.

“We are currently conducting voluntary screening on HIV/AIDS in IDPs’ camps across the state to determine the status of the people, especially those rescued from the Boko Haram terrorists.

“As at last week, we have recorded 512 positive cases, among which two are children,” Mr. Saidu said.

Officials had earlier said no fewer than 5,000 Internally Displaced Persons, IDPs, in 27 camps in the state are currently living with the virus.

Mr. Saidu said that the state had witnessed rising cases of the disease due largely to the Boko Haram terrorism.

“Currently, 2.4 per cent of the population of the state are living with HIVand AIDS, which translates to 108,000 persons, going by the record of the National Population Commission.

“But only a tiny portion of these people can access treatment because most anti retroviral centres have closed,” Mr. Saidu said.

He explained that only 32 out of the 90 anti retroviral centres were still operational in the state.

“Before the Boko Haram terrorism, we had 90 treatment centres across the state, but only 32 are still functional today.

“The rest have been closed down due to the Boko Haram terrorism,” Mr. Saidu said.

He called on the Federal Government and donor agencies to intervene in the HIV and AIDS control in the state.

HIV Self Testing Now Possible

You better believe what you have just read. When it comes to HIV/AIDS, the new word in the medical world is self-testing.

With the advent of new technologies in medicine, you and I can know our HIV status with a simple test that can be taken in the privacy of our homes.

Nowadays, testing yourself for HIV means that you and other people can use oral fluid or blood-finger-pricks to discover their status in a private and convenient setting. Results are ready within 20 minutes or less.

Some tests only require a swab of saliva and your result is ready after 30 minutes.

This is important because of the stigma associated with the viral disease. Most people are often scared to take the test in laboratories or health centres where they can run into any one they know.

These fears are profound and not unfounded. We have had instances where untrained nurses carelessly disclosed the HIV status of patients to other people.

Being able to test yourself makes it easier to accept the result, says consultant haematologist, Dr. Kunle Adetayo.

Adetayo says that despite the counselling given to patients before testing, having someone else disclose their results is often a blow that many may not recover from.

“I would rather be the first to know that I am HIV positive or not. It’s a diagnosis most people would prefer to know.  Then you can quietly walk into a clinic and get registered for treatment, knowing you have scaled the first hurdle.

“Self-testing will also increase the population of people who know their HIV status because believe it or not, more than half of those infected do not know and they will keep transmitting it,” he says.

Adetayo painted the right picture. According to the Director-General of the World Health Organisation, Dr. Margaret Chan, new statistics show that over 40 per cent of those infected with HIV are unaware of their status.

Chan says, “Millions of people with HIV are still missing out on life-saving treatment, which can also prevent HIV transmission to others.

“HIV self-testing should open the door for many more people to know their HIV status and find out how to get treatment and access prevention services.”

Doctors note that even though over 90 million Nigerians know that HIV/AIDS exists and kills when not detected early, they are yet to get tested.

Credit: Punch

#WorldAIDSDay: U.S. provides HIV testing, counselling to 12 million Nigerians

The United States Government has provided testing and counselling to over 12 million Nigerians over the last 12 months.

The U.S. Ambassador to Nigeria, Stuart Symington, who disclosed this in Abuja on Thursday at an event to mark the 2016 World AIDS Day, said this was being done through the U.S. President’s Emergency Fund for AIDS Relief, PEPFAR.
According to the envoy, 726,200 adults and 34,695 children are receiving treatment for HIV under the programme.

He said a total of 1,367,000 adults and children have been helped to live better lives through the U.S programme.

Speaking under the 2016 theme of the commemoration: “Leadership. Sustained Commitment.

Impact”, Mr Symington emphasized the need for Nigerians to be involved in strengthening their country’s health system.

“We can spend billions of dollars literally, tens of billions of dollars around the world and billions of dollars in Nigeria, but if you don’t strengthen your own health system at home and in the office and around the country, if you don’t invest your lives and your love, who else will do it for you? No one can do it for you”, he said.

The Country Coordinator of the programme in Nigeria, Shirley Dady, also spoke about the need to encourage more Nigerians to get tested for HIV.
She likened the disease to other chronic illnesses such as hypertension and diabetes, which can be managed.

Ms. Dady told PREMIUM TIMES she was hopeful that the HIV self-testing kits, which is a new technology, will be available in Nigeria “at some point”.

She, however, said many general hospitals and primary health care centres in the country were offering HIV tests and urged Nigerians to take advantage of them.

72,000 youths live with HIV in Lagos — AIDS Agency

About 72,000 adolescents are living with HIV in Lagos State, Chief Executive Officer of Lagos State AIDS Control Agency, Oluseyi Temowo, has said.

Mr. Temowo made the disclosure on Thursday while speaking in Lagos at a forum on adolescents living with HIV.

An NGO, Positive Action for Treatment, organised the forum in partnership with the AIDS agency to mark 2016 World AIDS Day.

Mr. Temowo urged the people to know their status early, added that drugs for HIV could be obtained free in any government hospital in the state.

He advised parents, guardians, healthcare givers and media to support the government in its effort to stamp out the condition by engaging in massive sensitisation of the public.

Also speaking, Olufemi Onanuga, the Special Adviser to Gov. Akinwunmi Ambode on Primary Healthcare, said the state government would sanction any school or organisation guilty of discriminating against HIV patients.

He also warned members of members of public, employers and school owners against stigmatisation of people living with HIV/AIDS.

According to him, the state government on will commence enforcement of legislation prohibiting stigmatisation and discrimination of people living with HIV in the state.

The governor’s aide condemned a school for rusticating an adolescent girl on account of living with HIV.

He said: ’’There is no need for discrimination. HIV is not a death sentence; anyone can live with this condition, like any other diseases like hypertension, for the rest of life.’’

“There is legislation against discrimination, be it at work or school. No one should be kicked out of school or work because of HIV.

“People live well as long as they (the victims) take their drugs; we will commence enforcement of the legislation against discrimination.

“As policy makers, we would do everything possible to make sure that HIV is kicked out of Lagos State and there won’t be discrimination for anyone.”

The Wife of the Governor, Bolanle Ambode, appealed to policy makers across the country for intervention programmes targeted at adolescents living with HIV and AIDS, because of their strategic age bracket.

Ambode, the Special Guest of Honour at the occasion, urged LSACA and all relevant government agencies to continue sensitising the public on the danger of discriminating against people living with HIV and AIDS.

Francis Umoh, Programme Manager, PATA said that the forum was conveyed to sensitise policy makers and key stakeholders on sexual and reproductive health of adolescents living with HIV.

Mr. Umoh said the step became necessary to promote support for PATA’s intervention programmes aimed at improving the quality of life of adolescents living with HIV in the area.

He said that PATA had established the Mary’s Home to cater for the psycho social and Sexual Reproductive Health needs of vulnerable and indigent adolescent girls living with HIV with no anywhere to stay.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN), recalls that the United Nations in 1988 declared Dec. 1 as the World AIDS Day.

The theme for the 2016 global event is “Hands Up for HIV Prevention.”

The Day is designed to honour AIDS victims and focus on issues surrounding HIV (Human Immunodeficiency Virus) and AIDS (Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome).

U.S. disburses $3.4 billion to fight HIV/AIDS in Nigeria — Envoy

The U.S. Consulate General in Lagos, on Tuesday said that the U.S. Government had disbursed over $3.4 billion to support the Nigerian HIV/AIDS response.

The Consul-General, John Bray, made the disclosure at an event organised by the Public Affairs and Medical Sections of the Consulate to mark the 2016 World AIDS Day in Lagos.

According to him, this disbursement has been since the inception of its President’s Emergency Plan For AIDS Relief (PEPFAR) in 2004.

Mr. Bray said that PEPFAR was a U.S. Governmental initiative to address the global HIV/AIDS epidemic and help to save the lives of those suffering from the disease, primarily in Africa.

He said that before PEPFAR, HIV infection was a death sentence in Nigeria and in Africa in general with entire villages being wiped out in some places.

According to him, at that time, less than 5,000 Nigerians supported solely by the Nigerian government were on treatment.

“The U.S. and Nigeria enjoy a strong relationship based on our many shared interests.

“In the case of HIV/AIDS both countries have pledged to work to eradicate HIV/AIDs and are committed to providing high quality, life-extending care, free from stigma and discrimination.

“Some measures of success show that 600,000 men, women and children which are about 90 percent of the people living with HIV/AIDs are currently on HIV treatment.

“About 8.7 million people have received HIV counselling and testing; more than 55,000 pregnant women have been provided anti-retroviral drugs for the prevention of mother-to-child transmission of HIV.

“Also, 750,000 adults and children living with HIV/AIDs have received care to support quality of life and 700,000 children orphaned by AIDS have received care and support,’’ he said.

Mr. Bray said through the contributions of the U.S. and Nigerian governments, the United Nations family, Global Fund, private sector, faith-based community, civil society and other partners, AIDS epidemic could be eliminated by 2030.

Bisola Olumegbon, Head, Medical Unit of the Consulate, said that the HIV/AIDS epidemic was considered a threat to the peace and security of the nation.

She said there was need to promote awareness, education, counselling, care and support to defeat the scourge.

Oladipupo Fisher, Director, Lagos State AIDS Control Agency (LSACA), appreciated the U.S. Government for their partnership and support in ensuring the eradication of HIV/AIDS by 2030.

Fisher said collaborative efforts were required to achieve the vision.

Also, Emmanuel Olaoti of the Society For Family Health, identified low use of condoms, poverty, multiple sexual partners, stigma and discrimination as factors contributing to the burden of the disease in the country.

He urged Nigerians to go for regular counselling and testing to know their status and prevent the disease.

In his remarks, Mr Ibrahim Umoru, an AIDS activist in the Treatment Action Movement, said it was cheaper and smart to remain negative than to be HIV positive.

Mr. Umoru urged government at all levels to intensify their AIDS programmes to reduce the burden of HIV/AIDS in the nation.

One in seven with HIV in Europe unaware of infection

One in seven people with HIV in Europe is unaware of their infection, the EU and World Health Organization reported Tuesday as 2015 marked another record year for new HIV cases in the region.

“HIV/AIDS continues to be a serious problem in Europe… The European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control’s (ECDC) estimate that one in seven people living with HIV are unaware of their status is particularly worrying,” EU Health Commissioner Vytenis Andriukaitis said in the report released ahead of World AIDS Day on Thursday.

“People who do not know they are infected cannot benefit from life-saving treatment, and can continue to transmit the virus to others,” he noted.

The ECDC figure is based on data from the 28 EU nations plus Iceland, Liechtenstein and Norway.

Almost half of cases in those countries — 47 percent — are diagnosed at a late stage of infection, the ECDC said, estimating that on average it takes almost four years before an HIV infection is diagnosed and reported.

Sex between men remains the main reported HIV transmission mode in those 31 countries, accounting for 42 percent of diagnoses. Men who have sex with men is the only group that has seen a steady increase in infections over the years, the report said.

Heterosexual sex accounts for 32 percent of diagnoses, followed by drug use at four percent.

High rates of infection

Meanwhile, Europe registered its highest number of new HIV cases in a single year in 2015, at 153,407 cases, up from 142,000 in 2014, the WHO said.

The 2014 figures were also a record number, driven by cases in Russia and immigrants who acquired the virus after arrival.

The WHO regional office for Europe has a different definition of Europe and compiles data from 53 countries.

Almost 80 percent of the 2015 cases it tallied were reported in eastern Europe, 18 percent in western Europe and three percent in central Europe.

Russia, where HIV remains a largely taboo subject, accounted for 64 percent of all newly diagnosed infections in the WHO’s European region, and 81 percent of cases in eastern Europe.

There, heterosexual sex is the main route of transmission of the virus which is spread through contact with contaminated body fluids.

Other countries with high rates of new infections last year were Ukraine, Belarus, Estonia, Moldova, Latvia and Georgia.

“Despite significant efforts, HIV remains among the main public health concerns in the WHO European region, in particular in its eastern part,” the WHO regional director for Europe, Zsuzsanna Jakab, said.

She urged member countries to implement a new action plan they endorsed in September, including improving access to HIV testing and prevention methods, to reverse the HIV epidemic.

Medical experts optimistic about new HIV vaccine.

Director of the Centre for the AIDS Programme of Research in South Africa, Professor Salim Abdool Karim, says he is very optimistic that the new HIV vaccine being tested in South Africa this week will show positive results.


He says it will take about five to six years to see the results.


The study, called HVTN 702, aims to enroll 5400 sexually active men and women between the ages of 18 and 35.


It will be the largest and most advanced HIV vaccine clinical trial to take place in South Africa.


Even if this vaccine reaches 50% protection or 60% protection, that is much better than 0% protection we have from any other kind of vaccine. It will be an important step to the right direction and major step forward.

Professor Salim Abdool Karim, Director of the Centre for the AIDS Programme of Research in South Africa


He says South Africa will continue to ensure that South Africa is involved in testing different vaccines.

Shocker: 9,579 Persons Tested HIV Positive In Lagos

No fewer than 9, 579 people were tested positive to HIV of the 616, 318 that attended the HIV Counselling and Testing (HCT) awareness programme from January to June, 2016.

Dr Oluseyi Temowo, the Chief Executive Officer, Lagos State AIDS Control Agency (LSACA), made this known on Wednesday in Lagos.

Temowo spoke at a news conference in Ikeja to mark the 2016 World AIDS Day with the theme: “Hands Up for #HIV Prevention’’.

United Nations had in 1988 declared every Dec.1 as the World AIDS Day. This is to honour AIDS victims and focus on issues surrounding HIV (human immunodeficiency virus) and AIDS (acquired immune deficiency syndrome).

Temowo said that in 2015, a total number of 599, 560 people were counselled, tested and received results out of which 15, 311 people were found to be positive. The LSACA chief said that 52, 803 people living with the scourge were currently on Antiretrovirals (ARVs).

“These statistics simply means that there are many more people who are not aware that they have the virus, that is why knowing one’s status is very important.

“It is a common knowledge that an HIV positive person can be symptom free for 10 years and will continue to infect others, if not checked and treated. “Being HIV positive does not translate to death with appropriate medications,” he said.

Temowo said that the agency had mobilised its HCT trucks to all the nooks and crannies of the state to conduct free HIV counselling and testing.

This, he said, would enable every Lagos resident to be aware of his or her health status. Temowo said that access to HCT would allow individuals to know their status and take appropriate steps to prevent the transmission to other people.

He said that this would also stop the progression to AIDS through lifestyle modification and health seeking behaviour.

According to him, this is geared toward achieving the eradication of the virus by 2030.

“Achieving AIDS free generation requires collective efforts, this is why we are calling on government at all levels, individuals and organisations to join us in this quest to make Lagos State an HIV Free Zone.

“We implore residents to visit all government hospitals within their areas to access free HCT, while HCT trucks will move around to reach other areas for this purpose.

“We also advise people to ensure these various means of prevention- condom use, harm reduction, voluntary medical male circumcision, prevention of mother-to-child transmission, counselling and testing,” he said.

Scientists discover antibody that neutralizes 98% strains of the HIV virus

Scientists have discovered an antibody that can neutralize 98 percent of HIV strains.

The strength and dynamism of the antibody – known as N6 – means it could be developed and re-purposed to treat and prevent HIV infections.

Remarkably, the research team at the US National Institutes of Health have found N6 can neutralize 16 of the 20 strains which have so far resisted all kinds of medication.

It is the most promising discovery to date after decades of failed attempts to neutralize the virus, which rapidly changes its surface proteins to evade recognition.

The last time HIV researchers made such a strong leap in the field was in 2010, with the discovery of an antibody called VRC01.

VRCO1 can stop up to 90 percent of HIV strains from infecting human cells.

It works in the same way as N6: both block the virus by binding to a part of the HIV enveloped called the CD4 binding site.

This prevents the virus from attaching itself to immune cells.

However, N6 can better tolerate changes in the HIV envelope.

For example, one of the key ways HIV evades the immune system is by gathering and attaching sugars, which tend to loosen the antibody’s grip. N6, however, is not affected by this change.

The findings, revealed in a report on Wednesday, have emerged as scientists continue to test N6 as an intravenous infusion in clinical trials to see if it can safely prevent HIV infection in humans.

Due to its potency, N6 may offer stronger and more durable prevention and treatment benefits, and researchers may be able to administer it subcutaneously (into the fat under the skin) rather than intravenously.

In addition, its ability to neutralize nearly all HIV strains would be advantageous for both prevention and treatment strategies.

For example, one of the key ways HIV evades the immune system is by gathering and attaching sugars, which tend to loosen the antibody’s grip. N6, however, is not affected by this change.

The findings, revealed in a report on Wednesday, have emerged as scientists continue to test N6 as an intravenous infusion in clinical trials to see if it can safely prevent HIV infection in humans.

Due to its potency, N6 may offer stronger and more durable prevention and treatment benefits, and researchers may be able to administer it subcutaneously (into the fat under the skin) rather than intravenously.

In addition, its ability to neutralize nearly all HIV strains would be advantageous for both prevention and treatment strategies.

HIV positive man who ‘had sex with 104 women and girls’ to face verdict this week.

A verdict is expected this week as a man with HIV who claimed he had sex with 104 women and girls as part of an “initiation ritual” faces trial.


Eric Aniva, an HIV-positive Malawian man, who was arrested after he confessed to raping girls and women as part of sexual cleansing rituals in Malawi, will appear in court on Friday for his expected verdict.


Aniva was taken into custody in southern Nsanje district after President Peter Mutharika ordered his arrest in July.


In his confession in an interview with BBC, the notorious sex worker claimed he had sex with 104 women and girls as part of an ‘initiation ritual,’ despite being HIV positive.


He had confessed that most of those he had sex with were girls, school-girls, and other just about 12 or 13 years old. He said he preferred them older, adding that he had sex with newly bereaved widows as part of the ‘cleansing ritual.’


After his arrest, none of the girls he assaulted came forward to testify against him until two women provided evidences during his trial.


Aniva who is also being charged with having sex with bereaved widows, which is outlawed under Malawi’s Gender Equality Act, will know his faith on Friday, November 18.


If he is convicted, he would face possible jail terms, Nyasa Times? reports.

UN to screen 5,000 persons for HIV/AIDS daily at 2016 Calabar Carnival.

The United Nations Population Fund says it plans to screen 5,000 persons for HIV/AIDS daily during the December Calabar Carnival in Cross River State.


The Programme Officer of UNFPA in Nigeria, Araoyimbo Idowu, disclosed this in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria in Calabar on Sunday.


Idowu said that UNFPAw would conduct the tests in collaboration with an NGO, Excellence Community Education Welfare Scheme.


He said the fund would organise an awareness campaign tagged “Wise Up Cross River” on a daily basis throughout the one month carnival.


Idowu said: “There is going to be some demonstration by youths and various stakeholders during the HIV/AIDS awareness campaign.


“In the course of the campaign, there will be various activities including one-on-one counseling, music, graphic designs, tattoo inscription and games.


“Also, many young volunteers and other stakeholders will be on stage to entertain people each day at the condom zone.”


The programme officer said that the campaign was aimed at sensitising the youths on the dangers of HIV/AIDS and the need for safe sex.


Idowu said that the programme would also bring together commercial sex workers, students’ organisations and those already living with the virus, to share knowledge on the disease.


He said that the organisation would mobilise youths from the 18 local government areas in the state to participate in the programme.


Idowu also said that condoms would be distributed free during the month-long campaign.


According to him, the UNPF decided to bring the campaign to the carnival because of its popularity and mass participation.

500 Women & Girls Infected With HIV In One IDP Camp- HRW

Human Rights Watch (HRW) has alleged, in a report released yesterday, that 500 women and girls have the Human Immuno-deficiency Virus (HIV) in one Internally Displaced Persons (IDP) camp in the North East.

The group cited an unnamed medical worker in its report, who alleged that those infected with HIV in one IDP rose from 200 to 500, with more cases unreported, over fear of stigmatisation.

“A medical health worker in one of the camps, which has 10, 000 residents said the number of people requiring treatment for HIV and other sexually transmitted infections has risen sharply, from about 200 cases when the camp clinic was established in 2014 to more than 500, in July 2016. The health worker said she believed that many more women could be infected but were ashamed to go to the clinic and are likely to be suffering in silence without treatment.” HRW did not, however, name the camp involved.

Promptly, President Muhammadu Buhari has ordered Inspector General of Police, Idris Ibrahim and North East governors, to, as a matter of urgency, commence investigation into alleged cases of sexual abuse and exploitation of women and girls in Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) camps.

The president was also reacting to allegations of sexual abuse of women and girls in IDP camps in the North East, as contained in the HRW.

Regardless, the president, who described the HRW report as “worrisome and shocking,” said he will wait for the outcome of the investigation before taking action.

His Senior Special Assistant on Media and Publicity, Mallam Garba Shehu  conveyed the president’s directive in a statement, yesterday.

Shehu said the president reiterated welfare of the IDPs, whom he described as ‘most vulnerable of Nigerians,’ remains  a priority of his government. “Nigerians and the international community can rest assured that the allegations raised in the HRW are not being taken lightly. President Buhari has instructed the IGP and state governors of the affected states to immediately, commence investigation into the issue. Their findings will determine the next course of action for the government and define an appropriate response.”

The HRW alleged in its report that “government officials and other authorities in Nigeria have raped and sexually exploited women and girls displaced by the conflict with Boko Haram.”

The group further added that, four months ago, specifically in July, it documented sexual abuse, including rape and exploitation of 43 women and girls living in seven IDP camps in Maiduguri, capital of Borno State.

“The victims had been displaced from several Borno towns and villages, including Abadam, Bama, Baga, Damasak, Dikwa, Gamboru Ngala, Gwoza, Kukawa, and Walassa. In some cases, the victims arrived in the under-served Maiduguri camps, where their movement is severely restricted after spending months in military screening camps.

“It is bad enough that these women and girls are not getting much-needed support for the horrific trauma they suffered at the hands of Boko Haram.

“It is disgraceful and outrageous that people, who should protect these women and girls are attacking and abusing them. Four of the victims told HRW that they were drugged and raped, while 37 were coerced into sex through false marriage promises and material and financial assistance.

“Many of those coerced into sex said they were abandoned after they became pregnant. They and their children have suffered discrimination, abuse, and stigmatisation from other camp residents. Eight of the victims said they were previously abducted by Boko Haram fighters and forced into marriage before they escaped to Maiduguri.”

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Gaétan Dugas, Man Accused of Bringing HIV/AIDS to US in 1970s Finally Exonerated

Scientists have managed to reconstruct the route by which HIV/Aids arrived in the US – exonerating once and for all the man long blamed for the ensuing pandemic in the west.

Using sophisticated genetic techniques, an international team of researchers have revealed that the virus emerged from a pre-existing epidemic in the Caribbean, arrived in New York by the early 1970s and then spread westwards across the US.

The research also confirms that Gaétan Dugas, a French-Canadian flight attendant, was not the first person in the US to be infected, despite being dubbed “Patient zero” in a study of gay men with Aids in 1984. Based on that study, author Randy Shilts named Dugas in 1987 and wrote that “there’s no doubt that Gaëtan played a key role in spreading the new virus from one end of the United States to the other.”

Characterised by Shilts as promiscuous and irresponsible, Dugas – who died of Aids in 1984 after assisting with studies into whether it was caused by a sexually transmitted agent – was widely vilified.

However, analysis of Dugas’s HIV genome from a blood sample shows that it was typical of strains of the virus within the US at the time and was not the root from which the virus diversified in North America.

The findings, the authors say, tie in with a large body of evidence that shows that Dugas was not the source of the pandemic in North America, and that the mistake may have been the result of a typing error in the original study that referred to Dugas as “Patient 0” – a term now widely used to mean the first case of an outbreak – instead of “Patient O”, the capital letter, which merely indicated that he lived outside California.

“The current study provides further evidence that patient 57, the individual identified both by the letter O and the number 0, was not patient zero of the North American epidemic,” said Richard McKay, historian and co-author of the study from the University of Cambridge, adding that the authors of the original study had already pointed out he was unlikely to be the source. He said a “trail of error and hype” had led to Dugas being branded with the “Patient Zero” title.

“Gaétan Dugas is one of the most demonised patients in history, and one of a long line of individuals and groups vilified in the belief that they somehow fuelled epidemics with malicious intent,” said McKay.

“In many ways the historical evidence has been pointing to the fallacy of this particular notion of patient zero for decades,” said McKay. “This individual was simply one of thousands infected before HIV/Aids was recognised.”

Writing in the journal Nature, researchers from the US, UK and Belgium describe how they developed a new technique to unpick the history of HIV-1 group M subgroup B, the subtype of HIV that is most prevalent in the western world.

Called “RNA jackhammering”, the technique tackles the problem that the genetic material of HIV, which exists in the form of a single-stranded molecule known as RNA, breaks down rapidly over time, making it difficult to extract and piece together. RNA jackhammering allows scientists to selectively copy tiny fragments of the virus’s RNA and stitch them together.


Using the new approach, a technique the team say took around four years to develop, the scientists turned to serum samples that had been collected in 1978 and 1979 from men who had sex with men in New York and San Francisco – samples collected before what became known as Aids was first reported in 1981.

That they were able to painstakingly assemble the complete HIV genome from eight of the oldest-known samples, allowed the team to place them on a sort of “family tree” of the virus. Even though the number of genomes is small, the team say the eight samples not only enabled them to explore the genetic diversity of the virus in North America in the late 1970s but also chart its history, revealing the importance of New York City in the chain of events.

The level of genetic diversity, they say, shows that the virus was circulating in the US for a decade before what eventually became known as Aids was recognised.

According to the team’s reconstruction, based on the new findings as well as previous data, after jumping from non-human primates to humans in Africa, HIV spread to Caribbean countries by around 1967, with the subtype arriving in New York by 1971 and reaching San Francisco by 1976. The conclusions, they add, are also supported by the prevalence of the HIV virus among the collection of serum samples and the spread and timing of later patient cases.

“New York City looks geographically like the key turning point for the emergence of this subtype, and New York City acts as this hub from which the virus moves to the west coast somewhat later and eventually to western Europe and Australia and Japan and South America and all sorts of other places,” said Michael Worobey, co-author of the research from the University of Arizona.

The results back up previous work by the Worobey and others, who have spent years using a variety of approaches to trace the route of the HIV/Aids epidemic and emphasises that the virus travelled from the Caribbean to the US, not vice versa. But Worobey is quick to point out that the idea of culpability is misplaced.

“No-one should be blamed for the spread of a virus that no-one even knew about,” he said. “How the virus moved from the Caribbean to the US and New York City in the 1970s is an open question – it could have been a person of any nationality, it could have even been blood products.”

The mistaken emphasis placed on Dugas that saw him placed as a key link between the spread of HIV/Aids between the east and west coasts of the US in the 1984 study, he said, was likely down to Dugas’s efforts to help researchers.

“Probably what happened here was a case of a guy who was unusually helpful to investigators providing lots and lots of names of sexual contacts,” said Worobey. “He’s just one of many people who is highly sexual active and in this network of people who are popping up as early Aids cases but he ended up looking up as this central character almost certainly just because of how helpful he was.”

The case, adds McKay, also highlights the problems with trying to pinpoint the first person to be infected in an epidemic. “One of the dangers of focus on a single patient zero when discussing the early stages of an epidemic is that we risk obscuring important structural factors that might contribute to its development – poverty, legal and cultural inequalities, barriers to healthcare and education,” he said.

As well as donating blood plasma for analysis for the original study, Dugas had provided researchers with the names of 72 of the roughly 750 partners he had had a sexual relationship with in the previous three years.

“The fact that Dugas provided the most names, and had a more memorable name himself, likely contributed to his perceived centrality in this sexual network,” Dr McKay added.

Gkikas Magiorkinis, a clinical and evolutionary virologist at the University of Oxford, said that the research highlights the power of such genetic techniques in shedding light on how a virus spreads among a population. “They managed to get full sequences of viruses from old samples, and that has been very difficult up until now,” he said. That, he adds, could prove valuable for probing the history of many other viruses, including hepatitis C, and for designing better interventions. “If we want to know how we are going to stop an epidemic we need to know who infected who and how this happened, so it will have important applications with respect to controlling epidemics,” he said.

(The UK Guardian)

HIV Research for Prevention (HIVR4P) 2016; Seizing the moment for Nigeria(ns) – Gabriel Adeyemo

The HIV Research for Prevention (HIVR4P) conference began yesterday the 16th of October 2016 in Chicago, USA. Unlike many other related conferences on HIV, AIDS, STIs, etc, the HIVR4P is very specific. It is the only global scientific conference that is dedicated exclusively to cutting-edge and up-to-date research on all forms of biomedical HIV prevention which include & not limited to HIV vaccines, Pre Exposure Prophylaxis (PrEP), Microbicides, treatment as prevention (TasP), and other biomedical prevention approaches. This year’s HIVR4P brought about 1,400 leaders in HIV prevention research, programs and policy makers to build on the successes of its inaugural to respond to a growing agreement that effective HIV prevention will require a combination of approaches.

Nigeria(ns) and the Demand for PrEP (#LeNNiB).
PrEP; Pre-Exposure Prophylaxis, is the use of anti-HIV medication that keeps HIV negative people from becoming infected. When used as prescribed, a single pill taken once daily will interfere with HIV’s ability to copy itself in the body after it has been exposed. Although approved by the Food and Drugs Administration (FDA), having shown safety and effectiveness, and been around in the U.S. for over a year, not a lot of people know about it.

The New HIV Vaccine and Microbicides Advocacy Society (NHVMAS) in the past months has mobilized civil society organizations and advocates in Nigeria and other partners to demand for PrEP through the; Leave No Nigerians Behind, #LeNNiB campaign.

Nigeria is a high burden country for many diseases. We (Nigeria) currently housed the second largest population of people living with HIV globally and have the largest number of new HIV infection each year. In 2015 alone, 210,000 persons were infected with HIV, despite the availability of condoms and other prevention tools. This was one of the world’s highest figures. Yet, HIV infection is avoidable if all persons at substantial risk for HIV – Women, Young Girls, Adolescents, MSMs, FSWs, IDUs, Sero-discordant couples and Men with multiple sex partners who find it difficult to use condoms – have access to varieties of HIV prevention tools.

Despite several pleas to GILEAD Sciences; an American biopharmaceutical company that developed and commercialized Truvada since 2004, which is the major prescription medicine that is used as PrEP to help reduce the risk of getting HIV-1 infection when used together with safer sex practices, their failure to register Truvada for use as PrEP in Nigeria is a denial of access to persons at substantial risk of HIV and finds the use of condoms challenging as a HIV prevention tool for HIV. This makes a layman to wonder if truly the world is fighting HIV/AIDS in one accord and that we are helping ourselves to end the epidemic that has being around for the past 34-35 years.  Or maybe Nigeria has been left behind in the global response to tackle the HIV epidemic.

Many have argued that the use of PrEP in Nigeria will promote promiscuity and other social vices. Others claimed it would limit the use of condoms and increase STIs. Also, we claimed not to have the funds to foster the processes and use of PrEP but we forgot the sero-discordant couples. We have forgotten the limited powers of the condom being contraceptives and also not 100% safe in the case of miss-use, leakage or sudden burst.

Lest we forget our scores and deliberately not seize this moment as a nation, Nigeria has the second highest number of people living with HIV in the world. We are making poor progress with prevention of mother to child transmission of HIV as this has tagged us “the country that leads the global manufacturers of children infected with HIV”. Opportunistic infection such as Tuberculosis also remain a challenging problem and a growing public health hazard in Nigeria as the country is identified as one of the 10 high burden countries in the world. With the high number of new infections, Nigeria is racing towards being a country with the highest number of people living with HIV in the world….”I believe this will be a very nice award and a place to clap for ourselves having achieved this feat”… Truth is, we need to stop this trend. We need to ensure effective HIV prevention tools are available to person who needs them.

Also, we should note that despite the low incidence of HIV in countries such as Kenya, France, Canada, USA, Australia, they already got PrEP approved and being served as part of their HIV prevention spectrum.

Our Ministry of Science and Technology has kept quiet, maybe because they lack funds to support life saving researches and are preparing for their proposed invention of “pencils” in the 2018; The Nigerian Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) is not seen doing anything feasible on securing or sounding the alarm for the urgent need for PrEP; Our National Academy of Science is now a place where nothing happens except to celebrate international day of blahblahblah….

The fate of the nation’s health and her citizens has now being left in the hands of Civil Society Organizations (CSO), who are advocating & fighting for the masses and vulnerable people. The Ministry of Health is now a playing ground where policies abound, rebound, etc without implementations.

Gilead’s efforts to quickly register Truvada for use as PrEP in Nigeria should commence before the conclusion of the ongoing PrEP demonstration project in Nigeria. This is a call on behalf of the many people already asking for PrEP in Nigeria. Nigeria have to stop this trend of new infections as there are individuals already asking for PrEP, yet doctors cannot prescribe. We need/must meet the global targets of ending HIV as Nigerians cannot and must not be left behind. NAFDAC is already waiting for Gilead Sciences to register Truvada for use as PrEP in Nigeria, so also the over 174 million Nigerians are also waiting for new HIV infection to stop.

There are evidences that PrEP works when taken. Also, data from various demonstration projects has provided some information on what the “real-world” implementation of PrEP will be. Although, there may not be answers and truly do not need any, but Nigeria really should IMPLEMENT PrEP NOW!!!…

Gabriel Adeyemo MPH
Public Health Analyst; HIV/AIDS Advocate.
@vinnydrey @s4mnigeria

I slept with 6 other ladies, says man accused of infecting girlfriend with HIV

James Turner, the 67-year-old Irish national based in Nigeria, has said he slept with no fewer than six other ladies. Turner is the man accused by his 31-year-old Nigerian girlfriend of deliberately infecting her with the Human Immunodeficiency Virus, HIV.

Turner also confessed to have sent his wife back to the Republic of Ireland, when his status was confirmed, in order not to infect her with the virus.

It was gathered, during interrogation that among the girls the suspect had slept with was his girlfriend’s friend. The concerned ladies, it was gathered, were all commercial sex workers.

However, unconfirmed reports said he had slept with more than six ladies.

His girlfriend, identified simply as Helen, reported Turner to the police last Friday, after the latter reneged on his promise to settle the former with N2.5 million.

Helen said that she stumbled on the anti-retroviral drugs her lover of eight years had been secretly taking, four months after his status was confirmed.

Three years ago

The Benue State-born lady disclosed that Turner’s status was revealed three years ago, when she went with him to the hospital for the treatment of an unknown ailment.

She said: “When we got to Liester Hospital, Ikeja, they ran some tests on him because he was sweating and also running temperature. The doctor gave him drugs for malaria.

“At that hospital, if one is sick and has such high temperature, they will run a HIV test on the person without his knowledge. After running the test on him, the doctor invited us to his office and asked if he could talk to him in my presence, he said no, that I should wait outside. The doctor thereafter, broke the news to him.

“When we got home, he was quiet. He did not tell me anything. I realised that he was taking a particular medication, which he hid from me.

“There was a time I even drove to the hospital to pick a brown envelop, which was sealed, for him. It was his medication, but I did not open it.

“When I discovered that he kept hiding his medication from me, I asked him what kind of medicine he was taking and he told me that it was for malaria and typhoid. I did not say anything because I thought that the prescription was for a long period of time.

“He continued taking it for about three to four months. So, one day I opened the medication and wrote out the name of the drug. Thereafter, I googled the name on my phone to know what type of medication it was. To my shock I discovered it was an anti-retroviral for HIV.

“I went to meet Jim in the living room and asked why he was taking medication meant for people living with HIV and also asked if he was HIV positive, but he said no.

“He told me that the doctor gave him the medication for his legs, which has caused him sleepless nights.”

Helen’s worst fear was confirmed during a visit to the doctor, who disclosed that her lover was HIV positive. To ascertain her status, the doctor also ran a test on her, where she was discovered to have been infected with HIV.

According to her, “since the visit to the doctor with Jim (her pet name for Turner) his love-making with me increased as if he was madly in love with me.”

Decision to send wife back

Turner, who refused to speak with journalists, however, insisted that Helen infected him with the virus. But during interrogation by policemen at the Ikeja Division, he stated that he had to send his wife back to Ireland on discovering that he was HIV positive, in order not to infect her with the virus.

He also said that he slept with other ladies after his status was confirmed, right in his apartment.

He also insisted that Helen infected her with the virus, pointing out that she might have contacted the virus from Kaduna State, where she spent some months to sell a property in 2013, same year he was confirmed to be HIV positive.

But asked why he hid the anti-retroviral drugs from Helen, he kept mum. He was released on bail, weekend, to treat himself of an injury he sustained on one of his elbows, from which he was bleeding.

Police, however, assured that measures had been put in place to prevent further infection of other ladies by the suspect.

Lagos State Police Public Relations Officer, Dolapo Badmus, who confirmed the arrest, said: “We are waiting for expert’s opinion to conclude the charge against the suspect.”

Mariah Carey’s HIV-Positive Sister Arrested On Prostitution Charges

The sister of pop star Mariah Carey was arrested on prostitution charges in upstate New York. The Daily Freeman of Kingston reported that 55-year-old Alison Carey was arrested in Saugerties on Friday as a result of an ongoing undercover investigation at a hotel there. Local police said Carey solicited money in exchange for sex from an undercover police officer posing as a possible client.


Saugerties Police Chief Joseph Sinagra told the newspaper that Alison Carey identified herself as the sister of superstar performer when she was arrested. He said an internet search confirmed her claim. He said Carey was a visitor to the town and had advertised her sexual services online, on the adult section of a local website.


According to the Freeman, one such ad, posted at 6:18 p.m. on Friday, contained two photos of Carey and stated, “I’m a pretty lady looking for guys who are looking to have some fun and get into a world of pleasure that other woman just can’t provide to you. Woman with the ability to make the earth move for you and to get you to see stars. Oh, yeah, with me its, ‘It’s such a sweet, sweet fantasy, baby. When I close my eyes, I come and take you on and on.’”


The quotation echoes the lyrics to Mariah Carey’s 1995 hit, “Fantasy.” Neither the hotel where Alison Carey was working nor the website on which the ads appeared were identified.


Sinagra told the Daily Freeman that “based on other stories” found online reporting that Carey is HIV positive, people who had sexual encounters with her, particularly if it included unprotected sex, were urged to contact their doctors.

Carey is due in Saugerties Town Court on Aug. 30. It wasn’t immediately clear if she had an attorney who could comment on the charges. Mariah Carey has not commented publicly about her sister’s arrest.

Malawi Again Denies Bail To Man Paid To Have Sex with 100 Girls

A Malawian man accused of having sex with 100 girls and women in a series of ritual cleansing acts, on Monday failed in his second bid to be freed on bail.


Prosecutor Christopher Botoman opposed the bail request for Eric Aniva over fears that he could “intimidate and influence” witnesses not to testify in court.


Given the “nature and seriousness of the offence and the severity of the punishment if convicted” it would “not be in the interest of justice to release the accused on bail.”


The prosecution also said the 45-year-old – who has said he is infected with the Aids virus – was likely to jump bail and cross the border into Mozambique.


But Aniva, whose first bid to secure bail was earlier this month, rejected the idea, saying he was “not scared” to face trial.


Malawi, which has one of the highest HIV infections in the world, criminalises sex with a person under the age of 16.


If he is found guilty of underage sex, Aniva could be imprisoned for life.

The little-known local practice of having sex with adolescent girls to mark their passage to womanhood is performed in southern Malawi by men known as “hyenas” at the behest of a girl’s parents after her first menstruation.


The ritual is believed to train girls to become good wives and protect them from disease, or misfortune could fall on their families or their village.


Aniva is said to have slept with at least 104 women and girls, some as young as 12, in a ritual that lasts three days. He said each family paid him a fee of between $4 and $7.


His two wives were both present at the court house.


“We want him back home. We are suffering because we have no food,” his 25-year-old wife Fanny told AFP.


“When he is around, we don’t suffer because he is a man and he finds means to bring food to the house.”


His second wife, Sophia, said he had long abandoned the “hyena” business.


“Thieves and murderers get released on bail, but what is wrong with our husband?” she said.

Charlie Sheen Slams Porn Star Ex-Fiancée: ‘She Insisted On Unprotected Sex After HIV Diagnosis’

Charlie Sheen says his porn-star ex-fiancée is an “extortionist” who insisted on having unprotected sex with him in 2014 even though she knew he was HIV-positive..Responding in court to Brett Rossi’s lawsuit alleging that Sheen had physically abused her, forced her to have an abortion and failed to disclose his HIV status, Sheen sought to undermine Rossi’s credibility by bringing up her past as a sex worker.
In the court papers, which were filed Monday and obtained by the LA Times,Sheen’s lawyers read…

“She was the one who insisted on having unprotected sex with Sheen ‘like a normal couple,'” after she learned of his diagnosis. “As a porn star, Rossi has had hundreds, if not thousands, of sexual partners. Exposure to sexually transmitted disease is a risk that she knowingly and willingly accepts every time she has sex on film, and she made the same choice when it came to Sheen.”Rossi “signed a confidentiality agreement” after he revealed his HIV status to her.
“This is a case by an extortionist … who gets paid for sex as a prostitute and a porn star,” the lawyers write. “Rossi is banking on the fact that Sheen will pay her millions of dollars to avoid the negative publicity surrounding this action.”

Rossi, 26, who was engaged to Sheen for eight months in 2014, filed a lawsuit last week seeking unspecified damages from the actor for assault, battery, false imprisonment and emotional distress after his bombshell HIV announcement, one day after he failed to pay her more than $1 million they had reportedly agreed upon prior to his November “Today” show interview.

Cambodian Doctor Jailed For 25 Years For Infecting 300 People With HIV

A Cambodian court has convicted an unlicensed medical practitioner of murder and sentenced him to 25 years in prison for spreading HIV among almost 300 villagers.

A spokesman for the court in the northwestern province of Battambang said Yem Chrin, 56, was found guilty on Thursday of torture and cruel behaviour resulting in death, intentionally spreading HIV and practising medicine without a licence.

Ten of the villagers have died since the outbreak began.

Authorities detected an epidemic of human immunodeficiency virus, the virus that causes AIDS, on December 9 when they started testing a community in Battambang. The victims ranged from a two-year-old to elderly in their 80s.

It first started after a 74-year-old man tested positive for HIV in November. The man convinced others in the village who had also visited Yem Chrin to also get tested.

The court found Yem Chrin guilty of operating health treatment without license, injecting people with syringes that spread HIV and torturing people to die.

Yem Chrin admitted to routinely reusing syringes but denied intentionally spreading the virus.

He was arrested in December last year and taken into protective custody, with the authorities fearing he might be lynched by residents of Roka village

Police said Yem Chrin was a well-respected doctor who villagers believed had healing powers and who provided cheap treatment for the poor.

Man Gets 25 Years Jail Term For Infecting Villagers With HIV

A Cambodian man was sentenced to 25 years in prison on Thursday for infecting 270 people with HIV while he was working as an unlicensed doctor in a village. Yem Chrin, 57, was arrested in December 2014 after a routine health check revealed unusually high numbers of HIV-positive villagers in Battambang province’s Roka commune in western Cambodia.

On Thursday, he was found guilty of torture with aggravating circumstances, operating a clinic without a licence, and intentionally spreading HIV, said Toch Sopheakdey, a spokesman for the Battambang Provincial Court of First Instance. Besides a 25-year sentence, Chrin also faces a five-million-riel fine (1,235 dollars).

“This sends a clear message to the other doctors nationwide who are providing medical treatment without a licence to be aware,” Sopheakdey told newsmen. An investigation by UNAIDS, the World Health Organization and local authorities traced the outbreak to Chrin and his reuse of tainted needles.

Credit: Vanguard

Magic Johnson Calls Out Charlie Sheen, “We Should Team Up To Fight HIV”

Magic Johnson is putting Charlie Sheen on the spot saying now that he’s gone public about having HIV, they should work TOGETHER to help educate people about it.

The NBA legend tweeted, “I wish @CharlieSheen and his family the best. With the advancement in treatments and medicine he can fight this disease and live a long life.”

“In @CharlieSheen breaking his silence, I hope he joins me in educating the world about HIV/AIDs,” he said in a second tweet.

Johnson has been a force in combating HIV ever since he was diagnosed launching the Magic Johnson Foundation in 1991 which works with millions of people till date.

Threats Of Lawsuit From Former Partners Unraveled Charlie Sheen’s HIV Status

According to a report by TMZ, Charlie Sheen has known for a year that he’s HIV positive but kept it under wraps but it all unraveled when some former partners threatened him with lawsuits. TMZ reports below…

As we reported, Charlie will appear on “Today” and reveal he’s HIV positive. We’re told he’s known about his status for more than a year and he kept a lid on the information. We’re told things changed when Charlie confided in several friends he thought were confidants … it turned out they weren’t, and spread the word he was HIV positive.

That led to several of Charlie’s former partners contacting him and threatening a lawsuit because they were unaware of his status when they had interaction with him. Our sources say Charlie settled several of the cases and, in return for money, got confidentiality agreements.

We’re told one of the settlements occurred late last month.

We also know when people go to Charlie’s house they are almost always required to sign confidentiality agreements which require anyone who might make a claim to do so in arbitration and not through the courts … which thereby keeps things private.

Origins of HIV Virus Strains Traced to Gorillas

Two of four strains of the virus that can cause AIDS come from gorillas in southwestern Cameroon, an international team of scientists reported in studies published Monday in the United States.

 The new information means that researchers now know the origins of all strains of the HIV virus that occur in people.

HIV (HIV-1) has at least four strains. Known as Groups M, N, O and P, each one had its own origin — from ape to man, on at least four separate occasions.

Groups M and N were known to have come from chimpanzees in Cameroon. But until now the origin of the O and P strains had been unknown.

Results of the study led by Martine Peeters, a virologist at France’s Research and Development Institute (IRD) and the University of Montpellier, appeared in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

HIV-1’s Group M is the most widely spread, behind the greatest part of the epidemic with more than 40 million people now infected around the world.

Read MoreYahoo

Chinese Village Vote To Expel HIV-Positive Boy

The plight of a Chinese boy with the HIV virus, reportedly pushed to leave his home by 200 villagers who signed a petition, sparked intense online soul-searching in the country on Thursday.

The case has highlighted the stigma attached to HIV in China, where many sufferers face widespread discrimination.

The boy’s guardian, his grandfather, was among those in the southwestern Sichuan province who signed an agreement to expel the eight-year-old to “protect villagers’ health”, the Global Times reported.

The newspaper, with close ties to the ruling Communist Party, said the boy contracted the virus from his mother, and was diagnosed when he received injuries for minor treatment in 2011.

Previous reports said the boy — who was given the pseudonym Kunkun by Chinese media — was refused admission to local schools and villagers would avoid contact with him.

“Nobody plays (with me), I play alone,” Kunkun said, according to a report Wednesday on the website of the People’s Daily newspaper, the official mouthpiece of Communist Party.

The website also said Kunkun was referred to as a “time bomb” in the petition.

The Inspirational Story of How Orange Academy Boss, Kehinde Bademosi Battled HIV To A StandStill

Today, Monday December 1st, is World AIDS day, and I’m celebrating my resolve to live with this damn virus all these many years without letting it define who I am. Every journey I take, every picture of me you see, and every new challenge I take on are all huge reminders that I must never stop living my best life. So, I decided to share my journey with you today. Honestly, I don’t know what exactly you are dealing with but I’m writing you this to hold tight to your dream. Here’s a quick sketch of my journey from the first day I tested positive, some 15 years ago. My upcoming book tells the full story.

1999. After three years of different pains and minor illnesses, I was encouraged by my best friend and Professor Soyinka, an HIV specialist, to go get tested so I could face my fear. I had just resumed work as a Copywriter at McCann. I’d rather not know. I was working on Coca Cola, and I would rather live in the joy of that dream. It was that point when you assured yourself this was only a lie from the pit of hell. I had not been a ‘bad boy,’ I would assure myself.

1999. I tested, and it came back positive. I blamed everyone but myself. I wanted to end my life immediately. Trust me, I did try a few things. Then I called on God. I told God to change the status because it didn’t look good on him. I sang. I fasted. I gave offerings. Prophet offerings. I died several times, but I didn’t die. I was always back to myself. I came up with a few pseudo coping skills, but I was always depressed. The picture of HIV back then was very gory, and I was wasting away.

2004. I realized I didn’t die yet. My flesh had not fallen off. My heart was still beating. I still liked rice and pepper stew. I still had early morning erections – and not just in the early mornings. Shouldn’t I be dead by now? I began to question everything I ever knew.

2006. I had a local operation for tonsillitis, and it brought my immune system to level zero. I was infected by everything you could name. But I was so happy that I was going to die finally. Wouldn’t it be nice to die just like that? Unfortunately, I did not die. I was bedridden for four months and was forced to live by myself. It was there that my Exodus happened. I realized for the 1st time that the real death is when we refuse to live out our full potential. Death is not a physical thing. It is an emotional thing. When we stop living. When we stop laughing. When we stop learning. When we stop crying. Or feeling. So I couldn’t wait to get out of the hospital. There, I started the anti-HIV medication. (Trust me, it doesn’t kill as I had feared)

2007. I started living and loving myself. As a creative person, I created Orange Academy to start teaching people how to find their creative self. Love themselves. Tell compelling stories. I put all my life into it. Then, I started to undo all my pseudo coping skills. Oh, I had tons of them. Like getting married, wanting people to accept me, being the ‘yes’ man to Ministers of God – something I did in times past to assure myself I was doing ‘God’s will.’ I stopped sending my money to Trinity Broadcasting Network (TBN) and started investing it on people I could see around me. Little did I realize that God didn’t send me to do anything to gain his favor or search for him. God had never been lost. I was meant to find myself and live my authentic life. Lift people up. Fight the oppression around me. I started spending time with myself. I started working out at the gym. I started to travel to enjoy the universe.

2008 – 2010. I looked in the mirror, and I saw a better me. A younger me. A healthier me. No more lies. At Orange Academy, we started the ART OF POSITIVE THINKING and started to use our arts and money to assist people living with debilitating diseases or social conditions. I took those layers of lies off my soul. I started writing my memoir – my full story as a preacher boy trying to find God who art in heaven! [ THE EXODUS coming out next year ]

2014. November. I had an appointment with my doctor in Maryland, USA, and he asked me:

‘What’s your secret?’ All your medical tests are amazing. We tested for everything possible. No new infections or conditions. Blood work is excellent. Nothing at all to worry about. Perfect health. Just that you are still HIV+.’

‘Oh really?’ I said. ‘I thought that had disappeared.’

‘ Well, it’s still there, sadly. I hope Science gets the cure someday soon.’

We both laughed and then I fought back a little tear in my eyes. This dude doesn’t know how grateful I am for HIV. Thank God for HIV. I wish I never had it, but Lord I did! It made me run after myself. Maybe I would never have understood myself; that no one can save us but us. Maybe I would never know the refreshing power that loneliness can bring when we embrace our broken self.

Here’s what I want you to take away: don’t end your dreams just because you are presented with bad news along the way. Remember, HIV doesn’t kill anymore; it’s ignorance that kills. Use that bad news to ride onto your next phase. It will be tough. I won’t lie. Don’t be afraid to live vulnerably. It’s empowering. Empower yourself by loving yourself. Find yourself. Give yourself to people without expecting anything in return. If you are a Faith person, keep living your Faith in love for humankind. Empty yourself and accept to be filled with kindness from others. Believe me, there are still angels out there to lift you up.

*NOTE: Potentially I cannot infect anyone with HIV since my viral load went to undetectable since 2008. Nevertheless, I still advise that you take precaution with sexual partners as an HIV+ person, so they don’t infect you with STDs. If you have not tested, know your status. It’s liberating. Starting an HIV medication now doesn’t only protect your loved ones but can make you live even longer than people without HIV. Want to chat? Send me an email at