Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Progress against HIV thwarted by patients' unmet needs

27.04.2012
UCSF study shows poverty undercuts otherwise major gains in HIV treatment

In a groundbreaking study published last year, scientists reported that effective treatment with HIV medications not only restores health and prolongs life in many HIV-infected patients, but also curtails transmission to sexual partners up to ninety-seven percent. However, a new study by UCSF scientists shows that lack of basic living needs severely undercuts these advances in impoverished men.

The new research builds on a 2010 finding by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention showing that poverty is the single biggest factor linked to HIV infection in heterosexuals living in inner-city neighborhoods.

In the new study published in the April 25 issue of PLoS ONE, UCSF researchers found that for HIV-infected homeless and unstably housed individuals, a failure to address unmet subsistence needs such as housing, food, clothing and hygiene, undermines these very real individual and public health benefits of HIV medication delivery.

"In this study, we followed a group of homeless and unstably housed HIV-infected people living in San Francisco and found that only about a fifth of those for whom antiretroviral therapy was medically indicated were actually on the medications. More importantly, while viral load was one of the most important predictors of overall health, we found that an inability to meet basic subsistence needs had an even larger influence on health status in this population," said the study's principal investigator, Elise Riley, PhD, Associate Professor in the UCSF HIV/AIDS Division at San Francisco General Hospital and Trauma Center.

"This study shows that a simple focus on providing medications will neither effectively treat nor end HIV in inner cities. A person's ability to get needed care and take medications becomes less of a priority when they don't have food or a place to sleep. If we could improve opportunities for people to meet their basic subsistence needs, in tandem with providing antiretroviral therapy, we could improve patients' health and better realize the potential gains to public health," added Riley.

For six years, the researchers followed a group of 288 HIV-infected men who were recruited from homeless shelters, free meal programs and single room occupancy (SRO) hotels that primarily serve individuals with very low or no income. Twenty percent had reported being homeless recently. Over one-third of participants reported current symptoms of chronic illness.

At the study onset, participants had an average of 349 CD4 T-cells (the immune cells targeted and killed by HIV), which is not much higher than the cutoff of 200 often used to diagnose AIDS. While current treatment guidelines in the City and County of San Francisco indicate treatment upon HIV diagnosis, the policy active during the study period specified that individuals with less than 350 CD4 T-cells should start antiretroviral medications.

Results indicating that subsistence needs are the strongest predictor of overall health status among homeless men were consistent with findings from a recent homeless women's study conducted by the same group and published earlier this year in the American Journal of Epidemiology.

"Previous cost effectiveness studies show that homelessness is more expensive to society than the cost of housing. This is due to situations that are strongly linked to homelessness like emergency room use and incarceration. Our study suggests that the social barriers inherent in poverty are also likely to continue fueling the American HIV epidemic, which may further add to societal costs," concluded Riley.

Study co-investigators include Torsten B. Neilands, Kelly Moore, Jennifer Cohen, David R. Bangsberg and Diane Havlir. In addition to UCSF, authors of this study are affiliated with the Harvard School of Medicine and the University of California, Berkeley.

The study, funded by the National Institutes of Health, is online in PLoS ONE: http://www.plosone.org/article/info%3Adoi%2F10.1371%2Fjournal.pone.0035207

The UCSF HIV/AIDS Division at San Francisco General Hospital and Trauma Center is affiliated with the AIDS Research Institute (ARI) at UCSF. UCSF ARI houses hundreds of scientists and dozens of programs throughout UCSF and affiliated labs and institutions, making ARI one of the largest AIDS research entities in the world.

UCSF is a leading university dedicated to defining health worldwide through advanced biomedical research, graduate level education in the life sciences and health professions, and excellence in patient care.

Follow UCSF on Twitter @ucsf/@ucsfscience

Jeff Sheehy | EurekAlert!
Further information:
http://www.ucsf.edu

More articles from Studies and Analyses:

nachricht The importance of biodiversity in forests could increase due to climate change
17.11.2017 | Deutsches Zentrum für integrative Biodiversitätsforschung (iDiv) Halle-Jena-Leipzig

nachricht Win-win strategies for climate and food security
02.10.2017 | International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis (IIASA)

All articles from Studies and Analyses >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Nanoparticles help with malaria diagnosis – new rapid test in development

The WHO reports an estimated 429,000 malaria deaths each year. The disease mostly affects tropical and subtropical regions and in particular the African continent. The Fraunhofer Institute for Silicate Research ISC teamed up with the Fraunhofer Institute for Molecular Biology and Applied Ecology IME and the Institute of Tropical Medicine at the University of Tübingen for a new test method to detect malaria parasites in blood. The idea of the research project “NanoFRET” is to develop a highly sensitive and reliable rapid diagnostic test so that patient treatment can begin as early as possible.

Malaria is caused by parasites transmitted by mosquito bite. The most dangerous form of malaria is malaria tropica. Left untreated, it is fatal in most cases....

Im Focus: A “cosmic snake” reveals the structure of remote galaxies

The formation of stars in distant galaxies is still largely unexplored. For the first time, astron-omers at the University of Geneva have now been able to closely observe a star system six billion light-years away. In doing so, they are confirming earlier simulations made by the University of Zurich. One special effect is made possible by the multiple reflections of images that run through the cosmos like a snake.

Today, astronomers have a pretty accurate idea of how stars were formed in the recent cosmic past. But do these laws also apply to older galaxies? For around a...

Im Focus: Visual intelligence is not the same as IQ

Just because someone is smart and well-motivated doesn't mean he or she can learn the visual skills needed to excel at tasks like matching fingerprints, interpreting medical X-rays, keeping track of aircraft on radar displays or forensic face matching.

That is the implication of a new study which shows for the first time that there is a broad range of differences in people's visual ability and that these...

Im Focus: Novel Nano-CT device creates high-resolution 3D-X-rays of tiny velvet worm legs

Computer Tomography (CT) is a standard procedure in hospitals, but so far, the technology has not been suitable for imaging extremely small objects. In PNAS, a team from the Technical University of Munich (TUM) describes a Nano-CT device that creates three-dimensional x-ray images at resolutions up to 100 nanometers. The first test application: Together with colleagues from the University of Kassel and Helmholtz-Zentrum Geesthacht the researchers analyzed the locomotory system of a velvet worm.

During a CT analysis, the object under investigation is x-rayed and a detector measures the respective amount of radiation absorbed from various angles....

Im Focus: Researchers Develop Data Bus for Quantum Computer

The quantum world is fragile; error correction codes are needed to protect the information stored in a quantum object from the deteriorating effects of noise. Quantum physicists in Innsbruck have developed a protocol to pass quantum information between differently encoded building blocks of a future quantum computer, such as processors and memories. Scientists may use this protocol in the future to build a data bus for quantum computers. The researchers have published their work in the journal Nature Communications.

Future quantum computers will be able to solve problems where conventional computers fail today. We are still far away from any large-scale implementation,...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

Ecology Across Borders: International conference brings together 1,500 ecologists

15.11.2017 | Event News

Road into laboratory: Users discuss biaxial fatigue-testing for car and truck wheel

15.11.2017 | Event News

#Berlin5GWeek: The right network for Industry 4.0

30.10.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

From Hannover around the world and to the Mars: LZH delivers laser for ExoMars 2020

21.11.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

Borophene shines alone as 2-D plasmonic material

21.11.2017 | Materials Sciences

Penn study identifies new malaria parasites in wild bonobos

21.11.2017 | Health and Medicine

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>