• Happy Monday! Today I am coming to you Live with Mich’s Monday Mantra from Dana Point, California.

    Todays Mantra is from one of my favorite Maya Angelou quotes about Rainbows In The Clouds.

    In Health

    “God puts rainbows in the clouds so that each of us- in the dreariest and most dreaded moments- can see a possibility of hope” Maya Angelou

  • Statins may play a role in preventing HIV disease progression

    A recent study conducted by the National Naval Medical Center has demonstrated that statins, which are a class of drugs prescribed to lower cholesterol levels in people with high cholesterol, may benefit people living with HIV disease.

    Previous studies have shown conflicting results on the antiviral activity of statins. In 2005, a study suggested that Mevacor (lovastatin), in addition to reducing cholesterol levels, may have the ability to reduce HIV replication. However, subsequent studies using Lipitor (atorvastatin), Zocor (simvastatin), and Pravachol (pravastatin) were not able to demonstrate the same results.

    This new clinical trial evaluated the effects of Lipitor (atorvastatin) on HIV viral load and on markers of inflammation and immune activation. The trial included 24 HIV positive patients who were not on antiretroviral medication and who had high cholesterol levels that would benefit from statin treatment. The patients were not on antiretroviral medication during the trial, so that the researchers could observe the effect of Lipitor (at a high dose of 80 mg) on viral load compared to a placebo.

    During eight weeks of Lipitor treatment, there were no overall changes in HIV replication compared to the placebo. The researchers did find reductions in inflammation and immune activation markers in the patients receiving Lipitor compared to those receiving the placebo. However, it is unclear whether these reductions are associated with slower disease progression or a reduced risk of complications.

    Although the study did not demonstrate an overall ability of statins to suppress HIV replication, it did show that the short-term use of Lipitor resulted in decreased immune activation. Previous studies have emphasized the importance of immune activation in HIV disease progression and complications. Levels of inflammatory and immune activation markers correlate with disease progression in HIV-infected participants, and chronic persistent immune activation contributes to CD4 depletion.

    The results of this recent trial warrant further investigation into the potential clinical benefits of statins for HIV infected patients. It is possible that statins may have an additive effect on viral replication when combined with antiretroviral therapy. Larger trials with longer durations of follow-up can help determine whether the reduction of inflammatory and immune activation markers from statin therapy will translate into less HIV disease progression.

    For More Articles & Information go to michrx.com and join Today

  • Hello and welcome to Mich’s Monday Mantra for today.

    Spring is 2 days old, and here in California we have had quite the storm the past two days to herald in the Spring

    Please enjoy today’s Mantra

    In Health


  • Hello and Happy Monday!

    Today I am inaugurating Mich’s Monday Mantra which will be posted here on The Daily Dose every Monday, and will also be posted for our membership at michrx.com

    Mich’s Monday Mantra is Michelle’s Monday tid bits of information that will hopefully help you feel better, be thought provoking and get you engaged in the conversation at michrx.com

    So here we go, here is the INAUGURAL Mich’s Monday Mantra

    In Health



  • One of the themes coming out of CROI this year has been different from that in the past. In the past the main themes have been on new medications and treating HIV with antiretrovirals. This year however themes have been on exploring possibilities of curing HIV? Very Very exciting research, to say the least.

    Here is an excerpt from an article written by Nelson Vergel on “Zinc Fingers and Gene Therapies for HIV: Mimicking the Cured Berlin Patient?”

    Some HIV-infected patients who have an undetectable viral load while taking HIV medications continue to have low CD4+ cell counts. Lalezari et al decided to perform their proof-of-concept study on six of these patients: Each was on HIV antiretrovirals, had an undetectable HIV viral load, had a CD4+ cell count between 200 and 500, and had been HIV infected for more than 20 years. The patients were enrolled in one of two cohorts: in one, 10 billion total cells were modified; in the other, 20 billion. Autologous (i.e., derived from the patient) R5-disrupted T cells were then expanded and modified with ZFNs outside the patients’ bodies and re-infused. Subjects were followed weekly for one month and then monthly for 11 months post-infusion; blood and rectal mucosa samples were taken.

    This novel study construction is the result of a history of groundbreaking findings. CCR5 has long been of interest to HIV researchers because many people who are resistant to HIV infection have a mutation in their CCR5 gene: the delta32 mutation. A minority of people of northern European descent (1% to 2.5%) have this mutation in the CCR5 receptor. After studying these patients, the oral CCR5 inhibitor drug maraviroc (MVC, Selzentry) was developed and ultimately approved in 2007. Fears that blocking the CCR5 receptor would lead to more rapid HIV disease progression or the emergence of other health problems have slowly dissipated since the drug was first given to humans in studies. (That said, there are some known adverse effects of CCR5 receptor blocking, including increased susceptibility to West Nile virus.)

    To see the full article, go to www.michrx.com

    In Health



  • The 18th Conference on Retrovirus and Opportunistic Infections is currently being held in Boston, MA (Feb 27th-March 2).

    We will be posting some highlights and news from CROI this week. The first bit of information I want to share is that about the Tenofovir  GEL that has shown to protect anal tissue from HIV.

    The gel containing Gilead Sciences Inc.’s AIDS drug has been previously shown to sharply reduce HIV infection in women when used vaginally. The HIV transmission risk from unprotected anal sex may be more than 20 times greater than unprotected vaginal sex, partly because the rectal lining is just one-cell thick compared to the vagina’s multiple cell layers. Thus, HIV can more easily reach cells to infect, said researchers from the University of California-Los Angeles (UCLA) and the University of Pittsburgh.

Dr. Peter Anton, director of the Center for Prevention Research at UCLA, and colleagues studied rectal tissue biopsies from HIV-negative men and women who used the tenofovir gel or a placebo gel daily for one week. Tissue samples were sent to a laboratory where they were exposed to HIV. The samples showed HIV was significantly blocked in participants using the tenofovir gel compared to those using the placebo. An oral dose of tenofovir did not appear to provide protection against HIV.

    For the complete article go to MichRx.com