Patients on AIDS Drugs ‘Don’t Transmit Virus’

AIDS patients who take effective retroviral drugs do not pass on the virus even through unprotected sex, Switzerland’s state commission on the disease has claimed.

Couples were one partner is HIV positive do not need to use a condom to prevent transmitting the disease, as long as retroviral therapy is followed regularly and has suppressed the virus in the blood for at least six months, the Federal AIDS Commission said in a report.

The patient must also be free of any other sexually-transmitted disease. “These findings come from four different studies,” said Bernard Hirschel, co-author of the report and an HIV/AIDS specialist at Geneva’s University Hospital.

Drug-Releasing Heart Stents ‘Safe’

A major study of the first two commercially available drug-releasing coronary stents has found that both appear to be safe for use in a variety of patients.

Stents are tubes used to keep previously blocked coronary arteries open.

The advent of drug-releasing stents has cut the rate of reblockage in half to about 10 percent, according to background information in the study published Tuesday in the Journal of the American Medical Association.

‘Gene Worsens’ Passive-Smoking Lung Disease

Scientists in the United States have found the first evidence of a genetic variation that can worsen a chronic lung disease in conjunction with passive smoking, according to a study released this week.

Researchers at Johns Hopkins University found “one gene variation that can weaken lung function as well as shorten the lifespan of those affected by cystic fibrosis and also are exposed to secondhand smoke,” a summary of the study said.

“It’s always been suspected that secondhand smoke is detrimental to lung disease patients, and now we have a handle on one specific gene that clearly makes it worse for those with cystic fibrosis,” said Garry Cutting, one of the study’s authors quoted in the report

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