Tuesday, January 30, 2018

"Tokyo hospital gauge effect of daily anti-viral use on HIV infections"

From The Japan Times, 1/29/18.

Starting next month, a Tokyo-based hospital will start a clinical study to ascertain whether HIV infection rates can be reduced if high-risk individuals take anti-viral medicine on a daily basis, a source close to the matter said Monday.

In the first such study in the nation, the Center Hospital of the National Center for Global Health and Medicine will conduct the study with individuals seen to have a higher risk of HIV infection, such as men who have sexual contact with other men, the source said.

The move comes amid reports that Japan logs around 1,500 new cases of AIDS each year, along with HIV infections among people who have not shown AIDS symptoms, despite calls for preventive measures such as the use of condoms.

Anti-viral medication is being used in an increasing number of countries to prevent the spread of HIV, the source said.

In promoting the approach, called pre-exposure prophylaxis, or Prep, the website for the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says, “For those at very high risk for HIV, PrEP can significantly reduce your risk of HIV infection if taken daily. Daily PrEP use can lower the risk of getting HIV from sex by more than 90 percent.”

The method also protects against HIV infection in circumstances such as when condoms are not used or are torn, the source said.

In the two-year clinical study, the Tokyo hospital will seek 120 participants who match certain criteria, including having been infected by a sexually transmitted disease within the past year and having engaged in sexual intercourse without the use of a condom in the previous six months.

The subjects will take the anti-viral medicine Truvada daily and undergo hospital exams every three months, the source said.

The hospital will also regularly check subjects to avoid a scenario in which an HIV infection occurs and the subject continues to take the anti-viral medicine, since there is a possibility the HIV will develop resistance to the drug. This would in turn reduce the subject’s treatment options in the future.

The study will also examine whether decreased fear of HIV infection prompts people not to use condoms, increasing the risk of infection with other sexually transmitted diseases, the source said.

Source: https://www.japantimes.co.jp/news/2018/01/29/national/science-health/tokyo-hospital-gauge-effect-daily-anti-viral-use-hiv-infections/

Related story, also from The Japan Times, 1/29/18:

Japan’s dramatic surge in syphilis cases, with particularly high incidence in Tokyo, puzzles experts

Syphilis, a classic sexually transmitted disease nearly eradicated decades ago, is seeing a resurgence in Japan, with the reported number of patients in 2017 topping 5,000 for the first time in 44 years.

According to the National Institute of Infectious Diseases, the number of people diagnosed with syphilis rocketed to 5,770 in 2017, more than double the 2,697 seen in 2015 and far exceeding the 621 in 2010.


In December, Nobuyuki Suzuki, a male assembly member for Tokyo’s Katsushika Ward, caused uproar by tweeting that the recent upsurge in syphilis cases is due to more tourists from abroad — especially from mainland China — bringing the bacterium into the country and spreading the disease by visiting sex industry establishments.

Read the whole story: https://www.japantimes.co.jp/news/2018/01/29/reference/japans-dramatic-surge-syphilis-cases-particularly-high-incidence-tokyo-puzzles-experts/

The blame game continues. It's not a lack of discourse or education. It's not the fault of the sex industry. It is due to foreigners... When will the ignorance and prejudice end?

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