Introduction to the Vitalwave Project

A few years ago, I had the very great pleasure to meet an incredible young woman named Anne Cohen from Montreal. My first exposure to her, actually, was through her article. This writing struck me in a very important way and became a turning point for me. When I read it, I was filled with a huge wave of optimism and a personal resolve to finally move forward with my long time dream of taking our highly effective antimicrobial technology and turning it into a product for the Prevention of Mother to Child Transmission (PMTCT) of HIV/AIDs.

I had long been speaking about the viability of Photodisinfection for the PMTCT application since I had come to learn that Europeans sterilize their pooled blood plasma using the same Photodisinfection process. Clearly if you can effectively remove HIV from pooled European blood plasma, why not from the vaginal fluids in the birthing canal of pregnant women who are about to infect their babies with HIV during the birthing process? Our technical experts could not think of a reason why not; it just came down to the usual issues of funding and priorities. Having experience with Photodisinfection in Canada, where over 60,000 dental patients have experienced the benefits of Photodisinfection’s powerful antimicrobial attributes and have been treated without any related adverse events, I believe very strongly that this is the right technology for the PMTCT crisis. The additional benefits of being inexpensive (targeting less than $1 per patient) and easy to use strengthens the case for Photodisinfection to be developed into a PMTCT product.

It took Anne Cohen’s article, however, to galvanize me into action and not allow my crazy busy life to get in my way of doing something I knew I had to do. One in every 4 babies born to mothers with HIV/AID mothers become infected. This stunning fact will not change without our collective capabilities and should not have to wait for us –correct that—me to become less busy. The more babies entering this world burdened by HIV infection, the greater the problem for all of us in the future. There just isn’t enough money in the world to buy all of these HIV infected people antiretrovirals and the complete nutrition required to go along with drug therapy. This just isn’t sustainable…and more importantly, it just isn’t fair to all those newborn babies.

I was truly impressed by Anne Cohen’s passion; her sincerity leapt off the page and pushed my buttons very deeply. I was impressed by her youth and by her commitment to reach out to the world and try to help in her own way. She made me understand that the generations that are following in our footsteps care deeply about these issues and that they have a very distinct voice which will resonate for decades to come. She reminded me of the responsibilities we older generations have to lead the path and enable their efforts. Together young and old will collaborate and keep the spirit of compassion alive. We need each other to be able to go the distance and to make the life threatening impact of HIV/AIDS a thing of the past. We are evolving into a truly global community where like-minded individuals, young and old, Developing World and Developed World, are connecting in a truly profound way that will change the world and make it a much better place.

My very first Vitalwave blog, therefore, is written to honour the spirit, youth and passion of Anne Cohen of Montreal, and all the Anne Cohen’s out there, who care about the plight of helpless people across the world in places they have not yet seen, and who have made the commitment to use their talents to help in their own special ways. These fabulous young people will keep us honest and force us to address this critical PMTCT issue, and other critical global issues, in more efficient and practical ways. Reliance on impersonal, non-accountable intergovernmental and charitable donations is not working. We need the full support of the global community with all the kaleidoscope of skills, talents and inventions that we all can bring to bear to truly make a difference. We need to create a wave of opportunity to make this a reality. This is what I will call Vitalwave.

Read Anne Cohen’s Article

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14 Responses to “Introduction to the Vitalwave Project”

  1. Very interesting!

    Does PMTCT can really works ? Can you point me a good article about how HIV/AIDS transmitting from the mothers to their baby ..?

  2. Carolyn Cross says:

    Hi Wildan
    Thank you for your question. There are a number of articles on the internet. Here is:
    http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2907958/
    Clin Evid (Online). 2008; 2008: 0909.
    Published online 2008 February 5. PMCID: PMC2907958

    Copyright © BMJ Publishing Group Ltd, All Rights Reserved
    HIV: mother-to-child transmission
    Dr Jimmy A Volmink, MBChB DPhil MPH, Professor and Vice-Dean Research# and Please enter your position here Ben J Marais, Associate Professor, #
    Dr Jimmy A Volmink, Faculty of Health Sciences, Stellenbosch University, Tygerberg (Cape Town), South Africa;
    Contributor Information.
    #Contributed equally.
    JV is the author of the Cochrane review of antiretrovirals for preventing mother to child transmission of HIV that is reported in this review. BM declares that he has no competing interests.
    We would like to acknowledge the previous contributor to this review: Unati Mahlati.
    Other Sections▼
    Abstract
    Key Points
    About this condition
    ReferencesAbstract
    Introduction
    Over 2 million children are thought to be living with HIV/AIDS worldwide, of whom over 80% live in sub-Saharan Africa. Without anti-retroviral treatment, the risk of HIV transmission from infected mothers to their children is 15-30% during gestation or labour, and 15-20% during breast feeding. HIV-1 infection accounts for most infections; HIV-2 is rarely transmitted from mother to child. Transmission is more likely in mothers with high viral loads and/or advanced disease, in the presence of other sexually transmitted diseases, and with increased exposure to maternal blood.

    http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/19450331
    Clin Evid (Online). 2008 Feb 5;2008. pii: 0909.
    HIV: mother-to-child transmission.
    Volmink J, Marais B.

    Faculty of Health Sciences, Stellenbosch University, Tygerberg (Cape Town), South Africa.

    Abstract
    INTRODUCTION: Over 2 million children are thought to be living with HIV/AIDS worldwide, of whom over 80% live in sub-Saharan Africa. Without anti-retroviral treatment, the risk of HIV transmission from infected mothers to their children is 15-30% during gestation or labour, and 15-20% during breast feeding. HIV-1 infection accounts for most infections; HIV-2 is rarely transmitted from mother to child. Transmission is more likely in mothers with high viral loads and/or advanced disease, in the presence of other sexually transmitted diseases, and with increased exposure to maternal blood. METHODS AND

    OUTCOMES: We conducted a systematic review and aimed to answer the following clinical question: What are the effects of measures to reduce mother to child transmission of HIV? We searched: Medline, Embase, The Cochrane Library and other important databases up to January 2007 (Clinical Evidence reviews are updated periodically, please check our website for the most up-to-date version of this review). We included harms alerts from relevant organisations such as the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and the UK Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA). We performed a GRADE evaluation of the quality of evidence for interventions.

    RESULTS: We found 18 systematic reviews, RCTs, or observational studies that met our inclusion criteria.

    CONCLUSIONS: In this systematic review we present information relating to the effectiveness and safety of the following interventions: antiretroviral drugs, different methods of infant feeding, elective caesarean section, immunotherapy, vaginal microbicides, and vitamin supplements.

    Also: http://www.aafp.org/afp/2004/0301/p1181.html

  3. Benita Weinraub says:

    Good site!

  4. Clarence Chew says:

    Thanks Benita!

  5. Hey, I found your blog via Google during your search for herpes cures and your post looks quite interesting to me.

  6. Clarence Chew says:

    Thanks for commenting!

    Don’t forget to check out these two posts as well:
    1. STIs can increase risk of HIV transmission – http://vitalwaveblog.com/2010/12/sexually-transmitted-infections-can-increase-risk-of-hiv-infection/
    2. Rise of antibiotic resistant STIs – http://vitalwaveblog.com/2010/12/149/

    Cheers,
    Clarence

  7. I real glad to find this internet site on bing, just what I was looking for : D as well saved to bookmarks .

  8. George says:

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  11. Clarence Chew says:

    Hi Healthy Women,

    Thanks, if you like our blog, don’t forget to subscribe – http://vitalwaveblog.com/feed/

  12. Clarence Chew says:

    Thanks George! This post was written by our CEO – Carolyn Cross. And yes, on top of her amazing accomplishments thus far, we’ll can add blogger to the list!

    Cheers,
    Clarence

  13. Clarence Chew says:

    Thanks Jay! Don’t forget to subscribe to our blog – http://vitalwaveblog.com/feed/

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