Category: About our Vitalwave project

Fighting HIV/AIDS – From A Different Angle

New study reveals that people living with HIV can reduce the risk of transmission by up to 96%

The conventional method of fighting HIV/AIDS has mostly been from a ‘prevention is better than cure’ perspective. Whole health policies, in almost all countries in the world, have been drafted and implemented to concentrate on preventing HIV infection– until now.

New findings have been revealed that indicate that the chances of sexually transmitting the HIV virus to a healthy partner can be reduced by almost 96% if the infected partner strictly follows an early anti-retroviral (ARV) drugs regimen1. This is a unique and very effective way of fighting HIV/AIDS. Methods like abstinence, being faithful and using a condom (together known as the ‘ABC’ methods) have been used in the past to curb the disease before it infects more people. But now even infected people can help in the fight. Read More

Today is National Women and Girls HIV/AIDS Awareness Day

Let's empower communities and organizations to take action in the fight against HIV/AIDS

Far too many people think that HIV/AIDS is only a crisis in developing countries. Unfortunately, this is untrue. In March 2009, the state of Washington D.C reported an HIV prevalence of at least 3% among residents over 12 years old, a rate similar to those found in some parts of Sub-Saharan Africa.1 Today’s National Women and Girls HIV/AIDS Awareness Day in the US is a nationwide observance to raise awareness of the impact of HIV/AIDS on women and girls and encourage them to get tested. This is especially important in low-income communities where access to healthcare based education and prevention measures are typically inadequate. It is also a day therefore aimed at empowering communities and organizations to take action in the fight against HIV/AIDS. Read More

Africa Is Dying Slowly Revisited

Less than half of HIV-positive pregnant women have access to antiretroviral treatment

Four years ago, I wrote an article about HIV in Africa.  Imbued with a sense of importance, and filled with the hope that my words would magically change the world, I titled it Africa is Dying Slowly, and called on humanity to do something about the crippling situation of HIV/AIDS on the African continent.  This may sound naïve. It certainly seems that way to me at times. Since I wrote that article in 2007, I have entered university to study history and political science. Learning about the repeated failures of mankind can certainly give oneself a negative and gloomy outlook on life. And yes, sometimes when I glance through that article, I do wonder what childish innocence led me to think that it might have any effect. However, I still see a glimmer of truth behind the flowery sentences and tearful pleas.

Here are the facts:[i] Read More

Antibiotic Resistance & Misuse In Animals

Typical facility for raising chicken

In support of last month’s Antibiotic Awareness Day, Dr Scott McEwan of the Ontario Veterinary College at the University of Guelph shared a webinar called “Antibiotic Use & Resistance in Animals.” During his presentation, he discussed antibiotic use in animals, the human health impact, and options for intervention. In his webinar, Dr. McEwan pointed out three perceived benefits of antibiotic use in animals: Read More

Rise of Antibiotic Resistant Sexually Transmitted Infections

Infant infected with gonorrhea

Each year, more than 25 million pounds of antibiotics are consumed  annually. The CDC deems at least half of these to be unjustified, leading to a rise in antibiotic resistance across different bacterial species.  This rise in resistance is of great concern to global health officials since there are few, if any, new antibiotics being developed.  Antimicrobial resistance is increasing among sexually transmitted pathogens1. As with common STIs such as gonorrhea and chlamydia, researchers are currently witnessing an emergence of resistant strains2. Read More

Sexually Transmitted Infections Can Increase Risk of HIV Infection

In a previous blog post on undetected STIs in pregnancy, we referenced a study that linked Sexually Transmitted Infections (STIs) to an increased risk of transmitting and acquiring HIV. More biological evidence is being published linking STIs to increased risk of transmitting and acquiring HIV. Recent evidence is also suggesting that treating STIs can reduce the risk of transmitting and acquiring HIV1. With an estimated 16 million women living in Sub-Saharan Africa with an STI2, there is clearly cause for concern.

The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has compiled a fact sheet on this topic. STIs have been shown to increase the risk of HIV transmission and acquisition in two ways: Read More

Undetected Sexually Transmitted Infections in Pregnancy

STIs present as a major public health concern in developing countries. With more than 20 pathogens transmissible through sexual intercourse, countries in Sub-Saharan Africa have been hit hard with this epidemic. Just two months ago, the World Health Organization reported a substantial increase in the number of new STI cases in Sub-Saharan Africa. In women of child-bearing age, STIs were the second leading cause of morbidity and mortality, following only maternal health factors 1. Pregnant women in particular serve as a major reservoir of these undetected STIs.

In certain countries in Sub-Saharan Africa, the prevalence of undetected STIs in pregnant women can be very high. In Gabon, 40% of pregnant women tested were found to be unknowingly positive for STIs2. Read More

A Vitalwave Summary

Vitalwave™ is a medical device designed to disinfect the birthing canal at the time of delivery to prevent or to reduce the rate of HIV and STI (gonorrhea, GBS, HPV, chlamydia, syphilis) transmission from mothers to their infants (MTCTP). Vitalwave™ disinfection is a low cost, easy-to-administer procedure designed for use in developing countries where Mother-to-Child HIV & STI transmission is high. More than 90% of children with HIV were infected by their mothers. Of the 17.7 million women living with HIV around the world, 74% do not seek treatment & education to prevent HIV transmission to their unborn child. This sad reality results in 1,600 children becoming infected with HIV every day, or one child every minute1. Vitalwave™ is designed to bypass the stigma associated with AIDS and reliance on patient compliance by providing safe and instant disinfection at the time of delivery. Given the limited time and effort involved with this treatment, Vitalwave™ is ideal for universal deployment (for use with all deliveries) in the Third World.

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Discrimination Against Women: The Stigma of HIV

In countries all over the world, millions of women are stigmatized and discriminated against for being HIV-positive. Data from the UN demonstrates that negative feelings apply particularly to women, as they are more likely than men to be held responsible for spreading the disease, whether or not this was the case. As a consequence, women that are HIV-positive have suffered from discrimination disproportionately more than HIV-positive men.  In recent years, there have been many documented cases of gender-based violence as HIV-positive women are disowned, assaulted, treated unfairly, and killed1.

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PMTCT- Each Voice Helps

According to the Global Health Council, there was US$13.7 billion spent on HIV/ AIDS related activities around the world in 2008. Apparently, this represents only 62% of global need.1 2 This spending was up 40% over 2007, and a long way off the estimated $25.1 billion needed in 2010 or $54 billion needed by 2015 for universal access to prevention, treatment, care and support.3 Included in this estimate is a need to provide comprehensive services to 74.5 million women to prevent MTCT….a number that is twice the population of Canada. Read More

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