Five myths about the new cervical screening program that refuse to die

The Conversation, March 10, 2017 6.23am AEDT

The online petition against changes to Australia’s cervical cancer screening program has revealed more than 70,000 people (most of whom we could assume are women) are deeply concerned about what the upcoming changes mean.

Let’s have a look at some common misconceptions and concerns about changes to the cervical cancer screening program.

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The end of the Pap smear is good news for women

  • by Dr Deborah Bateson, Medical Director, Family Planning NSW
  • Published in Sydney Morning Herald, February 28 2017

The government announced on Monday the end date for the Pap smear. On December 1, it will be superseded by a new test for the human papilloma virus (HPV).

An online campaign aimed at persuading Malcolm Turnbull to stop this change has gained traction, but while the campaign may be well-intentioned, it is also misinformed. There are many reasons, based on science as well as equity, why the new program should be supported.

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HIV-infected vaginal cells do not transmit HIV if plasma viral load is undetectable

nam/aidsmap, 15 February 2016

A group of researchers have cleared up an important question about HIV transmission, in experiments on mice. Although HIV-infected CD4 cells persist in the vagina even on antiretroviral therapy (ART) that fully suppresses free HIV in the blood and body fluids, these cells are not anything like numerous enough to pose any transmission threat.

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HIV-Related Virus Has Existed in Primates for Millions of Years

LiveScience, August 27, 2015 03:05pm ET

Viruses related to the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) have infected Old World monkeys as far back as 16 million years ago, according to a new study. The research provides insight into how monkeys evolved and adapted to the simian version of HIV, and why some viruses can jump from one species to another.

  • Read more here
  • Access study in PLOS Pathogens here

How Sure Is a Cure [ after treatment for Hepatitis C ] ?

POZ, July 16, 2015

While there are no guarantees in life, once someone has been pronounced cured of hepatitis C virus (HCV), the declaration that the virus is gone for good is quite near certain. Hopefully someone who has made it to this point can feel secure in the knowledge that they have indeed started a new, healthier chapter.

However, there are two reasons why a cure might not be permanent: relapse or reinfection.

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