Grey area: The fragile frontier of dementia, intimacy and sexual consent

The Globe & Mail (Canada), July 14, 2018

Amid ever-widening cultural conversations about sexual consent, dementia remains uncharted territory. As Canadians live longer, more are moving into long-term care with advancing dementia disorders. It’s a growing population with complex needs, not least of all in their intimate lives.

In the close-quarters environment of nursing homes, these people’s sexuality poses difficult ethical dilemmas for staff and for families

 

The time for action on Human T-Lymphotrophic Virus has arrived: An open letter to WHO

Australasian Society for HIV Viral Hepatitis and Sexual Health Medicine (ASHM), 10 May 2018

ASHM has joined the call by leading Human T-Lymphotrophic Virus 1 (HTLV-1) researchers, clinicians and patients to take action on HTLV-1 by signing an open letter to the WHO, published in an abbreviated form in The Lancet. The letter calls on the WHO to support the promotion of proven, effective transmission prevention strategies for HTLV-1, in much the same way it already does for HIV, HBV and HCV.

ASHM established an 2016, to bring together researches, clinicians and community representatives at an annual round table to raise awareness of HTLV-1 and share the latest information. Up to 40% of the  HTLV-1 working group ipopulation of some Central Australian communities are positive for HTLV-1, which can cause cancer, neurological problems and immune disorders, including chronic lung inflammation leading to bronchiectasis.

“Specifically for Australia, we have all of the key components required for an effective response to this virus – indigenous clinical leadership; the medical research skills and capacity; and two forthcoming developments in treatment and vaccine development,” said Professor Damian Purcell, Head of Molecular Virology Laboratory, The University of Melbourne at the Doherty Institute and member of the ASHM HTLV-1 working group.

“But we need the support of the WHO and Australian Government to accelerate research and implement these strategies.”

ASHM have been advocating for the inclusion of HTLV-1 in the yet-to-be released Fifth National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Blood-Borne Viruses and Sexually Transmissible Infections Strategy as a Priority Action.

Read the full letter available on the Global Virus Network website

MSM, especially if HIV-positive, have an increased risk of meningococcal disease

nam/aidsmap, June 6th, 2017

Men who have sex with men (MSM) have an increased risk of meningococcal disease, investigators from the United States report in the online edition of Clinical Infectious Diseases. The number of cases was small, but overall incidence of meningococcal disease was four times higher among MSM compared to non-MSM, with the risk especially high for HIV-positive MSM.

 

Studies look at brain and cognitive changes in people with HIV as they age

 

nam/aidsmap, published: 14 March 2017

People with HIV often show persistent signs of cognitive impairment and abnormalities in brain structure despite suppressive antiretroviral therapy (ART), but they do not appear to experience accelerated decline compared to HIV-negative people as they age, according to research presented at the 2017 Conference on Retroviruses and Opportunistic Infections (CROI) last month in Seattle.

Contraception for women with epilepsy: counselling, choices, and concerns

Open Access Journal of Contraception, 19 April 2016 Volume 2016:7 Pages 69—76

Arne Reimers, Department of Clinical Pharmacology, St Olavs University Hospital, and Department of Laboratory Medicine, Children’s and Women’s Health, Faculty of Medicine, Norwegian University of Science and Technology (NTNU), Trondheim, Norway

Abstract:

Approximately 50% of all pregnancies in women with epilepsy (WWE) occur unplanned. This is worrying, given the increased occurrence of obstetrical complications in WWE, including the risk of seizures and their possible consequences for both the mother and the unborn child. Hormonal contraception is usually regarded as highly effective, but it is subject to numerous bidirectional drug interactions with several antiepileptic drugs. These interactions may lead to loss of seizure control or contraceptive failure. Further concerns are loss of bone mineral density and increased seizure activity due to hormonal effects. Many physicians lack sufficient knowledge regarding these issues, and most WWE have never received adequate counselling. Moreover, several studies show that a large proportion of WWE do not take their medicines regularly. This article reviews all of these issues and offers practical recommendations for the management of contraception in WWE.

Download paper (open access, PDF) here or here

Treating HIV Immediately May Protect Against Cognitive Decline

POZ Treatment News, January 29, 2016

Individuals who start HIV treatment very soon after contracting the virus may be at lesser risk of later developing cognitive decline than other HIV-positive individuals.