Vacuna contra el cáncer demuestra ser eficaz en pacientes con VIH
The New York Times
By DONALD G. McNEIL Jr.
Vaccines against cervical cancer work well even in sexually active women with H.I.V., a new study has found. It also found that women who already have one or two strains of the cancer-causing virus can be protected against others.
The discovery is important because cervical cancer has emerged as a major killer of young and middle-aged women in poor countries with widespread AIDS and little ability to do routine Pap smears or similar tests. Cancers appear earlier and grow faster in women with suppressed immune systems.
The new study, done on 319 women in Brazil, South Africa and the United States and published by Clinical Infectious Diseases, found that most could make antibodies to the four strains of human papilloma virus in the Gardasil vaccine even if they had had H.I.V. for years.
Skeptics assumed that would not happen, and argued that vaccinating those women would be a waste of money, said Dr. Erna Milunka Kojic, an infectious diseases specialist at Brown University’s medical school and the study’s lead author. Most vaccines do not work well in immune-suppressed people because antibodies are made by the immune system.
In the West, parents are urged to give the vaccine to their daughters before they become sexually active.
“We saw it differently,” Dr. Kojic said. Women with H.I.V., she said, “bear the biggest burden, so if it worked, they would benefit the most from it.”
She was proved right. Women who were infected with H.I.V. fairly recently developed antibodies in more than 90 percent of cases. Even women whose infection had progressed into AIDS developed antibodies more than 75 percent of the time.
Also, women who already had one or more of Gardasil’s four HPV strains were usually able to develop antibodies to the others. Two of the strains cause cervical and anal cancer, and the other two cause warts.
Conversation with Douglas Brooks, New Director of ONAP (Video)
He had only been on the job for a week, but when Mr. Douglas Brooks stopped by HHS last week to attend the launch of the updated Viral Hepatitis Action Plan, we sat down with him for a brief conversation. President Obama appointed Mr. Brooks to serve as Director of the Office of National AIDS Policy (ONAP) on March 24.
Mr. Brooks, a former member of PACHA, most recently served as Senior Vice President for Community, Health, and Public Policy at the Justice Resource Institute in Boston. His background includes directly managing numerous projects supported by federal HIV resources, including projects for the Ryan White HIV/AIDS Program, CDC Prevention for African American/Black youth, a HRSA Special Project of National Significance (SPNS), and a HOPWA SPNS.
Watch our brief conversations below and hear what he is looking forward to doing in his new role and a bit about his background and what brought him to work in this field.