Positive Support Services in North Yorkshire and York
NYAA provides support for people in North Yorkshire and York who are living with or affected by HIV. From 1st July 2015, our support services will be delivered as part of our Partnership with York Teaching Hospital NHS under the recognised name YorSexualHealth.
On this website, you can find more information about who we are in the “About NYAA” section and what we do – what services we can provide – in the “Services” section. There is also an overview of information about HIV and HIV treatment in the “Information About HIV” section, with suggestions on where to find reliable, more detailed information. And there is also a “News” section, for news not only about NYAA, but also about things to do with HIV that might be of interest.
You can find our contact details here.
Topics on this page include the following: you can jump to them by clicking on the headings below:
Bone Fractures Occur at an Earlier Age Among Men with HIV
Rates of osteopenia (low bone mineral density – BMD) and osteoporosis are higher in people living with HIV (PLWH) than in the general population. It’s possible that HIV itself or the body’s response to HIV may contribute to bone problems. In addition, many people living with HIV smoke, drink, don’t get enough exercise or have other risk factors for bone problems. Also, some anti-HIV medications can have an impact on the bones, especially in the first year of treatment. But up till now, it was not known whether or not low BMD would indeed result in more fractures.
A recently published study from the United States shows that broken bones increase in frequency a full decade earlier in HIV-positive men compared to their HIV-negative peers. The study found that the fracture rate among men in their 50s was double that observed in HIV-negative men in the same age range (the control group).
Guidelines from the British HIV Association (BHIVA) recommend that, in PLWH, everyone over the age of 50 and all women who have gone through the menopause should be assessed every three years for their risk of having a fracture.
The full article can be read here.
Also, see NAM’s factsheet ‘Bone problems and HIV’ for further information.
International Clinical Trials Day
International Clinical Trials Day is celebrated around the world on or near May 20th each year in order to commemorate the day that a Scottish naval surgeon, James Lind, conducted what is often considered the first randomized clinical trial aboard a ship on May 20th, 1747. In 1747, surgeon mate James Lind administered six different methods to attempt to heal sailors that were diagnosed with scurvy, with one of the methods involving oranges and lemons. This method healed the sailors, becoming a breakthrough for an intervention of scurvy, but more importantly demonstrating the potential power of a clinical trial.
Clinical trials are research studies involving patients, which compare a new or different type of treatment with the best treatment currently available (if there is one). Some clinical trials look at possible ways to prevent illnesses, for example by testing new vaccines. No matter how promising a new drug or treatment may appear during tests in a laboratory, it must go through clinical trials before its benefits and risks can really be known. Trials aim to find out if treatments are safe (what side effects they have), and if they work better than the treatment used currently.
The objective of International Clinical Trials Day is not only to celebrate James Lind’s study but also to improve public health awareness on the various challenges confronted by scientists and other professionals when conducting clinical trials, as well as celebrate the patients and professionals that make clinical research possible.
Of course, clinical trials are needed in all forms of medicine – but they have been an essential part of getting HIV treatment to where it is today. As well as developing new drugs, carefully designed and well-executed trials in HIV have, for example, shown that triple therapy was needed; that it is important to start ART as soon as possible after diagnosis, not wait until the CD4 count falls; that having a non-detectable viral load means the risk of onward transmission is effectively zero; that PrEP works…
There is good information about what clinical trials are and how they are done on the MRC CTU website, including some short films (about 4 or 5 minutes each) that are quite watchable and informative: