New York Health Officials: AIDS Medication for HIV Residents

New York health officials have recommended that HIV positive residents be offered AIDS medication as soon as the virus is diagnosed. This immediate, aggressive response has proved to prolong life and reduce the spreading of the disease in the past.

Until recently, standard practice has called off the medication until the immune system weakens significantly, due to the steep expense. The pills can cost up $15,000 a year in the United States. Now, New York City Health Commissioner Thomas Farley has expressed his optimism as recent studies have shown the significant benefits of early treatment, together with education and testing, which suggest a promising strategy for battling the disease.

“I’m more optimistic now than I’ve ever been about this epidemic that we can drive our new rates down to zero or close to it- eventually. I don’t know how soon. But I’m very optimistic of the direction that it’s going to take the epidemic to,” Farley said.

Ex-Vivo Lung Transplant Procedure Opens New Opportunities

Manhattan’s NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital/Columbia University Medical Center is conducting a groundbreaking lung transplant trial. The new method differs from traditional transplants in that it is conducted “ex-vivo,” or, outside the body. Instead of making a quick decision regarding whether an organ is suitable for transplant, the ex vivo procedure allows doctors to revive the lung and determine its potential by pumping it with oxygen and a nourishing solution.

“These would have been lungs we would have turned down because of poor quality. This provides the opportunity to increase lung transplants performed,” explained Frank D’Ovidio, the head doctor on the FDA trial.