- Why You Still Can’t Get a Vaccine for HIV
- 7 Low-Carb Food Swaps Nutritionists Love
- South Africa’s New HIV Vaccine Trial Hopes to Be the ‘Final Nail in the Coffin’
Posted: 28 Nov 2016 09:30 AM PST
The first HIV vaccine trial in seven years is launching in South Africa.
The trial is called HVTN 702, and the goal is to enroll 5,400 sexually active men and women between 18 and 35 throughout South Africa, where more than 1,000 people are infected with HIV each day. It’s the most ambitious HIV vaccine trial launched so far.
“If deployed alongside our current armory of proven HIV prevention tools, a safe and effective vaccine could be the final nail in the coffin for HIV,” Dr. Anthony S. Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID) said in a statement about the trial.
Though scientists have been able to create vaccines for other viruses, developing a vaccine for HIV has been especially challenging. (In lieu of one, doctors mostly use preventative drugs like Truvada to help prevent contraction of the virus in uninfected people who are at high risk.)
But a vaccine could significantly taper infections worldwide. “Even a moderately effective vaccine would significantly decrease the burden of HIV disease over time,” said Fauci in a statement.
So why are HIV vaccines so elusive?
HIV behaves unlike most other viruses in some important ways. Usually, when a person is infected with a virus, their immune system creates antibodies that target the bug. That’s usually the starting point for researchers, who work to develop drugs that can imitate that process (but without causing the recipient to develop a full blown reaction to the virus). What’s tricky about HIV, however, is that when a person is infected with the virus, that same process of developing antibodies isn’t triggered.
“One of the reasons why it has been so difficult to make an AIDS vaccine is that the virus infects the very cells of the immune system that any vaccine is supposed to induce,” senior author Dr. Guido Silvestri, chief of microbiology and immunology at Yerkes National Primate Research Center said in a statement.
Still, expert hope the new vaccine trial will work better than earlier attempts. The new vaccine is based on a version tested in a clinical trial in Thailand, with results that were released in 2009. The study showed that the vaccine was about 30% effective at preventing infection over 3.5 years. In the new trial, researchers hope to spur greater protection against the virus for longer. The results are expected to be available in late 2020.
Posted: 28 Nov 2016 06:55 AM PST
Carbs aren’t always the enemy. In fact, good-for-you whole grains such as oats, farro, and barley are great sources of important nutrients like protein, fiber, iron, and B vitamins. But substituting veggies, fruits, or pulses for refined carbohydrates (think bread, pasta, and all-purpose flour) can be beneficial, especially if you’re looking to reduce the amount of refined carbs in your diet, trim calories, and amp up vitamin intake. We asked seven nutritionists to share the low-carb swaps they use to cut down on carbohydrates without sacrificing taste.
Fava bean flour
Fava beans aren’t just for your salad. The legume can also be found in flour form—and it’s more nutritious than all-purpose flour.
“Per quarter cup, fava bean flour packs 8 grams of fiber (compared with less than 1 gram in all-purpose flour) and 4 grams fewer carbs, as well as protein, minerals, and antioxidants,” says Health’s contributing nutrition editor Cynthia Sass, RD. “And it works great in nearly any recipe.”
You’ve probably made butter lettuce wraps with ground chicken or pork before. But don’t stop there: “Collard greens, kale, chard, and lettuce leaves are a nutritious way to cut calories on sandwiches and a good replacement for taco ‘shells’ too,” says Marisa Moore, RDN, adding that swapping greens for grains can save you up to 300 calories. For a quick meal that’s packed with flavor, she suggests wrapping seasoned white beans in a kale leaf with marinara sauce drizzled on top.
Health.com: 10 Carb-Smart Holiday Food Swaps
Turn up the nutritional content (but not the calorie count) with turnips. Like potatoes, turnips are a starch vegetable, but they contain two-thirds of the calories, making them a great alternative to mashed potatoes.
“They’re a low-calorie vegetable that’s a great source of fiber, antioxidants, and vitamins K, C and A,” says Leah Kaufman, RD. “Plus, one cup of turnips is just 35 calories and 8 grams of fiber.” To make mashed turnips, steam and mash the veggie, then add low-fat milk and a dollop of soft cheese for an extra creamy side dish.
Zucchini noodles (or “zoodles”) are one of the most popular low-carb swaps, and for good reason—the summer veggie has a mild flavor that works well in a variety of different dishes. But zucchini isn’t the only veggie you can put in your spiralizer: Carrots also make a delicious pasta substitute.
“Something a little bit different is Carrot Pad See Ew, a low-carb take on one of my favorite Thai dishes,” says registered dietitian Brittany Kohn, who frequently makes this Paleo Pad See Ew recipe. “I love it because it really feels like you’re eating noodles, but not only are you avoiding carbs, you’re also adding servings of vegetables.”
Like turnips, cauliflower also makes a healthy—but still decadent-tasting—substitute for mashed potatoes.
“I love to make ‘whipped cauliflower’ instead of traditional mashed potatoes,” says Megan Roosevelt, RDN, founder of HealthyGroceryGirl.com. “I’m not discriminating against potatoes. However, cauliflower contains more fiber than white potatoes, so it’s a great option if you’re watching your blood sugar levels or sugar intake.”
To make, steam cauliflower florets and then blend in a food processor until they have the consistency of mashed potatoes. To give the dish a flavor boost, you can also add in celery root, which tastes like a delicious mix of celery and parsley.
Health.com: 11 Clever Carb-Cutting Cauliflower Swaps
You’ve probably heard of cauliflower rice, but did you know that broccoli also works as a rice substitute? Just throw the broccoli florets into your food processor (or grate if you don’t have one), then microwave, steam, or sauté the “rice” with olive oil for a light, low-carb rice alternative.
“Broccoli is filled with fiber, vitamin K and vitamin B6, which is great for decreasing your risk of diabetes and heart disease,” explains Kaufman.
By replacing white pasta with spaghetti squash “noodles,” you can cut calories and load up on folate, potassium, and fiber.
“Cup for cup, you’ll save almost 200 calories and over 30 grams of carbohydrates,” says Sass. “Plus, spaghetti squash is a great source of immune-supporting vitamin A.”
“Apple slices are a fun swap for bread on a peanut butter ‘sandwich,’” says Wendy Bazilian, DrPH. Simply cut an apple into two thin, circular slices and spread each one with nut butter. Top the slices with healthy additions like dried cherries, pumpkin seeds, and cinnamon, then sandwich them together for a high-fiber snack.
Sweet potato toast
Next time you’re craving a piece of toast, Middleberg Nutrition founder Stephanie Middleberg, RD, recommends opting for thinly-sliced sweet potato “toast” instead of bread.
“Sweet potatoes pack more fiber than whole wheat bread and are less processed,” she explains. Also good: the fall veggie is a great source of potassium, vitamins A and C, and magnesium. Middleberg suggests cooking your “toast” with olive oil, pepper, and a little garlic, then topping with mashed avocado.
Posted: 28 Nov 2016 06:39 AM PST
(JOHANNESBURG) — A new vaccine against HIV, to be tested in a trial to be launched in South Africa Wednesday, could be “the final nail in the coffin” for the disease if it is successful, scientists say.
The study, called HVTN 702, aims to enroll 5,400 sexually active men and women aged between 18 and 35 at 15 sites across South Africa.
It will be the largest and most advanced HIV vaccine clinical trial to take place in South Africa, where more than 1,000 people a day are infected with HIV.
“If deployed alongside our current armory of proven HIV prevention tools, a safe and effective vaccine could be the final nail in the coffin for HIV,” Anthony Fauci, director of the U.S. government’s National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID), said in a statement released ahead of the trial.
“Even a moderately effective vaccine would significantly decrease the burden of HIV disease over time in countries and populations with high rates of HIV infection, such as South Africa,” he said.
The vaccine being tested in HVTN 702 is based on a 2009 trial in Thailand, that was found to be 31.2 percent effective at preventing HIV infection over the 3.5 years of follow-up after the vaccination.
The new vaccine aims to provide greater and more sustained protection and has been adapted to the HIV subtype that predominates in southern Africa.
“HIV has taken a devastating toll in South Africa, but now we begin a scientific exploration that could hold great promise for our country,”said Glenda Gray, chief executive officer of the South African Medical Research Council.
“If an HIV vaccine were found to work in South Africa, it could dramatically alter the course of the pandemic.”
Volunteers for the study, funded by NIAID, are being randomly assigned to receive either the vaccine regimen or a placebo. All participants will receive five injections over a year.
Participants who become infected with HIV in the community will be referred to local medical providers for care and treatment and will be counselled on how to reduce their risk of transmitting the virus.
South Africa has more than 6.8 million people living with HIV, but the country has had remarkable success in rolling out an HIV drug treatment program, which the government says is the largest in the world.
Life expectancy, which sank as the epidemic grew, has rebounded from 57.1 years in 2009 to 62.9 years in 2014.
Results of the vaccine study are expected in late 2020.
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