Weekend Reading: HIV / AIDS

Dear Clients & Friends,

This weekend we discuss a topic totally unrelated to finance and investments, but a topic I find to be jaw-dropping. The inspiration to discuss HIV treatment came from a charity event the MORWM staff attended last week. Insomuch as the American public has a very short attention span, we often don’t hear about medical advancements unless they have become a fad.  So let us briefly touch on some outstanding news that very few seem to be knowledgeable about, including myself as of only a few days ago. On a personal note, this topic is of unique interest to me because my uncle, Norman Godin, has been working on HIV treatment and vaccines for nearly his entire career.

Jim Carey of the 2GETHR project reports that someone in the United States is infected with HIV every 9½ minutes. This virus is of no less importance than it was in the 1980’s.  However, due to other topics of less relevance but better TV ratings, we are not discussing the dangers or remedies of this disease anymore. So here are some statistics that very well may blow your mind:

1) If on antiretroviral therapy (ART), a person living with HIV with an undetectable load in their blood stream for six months CAN NOT transmit HIV through sex.  ART can reduce a person’s viral load to the point where it is so low (usually under 40 copies/ml depending on the test) that it cannot be detected by measurements. This is considered an ‘undetectable viral load,’ which prevents the sexual transmission of HIV while simultaneously improving the health of a person living with HIV.1 It does not, however, fully clear the virus from the body or cure someone of HIV.

2) Pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP) is a pill you take once a day to prevent HIV. We’ve referenced a lot of research below supporting the effectiveness of PrEP.2 When taken as directed, it is more than 92% effective. It takes up to 7 days to reach protective levels for anal sex and 20 days for everything else3. However, PrEP doesn’t provide protection against other STIs, like gonorrhea and chlamydia. So, while PrEP can reduce your risk of HIV infection if taken daily, experts recommend combining strategies like condom use with PrEP to reduce your risk even more.

3) Post Exposure prophylaxis (PEP), consists of taking a full HIV medication regimen for 28 days after a potential exposure to HIV. PEP may be considered if not using a condom or if a condom breaks during sex. Taking PEP reduces the likelihood of infection by over 82%.4 PEP must be started as soon as possible or within 72 hours after the potential exposure.

In one regard, the world has become a safer place as it pertains to HIV/AIDS.  On the other hand, the world has become more dangerous because we are not aware of some of these important developments.  I for one did not realize that the transmission rate of HIV remains as high as it is.  Given the medical advancements discussed above, it’s a travesty that the transmission rate remains so high.  At least within the borders of developed countries like the US and Switzerland, this is purely an issue of education. As we often say here at MORWM, knowledge is power and education is everything.  Hence the purpose for writing articles unrelated to finance every now and again.

So that’s what we’ve written for you this weekend. We hope we’ve blown some minds with this data.  We also hope that in the weeks and months to come, we will all have the courage to support election candidates whose morals align with our hearts, and not just our registration cards.
Have a lovely weekend.  Cheers.

 

Matthew Ramer, AIF®
Principal, Financial Advisor
MOR Wealth Management, LLC


1801 Market Street, Suite 2435
Philadelphia, PA 19103
P: 267.930-8301 | c: 215-694-4784 | f: 267.284.4847 |


601 21st Street, Suite 300
Vero Beach, FL 32960
P: 772-453-2810

matthew.ramer@morwm.com | www.morwm.com

The majority of this content was written and distributed MOR Wealth Management, all rights reserved. Securities and advisory services offered through Commonwealth Financial Network, Member FINRA/SIPC, a registered investment adviser. Fixed insurance products and services offered through CES Insurance Agency.

 


1. Prevention Access Campaign. Undetectable=Untransmittable Primer Consensus Statement. 2016; http://www.preventionaccess.org/consensus Accessed Sept. 7, 2016. & Undetectable = Untransmittable Message Guide, Accessed November 14, 2017
2. Grant RM, Lama JR, Anderson PL, et al. (2010). Preexposure chemoprophylaxis for HIV prevention in men who have sex with men. New England Journal of Medicine, 363 (27) 2587-2599.
3. How common is HIV? (2010). Department of Health and Human Services. Retrieved January 13, 2017 from: https://www.hhs.gov/opa/reproductive-health/sexually-transmitted-infections/hiv/index.html
4. [3] Roland ME et al. (2005). Seroconversion following nonoccupational postexposure prophylaxis against HIV. Journal of Clinical Infectious Diseases.  41 (1), 1507-1513.