Eminence in AIDS was serious from Covid-19 and tells of the hard experience

Miguel Pedrola is a doctor, he is 52 years old and is an eminence in the early diagnosis of HIV. He works as scientific director for Latin America and the Caribbean of AHF (Aids Healthcare Foundations), an international organization that works in prevention and comprehensive response to HIV and AIDS, also established in Argentina. And in Rosario he achieved in 2012, with a work team, the Guinness record for tests: 3,733 in eight hours. What he never imagined in almost three decades of work against a disease was going to be that another, called coronavirus, would deposit him in a hospital bed with a really serious picture. Recovered in his hometown, Venado Tuerto, and still convalescing, he says: “I just realized how bad I had been when I saw the results of the studies that had put me at home at home.”

Pedrola surprised this week with a very emotional message on Facebook, in which he thanks all the health personnel who intervened in his treatment. Many of them with first and last names; to others, in the memory “of their eyes and their words”, and of their forms “behind the suits, glasses, chinstraps and gloves”. From the “various angels of 107” who appeared one Sunday and transferred him to the Alejandro Gutiérrez Hospital, to the doctor who hugged him and let him “cry.”

He had returned to Argentina in March from Miami, the AHF operational center, as a repatriated scientist, when the country had already restricted flights from risk areas. When he arrived at Venado Tuerto, and after passing the quarantine imposed on travelers, Governor Omar Perotti, who always consulted him on the situation of Covid-19 in the United States, summoned him to participate in the provincial teams. “I couldn’t do both activities, so they gave me a consultancy by decree,” he recalls.

He began to work in the south of Santa Fe. With the provincial Epidemiology area, he assisted the town of Carreras when the situation became complex, and he also worked with the Santa Isabel health system. Then came everything else.

In late August, he was diagnosed with moderate to severe pneumonia, which led him to spend two days in the local hospital. Then, feeling better, he withdrew. She wanted to celebrate her birthday at home on the 29th of that month, promising to get checked again the next day. “It was an act of pride, I signed up alone. Now I learned my lesson ”, he acknowledges.

In the early morning hours of that Sunday after the celebration of his 52 years, the situation became untenable. He woke up with a fever, shivering with cold, his whole body was contracted and he could not breathe. “It was like a cramp in the whole abdomen that prevented me from entering the air. It was exasperating ”, bill. Sies immediately fell and he put oxygen on it, something that relieved him. When he arrived at Gutiérrez, the doctor told him: “This time, you won’t leave until I order it.” He was obedient.

Con plasma

Although he did not enter intensive care, something that terrified him (“he had never been hospitalized,” he clarifies), yes Plasma had to be applied to him, and he was subjected to rigorous care. He didn’t have a good time. The first week was difficult. “I saw it in the faces of the professionals, who made every effort not to discourage me, they told me it sweetened, but the parameters obviously weren’t working for me. The truth is that I realized how bad I had been when I returned home and reviewed the studies, which I had not seen before ”, recognize. And it abounds: “If I had seen them in the hospital, I would have been very worried.”

From Sunday 30 to Friday 4 September he did not feel any improvement, but that last day he woke up as “cured”, although he would still have a few days of hospital bed left, until on Friday the 11th he was discharged.

Pedrola assures that the strongest thing, beyond the physical, is how the disease affects the mental and emotional plane. “Everything goes through the head. I cried a lot, I was only relieved when I saw that things improved. I have no explanations from the medical point of view, but it hit me in the spirit “, recalls. He was sensitized by any news about Covid, especially cases in nursing homes. He could not send messages, he referred everything to his wife, who now has them “short”. “You are and you feel very lonely,” he admits.

One thing that did him good was sharing a room with other patients. When he began to feel better, he devoted himself to his companion, bringing him the food that was left for them at the door of the room and taking care of him. That, he says, “helped me forget about myself a bit, it put the problem out of my head. Now I ask every day how this patient is, who is from Santa Isabel and I didn’t even know. These situations are really hinges in life ”, he reflects.

Today, and already with the medical discharge, he takes off “the hat” before the professionals who attended him. “I knew I was where I needed to be, that’s a boost of encouragement.” And there is something that he does not stop remembering: “It was not only the attention they gave me, they were treated in the same way”.

Pedrola prefers not to make considerations regarding the situation of the coronavirus in the country and in the province. Less, after having been “unplugged” for so long while “many other colleagues have been at the bottom of the gun all this time”. But you can talk about your specialty, HIV.

He explains that the UN-AIDS and the World Health Organization had set the goal of eradicating the AIDS epidemic by 2030. A goal that could be achieved because with the advancement of treatments, a person who receives effective care is not contagious. “It was the 90-90-90 project: that this percentage of the infected population was diagnosed early, that ninety percent of them already had effective treatment, and that in a similar proportion they followed it. Extrapolated to 2030, we would take the plan to 95-95-95 ”, he says.

However, he acknowledges that the coronavirus changed all forecasts. “With this pandemic that arouses health care, surely the goals will have to be postponed, and not only in the area of ​​HIV-AIDS, but in many other diseases, which will be left behind and will be stretched. When we realize it, the indicators will all be changed ”, the Mint.


We tell you how advisable it is to take medicine and alcohol at the same time

When we drink medicines The alcohol, these substances go through the same process: they enter the digestive tract, pass into the blood, and then cause their effects on the organs designated, such as brain, the kidneys or others, depending on what we consume and for what reason and finally, after a short period of time, the liver metabolizes the substances so that later the Body can dispose of them.

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However, when ingest at the same time, the enzymes in charge of metabolizing these substances, take longer in the process of both, causing them to have greater effect and more durable in the body, especially when a person ingest alcohol of acute form and it doesn’t do it constantly.

However when the person ingests alcohol very constantly and at the same time takes medicines, your body may learn to metabolize the medicine faster to get it out of the Body, for which the effects of medicines they can be lower, even with larger doses.

Also, some alcoholic beverages how beer or wine, have a substance called “tyramine”, which when mixed with medications can cause sickness, vomit and facial redness.

In the case of paracetamol, may cause toxic effects at liver if it is taken alcohol during treatment.

Every medicine has can cause effects different in the Body, depending of the metabolism and the quantity of alcohol what takes each person, for this reason it is not recommended get drunk while also taking a treatment of medicinesas it may be more harmful for the Health, how beneficial.

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Fragile progress in the fight against HIV, tuberculosis and malaria

The Global Fund to Fight the Three Pandemics has just released its report on the past year. The organization notes notable progress in the fight against HIV, tuberculosis and malaria, but the Covid-19 pandemic could wipe them out. Françoise Vanni is the Director of External Relations for the Global Fund.

RFI: The Global Fund against HIV / AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria publishes its report on the past year. What are the main elements ?

Françoise Vanni: We have had good results. Since the creation of the Global Fund in 2002, we estimate that 38 million lives have been saved. On the 2019 results alone, 6 million more lives were saved compared to the previous year. We have made significant progress in the fight against HIV, tuberculosis and malaria.

In this report, we therefore highlight the progress made in terms of access to anti-retrovirals for people living with HIV / AIDS: almost 20 million people, which provides 69% coverage. This is remarkable progress over the past few years.

Likewise, we have made significant progress in terms of people treated against tuberculosis. In 2019 we arrived at 5.7 million people diagnosed and treated. We are on track to meet the goals set by the international community at the high-level summit on tuberculosis a year and a half ago.

Finally, with regard to malaria, we are also making progress, with 160 million insecticide-treated mosquito nets distributed. This allows around 320 million people to be affected by this distribution and represents a population coverage of 58% against 34% in 2010.

We are very satisfied with these results but at the same time we are extremely worried, as they risk being wiped out in a few months with the Covid-19 pandemic. It is therefore both a report of positive results and a cry of alarm. The international community must mobilize very quickly to both fight against Covid-19 and protect the results obtained by decades of efforts in the fight against HIV / AIDS, tuberculosis and malaria.

You are announcing good results, particularly in the fight against HIV / AIDS. However, in its annual report, UNAIDS once again sounded the alarm : the objectives set will not be achieved. Where is the cursor located?

We have the same data as UNAIDS. Our progress is compared to 2019. A number of the challenges we had have seen significant progress, for example in HIV / AIDS prevention among young girls in sub-Saharan Africa. On the other hand, we are far from the objectives set by the international community, that is to say the 90-90-90. 90% of sick people need to know their status, 90% of them need to be on treatment and 90% of them need to check their viral load.

We said last year that we were off the hook. We still are the UNAIDS report is correct. However, we have been able to carry out a number of interventions with our partners which have yielded results. In terms of prevention, in terms of targeting the most vulnerable populations such as young people, young girls, key populations, etc. We have made significant efforts.

We are now in the context of Covid-19 and we are fully in line with our partners in UNAIDS. The pandemic threatens very directly the progress that has been made in the fight against HIV / AIDS. We conducted a survey in around 100 countries in which the Global Fund invests. About 75% of service delivery in the programs the Fund supports have experienced some form of significant or very significant disruption in recent months.

HIV programs are the first to be affected, in particular prevention programs: this often involves door-to-door contact, and personalized prevention discussions. All this is threatened by the Covid-19 and people no longer dare to go to health centers. Community health workers who have no protection can no longer do prevention work.

There is therefore a great danger that all progress will be destroyed in a few months. The most pessimistic forecasts see the number of deaths from HIV / AIDS to double in the next twelve months if we do not react in time.

We must fight against Covid-19 itself and ensure that the programs against HIV / AIDS adapt. Community associations must have access to technologies to communicate if they cannot travel. Patients need to have access to longer treatment if they cannot return to the health center as regularly as usual and so on. We know what to do, but funding is sorely lacking.

In this context, how is the Global Fund adapting its programs ?

The Global Fund reacted fairly quickly, in March. We had some flexibility in the already existing grants, which allowed us to deliver $ 500 million that countries could deploy to respond to Covid-19. Subsequently, we released an additional $ 500 million. In total, $ 1 billion was therefore put on the table fairly quickly. They have now been very widely deployed: $ 722 million has been used by countries as needed.

They served to achieve mainly three things. On the one hand, to fight against Covid-19 itself with diagnosis, tracing and protection of health personnel. The Global Fund has supported them for years, especially the community health workers who are on the front lines. We are used to working alongside our local partners in this type of intervention. This represents half of the funding we have deployed since the start of the pandemic. A large third has been used to adapt programs to fight HIV, tuberculosis and malaria.

This consists, for example, in changing the methods of distributing mosquito nets: we can no longer distribute them in village squares, we must ensure that this distribution does not put people at risk of catching Covid-19. We have adapted the deployment of treatments for people who have one for the long term, giving them doses for 3 to 6 months rather than for the short term. All these adaptations could be financed by the Global Fund and be implemented by its partners.

Finally, there is a whole aspect concerning the strengthening of the health system itself. Typically, laboratories have been overloaded; we have enabled our partners to access additional funding to complete their equipment. For example, the Covid-19 diagnostic machines are the same as for tuberculosis. To prevent programs against the latter from being deprived with a machine that could be redeployed for Covid-19, it was simply necessary to buy new ones to meet all the needs.

The goal was to deal with the most urgent. We calculated that to continue this work we needed an additional $ 5 billion. Unfortunately, we are very far at this stage, and we will reach the end of this billion at the end of September. We are concerned about the continuation of these actions.

Less than a year ago, the Global Fund replenishment conference took place in Lyon. States have pledged $ 14 billion over the next three years. Are you worried that this promise will not be kept and that countries will ultimately keep the money to deal with Covid-19?

The States which have made a commitment to Lyon are loyal to us, they know that the Global Fund is an effective tool to fight against the three pandemics and counter the effects of Covid-19. We therefore have no indication that our donors will not honor their promises. But the needs have increased. We were on the right track with the results obtained last year. This $ 14 billion was the target for working at the right scale for the next three years. The Covid-19 shattered these working hypotheses.

The Global Fund, but also the various partners, need more money. We are united in the ACTA coalition for the deployment of new tools to fight Covid-19. As part of this coalition, we have put together the financing and deployment needs in terms of vaccines, treatment, diagnostics, protective equipment for health workers.

We thus note that the funding on the table is not at all up to the challenges and the urgency. If we look at all the dimensions of the fight against Covid-19, we would need $ 35 billion for the next 12 months. The question of financing therefore remains open and we believe that given the scale of the current crisis, we will have to go beyond the mechanisms of development aid. To implement innovative and more ambitious mechanisms to meet the needs we face.

Can we consider the creation of a Global Fund against Covid-19 ?

We are in the midst of a crisis. All health stakeholders agree that creating a new institution is not a good idea at all. On the contrary, we are trying to bring together all the actors involved. There have been two major donor conferences convened at the initiative of the European Union. They have given a certain number of results in terms of funding, but which remain far below the stakes.

We are going to mobilize with our partners in the ACTA coalition to call on donors to go further. In this sense, we are going to use the already existing platforms: the G20, the United Nations General Assembly, or even the meetings next month of the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund. We must go beyond the usual paradigm where we take Paul to dress Jacques in official development assistance. In any case, that would be seriously insufficient to put an end to this epidemic. We know that if we do not end the epidemic everywhere, no one will be safe. We need a coordinated global response to effectively tackle this virus and ensure that the most vulnerable are not left behind.


Anastasia Reshetova sharply responded to the accusations of a girl who received burns in her beauty salon

Anastasia Reshetova responded to the accusations of a client of her beauty salon, who complained about the quality of services. On her Instagram page, the model disagreed that the consumer is always right.

Reshetova believes that in practice slogans about the client’s correctness do not always work, since there are too many of those who are hunting for salons, restaurants and other establishments, trying to “shake off money”. The model emphasized that after the appeal of the disgruntled visitor, the employees of her company immediately offered to visit the doctor and pay for the examination. However, this was followed by a refusal and an attempt to obtain compensation. Anastasia Reshetova noted that the person filed complaints after removing the coating from the nails in an unknown place. Timati’s wife believes that her salon should not pay for such complaints, since it provided a quality service using safe materials.

In the comments, the followers agreed with Reshetova’s arguments, confirming that there are people who can live only through various kinds of compensation.


TV series in the hacker viewfinder, at the top The Mandalorian – Ultima Ora

(ANSA) – ROME, 06 SEPT – The Mandalorian, Stranger Things, The Witcher, Sex Education, Orange is the New Black are the favorite TV series of hackers. Phishing is one of the most common ways used to steal account credentials online, Netflix being the most popular target. This was discovered by researchers from the security company Kaspersky who analyzed the cyber threats in relation to the five main streaming platforms (Hulu, Disney +, Netflix, Apple TV + and Amazon Prime Video), in a period ranging from January 2019 to April 8, 2020.

Phishing is one of the most common ways used to steal credentials. There are, for example, ‘fake’ versions of the online pages for accessing various services that are used as traps for careless users. In this case, Netflix is ​​the most popular target: researchers found fake login pages to this platform in four different languages.

A habit that facilitates hackers is to share their login credentials to streaming platforms with relatives or friends. Also according to Kaspersky, 38% of Italians and 46% of all interviewees worldwide do so.

However, 17% of Italians (compared to 32% globally) fear that their accounts are not safe because they do not have enough information on the online habits of their roommates. (HANDLE).