Monthly Archives: June 2013

Africa Day Celebrations & LASS “Know Your HIV Status” Football Tournament

AfricaFlagMap2013Ball

LASS invite you and your family to enjoy the african football extravaganza & barbecue At the emerald centre in leicester on 6th July 2013.

The following african teams are participating:

  1. Tanzania (Taifa Stars)
  2. Zanzibar (Tanganyika)
  3. Ghana – Milton Keynes F.C. (Black Stars)
  4. Ghana – Leicester (Black Stars)
  5. Zinyokanyoka F.C. Zim Leicester (Warriors)
  6. Guinea – Leicester
  7. Mozambique (Mambas)
  8. Young warriors (Zim – Coventry)
  9. South Africa (Bafana Bafana)
  10. Super Eagles (Nigeria)
  11. Malawi Flames (Malawi)
  12. Indomitable Lions (Cameroon)

Prizes:

  • Winners: “lass: know your hiv status” winners trophy and 20 gold medals.
  • Runners-up: “lass know your hiv status” runners-up trophy and 20 silver medals.

There are another 40 bronze medals for the first 40 individuals to get a rapid hiv test. You can be a winner and know your hiv status.

A lass mobile rapid hiv testing van and a separate quiet room will be available for those who want to know their hiv status and have peace of mind. Help yourselves to an assortment of free condoms.

Food and beverages:

‘Gochi Gochi Africa’ will be selling barbecue to members of the public with beef, pork spare ribs etc and the ‘yummy yummy chakalaka’ chillies

Date, Time & Location

Date: Saturday, 6th July 2013
Time: 10:00 – 20:00 hours
Venue: The Emerald Centre, 450 gipsy lane, leicester, LE5 0TB  (map)0116 2769186

For further enquiries please contact Eric Gore or Celia Fisher on  0116 2559995

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Fighting Fire with Fire.. How HIV is Used to Cure Cancer!

When all conventional forms of treatment were exhausted, Emma Whitehead, 6, was entered into a clinical trial where she was injected with a disabled form of the HIV virus to reprogram her immune system and genetically kill cancer cells.

The result, as seen in the video, exceeded all expectations. Emma is now in remission and her progress is being tracked everyday.

If you never thought you’d see the day when you’d appreciate HIV . . .

Researchers at the University of Pennsylvania were looking for a way to stop tumor cell growth, or actively kill the tumor cells. They had several patients (adults with chronic lymphocytic leukenia) and kids with acute lymphoblastic leukemia. These patients had failed all previous standard chemotherapy treatments and would all have probably died in less than a 1 month.

Researchers at Penn had developed a technique to modify the patients’ own T-cells to turn them into what they called “serial killer” cells. These serial killer T-cells could each kill approximately 1000 tumor cells that had the CD-19 antigen on them. This antigen is found on the malignant lymphocytes in these leukemia patients.

To produce the serial killers, researchers needed to modify the patients’ own T-cells by genetically engineering them to produce an antibody-like protein that would sic them on the tumor cells. To do that, the researchers needed to get at the T-cells’ genes. They found that the best way to get this process to work was to use HIV.

The HIV naturally seeks out T-cells and binds to them, then injects its own genetic material, functionally taking over the cell. Forcing it to produce millions of copies of HIV before the cell dies. The researchers modified the HIV so that it could no longer cause the infected cells to produce HIV. But it was programmed to cause them to produce the protein that would make them highly specific serial killers.

The researchers removed T-cells from each patient, cultured them, added the specially programmed HIV. They let the HIV inject and modify the cells, removed them and infused them into the patients. The results? The modified T-cells were very effective. In one case, the modified T-cells destroyed an estimated two POUNDS of tumor.

12 patients who participated in this small trial (10 adults and 2 children). Nine patients responded and all are still alive, some after almost three years. They show no evidence of any remaining leukemic cells and are generally doing well.

The research received additional grant funding and is continuing. The possibility exists that, using modified HIV, other tumor antigens can be successfully targeted and similarly destroyed.

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Africa Day Celebrations

Africa day and football poster

Greetings from all of us here at LASS, we hope you all are well.  We invite you to another fascinating event: the Africa Day celebrations featuring the LASS ‘Know Your HIV Status’ Football Tournament. We appreciate very much and thank you all for the support you have given us to date and encourage you to participate in what will be a colourful, fun and sporting day.

The ‘Africa Day Celebrations’  featuring the ‘LASS ‘Know your HIV football tournament 2013’ to be held on 6th July 2013 from 10.00 am at the Emerald Centre, 450 Gypsy Lane, Leicester, LE5 0TB. There will be 12 African teams fighting for the winners trophies.

There will be Winners and Runners Up trophies and 20 Gold medals for the winning team and 20 Silver medals for the runners up.

There will be different food on sale with lots of BBQ during the day.

Please note: rapid hiv testing (result in 60 seconds) will be voluntary for anyone.  Parking will be plenty: and please no alcohol or drinks to be brought on site except children’s drinks. There is a bar to cater for that.

We would like to make this a fun-filled family day so we appreciate it if you could bring your families, friends and colleagues. The day would be very colourful, funny and interesting if teams and spectators could bring with them their national flags to make it an exciting Africa Day celebrations event. There will be health stalls for Chlamydia screening diabetes (blood glucose), mental health, children’s mental health and hate crime. African clothing and artefacts will also be on sale. We hope to see you all to enjoy the day.

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Birth of one millionth HIV-free baby!

pregnant

Global AIDS Coordinator, Eric Goosby, has revealed that somewhere in sub-Saharan Africa this month, the one millionth baby will be born without HIV to a HIV positive mother.

This threshold, according to Goosby, is due largely in part to a decade-old aid programme – U.S. President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief, known by its acronym PEPFAR.

With this record, agency report Tuesday indicated that it is yet another remarkable step in the long fight against HIV and AIDS, as the United States and its global partners work towards what they call an AIDS-free generation, which just a decade ago would have been unimaginable.

Mother-to-baby transmission has long been a source of concern among governments and organisations working to control the spread of HIV.

But more effective anti-retroviral drugs and regimens are now dramatically cutting the chances of an infected mother passing on the disease to her baby during pregnancy or breastfeeding.

The millionth baby born HIV-free was Tuesday trumpeted as part of celebrations to mark the 10th anniversary of the PEPFAR.

The biggest fall in transmission rates from mom to infant came since 2009, Goosby told Agence France Presse (AFP).

The programme was working to “virtually eliminate pediatric HIV by 2015 and keep their mothers alive,” he said, with aim of reducing the number of babies born with the infection to around 30,000 yearly.

This is “a significant flag for PEPFAR” which works in 36 countries in partnership with UNICEF and the World Health Organisation (WHO), he added, pointing to all the difficulties in reaching women in rural, poor and remote areas of the world.

This involves not just identifying the mother, but getting her on a drugs programme and keeping her in treatment through that pregnancy and any later pregnancies – not always an easy task in rural Africa.

Once the chances of a mother infecting her baby stood at around 30 per cent, but now with the launch of a cocktail of three anti-retroviral drugs that has dropped to only about two per cent, Goosby said.

In the absence of a medical breakthrough leading to a cure, experts are working towards a so-called “tipping point” when fewer people contract HIV every year than the number of people going onto treatments.

U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry, hosting Tuesday’s ceremony, was also to announce that some 13 countries, from Botswana to Zimbabwe, were close to that all important “tipping point.”

In Ethiopia and Malawi, the ratio of new HIV infections to the increase of patients on treatment is just 0.3. The figures are startling.

Ethiopia – which with a population of 84.7 million – for instance registered only 11,000 new cases of HIV in adults in 2011.

Launched under former president George W. Bush, PEPFAR was an initial commitment of some $15 billion over five years aimed specifically to provide anti-retroviral drugs to HIV infected people.

That has risen to a budget of about $5.5 billion annually, including its contribution to the Global Fund — the world’s largest financing organization of programs to fight AIDS, tuberculosis and malaria.

And although some 1.7 million people still die every year from AIDS-related illnesses, PEPFAR supports more than 5.1 million on treatment programs.

The programme estimates that worldwide more than 16 million children are living without one or both parents who have succumbed to AIDS, while millions more are left vulnerable with their parents chronically ill.

“With the PEPFAR program we’ve been able to very specifically target 22 countries in sub-Saharan Africa which make up about 85-90 percent of the pediatric burden on the planet,” said Goosby.

Globally new HIV infections have fallen some 19 percent in the past decade, and AIDS-related deaths have fallen by 26 percent since a peak in 2005.

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Job Vacancy: Kitchen Assistant (10 hrs per week) [CLOSED]

kitchenweb

Leicestershire AIDS Support Services are seeking to recruit a part time (10 Hours Per Week) Kitchen Assistant

You will be responsible for ensuring kitchen hygiene, health and safety and the provision of a minimum of 2 hot lunches a week for service users, people affected by HIV in Leicester and Leicestershire.

Desirable experience includes experience of organising and prioritising work in a kitchen, café or within a customer services setting. Experience of working as a member of a team, as well as using own initiative together with experience of practical ‘hands on’ cooking of meals for 20-30 people.

Closing date: 17th June 2013 at 16:00hrs

Please download the forms below to apply for the role. Please note, these are read only pdf documents which you should print and complete by hand. You may need a pdf reader to view these documents, you may download a free copy of Adobe Reader X from here.

[Please note, the deadline as now passed, application documents now removed]

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Leicester Africa Day Celebration

Football Tournament 2011.  Image Credit: Keith Colman

Football Tournament 2011. Image Credit: Keith Colman

We are proud to Present “Leicester Africa Day Celebration”

Featuring the 2nd LASS ‘Know your HIV Status’ Football Tournament On Saturday July 6th 2013  The Emerald Centre, Gypsy Lane, LE5 0TB (map)

Outline programme

  • Football with 12 teams competing starts at 10:00am with the team briefings, final scheduled for 4:30pm.
  • Family celebrations with food celebrating different countries, music, crafts and information starting at 12.
  • Music and drumming during the day, starting at 11.30 to get the footballers blood pumping.

Please contact us if you want to get involved and find out more. 
eric@lass.org.uk
celia@lass.org.uk

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Free Training Sessions (June – September 2013)

LASS HIV Pocket

Here is the programme of free training from LASS to run from June 2013 to September 2013. All sessions include group discussions and some include guest speakers. To enrole, please contact us on 0116 2559995 or email training@lass.org.uk.

HIV AND BELIEF

Thursday 20th June: 10.30 am – 1.30 pm

The need for more sessions to discuss HIV and Belief was identified at a workshop in February 2013.  This session will further explore the issues linking HIV & Belief, considering perceptions and experiences of stigma. The session will look at ways of empowering ourselves to break down HIV & HIV related stigma in the context of different beliefs and faith influences.

HIV BASICS

Monday 1st July 1.30 – 4.30

Elementary information about HIV, transmission, risks, testing and statistics. This will be of interest to anyone who currently has limited knowledge about HIV.

HIV & Relationships

Tuesday 23rd July, Tuesday 13th August, Tuesday 3rd September 2 – 4pm

There will be several sessions on the theme of HIV & relationships with the objectives of exploring different topics including:

  • Disclosure – talking about HIV Status with different people in your life
  • Sexual Health Q & A
  • Sero-discordant relationships
  • Getting tested as a couple
  • Family relationships and knowledge

You can come along to one, two or all of them – what ever works for you.

HIV & the Law

Thursday 8th August 10am – 1pm

A session to discuss the current situation about HIV & The Law – with information from the recent Keeping Confidence workshop organised by Sigma Research and Birkbeck College.

Please note that sessions will start promptly and late comers may not be admitted to the session.

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