Malaysia Airlines Flight MH17: AIDS scientist Joep Lange did pioneering research with Canadians

The medical community lost one of its luminaries Thursday in the Malaysian Airlines Flight MH17 disaster, a pioneering AIDS researcher equally adept at examining assays in the laboratory and browbeating politicians on the world stage.

Joep Lange, a Dutch physician and professor of medicine at the University of Amsterdam, had been studying HIV since the discovery of the virus 30 years ago, rising to international prominence in a sometimes fractious field in part for his prescient and impassioned activism on everything from treatment regimes to health policy.

Malaysia Airlines Flight MH17: Joep Lange, AIDS fighter, feared killed

The world of AIDS research was in shock on Friday after dozens of leading HIV experts, including veteran researcher Joep Lange of the Netherlands, were feared killed when a Malaysian plane was shot down over Ukraine, fuelling concerns that research on curing the disease could suffer.

Scott Harrison reflects on AIDS care

St. Paul’s was one of the first hospitals in Canada to treat HIV/AIDS patients—and today it’s one of the world’s leading clinical and research centres for this disease, providing care to more than 65% of the HIV positive people in the province.

Close friend of BC AIDS expert may be among dead on crashed Malaysia Airlines jetliner

The shooting down of Malaysian airlines flight 17 in Ukraine has hit home for the director of the BC Centre for Excellence in HIV/AIDS.

Dr. Julio Montaner says he is shocked to learn one of his close colleagues may be among the dead.

“My colleague, my friend, my very close collaborator, Dr. Joep Lange, may have been on this plane and we are devastated just to think about this loss. It is something that I can’t even think about. ”

He says Lange may have been on the plane heading to an AIDS conference in Melbourne.

Shane Woodford reports

New BC HIV/AIDS study shows need for routine testing because early symptoms are too hard to pinpoint

Early HIV infection is difficult for doctors to diagnose using clinical exam skills alone, according to a new BC study by the BC Centre for Excellence in HIV/AIDS.

The report, published in the July 15 issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association, analyzed data from 24,000 patients and found early symptoms of HIV are often too non-specific for doctors to recognize, meaning they may miss opportunities to refer patients for HIV testing.

Difficult to detect early HIV without blood tests, BC researchers say

A study led by BC researchers published Tuesday concludes that early HIV infections are more difficult to detect than previously thought by observing symptoms alone.

Within the first six months of infection, symptoms can include genital ulcers, weight loss, vomiting and swollen lymph nodes, according to the study in this week's edition of the Journal of the American Medical Association, It examined 16 previously published research papers covering a total of 24,745 patients, 1,253 of whom had an early HIV infection.

HIV's resemblance to the flu makes diagnosis difficult; patients should get routine screenings

Common symptoms of HIV in its early stages include fever, nausea, vomiting, weight loss, oral ulcers, and swollen lymph glands. With many of these symptoms also being indicative of the common flu, many doctors are unable to differentiate between a normal, relatively harmless flu, and HIV, a new study found. This inability to diagnose based solely on their own observations presents a problem, as blood tests can miss HIV for as many as three months after infection.

Physicians struggle to clinically diagnose early HIV infection

Despite the belief that early HIV infection presents with a well recognized flu-like syndrome, most physicians are unable to use clinical skills to differentiate those who should and should not be tested for HIV infection, according to a study published July 15 in Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA).

BC Center for Excellence in HIV/AIDS study critiques Vancouver’s prostitution policies

Photos By Dave King

A recent study has concluded that the Nordic Model of prostitution laws could endanger sex trade workers even further and does not affect the demand for prostitution.

The Nordic Model, originating in Nordic nations such as Norway and Sweden, criminalizes the act of buying sex but not selling it — johns and pimps are prosecuted rather than sex trade workers themselves.

Dr. Harrigan receives 2014 Research and Mission Award

The Providence Health Care Research and Mission Award recognizes a scientist in the organization who demonstrates the mission and values of Providence Health Care while conducting outstanding research. This year's recipient is Dr. Richard Harrigan, Director of the Research Laboratory Program at BC Centre for Excellence in HIV/AIDS, a GSK-CIHR Research Chair in HIV/AIDS and Professor of the Division of AIDS at UBC.

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