Breakthrough for HIV cure researchers

UK doctors and researchers working on an HIV cure have reported amazing observations on a patient that became virus-free after being treated. The treatment is part of a research funded by the NHS and is being conducted by Britain’s top five universities.

The first patient to finish the treatment program was observed to have no HIV in his blood, based on initial tests conducted on him. However, more tests are required before declaring the treatment a success, especially that HIV has resurfaced in patients that were supposedly healed through other methods. This is a positive news nonetheless, and I’m very much happy to share it.

The treatment involved combining the usual antiretrovirals with a dormant HIV reactivator and a vaccine that makes the immune system eliminate infected cells. By themselves, antiretroviral drugs are actually quite good in preventing HIV from reproducing. However, they can not completely eliminate the virus, so patients have to take them forever.

HIV can hide in dormant cells, where they can’t be harmed by the immune system or by medication, and where they can’t even be detected by the best test methods. The treatment’s strategy is to trick HIV into exposing itself, and then to kick-start the immune system into attacking it once it does so.

Confirming that a patient is completely HIV free is difficult, as was realized by researchers in the case of a Mississippi girl. The girl was put through aggressive rounds of antiretrovirals immediately after her HIV positive mother gave birth to her in 2010. The girl was virus-free five months after that, but was not so two years later.

That said, there is already a person that is believed to be totally cured of HIV. His name is Timothy Ray Brown, and was dubbed as “The Berlin Patient” (he was treated in Germany but is an American citizen). Brown required a bone marrow transplant, wherein stem cells swapped out his cancerous cells. Luckily, his physician found a donor who was naturally immune to HIV.

Anyway, I am praying that this story will continue in a positive direction. And hopefully, we will one day wake up to a morning in a world that is free from HIV.

Thankful for tankless water heater reviews

I’ve been very busy reading a couple of tankless water heater reviews this week, so the thought of flowing hot water is stuck on my mind. There are lots of elaborate ways to feel good, but sometimes, simple things like a hot shower actually do the job best. Sometimes, all you need is a rinse in some warm water to start your day right or to end it on a positive note.

shower head
Photo by Markus Spiske

So, if you’ve been looking for ways to change how you are feeling, a hot shower might be all that you need. Below are the reasons why:

Hot water is healing. From the ancient Roman baths to modern bathrooms with electric water heaters, plenty of cultures have used hot water as a way to cleanse the body and soul. Hot water is good at washing away all the dirt, sweat, oil and other stuff that stays on your skin, as well as opening those pores that may have been clogged with other stuff. You probably know that in order to wash your dishes or clothes and really disinfect them, you have to use hot water… well, the same is true for your body.

When you look good, you feel good. On the more spiritual side, hot water also has the wondrous ability to cleanse us and lift our cares away. With the simple act of washing away the impurities, somehow the soul gets a cleansing too. Chalk it up to the science of cleansing with hot water, or its more spiritual benefits, but either way, there’s no doubt that a hot shower offers an amazing way to heal — and to feel good inside and out.

Shower time is true “me” time. For many people, that time in the bathroom is one of the only times during the day when they’re completely alone. It’s just you, the electric water heater, and the warm water coming from it. Sure, you might exercise for your “me” time, but that often comes with loud music, traffic, or other distractions. When you’re in the shower, no one else gets to crowd in… unless you want them there! This is your time to relax and let your mind wander — even if it is just for a few short minutes each day.

When muscles are sore, hot water helps. Whether you’ve just completed a workout that’s not in your regular repertoire, or you’re getting on in age and even the activities of daily living result in sore muscles, hot water can be a godsend. The warmth of the water helps to open not just the pores, but the blood vessels too — so your body’s entire circulatory system is working more efficiently, helping to move lactic acid and other metabolic wastes out more quickly.

It may be something that’s taken for granted, but the truth is that a hot shower is something quite magical. So the next time you’re feeling stressed out, overworked, or just plain sore from doing too much, a quick rinse may be all you need. Those are the reasons why I’m looking to buy a tankless water heater. And thanks to reviews online, it seems that my search will be as pleasant as the shower itself. 🙂

Vinyl records make me happy

I can’t exactly tell what’s with vinyl records, but I just love them so much. I love the artwork on their sleeves. I like how they feel when I touch them (weird eh?). I love listening to the music they hold. I also sort of get hypnotized into a trance when I see them spinning on a turntable. Whatever it is with those circular things, they just make me happy and have that warm fuzzy feeling inside. And my family is not at all worried with my obsession, and they actually enjoy telling me that I was born this way.

Mom often tells me that as a baby, I was colicky and jittery, and that all hell broke loose when I first met my pediatrician. “There are going to be long years ahead of you, with probably a generous serving of sleepless nights,” the doctor joked with my Mom. This should be a surprise to my friends and acquaintances now, who only got to know the currently calm and cheerful me. So what exactly changed my general mood? Well, my Mom bought me a record player (like the ones shown here). Apparently, Mom accidentally discovered that my Aunt’s vinyl records gave me inner peace. And so at around four years old, I was already hooked.

Through the years, I got to experience most “vintage” formats of music. Vinyl records might seem like a new and novel format for the Spotify generation, but It’s actually just making a comeback. I also got to wind up cassette tapes and burn CDs before I finally listened to music via my phone. I have probably already spent good money on music streaming services. But whenever the opportunity arises, my funds are spent on good old vinyl records. Just the other day, a friend sold me a box of such that he found in their attic. I was supposed to use the money for trying YouTube Red, but still, the smile on my face couldn’t be any wider. 🙂