Spotlight on research
HIV, women and alcohol
UF researchers have received a $2.7 million grant from the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism to evaluate whether the prescription medication naltrexone can help women with HIV reduce their alcohol consumption and improve their overall health. Alcohol consumption may affect a person’s ability to take medications on schedule, their immune system and decision-making, said the study’s lead investigator Robert Cook, M.D., M.P.H., an associate professor of epidemiology. Naltrexone has been found to decrease alcohol use in previous studies of men with severe drinking problems but has not been tested exclusively in women or in people with HIV infection. For the full story, click here.
Good news for babies
An article published in The New England Journal of Medicine reports that babies with the neonatal herpes simplex virus who were given acyclovir as a preventive medicine had improved brain development and were less likely to have the herpes infection come back. Mobeen H. Rathore, M.B.B.S., a pediatrics professor at the College of Medicine-Jacksonville, was among the team of physicians involved in the 14-year study. The drug is also used to treat herpes, but this is the first definitive clinical trial that shows using acyclovir can prevent the recurrence of herpes infection in babies, Rathore said. “Neonatal herpes is a very devastating disease in children and recurrences make the outcome even worse. To have something that will help that child is very gratifying,” Rathore said. For more on this story, visit the College of Medicine-Jacksonville’s website.