July - September 2022

HIV/AIDS

Thanks to therapeutic developments in recent years, HIV/AIDS is now considered a chronic condition to be managed, not a deadly disease.

It is estimated that over 1.2 million people in America are living with HIV/AIDS, and many of them are sharing day-to-day management tips, raising awareness, and building communities online.

How are they demonstrating that life can be lived to the fullest with this condition? And which medications to treat or prevent HIV are people searching for the most?

Search Trends

The Trends Section provides an overview of some of the most recent and relevant topics that relate to particular health conditions.

It features a selection of the topics that have the fastest growing Google search interest across the last three months, and reflects the inquiries of patients, healthcare providers, scientists, and others who are invested in the topic.

This is valuable to understand people’s interests and concerns at the present moment, and often include the U.S. states that have the highest interest in a topic. 

Quilt.AI brings these trends to life through an analysis that incorporates both cultural and scientific lenses.

What top selling drugs for HIV/AIDS are trending on search?

What's trending on search for HIV/AIDS?

Search interest for Stem Cell Transplant HIV grew by 137% over the last 3 months, from July 2022 to September 2022.

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1. Potential cure for HIV?

There has been a rise in search for stem cell transplants as a cure for HIV, as there is a surge in interest towards potentially finding a cure for HIV.

A recent article published by the American Journal of Managed Care (AJMC) quoted a case study where a patient successfully underwent a stem cell transplant for HIV and leukemia, [1] and got into long term remission. 

However, doctors also emphasized that this was a unique case since the donor carried a rare genetic mutation that is resistant to infection from HIV strains.

Despite there being no cure for HIV presently [2], this proved there are possibilities that are still undiscovered by medical professionals.  

2. Laws against coverage for HIV prevention drugs

Searches for HIV prevention drugs have increased substantially over the past three months, especially in September, after a Texas judge ruled against a mandate that requires employers to provide healthcare coverage for HIV prevention drugs [1]

The ruling meant greater financial burdens for those seeking HIV prevention drugs, making the already affected marginalised communities more prone to HIV infections.

The ruling also created controversy as it stated that the mandate “required religious employers to provide coverage for a drug that encouraged homosexualilty, prostitution and promiscuous behaviour”, which supported the stigmatisation of people with HIV.

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Search interest for HIV prevention drugs grew by 135% over the last 3 months, from July 2022 to September 2022.

Search interest for CD4 grew by 55% over the last 3 months, from July 2022 to September 2022.

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3. Low CD4 T-Cell count means faster remision

Recent studies have underscored the importance of CD4 T-cell count as a measurement to gauge treatment and improve outcomes - undergoing ART (antiretroviral therapy) treatment before CD4 T-cell count fell below 800 improves chances of remission in patients [1]

A CD4 T-cell is a type of white blood cell that help fight infections by triggering the immune system to destroy viruses and bacterias [2].

This study have direct implications to treatment guidelines for HIV and AIDS, which is important to halt disease progression in patients, and further transmission of the virus through sexual intercourse or from parents to their children [3]. 

4. Dolutegravir for HIV-1  are effective in pregnancy

Antiretroviral medicines are used to treat HIV, by allowing the immune system to repair itself and prevent further damage to the body.[1

Dolutegravir is an antiretroviral medication used to treat HIV/AIDS. There is an increase in search interest for the drug in the past 3 months, especially from Michigan, Oklahoma, Maryland, Utah, and Georgia.

According to a study by Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health, Dolutegravir-based antiretroviral therapies are more effective for pregnant women suffering from HIV-1 than other ART regimens. [2]. However, being a only recently approved, there are still limited information on its safety compared to the other commonly used regimens.

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Search interest for Dolutegravir grew by 97% over the last 3 months, from April 2022 to June 2022.

Search interest for Cabotegravir grew by 159% over the last 3 months, from July 2022 to September 2022.

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5. Cabotegravir, a long-lasting, injectable PrEP

Cabotegravir, or Cab-LA, manufactured by the British pharmaceutical company ViiV Healthcare, is a medication that can be administered in the form of tablets or an injection. It can be taken every two months, instead of daily - which can be limited by factors such as side effects and convenience. 

The surge in interest towards the drug happened after the 2022 International AIDS Conference, where ViiV Healthcare presented the research report that Cab-LA is the only long-acting injectable form of pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP). 

This means that medicinal consumption can be made much more accessible, with an 89% lower rate of HIV acquisition when compared to regular oral tablets. [1]

HIV/AIDS in Culture

The Culture Section highlights emerging cultural trends, new products, and notable dialogue about a variety of health conditions. The purpose of this section is to zoom in on what has been happening within the cultural and professional landscape of a particular health condition–stories that are often missed by quantitative searches.

By featuring influential social media items, patient discourse, professional dialogue, product innovations, and impactful news items, this section illuminates the lived experiences of many patients, while also providing a snapshot of the developments happening around them. 

Here, Quilt.AI offers a detailed and nuanced perspective of what is new and what is meaningful.

1. Influencers:
HIV-Positive and HIV-Negative Couple

Many people living with HIV/AIDS have emerged as social media influencers, among them Johneri’o Scott, a very popular tiktokker with 29.9 k followers and 403 k likes, proactively educating his followers about HIV and motivates HIV-affected patients to accept and live with it.

He creates awareness about HIV/AIDS symptoms, management, healthy diet choices, dispelling transmission myths, mental health, social rejection, medication, and HIV testing. He offers support and hopes to others living with HIV through his posts.

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2. TouchMe

A person asks strangers to touch him, mentioning he has HIV; eventually, many, including several young kids, come in to hug the stranger expressing their love and kindness towards him. This act of empathy makes the person brings tears to his eyes.

The Tik Tok post has earned 535K likes, 5596 comments and 2837 shares. Many Tik Tok users have also admired it. Similar videos were shared from different regions worldwide.

3. CRISPR-based HIV gene therapy

A new gene-editing therapy known as CRISPR, which can potentially change the future of HIV therapeutics, has become popular and conversed a lot during September. Future(s) Studies, a Reddit channel with 17.5M members that talks about the latest development of humanity, technology, and civilization, has brought up the topic and grasped the onliner’s attention, which has also been outspoken in multiple channels. 

The discussion on the topic has gained 358 upvotes on the Reddit channel.

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4.  Positive ain’t easy: Recovery and progression of Gena Tew

AIDS/HIV is a very common and most spoken topic in social media with more than 1.2 million people in the US with the disease. Gena Tew, 27-year-old model, was diagnosed with AIDS in March 2022. She has more than 93.9K followers on Instagram and 841.1K followers and 6.6M likes on TikTok. She has been documenting her struggle with this disease. She also shared, she is not aware for how long it’s been in her blood. 

She in a TikTok video said that, AIDS in her blood is untraceable and untransmittable. She also shared people have been asking if she is going to marry and have a baby. Tew optimistically shared that her partner could go for pre-exposure prophylaxis(PrEp), reducing the chance of contracting AIDS through sexual intercourse. 

5.  Elton John Receiving National Humanitarian award

On Friday, September 23rd, Elton John Performed at the White House. Following his performance, President Joe Biden Presented Elton John with the National Humanities Medal. The medal was a surprise to Elton John, leaving him feeling "Flabbergasted."[1]

This news has been widely shared in social media and fans of Elton John are celebrating by resharing the news in social media platforms like Twitter.

John has always been vocal about his struggles with AIDS, and actively helping out others going through the same, by starting a foundation to raise awareness and bring an end to AIDS.

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