Published March 15, 2013
Beyond the Bricks
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Girl with Congenital HIV Declared ‘Functionally Cured’

In a historic scientific moment, a two year old Mississippi resident has successfully ended an aggressive three-drug treatment of HIV, according to the LA Times. As a result, the virus’ presence has been substantially reduced within her bloodstream. AIDS is no longer at risk of developing due to her HIV infection, and the girl no longer requires medication. There is, however, some speculation surrounding the girl’s state of infection prior to treatment, but researchers who have studied the case say that the virus was discovered in its early stages, before becoming entrenched within the immune system.

Although the second patient in the world to be functionally cured of HIV, she is the first infant to be rid of the infection. Timothy Brown underwent a successful bone marrow transplant in 2007, receiving donor marrow containing a rare genetic mutation that works to blocks HIV’s entrance into cells.

According to the LA Times, trends noted by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention indicate that in 2010 that fewer than 200 babies were born in the United States were infected with HIV. However, developing countries are still at risk. Scientists say their next step is to replicate the results in other HIV-positive infants.


New Budget Cuts Impact Services for people with Disabilities

Governor Andrew Cuomo’s current budget proposal may severely impact programs serving people with disabilities within New York State. According to News 10, while state-run providers would not be affected, private, voluntary and non-for profit providers may sustain a loss of $120 million in funding, reports the New York Times. This substantial reduction could begin to take effect as soon as April and is projected to leave a multitude of citizens with developmental disabilities without adequate services or support.

CP Rochester, a local disability services provider, would lose approximately $700,000 to $750,000 annually, leaving agency employees facing layoffs and hundreds of Rochester-area citizens without services.

Voting is expected to take place within the next few weeks. Countless caregivers and recipients of the services in question, including members of the Developmental Disabilities Alliance of Western New York, have begun to stage protests and encourage members of their communities to contact state legislators.


Three-Day Egyptian Protest Leaves Fifty Wounded

A conflict between Egyptian security officers and hundreds of protesters at Port Said, near the northern entrance to the Suez Canal, led to violence on Tuesday, March 6. Rioting took place as youths congregated around government buildings, chanting and hurling projectiles. The protests are a result of the decision to jail 39 individuals following a soccer riot that killed 70 people last year. According to Reuters, protestors’ chants included, “The police are thugs” and, “We’ll give our blood and souls for you, Port Said.”

Approximately 50 people on both sides of the conflict were harmed by tear gas, rocks, Molotov cocktails, gunshots and stab wounds. According to United Press International, two police officers were hospitalized and in critical condition at the Port Said military hospital. Reuters reported that over 60 people have died in the protests since January 25. This ongoing political turmoil is rooted in the forcible ousting of President Hosni Mubarak in 2011, and the unsuccessful attempts of his successor, Mohamed Morsi, to achieve stability amidst unemployment, police violence and rising fuel costs.

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