This visual presentation explores the relationship between creative arts practice and trauma, loss and grief, including the shadowy world of sexual abuse. It is an examination of what art and the artist, through collaborative creative processes, contributes to wellbeing in the aftermath of such experiences. I will speak of my recently completed PhD and the creative research projects I conducted with communities of women who had experienced trauma and loss and who carried the pain of these experiences for years afterwards.
My presentation will consider how artmaking and working with an artist contributed to their capacity to live well, better communicate and function within the world reducing isolation and debilitating feelings of loneliness and depression. In discussing the processes of creativity, I will demonstrate how this empowered participants to think, behave and relate in ways that until their participation had been elusive to them, including offering hope, belief and skills for a happier future:A remarkable shift for those who constantly lived on the brink of suicide. The presentation considers how artists delve into the shadows of what hurts, disturbs and stultifies, in order to offer something back that reveals, transforms and restores.
Adherence to combination antiretroviral therapy (cART ) plays an important role on treatment outcomes. The TREAT Asia Studies to Evaluate Resistance – Monitoring Cohort Study (TASER-M) collects patients’ adherence based on a Visual Analogue Scale. The aim of this analysis was to assess the rates of, and factors associated with, suboptimal adherence in the first 24 months of initial cART in Asian patients.
HIV disease is associated with chronic inflammation and activation of the innate immune system. This state, as measured using plasma markers of inflammation, persists following suppression of HIV viremia using antiretroviral therapy, and may increase risk of non-AIDS co-morbidities. The causes of innate immune activation in the setting of virological suppression are unclear. Natural killer (NK) cells are innate immune cells that kill virus-infected and transformed cells without prior sensitization. We have shown that NK cells are activated both phenotypically (elevated expression of HLA-DR) and functionally (increased spontaneous degranulation measured by CD107a surface expression) in virologically suppressed (VS) HIV+ individuals. NK cells also lose expression of CD16, the receptor which mediates antibody-dependent cellular cytotoxicity.
HIV infection causes B cell activation and dysfunction that deplete memory B cells and impair isotype diversification of IgG antibodies. Cytokines are critical for B cell activation (e.g. interleukin (IL)-6, interferon (IFN)-γ, IFN-α) and immunoglobulin isotype diversification (e.g. IL-21). As aberrant expression of cytokine receptors, such as the IL-7 receptor, is a characteristic abnormality of CD4+ T cells in HIV patients, we have examined cytokine receptor expression on B cells to gain further insights into B cell dysfunction.
In contrast to co-morbidity, multimorbidity among people living with HIV has not been well studied. Multimorbidity is the co-occurrence of more than one chronic health condition in addition to HIV. Higher multimorbidity increases mortality, complexity of care and health care costs while decreasing quality of life. Our aim was to describe the prevalence of and factors associated with multimorbidity among HIV positive patients attending a regional sexual health service.
Antiretroviral therapy (ART) became available in the Pacific Islands in the early 2000s, yet many people living with HIV (PLHIV) continue to turn to alternative therapies. ART is used to treat HIV infection, whereas for many people alternative therapies offer the hope of a cure or less harmful side effects. Use of alternative therapies in some cases leads people to forgo ART. This paper explores the use of alternative therapies among Pacific PLHIV including the types used, reasons for using them and why some respondents refused them.
The study aimed at determining the prevalence of Alzheimer’s disease (AD) risk in ageing and chronically HIV-infected (HIV+) persons who are successfully treated with combination antiretroviral therapy (cART). 43 adult males and 1 female with stable chronic HIV disease [aged 57 ± 8 years, HIV duration 20 (5-25) years, undetectable plasma and CSF HIV RNA] were enrolled under a prospective observational study. All underwent standard neuropsychological testing, APOE genotyping and a CSFlumbar puncture to assess CSF Aβ1-42, h-tau and p-tau concentrations.
In serodiscordant heterosexual couples, undetectable viral load (VL) is associated with a substantially reduced HIV transmission risk. No studies in gay male serodiscordant couples (SDCs) have been reported. 'Opposites Attract' is an ongoing cohort study of gay SDCs recruited via clinics and community-based advertising. HIV-Positive Partners (HPPs) have VL tested at baseline; HIV- Negative Partners (HNPs) have HIV antibody tests and report sexual behaviour and partner’s perceived VL. Associations between unprotected anal intercourse (UAI) and VL were examined with logistic regression and Wilcoxon rank-sum test.