Posts Tagged ‘TH9507’

If I were to say “God why me?” about the bad things, then I should have said “God why me?” about the good things that happened in my life (Arthur Ashe). With that sentiment, the topic this Wednesday was ‘List Three Things You Have to be Grateful For’. 23 guys showed up for the meeting, including 4 new members. Everyone listed 3 things they were grateful for and put them in a bowl, then we each selected one anonymously, read it and commented. The Three most popular items were #1. Family/Friends, #2. Health, and #3. Job/career. The most unusual was Gucci shoes. We don’t know who that was, but I bet those Gucci shoes are Jungle-red??? It’s very encouraging that in an HIV support group, our health is something so many are thankful for. How far we’ve come since the dark days of this disease. It’s also encouraging that so many people are thankful for their jobs/careers. So many of us are still working regular jobs and have careers. But the most encouraging comment was that the most popular grateful issue was Family/Friends. Having supportive friends and family makes all the difference.

At break, we had some great homemade chocolate squares plus pizza.

After break, we discussed the up coming topics. Next week, we’re having a special Thanksgiving Pot Luck Dinner. We’re requesting that people bring in a healthy dish along with the recipe to discuss what is healthy about the dish. The Holidays can wreck our nutrition, so this is a good time to discuss healthy eating habits.

December 1st is AIDS day and we’re doing a special ‘History of HIV/AIDS’ with a lot of displays, to remember the history we’ve been through. Hope a lot of you come to be part of this special presentation.

On Decemebr 8, 2010, we’re having a guest speaker; Vern Applebee from Dr Gary Richmond’s office who will discuss the newly approved (11-11-2010) drug, Egrifta previously known as TH9507 or Thera. Egrifta is a Human Growth Hormone releasing factor that reduces the abdominal fat that builds around the stomach, liver and other organs caused by the side-effects of some of the medications, like Norvir. This drug does what exercise and diet cannot do for some HIV+ men. I believe this is going to be a highly sought after drug, so this should be an very good meeting.

We then did the ‘Cure Survey’ from Poz Magazine. Of the 19 guys who remained after break; 9 had never heard of the German man who had been ‘cured’ of HIV when doctors did a bone marrow transplant for his leukemia using marrow from a person with the CCR5 Delta-32 mutation. 13 believed that a cure for AIDS will be found, but only 7 believe it will be found in their lifetime. 8 believe that it is ‘somewhat important’ to their well being that scientists are working on a cure, while 4 believe it is very important and 6 believe that it is not important at all. 15 believe that the definition of a cure is total eradication of the virus, while 2 believe a functional cure that eliminates the need for meds is a ‘cure’. Nobody believed that enough money is being spent on finding a cure. And nobody believed that the hope of a cure gave them encouragement to take their meds. 8 believe that pharmaceutical companies are actively trying to prevent a cure being found, while 15 would be willing to participate in research that could lead to a cure.

We discussed the Gay Men’s Chorus of South Florida concert and will be planning to go as a group for the Saturday, December 18th, 8:00 PM concert.

After group, 10 of us went to Peter Pan for eats, laughter and friendship.

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On Wednesday, November 11, 2010, the FDA regulators announced approval of Egrifta, a first-of-its-kind treatment for HIV-associated lipodystrophy. Egrifta is a growth hormone releasing factor, given as a once a day injection, that works to reduce abominal fat in HIV patients. Drugs such as Crixivan, Viracept, Norvir and Invirase commonly experience an increase in fat depostis that can accumulate around the liver, the stomach and abdominal organs. Fat deposits can also form on the back of the neck commonly called Buffalo Hump.

In clinical trials involving more than 800 HIV-positive patients who took Egrifta daily for 26 weeks, patients reported improvements in self-image, as well as a reduction in abdominal fat deposits as shown by a CT scan.

In 2008, Vern Applebee from Dr Gary Richmond’s office came to our group and recruited some of our members for the clinical trials here in Ft Lauderdale. I was one of the recruits. The drug was then called TH9507 or Thera from the company that developed it.

I lost 7″ around my stomach during those 26 weeks and looked Fabulous. After the trials stopped and lost access to the drug, I regained most of the fat, as did other people from our group. The Egrifta people still need to do a maintenance study and there is talk that some of that study might be done in Ft Lauderdale. I will keep you updated on the study.


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