A cure for HIV?

on Tuesday, 17 September 2013. Posted in blog

Rapid treatment after HIV infection may be enough to "functionally cure" about a 10th of those diagnosed early, say researchers in France.

The group have been analysing 14 people who stopped therapy (known as the Visconti cohort), but have since shown no signs of the virus resurging. It seems that at least part of the reason for this response has been due to the fact the everyone in the group had HIV detected in the very early stages of infection and were treated immediately with anti retro-viral drugs.

However, most people infected with HIV do not find out until the virus has fully infiltrated the body.

It follows reports of a baby girl being effectively 'cured' after very early treatment in the US.

Although it's early days with this research and more is needed, it is encouraging. What we can say is that it's never been more important to diagnose HIV early.

Southdowns Private Healthcare offers an Early Detection screen which is accurate just 10 days after exposure. We can also offer an Instant test with results available in just 10 minutes, which is accurate after 28 days post exposure. We operate from our clinics in Hampshire and Harley Street, London

Dr Abu Chinwala, Southdowns Private Healthcare

Michael Douglas talks about throat cancer and HPV

on Monday, 03 June 2013. Posted in blog

I welcome Hollywood actor Michael Douglas's very frank and open assessment in an interview with the Guardian newspaper, that it seems likely that the throat cancer that he'd suffered with over a number of years was caused by 'oral sex'. 

The HPV (human papiloma virus) virus is widespread in the population and especially amongst reasonably sexually active people - with usually no can harmful effects. However, certain strains cause cancers in certain people.

These strains of HPV are widely associated with cervical cancer but it is less well known that they are also associated with penile cancers, anal cancers and throat cancers - where the virus is likely to have been transmitted through sexual contact. Although we do not yet fully understand why certain people are more vulnerable than others we do know additional risk factors include smoking and drinking alcohol.

This statement by Michael Douglas will help to raise awareness of the risks associated with hpv and I believe should serve to encourage those who should be part of the NHS vaccination program to ensure they do get vaccinated. It will also add more voices to the arguments which we have in clinical circles about the 'for's and against' of including boys within the national screening program as is the case in Australia. The vaccine would protect against all of the cancers associated with these hpv strains.


At Southdowns Private Healthcare we offer the HPV vaccine for those who are concerned and would like themselves or their children - both boys and girls, to be protected.

Make time for your health call us on 01243 388 712

Angeline Jolie has double Mastectomy

on Thursday, 16 May 2013. Posted in blog

Hollywood actress Angelina Jolie has undergone a double mastectomy to reduce her chances of getting breast cancer.

The 37-year-old actress and mother of six explained her reasons for having the surgery to the New York Times.

She said her doctors estimated that she had an 87% risk of breast cancer and a 50% risk of ovarian cancer. "I decided to be proactive and to minimise the risk as much I could," she stated.

Her partner, Brad Pitt, praised her choice and that of women in a similar position as "absolutely heroic". As result of her surgery Ms Jolie has reduced her risk of developing breast cancer from 85% to just 5%. She wanted to raise awareness about the risks of breast cancer and the possibility for those at particularly high risk to be proactive and help protect themselves. She explained that the procedure had advanced considerably and when followed by reconstruction of the breasts with implants, 'the results can be beautiful'. 

Some Facts:

About one in five women diagnosed with breast cancer will have a significant family history of the disease

Having close family members like a mother or sister with breast cancer raises a woman's own risk of the disease

Genes such as BRCA1 and BRCA2 are strongly linked with breast cancer and can be detected with genetic tests

Fewer than 1% of women are at high risk of developing breast cancer

Another 2% of women deemed to be at moderate risk might also benefit from taking preventive breast cancer drugs for five years, say experts

In the UK the NHS offers free testing to anyone deemed to be at high risk of developing the disease. Southdowns Private Healthcare offers complete BRCA1/BRCA2 Full screens to all women. For more information contact Southdowns  on 01243 388712

Making time for your health

At Southdowns we believe that giving our patients time to discuss their health is a critical factor in good health.

Our consultations are unhurried, allowing us to fully explore your concerns and talk through any issues you want to discuss.

Patient Confidentiality

We do not share any information about our clients with anyone else, unless you give expressed permission. Unlike the NHS we operate an “opt-in” policy regarding data sharing, meaning that unless told otherwise we will not share your details with any third parties.