It's just after nightfall as Anandrag Davinder, an outreach worker among Mumbai's mostly hidden community of gay men, wanders down a dark alley beside a busy railway station in Mumbai. His stop is a squalid row of urinal buildings where gay men go to meet, hidden from public view. The stench inside is overwhelming.
"This is a loo. This is a cruising center," Davinder says, stepping into the crowded, nearly pitch-black room. "All the gays are standing here only and saying, 'I like these guys. I want to do sex with this person.' "
In what could mark a watershed in the fight against HIV/AIDS, a panel of experts recommended that the Food and Drug Administration give a green light to a pill that can cut the risk of infections.
The daily pill, Truvada, made by Gilead Sciences, combines two medicines that inhibit the reproduction of HIV. It's already approved as a treatment for HIV, but its use could soon expand to include protection of uninfected people.
You think your job is tough? Some scientists examined sewage from Pittsburgh, Barcelona and Addis Ababa in a hunt for unknown viruses.
They found scads. How many? At least 43,381.
To put that number into perspective, consider that up to now scientists have charted only about 3,000 viruses. And among the known viruses found in the sewage samples, only 17 were bugs that cause human disease — things like the common cold virus, diarrhea-causing Norwalk virus and human papilloma virus, or HPV, which causes cervical cancer and genital warts.
This week's meeting of the International AIDS Society Conference comes with a CDC study showing a major advance in sexual health. Correspondingly, Botswana trials showed the drug Truvada prevented HIV transmissions in more than 60 percent of heterosexuals. The study's author Dr. Michael Thigpen and host Michel Martin discuss how much Truvada costs, why HIV is so pervasive among women in Botswana, and how much people must take the drug for it to be effective.