Email Updates

Search form

You are here

10 July 2015 VOLUME 16 ISSUE 28

Media Coverage

  • As HIV cases continue to decrease in San Francisco, local health officials are increasing their efforts to see a similar trend in cases of sexually transmitted diseases. This week the Department of Public Health's section responsible for STD prevention turned directly to gay and bisexual men for help....One challenge facing the department...is how to encourage condom usage while at the same time supporting PrEP.

    July 9, 2015
    Bay Area Reporter
  • Last week, the World Health Organisation validated Cuba as the first country on earth to eliminate Mother-to-Child-Transmision of HIV, eMTCT, and syphilis....Observers of the progress of the HIV response in Nigeria over the last decade or thereabouts are asking what lessons for the National AIDS Control Agency and other Nigerian agencies tasked with the role of ensuring Nigeria meets the relevant criteria for validation as a country that has eliminated HIV transmission from mother-to-child?

    July 9, 2015
    Vanguard
  • Last week an international commission...released a report on the promise that recent major advances against the disease have offered [but]...emphasized that without an acceleration of the current momentum to treat and prevent more infections,...we will see it rebound. Yet on the same day that report was released, Sen. Bill Cassidy (R-La.), a member of the Senate committee that allocates funding for the National Institutes of health, specifically suggested cutting the budget for research on HIV.

    July 9, 2015
    Congress Blog
  • Starting antiretroviral treatment early can have significant health benefits for patients living with HIV, according to a [3-year] global study....Dubbed the Strategic Timing of Antiretroviral Treatment (START) study, it tested more than 4 600 men and women living with HIV from 215 sites in 35 countries, to assess whether HIV-positive patients benefited from starting antiretroviral treatment early....So overwhelming was the evidence...that the trial closed earlier than the planned December 2016 date.

    July 9, 2015
    UCT Daily News
  • United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (Unesco) has trained 221 secondary school teachers, 240 parents teacher associations in Malawi to teach comprehensive sex education in public schools. Unesco says age-appropriate sex education is an important public right in the global response to HIV. This is why Unesco is helping Malawi so that from next academic year students will be learning Comprehensive Sexual Education (CSE).

    July 9, 2015
    Nyasa Times
  • Unlike other antiretroviral therapies, a natural compound called Cortistatin A reduces residual levels of HIV virus from infected dormant cells, establishing a near-permanent state of latency and greatly diminishing the virus' capacity for reactivation, scientists [from the Florida campus of The Scripps Research Institute] report....The study was published this week in the journal mBio.
    July 8, 2015
    Science Daily
  • New research from the University of Southern California (USC) Norris Comprehensive Cancer Center has identified a potential treatment for a rare but previously incurable form of lymphoma that is observed primarily in patients with HIV/AIDS infection.

    July 8, 2015
    Science Daily
  • J&J's Janssen reported encouraging results Thursday from its preclinical trial of an HIV vaccine in rhesus monkeys. Encouraging enough for the company to sponsor human studies—the first time a Big Pharma is doing so in the HIV space--J&J is seeking 400 volunteers for a Phase I/IIa study. Enrollment has started in the U.S. and Rwanda, with sites in South Africa, Uganda and Thailand opening soon.

    July 8, 2015
    Fierce Vaccines
  • The Southern United States is the epicenter of our nation’s AIDS epidemic, and it could become the center of groundbreaking HIV research. Three groups of HIV scientists in south Florida each received $30,000 fast-track research grants from the Campbell Foundation, according to a Campbell press release. The Campbell Foundation is a Florida-based organization that specializes in funding clinical, laboratory-based research on HIV/AIDS.

    July 8, 2015
    POZ
  • It used to be that budget cuts were the best way to kill a law you hated but lacked the votes to formally repeal. You know, if you can’t beat ’em, defund ’em. Times have changed. Now the mantra is: If you can’t beat ’em, out-God ’em. Don’t like same-sex marriage, contraception, HIV testing or even child labor laws? Never you worry: Just say that a Higher Power has exempted you, even if your exemption means trampling on other people’s rights.

    July 8, 2015
    News & Observer
  • Quest Life Sciences has received a 'notice of concern', or NoC from the World Health Organisation for ‘critical' lapses and deviations from standards in its clinical trials of HIV drugs. The WHO's prequalification team had visited the Chennai-based Contract Research Organisation (CRO) Quest's facilities in October 2014.

    July 8, 2015
    BioSpectrum
  • An independent panel of experts on Tuesday offered scathing criticism of the World Health Organization's handling of the Ebola crisis and called for an overhaul in leadership, organizational structure and procedures. The 28-page report blamed politics and bureaucracy for the mismanaged response.

    July 7, 2015
    Washington Post
  • Bibek Debroy, member of a panel appointed by Prime Minister Narendra Modi to act as a think-tank and advise on development priorities—said the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) were overly ambitious....Debroy...said he thought the SDGs would not have the "virtue" that the MDGs had...."It's as if you are looking for a unified field theory and are trying to solve every problem under the sun."

    July 7, 2015
    Reuters
  • HIV prevention strategies for gay, bisexual and other men who have sex with men, as well as African-American communities. New funding will also go to increase access to pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP) for black MSM—the demographic that has been most impacted by the epidemic.

    July 7, 2015
    The Body
  • Tanzania needs to sustain its efforts to deal with HIV/Aids if it is to remain on track to continue to reduce the infection rates progressively....The head of Government and Media Relations from Population Service International, Fauziyat Abood, said at the 39th Dar es Salaam International Trade Fair that having such plan would help the country reduce dependence on the development partners.

    July 7, 2015
    Tanzania Daily News
  • The National Population Council at the weekend raised concern over insufficient services in the HIV/AIDS national response programme meant to cater for the needs of the increasing positive HIV/AIDS youths. Dr Nadia Sam Agudu, technical advisor, Pediatric HIV of the Institute of Human Virology Nigeria, made this known during a seminar organised by the Population Council to discuss steps in addressing issues surrounding access for HIV positive youths.

    July 7, 2015
    Daily Trust
  • An obstetrician based at Kabwe General Hospital has implored women to seek early cervical cancer screening....Dr Kamanga said young women are at risk of developing cervical cancer in countries where the HIV prevalence is high....Speaking on the same programme, Moses Mulenga, a clinical officer, said Zambia has the second highest cervical cancer prevalence in the world because of the HIV incidence.

    July 7, 2015
    Zambia Daily Mail
  • The Papua AIDS Eradication Commission (KPAD) has overseen the circumcision of 230 Papuans using PrePex devices, a painless procedure provided by the US-based Clinton Health Access Initiative (CHAI), at Dok II Jayapura Hospital. “Of the 253 people who applied for circumcision, 230 had it done. Of the rest, 20 could not proceed because of previously existing penile inserts while the other three had their rings released early due to discomfort,” KPAD secretary Constant Karma.

    July 7, 2015
    Jakarta Post
  • With the success last year of the European PrEP trials PROUD and Ipergay as well as the overwhelming evidence of the potential efficacy of simply putting as many people on treatment as possible,...it might be asked why there needs to be further research in this field. However while we now have PrEP’s proof of concept in gay men, the evidence that PrEP may be an option women can use is much less firm, with only two trials...reporting statistically significant positive results for women.

    July 7, 2015
    AIDSmap
  • I admire people who take the heat – literally and figuratively—every day in the Southern United States, the hot spot domestically for HIV/AIDS....Despite the heat, there are bright spots in the fight against the virus in the South. A peer-to-peer program at AIDS Alabama called Living Well is one excellent example.

    July 7, 2015
    Huffington Post
  • Young Heroes, a not-for-profit organisation started by US Peace Corps in 2006, underwritten by NERCHA, continues to make a mark in mitigating the impact of young people’s vulnerability to HIV infection and poverty through vocational skills training. Supported by local and international friends, Young Heroes provides monthly stipends, and comprehensive healthcare to young people who have lost both parents.

    July 7, 2015
    Swazi Observer
  • Led by its National Co-ordinator, Edward Ogenyi, the Network of People Living With HIV/AIDS in Nigeria has...expressed dismay at the way and manner the disease has been on the increase in the state [to] "10.5 per cent, far above the national average....The total number of people living with HIV/AIDS in the state is estimated at 110,849".

    July 6, 2015
    Guardian Nigeria
  • Just in time for gay pride, AIDS Healthcare Foundation published an ad criticizing pre-exposure prophylaxis in various gay publications around the country. The ad, ironically entitled “The War Against Prevention,” is nothing short of a scurrilous attack on Truvada (tenofovir/emtricitabine) as HIV prevention and on gay men’s right to protect themselves against HIV. The missive uses crafty manipulations, and select omissions, of the science behind PrEP to push the agenda of AHF’s notoriously anti-PrEP president, Michael Weinstein.

    July 3, 2015
    POZ
  • Rhesus monkeys primed with Ad26 vectors expressing SIVsmE543 Env, Gag, and Pol and boosted with AS01B-adjuvanted SIVmac32H Env gp140 demonstrated complete protection in 50% of vaccinated animals against a series of repeated, heterologous, intrarectal SIVmac251 challenges that infected all controls.Comparable protection was also observed with a similar Ad/Env vaccine against repeated, heterologous, intrarectal SHIV-SF162P3 challenges.

    July 2, 2015
    Science Magazine

Published Research

  • Our results show that FP practices of WLHIV attending an HIV care clinic for most-at-risk populations did not significantly change after integration on-site provision of a wide range of FP methods. Innovative strategies and further research are needed to better understand how to promote the use of noncondom FP methods and prevent unwanted pregnancies and abortions among most-at-risk women and WLHIV.

    August 1, 2015
    JAIDS
  • Virus-specific T-cell responses occur frequently in oral or topical PrEP-protected pigtail macaques after vaginal exposure to WT SHIV virus. The contribution of such immune responses to protection from infection during and after PrEP warrants further investigation.

    August 1, 2015
    JAIDS
  • As scientists prepare to meet in Vancouver, Canada, for the annual meeting of the International AIDS Society on 19–22 July, many argue that the end of the AIDS epidemic could be in sight. A mass of convincing data, they say, shows that the universal roll-out of antiretroviral treatment provides a means to stop HIV — but only if the world acts fast.

    July 9, 2015
    Nature
  • Interventions to prevent HIV transmission that work in trial settings...often fail to make as much of a dent in the epidemic as they should....In the past, there was a sense that stopping the HIV/AIDS epidemic would require some radically new biomedical intervention....The growing consensus, however, is that the tools needed to stamp out HIV already exist if they could just be used in the right way.

    July 9, 2015
    Nature
  • Rare is the scientist who goes to prison on research misconduct charges. But on 1 July, Dong-Pyou Han, a former biomedical scientist at Iowa State University in Ames, was sentenced to 57 months for fabricating and falsifying data in HIV vaccine trials. Han has also been fined US$7.2 million and will be subject to three years of supervised release after he leaves prison....Han’s harsh sentence raises questions about how alleged research fraud is handled in the United States.

    July 9, 2015
    Nature
  • Optimizing methods for genital specimen collection to accurately characterize mucosal immune responses is a priority for the HIV prevention field....MC sampling improves the detection of mucosal cytokines and antibodies, particularly those present at low concentrations, [and] may therefore represent an ideal tool to assess immunological parameters in genital secretions, without interfering with concurrent collection of conventional CVL samples.

    July 7, 2015
    PLoS ONE
  • The search for antibodies that prevent HIV infection has been a 30-year roller-coaster ride—and immunologist Dennis Burton has been on board for most of it. Although he and other researchers think that the quest is closer to success today than ever before, Burton remains measured in his optimism about the field.

    July 7, 2015
    Nature
  • Between September and December 2013,...online surveys were completed by 184 practitioners affiliated with a regional AIDS Education and Training Center in New England. Respondent median age was 44 years, 58% were female, and 82% were white....[Our] findings suggest many clinicians have shifted towards routinely recommending early ART, but not PrEP, so interventions to facilitate PrEP provision are needed.

    July 6, 2015
    PLoS ONE
  • The average ANC-HIV prevalence from 2004 to 2007 in the 24 integrated biological and behavioural assessments districts ranged from 0.25 to 3.25%....Illiteracy, higher HIV prevalence among female sex workers (FSWs) and early marriage were associated with HIV positivity among pregnant women. In addition to targeted HIV preventive interventions among FSWs, studying and changing the behavior of FSW clients and addressing structural drivers of the epidemic might indirectly help reduce HIV infection among women in southern India.

    July 6, 2015
    PLoS ONE
  • More than a third of mothers dropped out from one or more steps in the PMTCT service cascade. The following characteristics were associated with increased dropout: adolescent mothers, low socioeconomic score, low education level, primiparous mothers, delayed first antenatal visit, home birth, and non-disclosure of HIV status. Adolescent mothers were twice as likely to be unaware of their HIV-positive status and had a significantly higher rate of unplanned pregnancies compared to adults aged ≥20 years.

    July 6, 2015
    PLoS ONE
  • Here we directly estimate the frequency of successful viral reactivation in four independent cohorts of patients undergoing treatment interruption. We find that active infection is initiated on average once every 5–8 days, considerably more slowly than previously thought....Whereas previous analyses suggested that we would need to reduce the latent cell number 2000 fold to produce an average one-year remission, we show that reducing the latent cell number by 50–70 fold could achieve this aim.

    July 5, 2015
    PLoS
  • Pride in London 2015, England's biggest pride parade so far, took place last weekend....Despite this celebration, a report from Public Health England on sexually transmitted infections (STIs) in England in 2014, published on June 23, 2015, uncovers alarming statistics in men who have sex with men....Gonorrhoea was the most commonly diagnosed, which is especially concerning....Such increases are thought to be caused by continuing high levels of unsafe sex, including serosorting....

    July 4, 2015
    The Lancet
  • We reviewed the literature for cost-effectiveness of interventions targeting five disease categories: HIV; malaria; tuberculosis; noncommunicable diseases; and maternal, newborn, and child health. We measured the alignment between health aid and cost-effectiveness, and examined the possibility of better alignment by simulating health aid reallocation....The greatest improvements in the alignment would be achieved by reallocating some aid from HIV or maternal, newborn, and child health to malaria or TB.

    July 1, 2015
    Health Affairs
  • Renal and bone effects were significantly reduced in patients given E/C/F/tenofovir alafenamide. Although these studies do not have the power to assess clinical safety events such as renal failure and fractures, our data suggest that E/C/F/tenofovir alafenamide will have a favourable long-term renal and bone safety profile.

    June 27, 2015
    The Lancet
  • Early generation antiretrovirals saved the lives of patients dying from AIDS, in exchange for a high pill burden and substantial morbidity....More recently, antiretroviral drug development has evolved towards drugs that are easier to take, resulting in improved adherence and clinical benefits.

    June 27, 2015
    The Lancet
  • In June, 2013, the Japanese Ministry of Health, Labour, and Welfare suspended proactive recommendations for the HPV vaccine after unconfirmed reports of adverse events following vaccination appeared in the media....We report the resulting effects of such a decision by presenting data from Sapporo, a city of 2 million people in northern Japan.

    June 27, 2015
    The Lancet

Announcements