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10 MAY 2019 VOLUME 20 ISSUE 18

Media Coverage

  • Girls begin queuing at their local school with their friends, waiting for their names to be called. Many are apprehensive. After all, most have not been vaccinated since they were babies. It’s 2013, and a new immunisation has arrived in Kanyirabanyana, a village in the northern district of Gakenke in Rwanda nestled among rolling hills and plantations growing crops from bananas to potatoes.

    May 10, 2019
    General
    Bhekisisa
  • Researchers have found a new way to deliver an HIV vaccine that enhances the body’s protective immune response in experiments conducted on monkeys, according to a study published in the journal Cell.

    May 9, 2019
    Newsweek
  • While new HIV infections among black women declined 21 percent from 2010–16, they still accounted for 6 in 10 new HIV infections among women in 2016.

    May 9, 2019
    General
    NBC News
  • Gilead Sciences, maker of Truvada, the only drug approved to prevent infection with HIV, will donate enough of the drug to supply 200,000 patients annually for up to 11 years, federal health officials announced on Thursday.

    May 9, 2019
    New York Times
  • Expressing fear for women’s vulnerability, with particular attention to mother-child-transmission of HIV, experts say that unequal socioeconomic status of women compromises their ability to prevent HIV or mitigate the impact of AIDS. The United Nations also noted that households affected by HIV are more vulnerable to falling into and remaining in poverty.

    May 9, 2019
    General
    Punch Nigeria
  • Because it’s so important to make sure that pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP) is available to people at risk of acquiring HIV, a team of investigators at the University of Ottawa in Ontario, Canada, has proposed that nurses be on the front lines of providing PrEP. Most current guidelines for PrEP are not written for non-prescribing clinicians such as nurses, even though they may be uniquely positioned to assess patients and recommend PrEP.

    May 8, 2019
    Contagion Live
  • Gilead Sciences announced Wednesday that a generic version of Truvada will be available in September 2020, one year earlier than expected. "Gilead reached an agreement with Teva Pharmaceuticals in 2014 to allow the early launch of a generic version of Truvada into the market in 2020, a year earlier than required," wrote Douglas Brooks, Gilead's executive director for community engagement, in an email shared with NBC News by the advocacy group PrEP4All.

    May 8, 2019
    NBC News
  • In the past decade, Kenya’s health indicators have improved significantly following reversals associated with the negative impact of the economic challenges and subsequent health sector reforms in the 1980s and ’90s structural adjustment programmes and the concurrent HIV epidemic.

    May 8, 2019
    Daily Nation
  • Hundreds of people living with HIV in Mexico may have gone without life-saving treatment for weeks, health advocates said on Tuesday, while welcoming announcements from the Mexican government that it was working to resolve the drug shortage.

    May 7, 2019
    Reuters
  • The Determined, Resilient, Empowered, AIDS-Free, Mentored and Safe (Dreams) project was launched in Oshikoto Region, in September 2018 in an effort to change or improve the livelihoods of children/ learners. This program is mainly targeting adolescent girls and women.

    May 7, 2019
    General
    New Era
  • Namibians have been urged to adhere to safe practices to prevent new HIV infections. "No one should take chances. The health of a nation depends on our people choosing safer sexual practices in order to prevent new infections,” says a recommendation made in the Harambee Prosperity Plan progress report released in April 2019.

    May 6, 2019
    General
    New Era
  • People living with HIV in Zimbabwe who are on antiretroviral treatment have been given expired medication. They say this is contrary to the treatment protocol and endangers lives.

    May 5, 2019
    Daily Maverick
  • m-PIMA, the world's first point-of-care viral load diagnostic test, has received Prequalification approval (WHO PQ). This follows the CE Marking which it received in December 2018. It was developed by Abott. The use of m-Pima is expected to ease the hassle of viral load testing especially in areas where it would take long to access testing equipment.

    May 4, 2019
    General
    Standard Digital
  • Russia is proposing a ban on so-called HIV/AIDS denialism as the country struggles to manage one of the largest epidemics in eastern Europe or central Asia.

    May 3, 2019
    General
    The Guardian
  • Lesotho is making significant strides towards controlling the HIV epidemic and is on course to meet the global 90-90-90 targets by 2020. The country has already met one of the three global HIV targets set by the joint United Nations Programme on HIV and AIDS (UNAIDS) of having at least 90 percent of all HIV positive people on anti-retroviral treatment (ART) by 2020, with 92 percent of its HIV-positive people on ART by 2017, three years ahead of the 2020 deadline.

    May 2, 2019
    All Africa
  • Developing an HIV vaccine has been a perplexing challenge that has mostly resulted in failure, but now scientists have identified key factors that allow some people to naturally suppress the HIV virus—work that could lead to better vaccines to both treat and prevent the infection. Researchers believe they have identified crucial points on the virus's surface where the immune system can successfully attack HIV

    May 2, 2019
    Smithsonian Magazine

Published Research

  • Despite these limitations, findings from the PAP disparity measure analyses enhance the measurement of HIV disparities among women and adolescent females by quantifying the number of incident HIV infections that might have been prevented in the absence of racial disparities. This information lends support for strengthening HIV prevention and care efforts for heterosexual black females and males to continue progress toward closing the gap in racial disparities in HIV infection among women. Such gains are needed to achieve the U.S.

    May 10, 2019
    General
    Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report (MMWR)
  • Using a new RM genomic immunoglobulin locus reference, we identified differential IgV gene use between immunization modalities. Ab mapping demonstrated targeting of immunodominant non-neutralizing epitopes by conventional bolus-immunized animals, whereas slow delivery-immunized animals targeted a more diverse set of epitopes. Thus, alternative immunization strategies can enhance nAb development by altering GCs and modulating the immunodominance of non-neutralizing epitopes.

    May 9, 2019
    Antibody Related Research, HIV Vaccine
    Cell
  • Preferences for these four dosage forms varied before and after use, and both within and across countries – there was no clear favourite – indicating the need for a range of options for end‐users. The ring's popularity increased the most with use, was the second most preferred delivery system, and per self‐report, provided more coverage during sex. These end‐user perspectives provide important information to product developers and funding agencies.

    May 9, 2019
    JIAS
  • Progress in achieving HIV remission through ‘kick and kill’ has been limited. Whether this is due to the futility of the concept or the ineffectiveness of currently available agents remains to be seen. However, the premise remains theoretically attractive, and it remains the most scalable approach to reducing the HIV reservoir.

    May 9, 2019
    Expert Review of Anti-infective Therapy
  • In this Viewpoint, we take stock of the current state of HIV prevention, and subsequently discuss the key challenges in designing future trials to evaluate the next generation of HIV prevention products. We also highlight gaps in the knowledge base that need to be addressed to advance the design of research. Future trials are tenable, even in the context of existing and effective interventions, and should involve careful statistical approaches and multidisciplinary collaborative design.

    May 8, 2019
    General
    Lancet HIV
  • Our results presented herein support the concept that sperm are an important vector in HIV transmission in the female reproductive tract. While our study was performed in vitro with seminal plasma free sperm, ejaculated sperm bathing with seminal plasma may even have a higher rate of carrying HIV-1 on their surface. Amyloid fibrils SEVI (Semen-derived Enhancer of Viral Infection), present in seminal plasma, accelerate the HIV-1 transport to target cells including sperm.

    May 8, 2019
    General
    AJRI
  • Immune interventions capable of preventing or eradicating HIV infection have yet to achieve broad success in humans. Renewed vigor in the clinical trial arena may bring us closer to that goal.

    May 8, 2019
    Nature Medicine
  • Given the potential benefits and burdens highlighted, contraception in research should be sensitive to actual fetal risk assessments; directed where justified at optimizing effective pregnancy prevention; responsive to women’s reproductive preferences; and made available as an ancillary benefit even where risk thresholds do not justify requirement–in order to facilitate trials that are both ethical and robustly oriented around the interests and lives of women who will participate in them.

    May 8, 2019
    PLoS One
  • Initial interest in PrEP was moderate at 37.5 percent of the population. Number of partners, condom use, and self-perceived risk of HIV acquisition were associated with initial interest. After receiving more information about side effects and compliance requirements, only four of 144 women remained interested in using PrEP. Concern about side effects was the major barrier to persistent interest. Further study is needed to determine how best to identify PrEP candidates in Obstetrics & Gynecology settings.

    May 7, 2019
    AIDS and Behavior
  • Using data representative of the United States MSM population, we found that a strategy of universal PrEP use by MSM was most effective in reducing HIV prevalence and incidence of MSM. Targeted use of PrEP by Black and Latino MSM, however, especially those ≤25 years, had the greatest impact on HIV prevention.

    May 7, 2019
    Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health
  • Participants with moderate and high/very risk had higher TFV-DP levels than the low-risk group. No/single participants had lower TFV-DP levels than those reporting single+ or multi. Although there was a shift toward lower-risk partnerships, HIV risk category remained stable over time. Individuals with riskier behaviors and partnerships had higher PrEP drug levels, suggesting continued motivation for and adherence to PrEP.

    May 6, 2019
    AIDS Patient Care and STDs
  • Dual-method use was limited among HIV-negative women and women who had HIV-negative partners due to inconsistent condom use. The use of highly effective contraceptives (HECs) was significantly associated with decreased condom use, regardless of partner type and their HIV status. Due to this inverse association, HIV-negative women may increase their HIV risk from their sexual partners. Therefore, interventions should be strengthened to reduce their dual risks of HIV infection and unintended pregnancy by promoting dual-method use.

    May 6, 2019
    PLoS One
  • We identified three potential obstacles to successful PrEP rollout among young pregnant women: hesitation about PrEP effectiveness, perceived HIV stigma, and risk compensation through decreased condom use. Comparative studies of motivations, skills, and rates of initiation and adherence among pregnant and nonpregnant women are needed to inform optimal implementation efforts.

    May 6, 2019
    AIDS Patient Care and STDs
  • As trusted health care professionals, pharmacists develop a strong rapport with patients and may be the key to address current disparities in PrEP prescribing patterns as well as serve as an essential liaison between patients and other members of the multi-disciplinary care team. The purpose of this review is to summarize available data on pharmacist involvement in various models of care providing PrEP services and to identify opportunities to maximize and expand the role of the pharmacist to improve access to PrEP.

    May 6, 2019
    AIDS Patient Care and STDs
  • The results of our review will help elucidate factors associated with failure to achieve virological suppression in sub-Saharan Africa, as well as factors associated with failure to achieve each of the 90-90-90 goals. These data will help quantify the population-level effects of current HIV treatment interventions to improve strategies for maximizing virological suppression and ending the HIV epidemic.

    May 6, 2019
    Systematic Reviews
  • The majority of stores offered only one brand of male condoms with a limited selection of lubricants and no dental dams or internal condoms. Barriers and discomfort surrounding purchasing condoms can contribute to embarrassment, which has a negative impact on condom acquisition and ultimately on condom use. Efforts must be made to lower barriers in Atlanta and make condoms more readily available to high-risk populations. Community advocacy has been effective in removing barriers to condoms.

    May 4, 2019
    Journal of Community Health
  • The results of experimental and clinical studies conducted in vitro and in vivo are presented, and the issues of the anti-HIV activity of these compounds are considered depending on their structural features. On the whole, the presented data prove the high efficiency of seaweed metabolites and justify the possibility of their use as a potential basis for the development of new drugs with a wide spectrum of activity

    May 2, 2019
    General
    Metabolites
  • The application of a multi-arm, multi-stage (MAMS) design increases the likelihood that the EHVA T01 trial will identify a successful treatment and minimises the number of participants undergoing analytical treatment interruptions who have been treated with futile agents. The use of a MAMS design is a promising strategy to evaluate complex immune-based approaches aimed at curing HIV-infection, particularly relevant to the pipeline with multiple agents requiring examination.

    May 1, 2019
    Lancet HIV
  • We analyzed menstrual experiences within the context of the MTN-020/ASPIRE clinical trial during which women were asked to use a monthly vaginal ring for HIV prevention. Emotions of shame, embarrassment and disgust relating to menses emerged. Women were uncomfortable touching their own menstrual blood when removing vaginal rings and felt embarrassed about study staff seeing blood on returned rings. Despite reassurances, women felt ashamed performing study procedures while menstruating, leading to missed study visits.

    May 1, 2019
    Women & Health
  • A long-acting injectable formulation of the HIV integrase inhibitor cabotegravir (CAB-LA) is currently in clinical development for PrEP. Although the long plasma half-life of CAB-LA is an important attribute for PrEP, it also raises concerns about drug resistance emergence if someone becomes infected with HIV, or if PrEP is initiated during undiagnosed acute infection. Here we use a macaque model of SHIV infection to model risks of drug resistance to CAB-LA PrEP. Six macaques infected with SHIV received CAB-LA before seroconversion.

    May 1, 2019
    Nature Communications
  • Willingness to use PrEP was predominantly high. Frequent barriers to PrEP acceptability included concerns about side effects, cost, hormone therapy, adherence, PrEP-related stigma and interaction with healthcare workers. Facilitators included perceived reduction of HIV risk, fear of HIV/AIDS and reduced dependence on partners. Findings suggest elevated interest in PrEP and highlight important barriers and facilitators that should be specifically addressed to optimize PrEP uptake and use among this highly vulnerable population.

    May 1, 2019
    AIDS Care
  • Results showed that the dendrimers were cytocompatible and that G1C and G1S dendrimers had important activity against R5-HIV-1NLAD8 and X4-HIV-1NL4.3 isolates by acting directly on viral particles and blocking their entry in host cells. Additionally, G1C and G1S dendrimers maintained their inhibitory effect at different pH values. Through a vaginal irritation assay carried out in BALB/c mice, the safety of these new dendrimers for topical application was also shown.

    April 11, 2019
    Nanoscale

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