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11 August 2017 VOLUME 18 ISSUE 32

Media Coverage

  • Bristol-Myers Squibb will soon bid farewell to its exclusive lock on a pair of HIV drugs—and, as a result, 58 workers will bid farewell to their jobs. The company is “making changes to our HIV portfolio business” in anticipation of end-of-year generic competition...and those changes include nixing all commercial backing for the HIV lineup in the United States...[effective Oct. 6.].

    August 9, 2017
    Fierce Pharma
  • “It definitely might hold the key,” says Dr. Katherine Gill, the lead researcher in this study. She’s holding the key in the palm of her hand. The key, in this case, is a white, soft silicone ring. It looks like birth control — but it’s that is even more discreet than the vaginal ring. It’s called HPTN 84. It's an injectable pre-exposure prophylaxis — or PrEP. It's the use of anti-HIV medication that keeps HIV-negative people from becoming infected.

    August 9, 2017
  • A portion of pregnant women with HIV who previously had viral suppression and were receiving combination ART experienced viral load rebound close to delivery, Isabelle Boucoiran and colleagues, University of British Columbia/Vancouver, and colleagues wrote in Obstetrics and Gynecology.

    August 8, 2017
    MedPage Today
  • Uganda has been left with a mountain of unused female condoms after spending hundreds of thousands of dollars buying more than a million of the unpopular contraceptives. The low take-up, particularly among sex workers, is sparking concern....[C]ampaigners say the majority of the condoms are left unused, adding that action needs to be taken to promote greater awareness of the benefits or find new designs. The findings come as New Vision reports that Uganda is facing a shortage of 150m male condoms.

    August 8, 2017
  • The rate of new HIV infections either stayed stable or dropped in every state with enough HIV infections to measure, according to recent data from the CDC. In some areas, like Washington, DC; Georgia; Pennsylvania; and Maryland, new infections dropped by as much as 10% per year. Anna Satcher Johnson of the CDC called the drops "statistically significant" and "impressive," especially in DC, which had the highest estimated annual drop in HIV incidence, at 10%.

    August 8, 2017
  • The government [of Uganda] is rolling out the newly proven HIV prevention method of taking an antiretroviral drug before exposure to HIV risk (known as preexposure prophylaxis - PrEP). New Vision TV quoted Dr Flavia Namatovu saying the new method of HIV prevention will be rolled out in seven sites first, before spreading out to the rest of the country when resources allow.

    August 8, 2017
    New Vision
  • One of Israel’s health providers announced Monday it will subsidize HIV medication for patients, marking the first time the socialized healthcare system has opted to cover some of the costs of the drug.

    August 8, 2017
    Times of Israel
  • Last fall, Gilead came under fire from community activists for rolling out the DISCOVER trials for Descovy (TAF/FTC) as PrEP without adequately involving community advisors per the Good Participatory Practice (GPP) guidelines. Community advocate and clinical investigator pushback led to some changes in the trial protocol, [but]...according to Jeremiah Johnson, community engagement coordinator for Treatment Action Group (TAG),...other concerns remain.

    August 7, 2017
    The Body
  • In a bipartisan push, Congress has restructured a federal program that provides housing assistance for people living with HIV to funnel more money into areas struggling to control the outbreak. While legislators and housing advocates say the adjustments will better target regions with high rates of the virus, these changes are likely to mean less money for some of the large cities that confronted the early effects of the epidemic.

    August 7, 2017
    USA Today
  • Researchers at Cook County [Chicago, IL] Health and Hospitals System are currently recruiting participants in a study to see if, as expected, the smart PrEP pill makes it easier for young people to keep track of their PrEP dosage each day and in the process, significantly reduce their chances of getting HIV/AIDS....The study is sponsored by the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Disease.

    August 7, 2017
    Daily Herald
  • When it comes to HIV prevention and treatment, there is a growing population that is being overlooked -- older adults -- and implicit ageism is partially responsible, according to a presentation at the 125th Annual Convention of the American Psychological Mark Brennan-Ing...of ACRIA....The combination of stigma due to age, sexual orientation, race/ethnicity, gender identity and expression, and HIV can lead to negative outcomes specific to this population.

    August 4, 2017
    News Medical
  • The US Senate confirmed former congressman Mark Green as President Trump's choice to lead the US Agency for International Development at a time the administration is proposing cuts in foreign aid and reorganization of the agency...."Green's confirmation is a sign of hope that...we will at least have a responsible actor overseeing this difficult...process...who will stand firm on behalf of his agency's critical mission," said Scott Morris, senior fellow, Center for Global Development.

    August 3, 2017
  • The University of Maryland School of Medicine's Institute for Global Health and the Institute of Human Virology have been awarded a $2 million five-year grant from the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development to study the impact exposure to HIV has on the immune systems of infants in utero and how those changes impact the ability of infants to fight off infections after birth. The research will be conducted at the IGH's long-standing research site in Blantyre, Malawi.

    August 2, 2017
    News Medical
  • Three problems are driving the global fight against HIV into a new danger zone. First, new infections increasingly involve forms of the virus already resistant to the primary drugs used to treat and prevent HIV infection. Second, the world is fast approaching the limits of manufacturing capacity for anti-HIV first-line drugs....And third, there aren’t sufficient financial resources applied to the AIDS problem now, and signals from major donors...offer a grim future.

    July 30, 2017
    Business Insider
  • When the HIV/AIDS crisis emerged in the 1980s, New York became its epicenter....The epidemic didn’t just create patients; it also turned New Yorkers into caretakers. “AIDS at Home: Art and Everyday Activism” at the Museum of the City of New York, [which runs through Oct. 22], explores how. Using art as a lens, the exhibition chronicles the emotional and personal effects of the epidemic.

    July 29, 2017
    Washington Post
  • MTN-023/IPM 030 is the first study to evaluate the ARV-containing monthly vaginal ring in teenage girls <18 years of age....The[study] data showed no differences in safety outcomes between the dapivirine ring and [a placebo ring]....The study also found high adherence to the ring [and]...,overall, 93% of patients responded that they liked [it]....A second trial, REACH, is planned for 2017 to...collect safety data on the monthly ring and Truvada as daily PrEP, and evaluate preferences for either or both methods.

    July 26, 2017

Published Research

  • This study assesses mediators of a more harmonized approach to implementing large-scale CHW programs for HIV in the context of complex health systems and multiple Lesotho, Mozambique, South Africa, and Swaziland between August 2015 and May 2016. Conclusion: CHW programs for HIV in Southern Africa are fragmented, poorly integrated, and lack long-term support. We provide 5 policy recommendations to harmonize [such] programs to strengthen and sustain the role of CHWs in HIV service delivery.

    August 8, 2017
  • Ending AIDS by 2030 is a monumental challenge. Tracking progress as incidence reaches lower levels could be just as challenging. In The Lancet HIV Sabin Nsanzimana and colleagues report progress and highlight the challenges that lie ahead on both fronts.

    August 8, 2017
    Lancet HIV
  • The study period was from Nov 5, 2013, to Nov 15, 2014....The incidence of HIV in Rwanda was higher than that previously estimated from models, with outbreaks seeming to contribute to the ongoing epidemic. Characterisation of incident infections can help the national HIV programmes to plan for preventive interventions tailored to the most at risk populations.

    August 8, 2017
    Lancet HIV
  • In this article, I describe the use of RCTs and alternative (and sometimes superior) data sources from the vantage point of public health, illustrate key limitations of RCTs, and suggest ways to improve the use of multiple data sources for health decision making.

    August 3, 2017
  • This review will focus on the design considerations for both LA injectable and implantable platforms for HIV PrEP. Additionally, we have summarized the LA technologies currently in clinical and pre-clinical studies for HIV PrEP as well as other technologies that have been applied to HIV PrEP and contraceptives. Our discussion will focus on the potential application of these technologies in low resource areas, and their use in global women’s health.

    June 13, 2017
    Drug Delivery and Translational Research
  • New opportunities to develop innovative — and often complex — products that combine drugs, devices and/or biological components are rapidly emerging, raising questions about how such products should be regulated. Here, we discuss the ongoing efforts of the FDA to develop a modern, transparent, flexible and consistent science-based regulatory approach for combination products.

    May 12, 2017