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13 MAY 2016 VOLUME 17 ISSUE 19

Media Coverage

  • Canada is pledging an additional $785 million over three years to the Global Fund to fight AIDS, tuberculosis and malaria, [a 20 percent increase from Canada's previous contribution levels]. Prime Minister Justin Trudeau announced in Ottawa today. He also announced that Canada will host the Fifth Replenishment Conference of the Global Fund in Montreal on September 16, 2016.

    May 12, 2016
    General
    CBC News
  • Researchers report that global elimination of HIV is possible, if countries use the strategy planned by the WHO and UNAIDS. This 'treatment as prevention' approach has brought the HIV epidemic in Denmark to the brink of elimination, the authors said after analyzing two decades of data. However, this approach will only work in other countries if almost all patients adhere to their treatment regimens.

    May 12, 2016
    Science Daily
  • In early June, global health leaders will convene at the United Nations for the High Level Meeting on Ending AIDS, and the balance they strike between ounces of HIV prevention and pounds of treatment will determine the arc of the AIDS pandemic. If they shortchange prevention now, their decisions will merely guarantee a future of more people needlessly infected and requiring lifelong treatment.

    May 12, 2016
    The Hill
  • Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton called for an end to the HIV/AIDS epidemic “once and for all” in remarks before meeting with a group of HIV/AIDS activists on Thursday.

    May 12, 2016
    General
    Washington Blade
  • HIV is undetectable in the pre-ejaculatory fluid of men taking suppressive antiretroviral therapy, investigators from the United States report in the online edition of AIDS... “Our study provides the first evidence that pre-ejaculatory sexual secretions in men on [ART], unlike those from untreated men, do not contain detectable HIV,” comment the investigators.

    May 11, 2016
    General
    aidsmap
  • According to a new report by a global health commission,...adolescents face considerable health challenges on a global scale, most notably from injuries, common infectious diseases, mental health conditions, and sexual and reproductive health problems, [with] the fastest growing cause of ill health in 23 years unsafe sex (up to 2nd place in 2013 from 13th place in 1990)... The recommendations of the commission are similar to the WHO's Global Strategy for Women's, Children's and Adolescents' Health launched in September 2015.

    May 11, 2016
    General
    MedPage Today
  • Researchers have discovered an antibody that can bind to a region on HIV and stop it from infecting cells. This antibody also targets an area of the virus that was thought to be invulnerable.

    May 11, 2016
    Antibody Related Research, HIV Vaccine
    Healthline News
  • UK Prime Minister David Cameron has become one of the first world leaders to praise HIV-preventing Pre-Exposure Prophylaxis drugs – calling for a quick decision by the NHS to help reduce people’s chances of infection.

    May 11, 2016
    Pink News
  • Two years ago, the Ebola virus buffeted West Africa and alarmed the world. A belated international mobilization coupled with heroic local action averted a wider global crisis — but not before 28,000 people were infected and more than 11,000 died. Survivors continue to live with the long-term health consequences... The World Health Organization came under fire for how it handled the Ebola crisis. The repercussions of the slow response to the virus continue to haunt the organization as it attempts to tackle the Zika virus and other global-health emergencies.

    May 11, 2016
    General
    Washington Post
  • A risk of HIV transmission to sexual partners persists for six months after the initiation of antiretroviral therapy, investigators from a large prospective prevention study confirm in the online edition of the Journal of Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndromes. Over 1,500 serodiscordant heterosexual couples were included in the analysis. Initiation of antiretroviral therapy (ART) was accompanied by a fall in the risk of transmission, but the risk persisted during the first six months of treatment.

    May 10, 2016
    aidsmap
  • According to a recent study, popping contraceptive pills could protect you against STIs. The McMaster University study in mice suggested that a female sex hormone, estradiol (E2), exerts its protective effect against herpes virus by shifting the immune response in the vaginal mucosa toward a more effective antiviral one... Researcher Charu Kaushic said this is the first study that has shown how estradiol could be enhancing the immune system to fight viral infection.

    May 10, 2016
    General
    Hindustan Times
  • The Lancet Commission's groundbreaking report finds that years of neglect and underinvestment have had serious detrimental effects on adolescent health and wellbeing. Two-thirds of young people are growing up in countries where preventable and treatable health problems like HIV/AIDS, early pregnancy, and unsafe sex are ongoing threats. Adolescents also face new challenges: rising levels of obesity and mental health disorders.

    May 10, 2016
    General
    Science Daily
  • Seventy-five advocates from across Africa -- friends, allies, researchers -- came together for a one-day meeting in Johannesburg on April 14 to discuss the recent dapivirine ring results, what they mean in the broader context of women's HIV prevention, what comes next and key milestones to plan for.

    May 10, 2016
    The Body
  • In 2012, the American Academy of Pediatrics declared that the benefits of circumcising boys outweighed the risks... Let’s look at the evidence... The strongest case for circumcision can be made as a benefit against the transmission of HIV In Africa, where [results from] randomized controlled trials... were quite convincing... One study likened circumcision to a vaccine of high efficacy. Again, though, these results apply to countries with a much higher prevalence of HIV than we see in the United States.

    May 9, 2016
    New York Times
  • As it struggled to maintain sales and fought growing pressure from public health officials over the past 25 years, the tobacco industry embraced an unlikely ally: the anti-AIDS cause, a new Canadian study concludes... Partly based on a trove of millions of internal company documents, the study paints a picture of an elaborate campaign to use concern for HIV in defence of a product that exacts an even worse health toll.

    May 7, 2016
    General
    National Post
  • The Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria has suspended payments to Nigeria’s AIDS agency over evidence that $3.8 million was stolen by its workers and consultants, the Geneva-based agency said Friday. Fund spokesman Seth Faison said Nigeria’s government has promised to repay the money and to prosecute suspects.

    May 7, 2016
    General
    Nigerian Voice
  • Global progress fighting AIDS could be lost because prevention programmes are suffering from a lack of leadership, accountability and funding, [UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon] warned on Friday... "If we accept the status quo unchanged, the epidemic will rebound in several low- and middle-income countries," he said in a statement.

    May 7, 2016
    General
    Thomson Reuters
  • Big tobacco companies lobbied for funding and initiatives to combat AIDS to distract from the health problems caused by smoking and prevent regulations restricting tobacco use, a paper says. “In both Latin America and Sub-Saharan Africa, Philip Morris and British American Tobacco championed the AIDS response in order to delegitimize efforts to develop the WHO’s Framework Convention on Tobacco Control,” says the paper published in the Journal of Social Aspects of HIV/AIDS on 29 March. The convention was eventually adopted in 2003.

    May 6, 2016
    General
    SciDev.Net
  • Two new studies reveal that administering a potent, broadly neutralizing antibody that binds to HIV evokes a strong immune response in humans, and can even accelerate the clearance of infected cells... Collectively, these studies suggest that the bNAb 3BNC117 could be a viable therapeutic target for HIV.

    May 5, 2016
    Science Daily
  • What do we lose by freeing ourselves from the word AIDS—or, what might we have to gain? It’s a question provoked by advances in HIV treatment and care and changes in the way that people live with and experience HIV and AIDS.

    May 5, 2016
    General
    Beta
  • The Medicines Patent Pool and ViiV Healthcare announced expansion of their current licensing agreement to increase Tivicay access in all lower middle-income countries where HIV is widespread. "This is great news for communities battling the epidemic... specifically for Armenia, Moldova, Morocco and Ukraine where an estimated 270,000 people live with [HIV]," Greg Perry, executive director of the Medicines Patent Pool (MPP), said."

    May 1, 2016
    Healio
  • According to Igor Artemyev, head of the Russian Federal Antimonopoly Service (and one of the initiators of compulsory licensing system), its introduction will allow the Russian government to achieve significant savings on the provision with anti-HIV drugs for the local population.

    April 22, 2016
    General
    Pharma Letter

Published Research

  • The HIV-1 fusion peptide, comprising 15 to 20 hydrophobic residues at the N terminus of the Env-gp41 subunit, is a critical component of the virus-cell entry machinery. Here, we report the identification of a neutralizing antibody, N123-VRC34.01, which targets the fusion peptide and blocks viral entry by inhibiting conformational changes in gp120 and gp41 subunits of Env required for entry.

    May 13, 2016
    Antibody Related Research
    Science
  • The regulation of drugs can either grease the wheels of progress or throw a wrench in the works. We believe that harmonized drug regulation has the potential to be the unsung hero in driving improved health along with global economic and social development. We would challenge governments...to put harmonization on their agendas and those of the G-8 or G-20 as a critical and transformative next step in advancing public health for all.

    May 11, 2016
    General
    Science Transl Med
  • The largest generation of adolescents and young people in human history (1.8 billion) demands more attention and action. This new Lancet Commission argues that there are both threats, if inaction continues, but also tremendous unrealised opportunities... The most powerful actions for adolescent health and well-being are intersectoral, multilevel, and multicomponent and engage and empower young people themselves.

    May 11, 2016
    General
    Lancet
  • RapIT (Rapid Initiation of Treatment) was an unblinded trial of single-visit ART initiation in...a primary health clinic and a hospital-based HIV clinic in South Africa. Offering single-visit ART initiation to adult patients in South Africa increased uptake of ART by 36% and viral suppression by 26%. This intervention should be considered for adoption in the public sector in Africa.

    May 10, 2016
    PLoS MED
  • Taken together, the data obtained in this study indicate that MDR-TB clinical isolates could become fit enough to cause large and severe outbreaks in an HIV-negative context. Such MDR-TB outbreaks are characterized by low treatment success rates and could evolve towards increased severity, thus calling for early detection of cases and the necessity to raise the bar of surveillance throughout and beyond the treatment period.

    April 28, 2016
    General
    PLoS ONE
  • Bisexual MSM have potential to transmit HIV and syphilis to female partners through condomless vaginal intercourse (CVI)... Thus, estimation of the burden of CVI... seemed necessary to control this cross-gender transmission... 2958 MSM were recruited from 7 Chinese cities, interviewed and tested for HIV and syphilis. CVI was found to be common among MSM... Targeted interventions should specifically focus on bisexual MSM, especially older and married subgroups.

    April 26, 2016
    PLoS ONE
  • A total of 3,978 HIV seronegative women were recruited for four biomedical intervention trials from 2002–2009... More than 70 percent of the observed HIV acquisitions were collectively attributed to the three risk factors: younger age (<25 years old), unmarried and not cohabiting with a stable/regular partner, and diagnosis with STIs. Addressing these risks requires targeted structural, behavioural, biomedical and cultural interventions.

    April 22, 2016
    PLoS ONE
  • To inform... decision making,.. we reviewed existing published and gray literature from 1998 to 2014... School-based STD screening programs do not seem to decrease prevalence or effectively increase student knowledge of STDs, but may serve as an effective platform for the identification of more high-risk adolescents and/or the dissemination of other public health prevention strategies.

    February 28, 2016
    General
  • This review is a response to requests from patient groups for clear, practical and evidence-based guidance for travelling on antiretroviral therapy; we present currently available data on the pharmacokinetic forgiveness and toxicity of various antiretroviral regimens, and synthesize this data to provide guidelines on how to safely dose antiretrovirals when travelling across time zones.

    January 31, 2016
    AIDS

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