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14 October 2016 VOLUME 17 ISSUE 41

Media Coverage

  • HIV is no longer a "death sentence" - if you have access to the drugs. But more needs to be done to prevent HIV, as Namibia's health minister Bernard Haufiku told DW at the World Health Summit in Berlin.

    October 13, 2016
    DW
  • Long-acting novel antiretrovirals delivered through shots or implants, vaginal rings loaded with antiretrovirals and hormonal contraception, infusions of antibodies against HIV, and new HIV vaccines are all on the table — and in the works — said Myron Cohen, director of the Institute for Global Health and Infectious Diseases, University of North Carolina. "This isn't your mother's prevention conference," Dr Cohen told Medscape Medical News.

    October 13, 2016
    Medscape
  • Gilead Sciences has begun a major trial to compare the efficacy of Descovy versus Truvada as PrEP against HIV. In addition to determining how well Descovy protects against HIV compared with Truvada, the trial will compare the drugs’ effects on bone mineral density and kidney function, as well as other safety data.

    October 13, 2016
    POZ
  • "The health burden of not having good vaginal microbiota is enormous," says Richard Cone, a biophysicist who studies vaginal mucus at Johns Hopkins University....He and his collaborator Samuel Lai, University of North Carolina/Chapel Hill, have found some of the first clues as to how BV [bacterial vaginosis] leaves women vulnerable to HIV and other deadly infections.

    October 12, 2016
    The Atlantic
  • Research involving men taking ART, all with an undetectable viral load, has shown that imperfect adherence is associated with higher levels of key markers of inflammation and immune activation. The study, [published in Clinical Infectious Diseases online, concludes]: “Our findings set the framework to better understand the biological consequences of cART adherence variations and has identified adherence as a target for future investigations."

    October 12, 2016
    aidsmap
  • A partnership worth $10m (£8.1m) to increase uptake and awareness of a vaccine to protect girls from cervical cancer, which has higher death rates in sub-Saharan Africa than any other cancer, was launched Tuesday. Gavi, the vaccine alliance, announced it is joining forces with the Girl Effect to increase demand for the human papillomavirus (HPV) vaccine in Rwanda, Ethiopia and Malawi.

    October 11, 2016
    The Guardian
  • Although new infections have been falling globally, Indonesia is one country where they are on the rise as the disease spreads rapidly among...men who have had sex with men over the past decade....National AIDS Commission secretary Kemal Siregar...said there was now “uncertainty” over meeting Indonesia’s target...as efforts to reach out to the MSM group...had become harder due to increasing social stigma, exacerbated by a drop in foreign funding as Indonesia’s economy grew and international donors withdrew.

    October 11, 2016
    reuters
  • People with HIV who have lower educational attainment have poorer outcomes after starting combination antiretroviral therapy, according to data from a large European cohort collaboration published in AIDS Online. Rates of mortality and AIDS decreased with increasing education level, and education was also associated with virological suppression and CD4 count at the time of cART initiation.

    October 11, 2016
    aidsmap
  • OpenTrials, a search engine of information on clinical trials, has launched a beta version that's now open to the public. The site collects a wealth of...information about clinical trials past and present, including patient consent forms, published studies, and press releases. The team behind OpenTrials is hopeful that collecting trial information in one place will help identify potential discrepancies in data, increase transparency, and make research more accessible to the public.

    October 11, 2016
    STAT
  • A serious funding shortfall threatens the prevention and treatment of HIV. Our panel of experts share their ideas on how to do more with less money.

    October 10, 2016
    The Guardian
  • Baltimore has one of the higher HIV rates among US cities. It's also the city that one-third of the people in Maryland's state prisons call home. What do the two have to do with each other? A lot, according to...a recent study on HIV and incarceration worldwide....Mass incarceration...has contributed to the spread of not only HIV, but also viral hepatitis and tuberculosis. But it's not just Baltimore.

    October 10, 2016
    The Body
  • Twenty-nine years ago, the AIDS Memorial Quilt was unfolded on the Mall for the first time, with 1,920 panels. Today, it has grown to more than 49,000. The project was the idea of Cleve Jones, a San Francisco gay rights activist. This article is adapted from Jones’s book “When We Rise: My Life in the Movement,” being published Nov. 29 by Hachette Books.

    October 9, 2016
    Washington Post
  • A ‘mini report’ of the latest figures on HIV diagnoses, late diagnosis, and treatment uptake in the UK reports generally good results, with downward trends in infections, proportion of people diagnosed late, and proportion both on treatment and virally suppressed....The report also shows the UK has now easily reached the WHO/UNAIDS target of 72.9% of all people with HIV having undetectable viral loads.

    October 7, 2016
    aidsmap
  • You cannot, the statement said, pass on HIV.....This was the Swiss Statement, a public policy salvo lobbed into the heart of the HIV world -- one that prompted a swift and intense backlash.....People accused Vernazza of getting ahead of the science....But it's not 2008 anymore.

    October 7, 2016
    The Body
  • Fresh insight has been gained into how one of the main viruses that cause cervical cancer evades its hosts' immune systems. These findings suggest that a protein known as E7, produced by a high-risk type of human papillomavirus (HPV16), may be the key player in suppressing the body's immune response to the virus.

    October 6, 2016
    Science Daily
  • Only four in 10 gay and bisexual men in Baltimore without HIV are aware that pre-exposure prophylaxis medication (PrEP) may significantly reduce their risk of contracting the virus, even those who had recently visited a doctor or been tested for a sexually transmitted disease, new Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health research suggests.

    October 5, 2016
    Science Daily

Published Research

  • This study aims at assessing the effects of vaginal product excipients on the integrity of human cervicovaginal epithelium and on a lead HIV prevention antiretroviral drug, tenofovir (TFV)....We found that the combined measurements of transepithelial electrical resistance (TEER) morphology, permeability, and viability using human cervicovaginal tissue represent a clinically relevant platform for safety evaluation of excipients and formulated products for HIV-1 prevention.

    November 1, 2016
    AIDS Research and Human Retroviruses
  • The role of microbiota in the pathogenesis of HIV infection has become the subject of intense research in recent years....To better understand the relationship between the microbiome and HIV infection, investigators from a wide variety of disciplines...gathered at the first International Workshop on Microbiome in HIV Pathogenesis, Prevention and Treatment, at NIH on 7 and 8 April, 2015.

    November 1, 2016
    AIDS Research and Human Retroviruses
  • Data collected covered the period 2011–2012...in Kenya, Rwanda, South Africa, and Zambia. We found important differences in unit costs along the HTC and PMTCT service cascades within and between countries, suggesting that more efficient delivery of these services is possible.

    October 23, 2016
    AIDS
  • SIV-infected monkeys were treated with a 90-day course of ART initiated at 5 weeks post infection followed at 9 weeks post infection by infusions of a primatized monoclonal antibody against the α4β7 integrin administered every 3 weeks until week 32....This combination therapy allows macaques to effectively control viremia and reconstitute their immune systems without a need for further therapy.

    October 14, 2016
    Antibody Related Research
    Science
  • Baffling monkey study suggesting that a monoclonal antibody used to treat inflammatory bowel disease in humans might lead to a "functional" cure of an infection with the AIDS virus.

    October 14, 2016
    Antibody Related Research
    Science
  • About 150 million children and adults in 129 low- and middle-income countries reportedly received HIV testing services in 2014. Optimistically assuming...99% accuracy, a large number of individuals could be wrongly initiated on ART as we enter the test-and-treat era, while others who need therapy would not receive it....Although diagnostic tests have high sensitivity and specificity, some studies have reported misdiagnosis rates of 2.6–4.8% in HIV testing programme settings.

    October 13, 2016
    Lancet
  • We are pleased to present this issue of Current Opinion on HIV/AIDS devoted to HIV vaccines. Developing a safe and effective HIV vaccine is a global research priority. The collective works present many of the broad approaches directed toward establishing what constitutes effective immunity to HIV and how to go about evaluating vaccines that achieve protective immunity.

    October 13, 2016
    Current Opinion in HIV & AIDS
  • We suggest that as patents for ARVs expire, health authorities first need to rapidly import and introduce generic versions of drugs such as abacavir, 3TC, EFV and TDF....A strategy of low-cost generic ARVs for most people, with higher-cost patented alternatives used as switch options, could allow for an increased number of people to receive ARVs in the context of fixed health budgets.

    October 13, 2016
    J Virus Eradication
  • Welcome to the October 2016 issue....The digest provides abstracts of articles from the peer-reviewed literature on male circumcision, with a focus on voluntary medical male circumcision for HIV prevention. This issue of the digest covers articles published from 1 July to 30 September 2016. Links are provided to the full text of articles that are open access.

    October 13, 2016
    Clearinghouse on Male Circumcision for HIV Prevention
  • South Africa's government has announced...a project that will be the largest of its kind in Africa — tracking the health, income, and educational attainment of around 1% of South Africa’s population....Researchers hope the data will help track efforts to curb major health problems such as HIV and tuberculosis, and monitor emerging lifestyle-related threats....The department intends the survey to...follow people from cradle to grave and monitor inter-generational trends.

    October 13, 2016
    Nature
  • The complexity of the SDGs left many members of the global health and development community wondering whether assessing progress towards reaching the SDGs is doable. The work reported in today's Lancet by a team of researchers enlisted by the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation, a global health research centre housed at the University of Washington in Seattle, shows that the task is doable, at least for most of the health-related indicators chosen by the UN.

    October 8, 2016
    Lancet
  • Across 220,544 clinic visits from 32,069 HIV-infected patients,...older patients started treatment at higher CD4+ counts but experienced slower CD4+ recovery than younger adults. Treatment initiation at greater CD4+ cell counts was correlated with greater asymptotic CD4+ cell counts within all sex and age groups.

    October 7, 2016
    PLoS ONE
  • Using South Africa as a case study, we find that contrary to previous results, universal ART coverage is achievable even with current human resources for treating HIV/AIDS (HRHA) numbers. However, larger health gains are possible through a surge-capacity policy that aggressively recruits HRHA to reach universal ART coverage quickly....TasP roll-out can increase health losses by crowding out sicker patients from treatment unless a surge capacity exclusively for TasP is also created.

    October 7, 2016
    PLoS ONE
  • Retrospective cohort study was employed in four hospitals of Bale zone....A total of 4,809 adult ART clients were included in the analysis,....Male ART clients,...bedridden and ambulatory patients,...TB co-infected clients...having other opportunistic infection during ART initiation,...and fair and poor drug adherence were [all] associated with higher odds of experiencing treatment failure.

    October 7, 2016
    PLoS ONE
  • Our study is the first to analyze the association between early CD4 response and partner disclosure among ART-naïve patients initiating treatment. Our results suggest that partner disclosure may be associated with early CD4 recovery following ART initiation among younger adults. More research is needed to better understand the dynamics of disclosure and the impact/role of disclosure on clinical outcomes.

    October 6, 2016
    PLoS ONE
  • Newly-diagnosed HIV+ individuals who did not undergo CD4+ count blood draw on the day they were diagnosed—regardless of the reason for deferring—had delayed linkage to care relative to those with same-day blood draw....To enhance prompt linkage to care even when test and treat protocols are implemented, all diagnostic testing required before ART initiation should be performed on the same day as HIV testing/diagnosis.

    October 5, 2016
    PLoS ONE
  • Clinical trials to date have been challenged by non-adherence, leading to an inability to demonstrate product efficacy. The work here provides new methodology and results to begin to address this limitation. We created validated scales that allow users to characterize sensory perceptions and experiences when using vaginal gel formulations. Here, we sought to understand the user sensory perceptions and experiences (USPEs) that characterize the preferred product experience for each participant.

    March 15, 2016
    AIDS Research & Human Retroviruses

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