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16 October 2015 VOLUME 16 ISSUE 42

Media Coverage

  • Loabaneng Masedi on Saturday treated her family, friends and associates to a lunch to celebrate not only her 55 years on earth but that she has lived with HIV for 23 years....Relentless and enduring, she has run several projects with the aim to better the lives of Batswana living in abject poverty and those affected with HIV and AIDS....Masedi said some Moshupa residents she invited said they couldn’t attend the event as people would think they were HIV positive:“HIV and AIDS is still stigmatized even in this time and age.”

    October 15, 2015
    The Voice BW
  • Plan International India, a non-governmental organisation, in partnership with National AIDS Control Organisation (NACO) on Wednesday launched a project to reduce parent-to-child transmission of HIV in 218 districts in nine states. The target is to test 1.78 crore pregnant women for HIV, provide antiretroviral therapy to 14,500 HIV positive pregnant women and virological tests for 13,000 infants. Plan International India will carry out the project in Assam, Bihar, Chhattisgarh, Jharkhand, Madhya Pradesh, Odisha, Rajasthan, Uttar Pradesh, and West Bengal.

    October 15, 2015
    Live Mint
  • Churches and other faith-based centres are good locations to offer HIV testing and treatment for pregnant women in isolated areas of sub-Saharan Africa, a new study shows....The study was published Oct. 14 in the The Lancet Global Health....Study author Dr. Echezona Ezeanolue,... University of Nevada, Las Vegas, [said]: "Most communities in sub-Saharan Africa have at least one religious centre, even when there are no accessible health facilities."

    October 15, 2015
    Health24
  • The International AIDS Vaccine Initiative (IAVI) has published a report highlighting several milestones in the journey towards an AIDS vaccine. IAVI’s 2014 Annual Report describes how two new antibody-based immunogens are undergoing pre-clinical testing. It also hails a new partnership between African and Indian scientists, which it says will drive knowledge and technology transfer from the Global North to the South.

    October 15, 2015
    Key Correspondents
  • A collaboration between researchers at the University of Cape Town (UCT) and the University of Witwatersrand (Wits) has resulted in an exciting discovery, published in Nature Medicine....The study has important implications for the design of a protective HIV vaccine. Dr Colin Anthony, a Post-doctoral Researcher in the HIV Diversity group at UCT was one of the co-authors on this study, entitled: Viral variants that initiate and drive maturation of V1V2-directed HIV-1 broadly neutralising antibodies.

    October 15, 2015
    Health24
  • It's been over one year since I have started taking the FDA approved pill called Truvada for HIV prevention. The only sanctioned medicine (aka PrEP or pre-exposure prophylaxis) that prevents HIV infection. Not even condoms are approved by the FDA to prevent HIV.

    October 14, 2015
    Huffington Post
  • Bristol-Myers Squibb’s HIV attachment inhibitor BMS-663068 (fostemsavir), which prevents the virus from binding to T-cells, demonstrated good antiviral activity and was well-tolerated at 24 weeks. Study results published recently in Lancet HIV presented at the IDWeek 2015 conference in San Diego showed that response rates were similar regardless of demographic characteristics, baseline viral load or CD4 cell count.

    October 14, 2015
    aidsmap
  • As many as 30,000 people in the U.S. may now be taking pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP) to prevent HIV, researchers reported at the 4th IAPAC Controlling the HIV Epidemic with Antiretrovirals summit in Paris last week. Meanwhile, as the summit also heard, European and other countries face frustrating delays in securing access to PrEP.

    October 14, 2015
    HIV&Hepatitis
  • AstraZeneca's is joining the likes of Vanderbilt University and GlaxoSmithKline as a member of the Human Vaccines Project, the company announced Tuesday. The public-private partnership, incubated at the International AIDS Vaccine Initiative (IAVI), aims to accelerate the development of vaccines and immunotherapies against major infectious diseases and cancers "by decoding the human immune system."

    October 14, 2015
    Fierce Vaccines
  • In a head-to-head trial, a new version of an HIV drug (tenofovir alafenamide, TAF) had efficacy similar to its older rival, tenofovir disoproxil fumarate (TDF), both prodrugs of the active agent tenofovir, a long-time mainstay of HIV treatment....The difference... is that TAF leaves less tenofovir in the bloodstream than TDF and so far appears to have fewer bone and renal complications than its older rival....Because of that improved safety, clinicians are eager for the drug to be approved.

    October 13, 2015
    MedPage Today
  • A PhD student from the University of the Witwatersrand has published a study in the journal Nature Medicine describing how the changing viral swarm in an HIV infected person can drive the generation of antibodies able to neutralize HIV strains from across the world. The study has important implications for the design of a protective HIV vaccine.

    October 13, 2015
    Science Daily
  • Years of debate over Obamacare have left too many people with the impression that health-care problems can usually be solved by changing federal government policy. The mystifying story of an effective but too-little-used drug to prevent HIV infection is a reminder that's not always the case....There's strong evidence that [Truvada], if used more widely, could significantly lower the number of new HIV diagnoses -- still almost 50,000 a year....What's keeping it from being used more widely? The American medical community broadly has been slow on the uptake.

    October 13, 2015
    Bloomberg View
  • A little more than two years ago...then US Global AIDS Coordinator Ambassador Eric Goosby issued a cable to all US embassy and consular posts directing them to seek, report on, and provide written responses to input from local groups representing those most affected by HIV, with the aim of gathering guidance....In the time since, progress toward seeking that input in a timely and usable process has lagged.

    October 13, 2015
    Science Speaks
  • This week Renu Chahil-Graf interviewed Michel Sidibé, Executive Director of UNAIDS, the UN agency combating HIV and AIDS. Michel knows about discrimination. The son of a mixed-race marriage in Mali in the 1950s, he is well qualified to fight the discrimination faced by those with HIV. He also knows how to persuade. Once, given only 3 minutes to convince the president of Zaire to vaccinate for polio, he succeeded.

    October 13, 2015
    Le News
  • In a study [reported in the October issue of Annals of Internal Medicine] involving 2,400 men who have sex with men who were also enrolled in the Multicenter AIDS Cohort Study, researchers report that men with HIV who were treated effectively with HIV therapy — defined as no detectable HIV virus in the blood — were 80 percent less likely to get infected with HBV over a median follow-up of approximately 9.5 years

    October 12, 2015
    Science Daily
  • New HIV infections in India could rise for the first time in more than a decade because states are mismanaging a prevention programme by delaying payments to health workers....[T]he U.N. Secretary General's Special Envoy for AIDS in Asia-Pacific, J.V.R. Prasada Rao, warned...[that] "When the new infections start rising, all the good work that has been done will be washed away".

    October 10, 2015
    Reuters
  • Scientists are now better able to predict how quickly the HIV virus will return after individuals stop treatment following a discovery by researchers at UNSW Australia and the University of Oxford. The significant development, resulting from a decade-long partnership between the two institutions and other international partners, opens up new avenues for understanding why the HIV virus persists in some patients and remains dormant and undetectable in others.

    October 9, 2015
    Science Daily
  • More than 30 years after she identified one of the most pernicious viruses to infect humankind, Francoise Barre Sinoussi, who shared a Nobel prize for discovering HIV, is hanging up her lab coat and retiring. She's disappointed not to have been able to claim ultimate victory in the battle against...HIV, but also proud that in three decades, the virus has been beaten into check.

    October 9, 2015
    Reuters
  • After the HPTN 052 trial settled the question of whether early HIV treatment prevents transmission of the virus, the START trial settled the question of the value of treatment for individual health, Dr. Myron Cohen noted during a talk Thursday. That leaves two big questions in the wake of the WHO release of updated HIV treatment guidelines:...the logistics of delivering antiretroviral therapy to all 37 million people living with the virus [and] how to reach people during acute HIV infection.

    October 9, 2015
    Science Speaks
  • Every year, an astonishing 380,000 adolescent girls and young women are infected with HIV,...more than 1,000 every day. These numbers are worth noting any day, but it’s especially relevant today as we recognize International Day of the Girl....In the hardest hit countries, girls account for more than 80 percent of all new HIV infections among adolescents....And, although we have a number of tools, the reality is that it won’t be easy.

    October 8, 2015
    Our Global Voices
  • After years of research, a promising HIV/AIDS vaccine at the University of Maryland School of Medicine is moving into the critical human testing stage. The school's Institute of Human Virology, headed by Dr. Robert Gallo, who helped discover the human immunodeficiency virus that causes AIDS and who developed the HIV blood test, announced the next big step in the research Thursday.

    October 8, 2015
    Baltimore Sun
  • This past September advocates...had some success in getting mental health onto the post-MDG agenda,....arguing that ‘mental disorders’ contribute more than infectious diseases to the global burden of disease....But it is not just that mental health is compared to infectious disease: it is also that global mental health advocacy is explicitly being modeled on HIV/AIDS advocacy....The question we raise here is whether there might be downsides as well as upsides to using HIV advocacy as a model for mental health advocacy.

    September 10, 2015
    SIID

Published Research

  • The Microbicide Trials Network 009 study assessed the prevalence of drug-resistance mutations among women at clinical sites in Durban, South Africa who tested seropositive for HIV-1 at screening for the VOICE trial. Factors found to be significantly associated with increased resistance were high perceived risk of getting HIV and prior participation in a microbicide trial. Two factors were found to be significantly associated with reduced resistance: having a primary sex partner and testing negative for HIV in the past year.

    November 1, 2015
    AIDS & Behavior
  • The federal Housing Opportunities for Persons with AIDS (HOPWA) program addresses housing needs of low-income persons living with HIV/AIDS....HOPWA clients were matched to a random 20% sample of other PLWHA...[and the two] groups were compared on HIV care retention, viral suppression, and rebound....While HOPWA clients were more likely to be retained in care, they were no more likely to achieve suppression and were more likely to rebound. HIV care retention does not fully translate to virologic suppression in this low-income service population.

    November 1, 2015
    AIDS & Behavior
  • Most studies identified were from high-income countries and among men who have sex with men (MSM) who found HIVST to be acceptable. In general, MSM were interested in HIVST because of its convenient and private nature. However, they had concerns about the lack of counseling, possible user error and accuracy. Data on the values and preferences of other KP groups regarding HIVST is limited. This should be a research priority, as HIVST is likely to become more widely available, including in resource-limited settings.

    November 1, 2015
    AIDS & Behavior
  • This policy brief explores areas where biomedical HIV prevention research can better engage — and be engaged by — women and girls to improve outcomes in the short-term while accelerating progress for new tools more specific to the needs of women and girls in Sub-Saharan Africa in the mid- to long-term.

    November 1, 2015
    IAVI Insights
  • Protease inhibitor monotherapy, with regular viral load monitoring and prompt reintroduction of combination treatment for rebound, preserved future treatment options and did not change overall clinical outcomes or frequency of toxic effects. Protease inhibitor monotherapy is an acceptable alternative for long-term clinical management of HIV infection.

    October 31, 2015
    Lancet
  • We recruited 3,362 inmates. HIV testing rates among prison inmates are low, and the majority of HIV-infected inmates were unaware of their HIV diagnosis. Incarceration can be an opportunity for diagnosis and treatment of HIV among vulnerable populations who have poor access to health services, but further work is needed on transitional HIV care for released inmates.

    October 14, 2015
    PLoS One
  • We enrolled a street-recruited sample of 296 13–21 year old street male youths. Survival activities included garbage picking, helping market vendors, begging, and working as porters or domestic workers....Occupations placing youth at particular risk of coercion by adults, including helping market vendors and working as domestic workers, were associated with HIV infection. Both insertive anal sex and receptive anal sex were associated with HIV infection.

    October 13, 2015
    PLoS One
  • Peruvian men who have sex with men (MSM) and transwomen (TW) could benefit from a rectal microbicide (RM) formulated as a rectal douche to prevent HIV infection. However, little is known about rectal douching practices among Peruvian MSM and TW, information necessary to inform RM douche development and future uptake.

    October 12, 2015
    Aids and Behavior
  • Last week, WHO expedited release of their Guideline on when to start antiretroviral therapy and on pre-exposure prophylaxis for HIV, ahead of the updated comprehensive guidelines scheduled for publication later this year.…The recommendations are welcome but ambitious....By not specifying how the most vulnerable will access the recommended measures of health care, this guideline risks failing those most at need....A human rights-based approach that encompasses tailored combination HIV prevention must remain at the heart of the response.

    October 10, 2015
    Lancet
  • During 2008–2013, overall diagnoses of HIV infection among adult and adolescent Hispanics or Latinos decreased in the United States. However, decreases have not occurred uniformly because diagnoses of HIV infection among men who have sex with men increased....Findings from this report also confirm earlier findings that Hispanics or Latinos are not a homogenous group, and risk factors differ by place of birth.

    October 9, 2015
    CDC
  • Human trials of more than 100 different AIDS vaccines have taken place since researchers proved in 1984 that HIV caused the disease. But...[Robert] Gallo, who now runs the Institute of Human Virology (IHV) in Baltimore, Maryland, has always been a spectator—until today. Gallo’s team has been developing a vaccine with an unusual method of protection for 15 years and is now launching the first clinical trial of it in collaboration with Profectus BioSciences.

    October 8, 2015
    Science
  • Here we delineate the key viral events that drove neutralization breadth within the CAP256-VRC26 family of 33 monoclonal antibodies (mAbs) isolated from a superinfected individual...Early viral escape at key antibody-virus contact sites selects for antibody sublineages that can tolerate these changes, thereby providing a mechanism for the generation of neutralization breadth within a developing antibody lineage.

    September 12, 2015
    Nature
  • The PROUD study announced that their trial would end randomization early after the finding that gay men and other MSM in the UK who received PrEP as part of combination prevention in a community health setting had significantly lower risk of HIV compared to men who were randomly assigned to a “deferred PrEP” arm.

    September 10, 2015
    Lancet

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