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19 February 2016 VOLUME 17 ISSUE 7

Media Coverage

  • Today, the DREAMS Partnership took a stand toward rewriting this tragic but far too common story by issuing a call for innovative ideas as part of the DREAMS Innovation Challenge.

    February 18, 2016
    Huffington Post
  • Funding for domestic HIV services saw a modest increase in President Barack Obama's proposed budget for fiscal year 2017 – including a $20 million allocation for a new PrEP pilot program – but advocates say it does not provide enough for HIV research, global AIDS assistance, or hepatitis C.

    February 18, 2016
    Bay Area Reporter
  • If it gets approved in Australia, should all gay men start PrEP? I don’t often have casual sex, but when I meet someone, I want to be as safe as possible; more than just condoms. The “dating” world has changed a lot in the eleven years since I was last single and having casual sex with anyone is daunting.

    February 18, 2016
    Gay News Network
  • To maximise confidence in its effectiveness, a vaginal microbicide ring for women would ideally need to be flexible, translucent and not too slippery, a focus group of women told researchers. Many would also like a ring that could be removed for sex or cleaning, as long as drug levels were maintained while...removed. The forthcoming Conference on Retroviruses and Opportunistic Infections will feature effectiveness results from ASPIRE and Ring, two big studies of a vaginal ring designed to prevent HIV.

    February 18, 2016
    aidsmap
  • As a research scientist working in Kisumu, I still remember the shock and horror I felt when I first learnt that the Walter Reed Medical Research facility in Kericho had been surrounded by members of the local community who appeared to be determined to burn it to the ground....I [am] reminded of these events...in the context of recent reports in the newspapers of allegations arising from a parliamentary committee looking into the affairs of the Kenya Medical Research Institute.

    February 17, 2016
    The Star
  • An experimental procedure that involves beaming X-rays at immobilized molecules [solved] a decades-old puzzle and resulted in a major step forward in exploring new therapies to combat HIV/AIDS and retrovirus-based cancers, report scientists.

    February 17, 2016
    Science Daily
  • Using cutting-edge imaging technology, Salk Institute and Harvard Medical School researchers have determined the structure of a protein complex that lets viruses similar to HIV establish permanent infections within their hosts. This helps reveal how retroviruses insert their genomic information into human cells and may have implications not only for treating diseases like HIV, but also for improving gene therapy methods to deliver new DNA to patients with genetic mutations.

    February 17, 2016
    Science Daily
  • Researchers at Women & Infants Hospital, a Care New England hospital, recently published the results of a study demonstrating a connection between anal cancer and human papillomavirus (HPV) infection. It builds on research that indicated an increased likelihood that the two diseases would coexist in some women.

    February 17, 2016
    Science Daily
  • The significant number of new human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) infections clustering around young men who have sex with men between the ages 12 to 29 calls for interventions that target this demographic. This was the finding of a study conducted by the LoveYourself HIV clinics from 2012 to 2015. The study was released on February 13 at the soft opening of the LoveYourself Uni HIV Testing and Community Center in Manila.

    February 17, 2016
    Rappler
  • APLA Health and Wellness, una organización sin fines de lucro que ofrece apoyo a las personas que viven con dicha enfermedad en el condado de Los Ángeles, lanzó este mes la campaña “Se siente bien”. El proyecto expone anuncios en inglés y español en los camiones públicos y el metro para educar a la comunidad angelina en general acerca de la importancia de hacerse el examen y la nueva medicina llamada PrEP, que previene el virus.

    February 17, 2016
    Hoy Los Angeles
  • The recently established state-owned pharmaceutical company, Ketlaphela, will start to produce antiretroviral drugs in 2019, according to the department of science and technology....Ketlaphela, which was established in February 2015 and is based in Pretoria, is a subsidiary of Pelchem. Pelchem, in turn, is a subsidiary of the South African Nuclear Energy Corporation. Ketlaphela’s pharmaceutical manufacturing plant is under construction.

    February 17, 2016
    Mail&Guardian
  • Should the NIH scrap its current peer-review model to determine which studies it should bankroll and turn to a more random lottery system? A trio of researchers says yes, pointing to a new study of their own that shows just how hard it can be to judge the best scientific projects among top-tier proposals.

    February 17, 2016
    FierceBioResearcher
  • Two statisticians involved in the PROUD and iPrEx trials of PrEP warn that future trials to test new PrEP drugs and formulations may be extremely difficult to design. David Dunn of the UK Medical Research Council and David Glidden of the University of California at San Francisco say that statisticians will need to choose and analyze their trial populations very carefully if they wish to be able to demonstrate meaningful results.

    February 17, 2016
    hivandhepatitis.com
  • While the conference is still a week away, I've looked over the current program available on CROI's website, and here are some of the sessions and presentations worth looking forward to.

    February 17, 2016
    The Body PRO
  • The Windhoek Correctional Facility says the constitution does not allow same-sex individuals to engage in sex, hence condoms cannot be distributed in correctional facilities. "Same sex is still regarded as a crime in Namibia and if we distribute condoms it will be seen as if we are encouraging that."...said Deputy Commissioner Victor Eichab. His comments came in the light of Minister of Health and Social Services Dr Bernard Haufiku's call for the distribution of condoms in prisons.

    February 16, 2016
    New Era
  • Although the international community has rallied to fight AIDS, fierce debates have raged within the movement.....These battles ensued within both domestic health sectors and foreign health assistance budget debates. They remain topics of lively debate.

    February 16, 2016
    The Conversation
  • Will taking pre-exposure prophylaxis, more commonly referred to as PrEP, condone risky sexual behaviour? What if people call me a “Truvada whore”? This is the story of a young South African wrestling with the idea of going on PrEP.

    February 16, 2016
    Health24
  • Although HIV-infected CD4 cells persist in the vagina even on ART that fully suppresses free HIV in the blood and body fluids, these cells are not anything like numerous enough to pose any transmission threat....Another [recently published] study of the mucosal immune response in the vagina in HIV-positive women has found that some women develop broadly-neutralising antibodies, and an antibody profile similar to one already key to vaccine efficacy.

    February 15, 2016
    aidsmap
  • Testing alone is insufficient to prevent HIV transmission among adult film actors, according to researchers who studied a recent case of a male performer who infected a co-worker and found the industry’s prevention approach lacking. The industry should enhance its HIV prevention strategy to include pre-exposure prophylaxis, or PrEP, the researchers wrote in MMWR, noting that such a plan would likely have obstacles.

    February 15, 2016
    Healio
  • Less than a quarter of people taking part in clinical trials for antiretroviral medications are women, potentially limiting the generalisability of findings, according to a systematic review published in the February 1 edition of the Journal of Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndromes....Limited participation of women is a concern for clinical trials across a wide range of disease areas, but the problem appears to be particularly acute in HIV.

    February 8, 2016
    aidsmap

Published Research

  • Included were 302 women of whom 131 were HIV-infected and receiving HAART on the site while 171 were women from the community. After controlling for age and other covariates, women in the HAART group had a 67% reduction in the odds of cervical lesions compared with the community group. This finding may not be attributed to HAART alone but to all the health benefits derived from receiving a comprehensive HIV care.

    February 18, 2016
    PLoS ONE
  • There is enormous enthusiasm in the scientific community for finding a cure for HIV. Although much remains to be discovered regarding the mechanisms of viral persistence and how it may be disrupted, some assumptions regarding the goals of a cure, applicability to target populations, and what is required of the assays we employ, may lead to missed opportunities and discoveries.... The field will benefit from an awareness and critical interrogation of assumptions that may be implicit in their scientific pursuits.

    February 18, 2016
    AIDS Research and Human Retroviruses
  • Good adolescent sexual health is the cornerstone of future healthy families and essential for development of optimal intimate and social relations including gender equality....The issue lies in the implementation and scaling-up of evidence-based strategies known to effectively improve adolescent sexual health. Implementation has lagged behind globally, as sexual health is typically a field driven by normative rather than evidence-based policies. The highest burden of poor adolescent sexual health is found in low-income countries.

    February 16, 2016
    Sex Transm Dis
  • We present 18 scenarios, combining the availability of viral load monitoring, speed of antiretroviral scale-up, and rates of retention and switching to second-line. HIV transmission was not included....Donors and countries in sub-Saharan Africa should prepare for a substantial increase in the need for second-line drugs during the next few years as access to viral load monitoring improves. An urgent need exists to decrease the costs of second-line drugs.

    February 15, 2016
    Lancet HIV
  • Two-thirds of contracepting women in Brazil used dual protection (40% exclusive condoms, 27% dual methods)....Dual methods use was associated with some high school education, living in the Southern region, and number of children, net of other factors. Consistent condom use was associated with condom use at sexual debut, wants no (more) children, single/separated relationship status, and using exclusive condoms.

    February 15, 2016
    J Fam Plann Reprod Health Care
  • In a prospective study of HIV-1-infected persons who had a known heterosexual HIV-1-uninfected partner in Kenya and Uganda [PrEP Study], for HIV-1-infected persons in serodiscordant couples, younger age was associated with delayed ART initiation, failure to achieve viral suppression, and increased risk of virologic rebound. Motivating ART initiation and early adherence is a key to achieving and sustaining viral suppression.

    February 10, 2016
    AIDS Research and Human Retroviruses
  • This phase IIb, observer-blind, randomized study was conducted in 15 centers in the United States, 10 in France, 8 in Germany, and 7 in Spain between November 2010 and November 2012.... F4/AS01B [GSK] had a clinically acceptable safety profile, induced F4-specific CD4+ T-cell responses, but did not reduce HIV-1 VL, impact CD4+ T-cells count, delay ART initiation, or prevent HIV-1 related clinical events.

    February 1, 2016
    Medicine
  • Janne Estill and colleagues present the results of an extensive modelling study forecasting future needs for first- and second-line HIV therapy in sub-Saharan Africa up to 2030. Questions could be raised about the datasets used, the assumptions made to generate the results, and the very large confidence intervals. Nevertheless, the results are very stimulating: with the first estimated numbers of patients needing second-line therapy and exploration of the potential determinants of future need.

    February 1, 2016
    Lancet HIV

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