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2 October 2015 VOLUME 16 ISSUE 40

Media Coverage

  • The Family Planning Association of India has recommended that comprehensive sexuality education be provided to all adolescent mothers and people living with HIV. The recommendations were made following completion of a two-year project ‘preventing maternal deaths and promoting child survival by supporting elimination of mother-to-child transmission in HIV’, conducted in districts that have high prevalence of HIV.

    October 1, 2015
    Deccan Herald
  • The news broke in April 2013. Danish researchers were mere months from finding a cure for HIV....There was one snag: The U.K. paper’s astonishing headline, "Scientists on Brink of HIV Cure," wasn’t true....The Telegraph, which eventually revised the online article while the hospital released its own correction, is hardly alone in claiming, or at least implying, that an HIV cure is imminent. Nor is HIV the only health concern to inspire such erroneous hyperbole.

    October 1, 2015
    POZ
  • Everyone with HIV should be offered treatment immediately upon diagnosis, according to new World Health Organization (WHO) guidelines. The recommendation -- dropping any eligibility restrictions for antiretroviral therapy -- brings WHO advice into line with guidelines in the U.S., and most other Western countries.

    October 1, 2015
    MedPage Today
  • The emerging pipeline of new multipurpose technologies could deliver significant public health benefits to women, Dr. Vivian Black [director, clinical programs, Wits Reproductive Health and HIV Institute, Johannesburg, South Africa] said at the World STI & HIV Congress 2015....One such technology is the one-size-fits-all SILCS diaphragm, sold under the brand name Caya....Dr. Black stressed that the marketing of multipurpose technologies must be done carefully to avoid “tarnishing” their image by associating them with STI or HIV prevention.

    September 30, 2015
    PM360
  • Truvada’s popularity has been rising steadily since 2012, when the FDA approved it for use as a pre-exposure prophylaxis, or PrEP. First-time prescriptions skyrocketed 332 percent between the first quarter of 2014 and the first quarter of 2015....The drug received a further bump in visibility last week when How To Get Away With Murder became the first network primetime show to broach the topic.

    September 30, 2015
    Business Insider
  • The number of HIV-infected South Africans on ARVs will more than double, from 3.1-million to 6.4-million, if the health department is to implement new WHO guidelines....[D]eputy director for HIV, Yogan Pillay, [said] his department will convene an “expert meeting”...in the next two to three weeks...to discuss operational issues such as cost and implementation" [and that] Health Minister Aaron Motsoaledi will announce his decision about when and how to implement the new guidelines...“hopefully even before the end of 2015”.

    September 30, 2015
    Mail & Guardian
  • A National Condom and Lubricant Programming Strategy to improve access and use of quality condoms and lubricants in the country has been launched in Accra....The low use of both male and female condoms in Ghana, notwithstanding the dual purposes they serve in contraception and prevention of sexually transmitted infections has mainly been attributed to challenges with regard to the availability and accessibility of condoms as well as misconceptions surrounding its use.

    September 30, 2015
    Business Ghana
  • Once every month, health journalists in Uganda attend a Science Café....The Health Journalists Network in Uganda (HEJNU), an independent, non-profit organization dedicated to increasing understanding of health care issues and improving health literacy among Africans, organises the Science Cafés in partnership with AVAC. Generally, Science Cafés present a platform for unique public engagement on issues that may be rather isolated from the general public including journalists.

    September 30, 2015
    Africa STI
  • Everyone who has HIV should immediately be put on antiretroviral triple therapy and everyone at risk of becoming infected should be offered protective doses of similar drugs, the World Health Organization said [today] as it issued new treatment and prevention guidelines. The guidelines increase by 9 million the number of people who should get treatment and by untold millions the number who should get protective doses,....[and] effectively bring in millions of women and girls in Africa.

    September 30, 2015
    NY Times
  • This update adds 2013 data for HIV, STDs, and TB; county-level data and origin of birth data for TB; and the first version of an advanced query option that lets you create custom tables, drill down into the data for important subpopulations, and download data for more complex statistical analyses. The Atlas may be useful to community planning groups, health departments, community-based organizations, advocates, researchers, as well as the general public.

    September 30, 2015
    CDC
  • The World Health Organization has revised its HIV guidelines to recommend that anyone who tests positive for the virus that causes AIDS should be treated immediately....While other experts commended the new guidelines, they warned that fulfilling them would require a substantial cash injection and an overhaul of current strategies...."These guidelines will require drastic changes and increased investment," said Dr. Tom Ellman of...Doctors Without Borders. "Nobody's going to end AIDS with business as usual."

    September 30, 2015
    AP
  • Everyone with HIV should be given anti-retroviral drugs as soon as possible after diagnosis, meaning 37 million people worldwide should be on treatment, the WHO said Wednesday,...setting out the new goal for its 194 member states. All people at "substantial" risk of contracting HIV should also be given preventive ART, not just men who have sex with men...The new guidelines are a central plank of the United Nations' aim to end the AIDS epidemic by 2030.

    September 30, 2015
    Reuters
  • The African Evangelical Enterprise Rwanda, a local nongovernmental organisation, has stepped up efforts to scale up access to HIV testing, counselling and treatment with a one-month campaign expected to cover 8,000 families in Gatsibo District....Emile Munyandinda, AEE coordinator in the area, said...the HIV testing services and treatment outreach was being organised under a programme dubbed, “Community allied against violence, HIV/AIDS and extreme poverty.”

    September 29, 2015
    New Times
  • Truvada is already approved and prescribed in Canada as an antiretroviral drug used to treat patients with HIV. However, it can also be taken by those who aren’t positive as a way to prevent infection. Its maker, Gilead Sciences Canada, has applied to Health Canada for official approval of Truvada as PrEP [pre-exposure prophylaxis]. PrEP has been a controversial method in both medical and LGBT communities, so we asked two experts to break it down for us.

    September 29, 2015
    BuzzFeed
  • Twenty-three percent of men who tested positive for HIV at three North Carolina STD clinics initially hid the fact that they had sex with other men, according to a report published Sept. 25 in Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Reports.

    September 29, 2015
    PM360
  • Health risks faced by girls in this age bracket around the world are enormous...but often, their plight remains just a talking point in a laundry list of development challenges. This week, that started to change..., when PEPFAR rolled out a new targets to guide its work over the next few years...Along with bold new treatment targets,...PEPFAR set specific targets for adolescent girls and young women for the first time ever.

    September 29, 2015
    ONE
  • As the international community comes together at the UN General Assembly to set the new global sustainable development agenda,...PEPFAR announced that it will make a $10 million contribution to the Robert Carr Civil Society Networks Fund...to support and build the capacity of global and regional civil society networks as strong partners in delivery of HIV services and champions of human rights....In addition, each founding donor is recommitting to the RCNF for a new three-year period.

    September 29, 2015
    Huffington Post
  • The world is on its way to ending the AIDS epidemic by 2030, asserted heads of states and dignitaries on the eve of the 70th UN General Assembly Sunday....But while adoption of the new and ambitious Global Goals for Sustainable Development this weekend by the 193 UN members provides the opportunity needed to “quicken the pace of action” to stop AIDS, the epidemic won’t be stopped unless world leaders put adolescents, especially young girls, front and center in the fight, said Michael Sidibe, UNAIDS director.

    September 28, 2015
    MSNBC
  • New targets were announced by the White House as part of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. For the first time, PEPFAR sets specific targets for preventing HIV among girls and young women: a 25 percent decrease in HIV incidence among adolescent girls and young women within the highest-burden geographic areas of 10 sub-Saharan African countries by end 2016; [and] a 40 percent decrease in HIV incidence among adolescent girls and young women within these areas by end 2017.

    September 28, 2015
    POZ
  • Gates said he “feels good about the SDGs [Sustainable Development Goals].” And with good reason....Many of the goals are specific enough to encourage a new round of ambition.... For example, PEPFAR [has] announced the goal of reducing HIV infections in young women, a particularly vulnerable group, by 40 percent over the next two years. PEPFAR officials are frankly unsure how they will reach that goal. But it is certain to disrupt current practices and drive innovation.

    September 28, 2015
    Washington Post
  • Kenya will spearhead efforts to keep HIV medication affordable and will make it a big agenda at the upcoming World Trade Organisation Summit in Nairobi in December. President Uhuru Kenyatta made the announcement today when he chaired a high-level meeting on HIV and AIDS at the United Nations....“Since HIV treatment is for life, there is need to safeguard and extend HIV-related trade and intellectual property flexibilities,” [he] said...amid applause from participants.

    September 28, 2015
    Standard Digital News
  • In the last 15 years, the world has made great progress in reducing poverty, in part because of eight targets known as Millennium Development Goals that the United Nations committed to in 2000....Now, the U.N. is doubling down and setting even more ambitious development goals for the next 15 years,...the Sustainable Development Goals....So far, they are rather vaguely stated.

    September 28, 2015
    NY Times
  • Federal officials are asking Mississippi health care providers to expand use of a medicine that can keep people from getting AIDS. At a conference on minority HIV and health disparities, Douglas Brooks on Friday urged more use of the drug Truvada for people at risk of contracting HIV....“The science is clear, this works,” said Brooks, director of the Office of National Aids Policy. “What we need to do is figure out how to get people access to this.”

    September 27, 2015
    Clarion-Ledger
  • The Clinton Global Initiative's blend of government and private-sector effort has helped millions of people worldwide, former President Bill Clinton said Sunday....The foundation has raised more than $2 billion since 2001 to fight poverty, global warming, AIDS, childhood obesity and other problems....[and] prides itself on some 3,200 "commitments to action"...by its members. One such pledge....aimed at enlisting African-American churches in combatting HIV and AIDS, has trained more than 500 religious leaders.

    September 27, 2015
    AP
  • Mr. Obama did announce a modest expansion of a program that provides drugs to those infected with H.I.V., mostly in Africa. But increasing the number of people receiving treatment may require more funding from Congress, and with a possible government shutdown looming amid congressional disputes over spending, the additional money is uncertain....But even if it met its goals, the program would not be large enough to treat all those who need help.

    September 27, 2015
    NY Times
  • In a bid to someday provide people with the ability to fend off HIV, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation awarded $5.8 million on Thursday to vaccine researchers.

    September 26, 2015
    BuzzFeed
  • To enhance information and treatment of HIV, National Aids Control Organization (NACO) has launched a mobile app called ‘HELP' (HIV Education and Linkage to Prevention)....This app provides all relevant information one needs to know about AIDS...that’s not easily available such as HIV testing centers in the locality,...availability of the free testing kits, medicines and so on....HELP will also let users to access HIV testing from the nearest centre free of cost, without delay.

    September 26, 2015
    India TV News Desk
  • The Obama administration is announcing a $300 million program to drastically reduce HIV infections in girls and young woman in 10 sub-Saharan African nations hard[est] hit by the virus,...aiming for a 25 percent infection reduction in females between ages 15-24 by the end of next year and a 40 percent reduction by end 2017....The 10...targets of the new initiatives...are Kenya, Lesotho, Malawi, Mozambique, South Africa, Swaziland, Tanzania, Uganda, Zambia, and Zimbabwe.

    September 26, 2015
    AP
  • Gilead Sciences has announced that the Committee for Medicinal Products for Human Use has adopted a positive opinion on the company’s Marketing Authorisation Application for Genvoya for treatment of HIV-1 infection among adult and adolescent treatment-naïve individuals, virologically suppressed adults who switch regimens, and adults with mild-to-moderate renal impairment. The CHMP’s recommendation will now be reviewed by the European Commission....If authorised, Genvoya would be Gilead’s first single tablet regimen to contain TAF.

    September 25, 2015
    European Pharmaceutical Review
  • A second UK cost-effectiveness study of pre-exposure prophylaxis has concluded that a medium-sized PrEP rollout programme that started in 2016 and which immediately offered tenofovir/ emtricitabine (Truvada) as daily PrEP to 5,000 gay men at risk of HIV infection would not be cost-effective unless the price of Truvada was cut substantially.

    September 25, 2015
    aidsmap
  • Robert Greenwald of Harvard Law School and David R. Holtgrave of Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health—published “A SWOT Analysis of the Updated National HIV/AIDS Strategy for the U.S., 2015–2020” as an editorial in the journal AIDS and Behavior....A SWOT analysis is a method typically used by businesses to identify their Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities and Threats, and as such Greenwald and Holtgrave organize their editorial in these categories.

    September 25, 2015
    POZ
  • The next five years of HIV research should shift gears from the classic single-therapy development model to moving directly from in vitro studies to combination therapy trials, authors argue in an...opinion piece co-authored by Dr. Francoise Barré-Sinoussi of the Institut Pasteur and Dr. Jintanat Ananworanich with the US Military HIV Research Program, published online in The Lancet HIV.

    September 24, 2015
    Health Medicine Net

Published Research

  • The study aims to assess whether therapeutic vaccination with ALVAC–HIV ± Remune affects viral reservoir size in antiretroviral therapy–treated individuals. Despite evidence that ALVAC–HIV ± Remune was associated with a trend toward a delay in viral rebound and a smaller decrease in CD4 T–cell counts following antiretroviral therapy interruption, ALVAC–HIV ± Remune did not influence the size of the viral reservoir.

    October 1, 2015
    JAIDS
  • The objective of this systematic review was to summarize evidence regarding hepatitis C in hepatitis C virus/human immunodeficiency virus (HCV/HIV)–co-infected children focusing on mother-to-child transmission, clinical and laboratory features, outcome, and therapies....In co-infected children, HIV impacted all the different aspects of HCV infection. The effect of HIV co-infection on HCV-related disease was clear, with most studies indicating that HIV accelerates HCV progression and reduces the efficacy of the available anti-HCV therapies.

    October 1, 2015
    J Pediatric Gastroenterology & Nutrition
  • The growing experience with PrEP around the world, results from trials and demonstration studies, and advocates from society and community show that the time to approve PrEP is now. Failure to do so perpetuates an inequality in access to medicine that will ultimately condemn some people to a lifetime of HIV treatment at enormous expense.

    October 1, 2015
    Lancet
  • Our objective was to use HIV-1 genotypic data to better quantify local epidemics....Risk-group subpopulations differed with respect to the infecting HIV-1 genotype. Homosexual exposure patients had higher odds of being infected with subtype B. Where HIV-1 genotypes circulate within countries or patient risk-groups, local monitoring of genotype-specific transmissions may play a role in focusing public health prevention strategies.

    October 1, 2015
    Kaohsiung J Med Sci
  • With the exception of Uganda, all countries were able to report the proportion of service delivery points offering integrated services. Ethiopia was able to calculate the indicator for fixed sites but not for home-based care services. In most cases we were able to calculate the proportion of HIV clients receiving FP services or referral, and the proportion of FP clients receiving an HIV test or referral. Several actions are proposed.

    September 30, 2015
    J Fam Plann Reprod Health Care
  • We report findings from the first behavioural survey to include STI testing among MSM in Kampala, Uganda. A total of 295 MSM participated. We observed high levels of self-reported STI symptoms and STI prevalence associated with alcohol use and HIV. Public health interventions supporting MSM are needed to address STI risk and facilitate access to diagnosis and treatment services.

    September 30, 2015
    Sex Transm Infect
  • HIV-1 Nef, a protein important for the development of AIDS,...increases the intrinsic infectivity of HIV-1 virions in a host-cell-dependent manner. Here we identify the host transmembrane protein SERINC5...as a potent inhibitor of HIV-1 particle infectivity.

    September 30, 2015
    Nature
  • The HIV protein Nef is a viral 'Swiss army knife' with many functions. New work now shows how Nef increases infectivity — by inhibiting two of the host cell's antiviral proteins, SERINC3 and SERINC5.

    September 30, 2015
    Nature
  • Today, we have solid proof that early ART initiation provides benefit for the health of the HIV infected people and reduces the risk of HIV transmission. The concept of treatment as prevention is gaining ground, with decreasing HIV incidences proportional to ART coverage. However, with HIV testing lagging behind, prevention cannot rely solely on expanded access to ART: combination prevention shall necessarily include both biomedical and non-biomedical interventions.

    September 30, 2015
    Lancet
  • Results from this study [in Uganda] show high overall HIV disclosure proportions and how this disclosure of HIV status can foster social support. However, proportions of disclosure specifically to male sex partners were low, which suggests the need for interventions aimed at increasing male involvement in perinatal care, along with supportive counseling.

    September 29, 2015
    BMC
  • Evidence is building for a link between bacterial vaginosis and an increased risk of sexually transmitted infections, but clinical trial data demonstrating that treating vaginosis will reduce STI risk is still needed. “We don’t expect that bacterial vaginosis is the direct cause of STIs but rather they influence their risk,” Dr. R. Scott McClelland of the University of Washington, Seattle, said at the World STI and HIV Congress 2015.

    September 29, 2015
    PM360
  • Herein, we report the development of multifunctional chitosan-lipid nanocomplexes that can effectively deliver plasmids encoding siRNA(s) as microbicides without adverse effects and provide significant protection against HIV in both in vitro and in vivo models....[Our] studies demonstrate the potential of chlipid-siRNA nanocomplexes as a potential genetic microbicide against HIV infections.

    September 25, 2015
    PLoS One
  • Home-based HIV testing and counselling achieves high uptake, but is difficult and expensive to implement and sustain. We investigated a novel alternative based on HIV self-testing (HIVST). Community-based HIVST achieved high coverage in two successive years and was safe, accurate, and acceptable.

    September 8, 2015
    PLoS Med
  • Multistage stepwise HIV testing and treatment initiation procedures can result in lost opportunities to provide timely antiretroviral therapy (ART). Our results demonstrate that the simplified HIV test and treat intervention promoted successful engagement in care and was associated with a 62% reduction in mortality. Our findings support the implementation of integrated HIV testing and immediate access to ART irrespective of CD4 count.

    September 8, 2015
    PLoS Med

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