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2 September VOLUME 17 ISSUE 35

Media Coverage

  • At least 30 [US] states have statutes that specifically forbid people infected with HIV from potentially exposing others to the virus. Several more states prosecute under broader communicable disease laws — and all persist despite decades of scientific knowledge putting the virulence of HIV well below a menagerie of other common pathogens....Those convicted of HIV-related offenses can...face decades of life behind bars [or be required] to register as sex offenders — a punishment sometimes worse than prison time.

    September 1, 2016
    Undark
  • The Department of Biotechnology in collaboration with Department of Science & Technology and South African Medical Research Council will soon embark on a collaborative research programme on HIV, TB and TB/HIV. The programme would be under the framework of bilateral Science and Technology Cooperation Agreement between the Governments of India and South Africa. The thrust of the programme would be on development of preventive HIV vaccines.

    September 1, 2016
    Ingredients South Asia
  • Years of research have revealed clues that may lead to HIV’s undoing. Scientists are learning from the immune systems of rare people...who naturally make antibodies that can stifle many variants of the virus. Researchers had initially assumed these antibodies would target the virus’s protein. But many actually recognize the sugars on its surface. Berman and his team hope to use that insight against HIV.

    September 1, 2016
    Science Notes
  • Dr Paul Marinescu has chosen to meet me in a room...as lively as its incumbent's life. This grey-haired man with a gentle voice acts as father to 18 – two his own children and 16 HIV-positive orphans he took in when nobody wanted them. Official statistics show that during Romania's communist rule more than 10,000 children were infected with HIV. What happened is described as an epidemiological accident. What followed is something of a miracle – around 65 per cent of the children are still alive today.

    August 31, 2016
    Health Medicine Network
  • A new report shows that Uganda made "significant progress" in the fight against HIV in the past 12 months, suggesting a possibility for the country to meet the new UN target and end AIDS by 2030.

    August 31, 2016
    New Vision
  • A study in Kenya that has found that novel antibodies evolve quickly with limited mutation and could accelerate HIV/AIDS vaccines development....The study results focusing on the infant with novel antibodies, published in the journal Cell on 30 June, suggest that an HIV vaccine development could be improved by mimicking infection and immune response in infants.

    August 31, 2016
    Antibody Related Research
    SciDev
  • An FDA-approved prescription medication used to reduce the risk of HIV-infection in adults who have tested negative but are at high risk for contracting the virus that causes AIDS will be available as of Sept. 1 at all health centers operated by the Planned Parenthood League of Massachusetts.

    August 31, 2016
    MassLive
  • On first glance, Prop 61 would seem like a great deal for Californians....San Francisco’s Project Inform, an HIV advocacy group, suggests that it’s unclear whether the ballot would save the state any money. And even if it did, there’s no guarantee that this would translate to savings for the employers and consumers. To complicate the issue for HIV advocates, there is the prominent role being played by the Los Angeles–based AIDS Healthcare Foundation.

    August 30, 2016
    POZ
  • HIV-infected women who remained on antiretroviral therapy throughout the postpartum period reduced their risk of clinical stage 2 or 3 HIV disease events by 53%, compared with those who stopped treatment postpartum in the PROMISE 1077HS trial, Judith Currier, MD, reported at the 21st International AIDS Conference.

    August 30, 2016
    ID Practioner
  • Women with bacterial vaginosis could soon have an effective oral, single-dose treatment option, if results of a phase III study result in approval by the Food and Drug Administration....If the drug is approved, it would likely mean better adherence when compared with current standards of treatment, according to Sharon Hillier, PhD, director of reproductive infectious disease research at the Magee-Women’s Hospital of the University of Pittsburgh.

    August 30, 2016
    Women's Health
  • Foreign NGOs that receive funds from the United States for HIV prevention must sign an anti-prostitution pledge — a statement of unequivocal opposition to prostitution — even though that policy was overturned for domestic organizations by the Supreme Court....Is the anti-prostitution pledge doing more harm than good for H.I.V. prevention? Read the discussion.

    August 30, 2016
    NY Times
  • EU antitrust regulators this week cracked down on Apple, ordering the American tech giant to fork over about $14.5 billion in taxes--plus interest--to the Irish government....Gilead Sciences might be in line for a similar European crackdown....Americans for Tax Fairness penned a letter to U.S. Treasury Secretary Jacob Lew and Commissioner John Koskinen, drawing attention to alleged tax-avoidance moves by the drugmaker.

    August 30, 2016
    Fierce Pharma
  • In sub-Saharan Africa...about 5,000 young women and teenage girls acquire HIV each week.... Researchers had hoped to break the cycle by giving young women HIV drugs before they are infected,...preexposure prophylaxis, or PrEP. However,...results were discouraging....In the face of this unexpected setback, scientists are now trying to develop new, less invasive products as well as giving more forethought into the social circumstances surrounding PrEP use.

    August 30, 2016
    Scientific American
  • Thirty years ago, India discovered the dreaded HIV virus had reached its shores when blood samples from six sex workers tested positive. It was largely due to the efforts of one young scientist - but until now, her pioneering work has been all but forgotten. When it was first suggested she screen people for HIV/Aids, Sellappan Nirmala balked....The idea came from her professor and mentor, Suniti Solomon.

    August 30, 2016
    BBC News
  • Some studies have suggested that some specific types of hormonal contraception may increase women’s vulnerability to HIV. Unfortunately, determining if this any particular form of hormonal contraception causes a higher risk for HIV infection is extremely difficult to determine.

    August 30, 2016
    Pop Sci
  • Kenya will soon introduce a new non-surgical male circumcision method to help curb the spread of HIV. The Health ministry's National Aids and Sexually Transmitted Infection head, Martin Sirengo, said PrePex, a non-surgical, bloodless, fast and easier medical circumcision procedure, had been piloted in the country since 2015.

    August 29, 2016
    World News Report
  • People at Victoria at a risk of HI have signed up for a new HIV trial hoping that positive outcomes may force the Federal Government to subsidise the drug as preventative measure. According to News.com.au, the Victorian government is hopeful that the study would decrease new HIV infections across the state by up to 30 percent. The total cost of the study...has been estimated to be $1.4 million.

    August 29, 2016
    International Business Times
  • A study of 348 women with invasive cervical cancer in Botswana, a nation with robust and wide-reaching HIV prevention and ART programs, showed that women who had HIV infections had a twofold greater risk for death within 3 years than women without HIV, reported Scott Dryden-Peterson, MD, Brigham and Women’s Hospital and Harvard TH Chan School of Public Health in Boston, and his colleagues.

    August 29, 2016
    Women's Health
  • The world's first cancer vaccine was administered in Australia exactly 10 years ago. Since then, the human papilloma virus vaccine has been rolled out across 130 countries and halved the number of new cervical cancers. The HPV vaccine also protects against cancers in the throat and mouth in both men and women. Prof Ian Frazer said the vaccine could eradicate cancers caused by HPV within 40 years.

    August 29, 2016
    BBC News
  • A tiny pill taken once a day is helping prevent people from contracting HIV, a disease that 30 years ago was almost a death sentence....After success with pilot sites, the state expanded a permanent program in July that now includes 17 counselors....PrEP is more than a daily pill to take to avoid HIV infection, said Eveliz Robles, PrEP counselor at AtlantiCare Regional Medical Center. The program requires participants to attend risk-reduction and client-assisted counseling, testing and doctor’s visits.

    August 28, 2016
    Press of Atlantic City
  • A little girl finally learns to take the pills she needs to control the HIV with which she was born.

    August 28, 2016
    Washington Post
  • PrEP is being hailed as a game-changer in the fight against HIV. "People who are at risk can take this medication daily and prevent getting HIV," said Dr. Cynthia Brinson of Central Texas Clinical Research...."Austin Pride organizers have honored Dr. Brinson, who is straight, as this year's parade grand marshal in observance of her work....Dr. Brinson is leading a march for a community - on multiple fronts.

    August 27, 2016
    Time Warner Cable News
  • The transgender community includes a plethora of patients who can benefit from HIV/AIDS research. However, clinical trials rarely include transgender participants....This issue is important for pharmacists because they’re well placed to encourage all patients to enroll in clinical trials if they qualify. It’s the focus of an article that appeared in the August 2016 Journal of Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndromes.

    August 26, 2016
    Pharmacy Times
  • “What we are now realising is that HIV as a disease is really a disease of inflammation", [says] Alan Landay, chair of immunology and microbiology, Rush University Medical Center of Chicago...[who] calls this new concept “inflammaging”, the “accelerated immune senescence or the cells getting old before their time".....To manage HIV healthcare in developing countries, Landay urges simple, easy approaches to treatment such as blocking systematic inflammation by aspirin...[and] nutrition.

    August 26, 2016
    SciDev
  • Rhode Island health officials sparked a firestorm last year by requiring that students get the HPV vaccine before entering 7th grade. The mandate was in effect for only the last few months of 2015....Still, Rhode Island health officials said they believe the requirement contributed to the surge in adolescent vaccinations — and Massachusetts officials are watching...as they seek to improve their own record.

    August 26, 2016
    Boston Globe
  • The rate of HPV vaccination among teen boys in the United States surged in 2015, suggesting that more parents and physicians are embracing the message that it's as important for boys to be vaccinated against the human papillomavirus as it is for girls...."The rate is increasing faster for them than it ever has for girls," said Erich Sturgis,...cancer surgeon at MD Anderson Cancer Center.

    August 25, 2016
    Washington Post
  • Setting out the case for PrEP, the NAT wrote on the crowdfunding site, “PrEP could be the beginning of the end for HIV – a condition more than 6,000 people a year are diagnosed with in the UK.

    August 25, 2016
    Attitude
  • When Don Blanchon lingers too long in the lobby of this sleek, bright clinic..., patients will collar him....Sometimes, a patient will ask him exactly how he expects them to pay for their medication....He tells them that they’ll have to make hard choices. Just like Whitman-Walker.

    August 21, 2016
    Washington Post
  • Dr. Henderson, who earned a degree from the Hopkins School of Public Health in 1960, returned to become [its] dean in 1977....He once told The Baltimore Sun he thought such schools were "dinosaurs" where researchers had great ideas but seldom got their hands dirty. During his tenure, the school's budget and enrollment grew,...even as federal resources shrank. Working with Johns Hopkins Hospital leaders, he directed resources to AIDS research and pushed for hands-on training.

    August 20, 2016
    Baltimore Sun

Published Research

  • The SEARCH hybrid strategy [enumerated 116,326 adolescents in 32 communities of Uganda and Kenya and] tested 88% of stable adolescents for HIV, a substantial increase over the 28% reporting prior testing. The majority (57%) of HIV-infected adolescents were new diagnoses. Mobile HIV testing for adults should be leveraged to reach adolescents for HIV treatment and prevention.

    September 10, 2016
    AIDS
  • Of five commonly prescribed regimens for treatment-naïve HIV patients in one clinic (2007–2012), emtricitabine and tenofovir with efavirenz and raltegravir were the only consistently cost-effective options; the rilpivirine-based regimen was valuable in limited scenarios. Further data on the comparative effectiveness of efavirenz and rilpivirine are needed before they are abandoned.

    September 10, 2016
    AIDS
  • We conducted a meta-analysis to summarize rates of sexually transmitted infections among MSM on PrEPfor HIV versus MSM not using PrEP. Incidence rate ratios showed that MSM using PrEP were 25.3 times more likely to acquire a Neisseria gonorrhoeae infection, 11.2 times more likely to acquire a Chlamydia trachomatis infection, and 44.6 times more likely to acquire a syphilis infection versus MSM not using PrEP.

    September 1, 2016
    AIDS
  • The United States is facing a vast epidemic of opioid-related deaths....The rising death toll has been rivaled in modern history only by that at the peak of the AIDS epidemic in the early 1990s. Although these epidemics differ in nature, the large-scale, highly coordinated response to AIDS that was eventually mounted may be instructive for combating the opioid epidemic.

    September 1, 2016
    NEJM
  • Molina and colleagues reported the results of the placebo-controlled IPERGAY trial [which] evaluated an on-demand PrEP regimen in France and Canada....The intent-to-treat efficacy was 86%....Although only a single study, this strong data has led to the regimen's endorsement in France and Canada. Here, we highlight pharmacological evidence that supports the high efficacy of this regimen even for infrequent HIV exposures.

    September 1, 2016
    Lancet
  • As part of the iPrEx OLE study, [participants] who were HIV negative and had participated in three previous PrEP trials...were enrolled into an open-label PrEP study....During a median of 72 weeks, mean...declines were greater for those who started PrEP at older ages. Our data suggest that the frequency of safety monitoring for PrEP might need to be different between age groups and that pharmacological measures can monitor for toxic effects as well as adherence.

    August 31, 2016
    Lancet
  • It’s another sign that an era of untreatable bacterial infections is inching closer. Today, the WHO released new guidelines for treating gonorrhea that reflect the sobering reality that this sexually transmitted disease is becoming ever more difficult to treat....And for the first time, the agency makes suggestions on what to do when none of the standard drugs work.... WHO also revised guidelines for treating chlamydia and syphilis, two other important sexually transmitted infections.

    August 30, 2016
    Science
  • Russia has drafted its first national HIV/AIDS policy in a decade, but it falls far short of what is needed....The head of Russia's Federal AIDS Centre, Vadim Pokrovksy, [predicts that] if action isn't taken to curb the current annual growth rate of 10–12%, there will be 2 million people diagnosed as HIV positive by 2020,...an epidemic. The Russian Government isn't quite so emphatic, with the health minister's adviser, Lyalya Gabbasova, engaging in a game of semantics.

    August 27, 2016
    Lancet
  • Between April 11, 2013, and Feb 2, 2015, 12,024 eligible patients visited one of the 20 participating clinics. A multicomponent intervention targeting health-care worker behaviour increased the probability of ART initiation 14 days after eligibility. This intervention consists of widely accessible components and has been tested in a real-world setting, and is therefore well positioned for use at scale.

    August 26, 2016
    Lancet
  • The overarching barrier to uptake of HIV testing was study participants’ perception of their physical health, reinforced by uptake of herbal remedies and conventional non-HIV medication to mitigate perceived HIV-related symptoms....Perceived inability to sustain uptake of life-long treatment – influenced by a negative attitude towards treatment – further undermined uptake. Self-stigma, manifested through fear of blame and need to maintain moral credibility in marital relationships, also undermined uptake.

    August 25, 2016
    BMC Public Health
  • Four hundred and ninety-nine patients were included (299 from South Africa and 200 from Belgium). The majority of the patients preferred the finger stick to the venipuncture....The main reason for choosing a finger stick was continued bleeding after venipuncture. The most cited objection to finger stick was pain/soreness.

    August 24, 2016
    PLoS One
  • This study showed that HIV screening prevalence among persons diagnosed with an STI are lower than expected based on the CDC’s recommendations [and represent] “missed opportunities” for HIV screening in at-risk populations. Measures and incentives to increase HIV screening among all STI-diagnosed persons are vital to the timely identification of HIV infection, linkage to HIV care, and mitigating further HIV transmission.

    August 24, 2016
    PLoS One
  • PrePex™ devices are being evaluated in several countries for scale-up of medical male circumcision (MMC) as an HIV prevention intervention....Health care providers perceived the PrePex MMC device to be simple and adaptable for existing MMC programs.

    August 4, 2016
    JANAC
  • Reporting of data from clinical trials comes slowly or not at all. Impending regulations in the US promise to improve the situation, but full compliance will require better incentives from institutions and a greater understanding that reporting data does not jeopardize the publication of results.

    August 4, 2016
    Nature

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