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20 November 2015 VOLUME 16 ISSUE 47

Media Coverage

  • For the sixth annual POZ 100, we turn the spotlight on people who have been making a difference in the fight against HIV/AIDS and who have been living with the virus since 1995 or earlier.

    November 19, 2015
    POZ
  • As new drugs made the disease more manageable, the number of deaths directly attributed to HIV plummeted in the United States.... At the same time, some patient groups have recently helped persuade some lawmakers that they should be concerned about the much higher toll of other diseases, such as stroke and diabetes, and the staggering projected costs of caring for Alzheimer's patients.

    November 19, 2015
    Science
  • Transgender women who were assigned to take Truvada in the iPrEx pre-exposure prophylaxis, or PrEP, trial had a similar overall risk of HIV infection as those assigned to a placebo, but participants who had blood drug levels showing consistent PrEP use appeared to be protected, according to a new analysis.

    November 19, 2015
    Bay Area Reporter
  • The CDC’s 2014 STD Surveillance Report, which was released on Tuesday, paints a disturbing picture. Among the data, chlamydia cases are up 2.8 percent since 2013, and gonorrhea cases are up 5.1 percent. Syphilis cases increased by a whopping 15.1 percent.

    November 18, 2015
    Yahoo News
  • Hollywood star Charlie Sheen has confirmed he is living with HIV in a US television interview. The development of new drugs means the diagnosis is no longer a death sentence, but are we winning the global fight against HIV?

    November 18, 2015
    BBC
  • In the new study, the researchers carried out a series of experiments involving virus modifications, protein and antibody engineering. They found that four antibodies targeted a single spot on HIV's surface called the V2 apex. This was significant because the V2 apex could be recognized by these antibodies on about 90 percent of known HIV strains—and even related strains that infect other species. A vaccine targeting this region could protect against many forms of the virus.

    November 18, 2015
    News Medical
  • Pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP) for HIV works in randomized trials, but what effects the approach will have in the real world remains unclear and controversial. In this 150-second video analysis, MedPage Today clinical reviewer F. Perry Wilson, MD, probes a report appearing in JAMA Internal Medicine detailing the experience of more than 500 at-risk individuals who started PrEP.

    November 18, 2015
    MedPage Today
  • The study found that having casual partners, multiple partners, condomless sex, taking the receptive role in anal sex or catching a bacterial STI all had strong and independent associations with subsequent HIV infection and that the more of these largely self-reported risk factors a clinic user had, the more likely they were to become HIV positive.

    November 18, 2015
    aidsmap
  • “Clinics that treat sexually transmitted infections (STIs) in a ‘real-world’ setting are promising sites to deliver PrEP for HIV,” said Michael A. Kolber, M.D., Ph.D., professor and Vice Chair for Clinical Affairs in the Department of Medicine at the University of Miami Miller School of Medicine....“Our study found that 78.5 percent of the 557 participants in the three cities continued to participate throughout the 48-week PrEP demonstration project,” Kolber said.

    November 18, 2015
    Health Canal
  • Roughly two-thirds of US states have laws that single out people with HIV. These laws range from state to state. In many, they add harsher punishments for people with HIV who commit other crimes, like prostitution or drug use. And in some states, the laws are outdated and criminalize actions that carry no risk of HIV transmission.

    November 18, 2015
    The Daily Dot
  • Zimbabwe will conduct its first ever HIV vaccine trial as part of efforts to curb the spread of HIV in February next year, officials have said...The initiative was being conducted on behalf of the HIV Vaccine Trials Network and...in conjunction with the UZ and University of California San Francisco Collaborative Research Programme.

    November 17, 2015
    Chronicle
  • Charlie Sheen did more than merely announce he’s HIV-positive on Tuesday morning’s “Today” show — he brought the disease and its myriad treatment methods straight to breakfast tables nationwide. In detailing his HIV journey, Sheen not only relieved himself of blackmail and innuendo — he introduced America to the impressive range of treatment options and procedures now available for the 37 million people living with HIV across the globe.

    November 17, 2015
    NY Post
  • An FDA-approved drug can prevent HIV infections, but critics have worried that having such a fallback pill can promote unsafe sex and cause HIV infections to rise. A new study proves them wrong.

    November 16, 2015
    TIME
  • A team of scientists at Royal Holloway, led by Professor George Dickson, and as part of the UK HIV Vaccine Consortium, led by Professor Jonathon Weber at Imperial College London, has developed a prototype HIV vaccine vector using a similar approach to that used for a vaccination for Ebola and Malaria.

    November 14, 2015
    Health Canal
  • Much to the surprise of the field, Picker's vaccine has eradicated the virus in more than 50 percent of the monkeys that have been infected. Picker says the vaccine might be even more effective in people because he's been testing it against the monkey version of the virus, which is more virulent than HIV.

    November 13, 2015
    Oregon Live
  • A second major syphilis outbreak in Queensland is emerging in Brisbane's gay community because people are shifting away using from condoms, a sexual health expert has warned. Syphilis in south-east Queensland has jumped by almost 40 per cent in the past 12 months....Sexual health expert Dr Wendell Rosevear...said the northern Australia outbreak was linked to cutbacks in sexual health testing introduced by the previous government.

    November 13, 2015
    Brisbane Times
  • There is an inextricable link between HIV and food insecurity, with each heightening and reinforcing the other. A new pilot trial published in AIDS addresses this relationship with an agricultural intervention that increased food security and also improved HIV outcomes. “Food insecurity and HIV--we can think of them as intertwined in a vicious cycle,...” says Dr. Sheri D. Weiser, the trial’s co-primary investigator and associate professor at UCSF.

    November 11, 2015
    Scientific America
  • The number of reported HIV cases in the Philippines has increased by more than 277 percent over the last five years....More than 80 percent of recorded HIV infections are concentrated among Men Who Have Sex with Men....An aggressive public health campaign anchored in the basics of HIV prevention—condom use, sex education and accessible testing—is urgently needed to turn the tide. But in a devoutly Catholic country, these efforts are viewed as promoting promiscuity and are routinely stalled or blocked.

    November 11, 2015
    Pulitzer Center

Published Research

  • The Veterans Aging Cohort Study (VACS) index accurately predicted 5-year mortality in 1057 Women's Interagency HIV Study (WIHS) women with 1 year on highly active antiretroviral therapy....Both depression and transactional sex significantly improved the performance of the VACS index in predicting mortality among HIV-infected women. Providing treatment for depression and addressing economic and psychosocial instability in HIV-infected women would improve health and perhaps point to a broader public health approach to reducing HIV mortality.

    December 15, 2015
    JAIDS
  • Results showed that 189 (35%) participants indicated that they intentionally miss their ART when they are using drugs. These participants also reported common beliefs regarding the perceived hazards of mixing HIV medications with alcohol and other drugs. Multivariable models controlled for demographic and health characteristics and frequency of alcohol use showed that intentional nonadherence predicted poorer ART adherence over the prospective month and also predicted poorer treatment outcomes as indexed by unsuppressed HIV viral load.

    December 15, 2015
    JAIDS
  • 230 ART-naive participants, from a South African outpatient ART clinic, were randomized to standard of care (3 pretreatment education sessions), or intervention....Dosing time was recorded by real-time electronic adherence monitoring devices, given to participants at ART start. Conclusions: Text message reminders linked to late doses detected by real-time adherence monitoring reduced the number of prolonged treatment interruptions, but did not significantly improve adherence or viral suppression.

    December 15, 2015
    JAIDS
  • We review some challenges and biases likely to threaten existing continuum estimates....Continuum estimates are susceptible to bias because of incomplete laboratory reporting and imperfect sensitivity and specificity of laboratory tests as a proxy for routine HIV care. Migration of HIV-infected persons between jurisdictions also threatens the validity of continuum estimates. Data triangulation may improve but not fully alleviate biases.

    December 15, 2015
    JAIDS
  • Despite tremendous promise as a female-controlled HIV prevention strategy, implementation of preexposure prophylaxis (PrEP) among women has been limited, in part because of disparate efficacy results from randomized trials in this population. This review synthesizes existing evidence regarding PrEP efficacy for preventing HIV infection in women and considerations for delivering PrEP to women.

    November 19, 2015
    Curr Opin HIV AIDS
  • Edited by Tom Hope, AIDS Research and Human Retroviruses has a special issue focused on HIV prevention science.

    November 19, 2015
    AIDS Research and Human Retroviruses
  • The incidence of HIV acquisition was extremely low despite a high incidence of STIs in a large US PrEP demonstration project. Adherence was higher among those participants who reported more risk behaviors. Interventions that address racial and geographic disparities and housing instability may increase the impact of PrEP.

    November 16, 2015
    JAMA Internal Medicine
  • This cohort study of the uConnect population-based sample of black men who have sex with men discusses the HIV prevention potential of a preexposure prophylaxis approved by the US Food and Drug Administration in 2012.

    November 16, 2015
    JAMA Internal Medicine
  • Preexposure prophylaxis (PrEP) for human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) infection—administering a daily tablet of a US Food and Drug Administration (FDA)-approved HIV antiretroviral fixed-dose combination of tenofovir disoproxil fumarate and emtricitabine (TDF/FTC) (Truvada; Gilead Sciences, Inc) to high-risk uninfected individuals—has galvanized supporters and opponents.

    November 16, 2015
    JAMA Internal Medicine
  • PrEP demand has reached a tipping point in the USA and is increasing rapidly. Although the primary benefit of PrEP use is biological, to reduce risk of HIV infection, PrEP users often express an alternative set of social and emotional benefits that are provided by PrEP.

    November 13, 2015
    Curr Opin HIV AIDS
  • We need better ways to identify high-risk populations, sophisticated understanding of the behavioral parameters that can ensure adherence, and the development of better strategies to provide sustained delivery of preexposure prophylaxis (PrEP). In the long term, we need an effective vaccine—a path that has proven to be rocky.

    November 11, 2015
    AIDS Research and Human Retroviruses
  • PrEP awareness is high and the use has rapidly increased over the last year among MSM in Seattle, Washington, USA. These findings demonstrate that high levels of PrEP use can be achieved among MSM at high-risk for HIV infection.

    November 10, 2015
    AIDS
  • The efficacy of preventing perinatal transmission (PT) of human immunodeficiency virus type 1 (HIV-1) depends on both viral load (VL) and treatment duration. The objective of this study was to determine whether initiating highly active antiretroviral therapy (ART) before conception has the potential to eliminate PT.

    July 21, 2015
    Clin Infect Dis.

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