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25 August 2017 VOLUME 18 ISSUE 34

Media Coverage

  • For months, health officials in [Oklahoma City] have been staggered by a fast-spreading outbreak of....syphilis, the deadly sexually transmitted infection that can lead to blindness, paralysis and dementia,...returning here and around the country, another consequence of the heroin and methamphetamine epidemics as users trade sex for drugs….[I]n Oklahoma and nationwide, rates are rising among white women and their infants. Nearly five times as many babies across the country are born with syphilis as with H.I.V.

    August 24, 2017
    New York Times
  • A national survey found that while the proportion of men living with HIV has declined by 1.8% to 4.3% since 2011, the rate among women has decreased by just 0.8% – from 8.3% to 7.5% over the same period. The survey was conducted between August 2016 to March 2017, and the results represent initial findings....HIV advocacy groups have warned the information should be treated with caution until the full dataset is provided.

    August 23, 2017
    The Guardian
  • Speaking in Parliament, the Minister of Health and Child Care, Dr David Parirenyatwa, said Government is now not just emphasising on prevention as the primary prevention against HIV, but is also promoting PrEP. The Minister said sex workers who are a key population are encouraged to go onto PrEP as they are at risk....He said: "The second thing is, those who have been exposed, perhaps have been raped and you want to prevent them catching HIV, we encourage Post-Exposure Prophylaxis (PEP)."

    August 23, 2017
    The Chronicle
  • Zambian President Edgar Lungu announced that the country would mandatorily test anyone using health facilities. Anyone who tested HIV positive would be put on to antiretrovirals with or without their consent....After strong objections from civil society organisations, the country’s Human Rights Commission and opposition parties, Health Minister Chitalu Chilufya backtracked on the president’s pronouncement. [Still], it was shocking to witness the readiness of some organisations and the president himself to abandon...an established principle in law, human rights and healthcare ethics.

    August 23, 2017
    Bhekisisa
  • The new death statistics researched by African fact-checking organization, Africa Check, indicated that lifestyle diseases have taken over as the leading causes of death on the continent. Lower respiratory tract infections top the list....HIV/AIDS took the number two position despite the increase in education on prevention and treatment....Diarrhoeal diseases take third spot.

    August 22, 2017
    Business Insider
  • What if I told you there was a way to use technology to save an estimated $100 billion to $300 billion dollars a year in health care spending in the U.S....because people don't take the medications they're prescribed? A number of companies are now selling wireless "smart" pill bottles, Internet-linked devices aimed at reminding people to take their pills. But recent research suggests that actually changing that behavior may take more than an electronic nudge.

    August 22, 2017
    NPR
  • Gottlieb has been a clear proponent of vaccines. He told CNBC back in 2015 that the vaccines-autism theory has been “thoroughly debunked.”...Last Saturday, he linked to a CDC post about vaccine effectiveness against 14 diseases. Last Friday, he tweeted a Science piece that explained visually why vaccines do more good than harm.

    August 22, 2017
    FiercePharma
  • As nations in sub-Saharan Africa strive to hit key HIV diagnosis and treatment targets set by UNAIDS, recent precise analyses of three hard-hit sub-Saharan African nations reveal excellent progress but also key shortcomings in addressing the needs of young people and men, aidsmap reports.

    August 21, 2017
    POZ
  • In Beira, I’ve discovered a group helping people to help themselves–even as Mozambique threatens to fall back into political chaos....Amid the discord, this project is countering the seeming inevitability of contracting HIV along the [Beira] transport corridor by enabling sex workers to become peer educators....This is the Corridor Project, established by Médecins Sans Frontières in January 2014...[and] now stretches across Mozambique and has been extended to Malawi and Zimbabwe.

    August 21, 2017
    Independent
  • Compared to female sex workers, male sex workers have been far less studied by researchers, and while studies suggest that there are differences between the ways these two groups look at their work, more research is needed...The advent of male prostitution in Zimbabwe is likely to undermine the fight against Aids as male prostitutes the world over have limited knowledge of Aids and self-protection.

    August 20, 2017
    The Standard
  • Northwestern University scientists used a novel live-cell fluorescent imaging system that allowed them for the first time to identify individual viral particles associated with HIV infection. The findings could help lead to development of novel therapies for HIV prevention and treatment by providing deeper understanding of the mechanisms of HIV's life cycle. The paper was published August 7 in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

    August 19, 2017
    Science Daily
  • Northwestern Medicine scientists have developed a novel method of tracking HIV infection, allowing the behavior of individual virions -- infectious particles -- to be connected to infectivity. The findings could help lead to the development of novel therapies for HIV prevention and treatment by providing a deeper understanding of the mechanisms of HIV's lifecycle.

    August 18, 2017
    News-Medical
  • Members and allies of the HIV community are speaking out,...not only condemning these events, but calling for action against the Trump administration's ongoing rhetoric and policies that target people of color, immigrants and LGBTQ people....Our contributors and partner organizations shared reactions and important considerations for discussing the events and how to move forward in our families, communities, organizations and the media.

    August 15, 2017
    The Body
  • The agency has recommended since 2006 that U.S. providers offer HIV screening to all sexually active MSM “at least annually.” Some experts have argued that MSM...might benefit from being screened more frequently. The CDC said a literature review turned up insufficient evidence to change the recommendation but that “Clinicians can also consider...more frequent HIV screening for some asymptomatic sexually active MSM based on their individual risk factors, local HIV epidemiology, and local policies.”

    August 13, 2017
    Healio

Published Research

  • Many antiretroviral drugs commonly used in cART...are prone to pharmacokinetic drug-drug interactions. The aim of our study was to evaluate rilpivirine interactions with abacavir and lamivudine...and assess its importance for pharmacokinetics in vivo....In conclusion, rilpivirine inhibits MDR1 and BCRP transporters and may affect pharmacokinetic behavior of concomitantly administered substrates of these transporters, such as abacavir.

    September 1, 2017
    Antimicrobial Agents and Chemotherapy
  • The weight of scientific evidence finds that abstinence-only-until-marriage (AOUM) programs are not effective in delaying initiation of sexual intercourse or changing other sexual risk behaviors. AOUM programs, as defined by U.S. federal funding requirements, inherently withhold information about human sexuality; may provide medically inaccurate and stigmatizing information; [and] threaten fundamental human rights to health, information, and life.

    September 1, 2017
    Journal of Adolescent Health
  • Here, we demonstrate that resveratrol and pterostilbene completely block HIV-1 infection at a low micromolar dose in resting CD4 T cells, primarily at the reverse transcription step....This study supports the potential use of resveratrol, pterostilbene, or related compounds as adjuvants in anti-HIV preexposure prophylaxis (PrEP) formulations.

    September 1, 2017
    Antimicrobial Agents and Chemotherapy
  • Sibanda and colleagues present data from the first trial supporting use of non-monetary incentives to increase uptake of CHTC and case identification, [and]....supports consideration of incorporating context-specific incentives into CHTC programmes....We similarly found in Zambia that small non-monetary items that promote good health...increased follow-up testing among HIV-discordant CHTC couples. However, uptake and follow-up remain low in most settings, and further studies of low-cost sustainable incentives and other factors influencing CHTC uptake and follow-up are needed.

    September 1, 2017
    Lancet Global Health
  • We identified 57 longitudinal studies exploring the association between HSV-2 and HIV. HIV acquisition was almost tripled in the presence of prevalent HSV-2 infection among general populations, roughly doubled among higher-risk populations. Incident HSV-2 infection in general populations was associated with the highest risk of acquisition of HIV. This finding has important implications....Interventions targeting HSV-2, such as new HSV vaccines, have the potential for additional benefit against HIV.

    August 23, 2017
    Lancet Infectious Diseases
  • Rochat and colleagues have done a groundbreaking study: the first randomised trial of a disclosure support programme for families affected by HIV/AIDS in a high-prevalence, low-income setting. The Amagugu intervention is a theoretically informed, low-cost intervention that can be delivered by lay counsellors alongside public health-care services. Rochat and colleagues [found] substantial positive effects on increased disclosure, children's access to clinical care, and succession planning.

    August 23, 2017
    Lancet HIV
  • [W]e utilise Treichler’s [How to have theory in an epidemic: Cultural chronicles of AIDS. Duke University Press] view of AIDS...to investigate the political and philanthropic interests served by efforts to rebrand and re-signify the epidemic. We also hold up these discourses against the realities of treatment access in resource-poor countries, where ‘Ending AIDS’ has not heralded the end of an epidemic per se, but rather the end of external support for treatment programmes.

    August 22, 2017
    Global Public Health
  • Participants were not necessarily at high risk for HIV infection. The regimen comprised 3 pills taken daily. The study was not powered for efficacy. Conclusion: Maraviroc-containing PrEP regimens were safe and well-tolerated compared with TDF–FTC in U.S. women. No new HIV infections occurred, although whether this was due to study drugs or low risk in the population is uncertain. Maraviroc-containing PrEP for women may warrant further study.

    August 22, 2017
    Annals of Internal Medicine
  • This month a number of papers present important behavioural data on MSM populations.... Regular testing – defined in a Netherlands study as 6 monthly - remains low as shown by Visser et al. While PREP offers promise, its takeup is unlikely to reach all groups of MSM at risk of HIV and the growing complexity of STI risk must remain an important priority in research and practice....This month we publish registry based estimates of the risk of vertical Chlamydia trachomatis transmission [and a] quantitative study of vaginal flora.

    August 21, 2017
    BMJ Journals
  • In April, 2016,..10 Chinese universities joined African universities from the Africa Research Implementation Science and Education Network and Harvard School of Public Health to establish the China Harvard Africa Network (CHAN)....The Chinese Government has made remarkable progress in improvement of the country's health....[and] innovations coming out of African health-system reforms also provide answers to some of China's health-care problems.

    August 19, 2017
    The Lancet
  • WHO has just replaced a woman with a man as its next Director-General.... [O]f the UN Agencies...related to improving the health of women and children, at least four of the six leaders are now male. Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance, and Global Fund...are also run by men....At WHO, less than 25% of senior management are women. Even the UN Special Advisor for Sustainable Development, who oversees the Every Woman Every Child movement, is male.

    August 19, 2017
    The Lancet
  • Existing U.S. guidelines recommend that men with HIV infection should achieve virologic suppression with effective antiretroviral therapy before attempting conception. Clinical studies have demonstrated that effective ART profoundly reduces the risk for HIV transmission. This information might be useful for counseling couples planning a pregnancy in which the man has HIV infection and the woman does not (i.e., a mixed HIV-status couple, often referred to as a serodiscordant couple).

    August 18, 2017
    Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report (MMWR)
  • Two-thirds of the global population are infected with HSV-1 and at least 500 million with HSV-2,...viruses [that] cause a range of diseases and conditions....People infected with HSV also have enhanced risk of acquiring or transmitting HIV. NIAID [researchers] demonstrated that EZH2/1 inhibitors not only suppressed HSV infection, spread, and reactivation in mice, but also human cytomegalovirus, adenovirus, and Zika virus infections in cell culture. The authors suggest EZH2/1 inhibitors have considerable potential as broad-spectrum antivirals.

    August 15, 2017
    National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases

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