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25 March 2016 VOLUME 17 ISSUE 12

Media Coverage

  • After two years in the Obama administration that included highlighting PrEP as a means to prevent HIV/AIDS, the White House director of the Office of National AIDS Policy is set to step down. Douglas Brooks, who led the administration’s HIV/AIDS policy — including making an update in July of the National AIDS Strategy to 2020 — is set to have his final day Thursday. Amy Lansky will serve as Acting Director of the Office of National AIDS Policy.

    March 24, 2016
    Washington Blade
  • Charities and campaigners have reacted with anger and disbelief that plans to roll out a widely anticipated HIV prevention drug have been stalled by NHS England.

    March 24, 2016
    The Guardian
  • It's a letter to the Chief Executive of NHS England demanding to know, in my words not theirs, what the bloody hell is happening about approving pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP) for people at risk of HIV in the UK.

    March 24, 2016
    Huffington Post
  • A trial of a new HIV vaccine is expected to begin late next year. It's based in part on a study led by scientists from The Scripps Research Institute, the La Jolla Institute for Allergy & Immunology, and the International AIDS Vaccine Initiative (IAVI).

    March 24, 2016
    San Diego Tribune
  • The Ministry of Health has explained discrepancies in the management of global funds and also apologised for mishaps raised by an audit report prepared by the Geneva-based Office of the Inspector General. The funds support the treatment and control of HIV/AIDS, malaria and tuberculosis.

    March 23, 2016
    Monitor
  • To minimize obstacles to adherence and prevent vaginal HIV transmission, researchers at the University of North Carolina School of Medicine and collaborators from Merck demonstrated the effectiveness of a new long-acting formulation of the HIV drug raltegravir in animal models....Martina Kovarova...and her team found that two weeks after a single injection of raltegravir, animal models had the same levels of the drug in their system as humans who take PrEP orally twice a day.

    March 23, 2016
    Science Daily
  • Human antibodies that were mass produced in a lab have eliminated HIV from newborn monkeys, a new study showed. Researchers at Oregon Health & Science University were stunned by the results, published in Nature Medicine. Not only did the antibodies work in each instance to eliminate the virus that causes AIDS, the therapy was quick, clearing the virus from the body within two weeks.

    March 22, 2016
    Register-Guard
  • The National Agency for the Control of AIDS (NACA) has launched a strategy aimed at tackling the increasing rate of HIV/AIDS pandemic among adolescents and young people in Nigeria. Director General of the agency, Prof. John Idoko, said over a third of Nigeria's population are young people and quite a proportion of them have HIV but are not aware of it.

    March 22, 2016
    Daily Trust
  • At the end of last year, the MCC approved a second-label indication for...Truvada for PrEP. The task is now to educate healthcare professionals on PrEP’s use....Dr Francesca Conradie, President of the HIV Clinician’s Society, explained that it should be given to all who are at risk and those who request it....Conradie emphasised that those writing prescriptions must know what they are doing: “It’s completely unlike ARVs. It’s a negotiation with patients."

    March 22, 2016
    Medical Chronicle
  • More HIV infections were diagnosed among black teens and adults in 2010 than in other racial and ethnic groups, yet black patients were least likely to have received ongoing HIV care over the next 3 years, according to a new study. Using National HIV Surveillance System data from the District of Columbia and 11 Midwestern and East Coast states, CDC researchers examined patterns of consistent HIV care from 2011 through 2013 among people 13 years or older diagnosed in 2010.

    March 22, 2016
    JAMA
  • As we have just closed out on what may be the greatest black history month in some time,...there is one event that seems to be forgotten among all this greatness: the epidemic known as HIV/AIDS....I feel it is important to discuss how far we have come as a race while honoring those we have lost along the way.

    March 22, 2016
    The Body
  • At least 12,600 people have been enrolled on ARVs, among them are 1100 children below 15. HIV cases in Lango sub region are dropping due to health education, behavioral change and Safe Male Circumcision. The epidemic has come down from 8.3% at the peak of Lord`s Resistance Army (LRA) war in 2005 to 5.8% according to Dr. Boniface Bongonyinge, clinical care coordinator for HIV services at Lira Regional Referral Hospital.

    March 22, 2016
    New Vision
  • Activists, individuals at risk of HIV, and clinicians have reacted with anger to an official U-turn on provision of HIV pre-exposure prophylaxis. NHS England officials have refused to allow a draft policy on PrEP to go forward for further consideration....Although the stated reason for blocking PrEP was that NHS England should not be paying for it, officials did not present a clear path for a way forward.

    March 22, 2016
    aidsmap
  • Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Health Jane Ellison said: “NHS England will invest £2 million over the next two years in order to run, together with Public Health England, early implementer test sites which will seek to answer the remaining questions about how PrEP could be commissioned in the most cost-effective and integrated way."

    March 22, 2016
    Pink News
  • The President’s Fiscal Year 2017 (FY17) budget request released February 9 included $10.3 billion in total funding for global health programs. This marks the first time in three years that the request for global health is higher than the previous year enacted level, and represents the largest request since FY12.... PEPFAR’s bilateral HIV funding...totaled $4,650 million..., matching the FY16 level, but $309 million less than its peak level of funding provided in 2010.

    March 22, 2016
    Kaiser Family Foundation
  • The [HIV] virus's ability to hide itself within infected cells makes it challenging to attack. Using CRISPR/Cas9, scientists from Temple University...have safely cut out HIV from the genome of human T cells, with eyes on a possible cure....The study, published in Scientific Reports, showed that the technology not only eliminated the HIV from the DNA of infected cells, but also protected those cells from reinfection with no toxic effects on the cells themselves.

    March 22, 2016
    FierceBioResearcher
  • A British HIV-infected woman’s startling ignorance about her illness has stunned viewers of a talk-show clip that has since gone viral. Rachel Dilley, 48, says she contracted HIV at age 40 from a sexual fling and admitted during an appearance on the UK’s ITV This Morning talk show that she “didn’t know anything about HIV” and “thought you got it in Africa. ”I didn’t know a white person had ever got [sic] it,” said Dilley.

    March 21, 2016
    Ghana Web
  • NHS England is making available up to £2 million over the next two years to run test sites looking at the role PrEP could play in preventing HIV in those at the highest risk....It is hoped that the new ‘early implementer test sites’ will help answer the remaining questions around how PrEP could be commissioned in the most cost effective and integrated way....NHS England noted that it is also keen to explore how a period of further support can be offered to the participants enrolled in the PROUD study.

    March 21, 2016
    PharmaTimes
  • A woman who has been living with HIV for the past 17 years was awarded the vice-chancellor's gold medal in psychology and social studies at the University of the South Pacific yesterday. Gold Medallist Jokapeci Tuberi....hoped people living with HIV would be inspired by her story and achievements and would change their mentality in thinking that being diagnosed with HIV is the end of the road.

    March 21, 2016
    Fiji Times Online
  • There are many people who are in serodiscordant relationships. Infectious diseases specialist at the Adult Centre of Excellence at the University Teaching Hospital in Lusaka, Lottie Hachaambwa, says there are serodiscordant couples who live for a long time without the HIV-positive partner infecting the negative one. However, he says, what is killing such relationships is mainly stigma and lack of counselling.

    March 21, 2016
    Zambia Daily Mail
  • Infant rhesus macaques treated with antibodies within 24 hours of being exposed to SHIV, a chimeric simian virus that bears the HIV envelope protein, were completely cleared of the virus. The study shows that antibodies given after a baby macaque has already been exposed to SHIV can clear the virus, a significant development in the HIV scientific community.

    March 21, 2016
    Science Daily
  • A specialized gene editing system designed by scientists at Temple University is paving the way to an eventual cure for patients infected with HIV. In a study published online this month in Nature, the researchers show that they can both effectively and safely eliminate the virus from the DNA of human cells grown in culture.

    March 21, 2016
    Science Daily
  • “The profound effect of ART in the incidence of most HIV-related OIs is the key reason for the observed global decline in HIV-related mortality, and highlights the continued priority of expanding ART access,” conclude the authors. “It is estimated that expanding ART to all people living with HIV will avert 21 million AIDS-related deaths by 2030.”

    March 21, 2016
    aidsmap
  • Outdated intellectual property (IP) regimes and market distortions hold back research on new medicines, activists said at a meeting of the UN Secretary-General’s High-Level Panel on Access to Medicines, held on 10 March in London, United Kingdom....An international agreement on medical R&D funding could help separate the cost of research from the final product’s price, resulting in cheaper drugs and more research on neglected diseases, said Tim Reed, executive director, Netherlands-based NGO Health Action International.

    March 21, 2016
    SciDev.net
  • To explore the impact of treatment on the spread of HIV, Infectious Disease News spoke with several experts about the origins of treatment as prevention (TasP) and the challenges of enrolling and retaining patients in care.

    March 21, 2016
    Healio
  • NHS England published a decision on its website on Monday — following an 18-month consideration period — outlining its reasons for not funding Truvada in the majority of cases. The main reason cited was that “NHS England is not responsible for commissioning HIV prevention services”. (NHS England does, however, fund other sexual health prevention medication such as the oral contraceptive pill.)

    March 21, 2016
    BuzzFeed
  • In 2015, the United States spent $7.5 billion...to fight Aids, tuberculosis and malaria. These, after all, are the “big three” infectious diseases, and they’ve ravaged developing-world populations....Unfortunately, our laser focus on them has blinded us to the next big public health crisis. Increasingly, what kills people in Africa, Asia and South America is the same set of non-communicable diseases that beset everyone else’s loved ones.

    March 20, 2016
    Washington Post
  • In an effort to increase the efficiency of clinical trial protocol reviews, the NIH has released a draft protocol template...developed by the NIH-FDA Joint Leadership Council [that] will apply to NIH-funded Phase II and III clinical trials in support of an investigational new drug application or investigational device exemption. The new template has potential to "help clinical investigators make clinical trials more efficient,...saving development time and money," Peter Marks, director, Center for Biologics Evaluation and Research, writes.

    March 18, 2016
    Regulatory Focus
  • Catching a disease in its earliest stages can lead to more effective therapies. A new technique developed by a team of chemists at Stanford has increased the likelihood of detecting these diseases via a test that is thousands of times more sensitive than current diagnostics and is now being put to test in real-world clinical trials.

    March 18, 2016
    Science Daily
  • Treating HIV patients at risk for tuberculosis with multi-drug TB regimens does not save more lives, researchers report. The number one killer of HIV patients in resource-limited areas, including parts of Africa and India, is tuberculosis, underscoring the need for optimal treatments and effective strategies to address this deadly co-infection.

    March 17, 2016
    Science Daily
  • A research team at the University of Leeds has observed for the first time how HIV and Ebola viruses attach to cells to spread infection. The findings offer a new way of treating such viruses: instead of destroying the pathogens, introduce a block on how they interact with cells.

    March 14, 2016
    Science Daily

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