Email Updates

Search form

You are here

25 November 2015 VOLUME 16 ISSUE 48

Media Coverage

  • About 1.2 million people in the U.S. are at "substantial risk" of HIV and could benefit from taking a daily pill to prevent the infection, the CDC said.

    November 24, 2015
    MedPage Today
  • A report released on Tuesday by the CDC finds that roughly 1.2 million people should be taking Truvada, the drug that prevents HIV. That’s about 60 times higher than current estimates, which suggest about 21,000 people take the drug.

    November 24, 2015
    Buzzfeed
  • UNAIDS, the international agency charged with combating the disease, publishes from time to time reports designed to generate [headlines]. The latest such came out on November 24th, in anticipation of World AIDS Day on December 1st. It shows that, by and large, things are going to plan....The longer-term goal, announced by UNAIDS this time last year, is to “end the epidemic” by 2030....That will be tough.

    November 24, 2015
    Economist
  • In a historic move, France has become the first country outside the USA, and the first with a centrally-organised, reimbursable health system, to approve no-expense pre-exposure prophylaxis for people who need it. The French Minister of Health announced that PrEP would be available from mid-December, and reimbursable through the French health system beginning January....via the uniquely French "Recommendation of Temporary Use" [which] provides for drugs to be made available to people in urgent need...without full Marketing Authorisation.

    November 24, 2015
    aidsmap
  • Brutality of LGBTs has been ongoing for many years, and reached a climax in 2014, after the new Anti-Homosexuality bill was passed. Parliamentarians have been working towards returning the “Kill the Gays Bill”. However this has not been possible due to Uganda’s AIDS Commission which says HIV prevalence is higher in this group of people; instead of chasing them away from treatment we should be giving it to ensure that the HIV prevalence reduces.

    November 24, 2015
    Africa Times
  • Namibia is reluctant to introduce the Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV) vaccine trial which has taken centrestage worldwide as well as in other countries in the Southern African Development Community (Sadc) region.

    November 24, 2015
    The Villager
  • On Nov. 19, Thursday, a recent study has unfolded that direct administration of anti-AIDS drugs to breastfeeding infants by HIV positive mothers significantly reduces the chance of getting the disease. The 12 months study showed that less than 1.5 percent of babies contracted the virus when the anti-viral drug was administered while being breastfed....Furthermore, the team discovered that most of the HIV infections were because of discontinued treatments.

    November 23, 2015
    Science Times
  • A panel of health experts is calling for sweeping changes to the way infectious disease threats are managed, saying a bungled response by the World Health Organization and others to the West African Ebola epidemic exposed dangerous vulnerabilities...."This epidemic has really exposed the fault lines in national and international systems," said Peter Piot,...chair of the panel. "Ebola could be a game-changer much like HIV/AIDS, which 'created global health,' bringing scientists and human-rights activists together."

    November 22, 2015
    Wall Street Journal
  • When Zandile Simelane was 17, she fell for an older man....They had unprotected sex, and he infected her with HIV. Now 23, Simelane tells her story to other young South African women, warning them away from “sugar daddies" who appear to offer a shortcut to the good life. To combat the problem, a US-backed program called DREAMS is targeting adolescent girls and young women...in 10 countries in southern and East Africa....[A] key part...is creating economic opportunities for young women, through job training, microfinance and funding for entrepreneurs.

    November 21, 2015
    Global Post
  • An Australian research team has found that disulfiram, a long-established and safe drug used primarily as a treatment for alcohol dependency (and well-known under its brand name Antabuse) can ‘wake up’ quiescent HIV-infected ‘reservoir’ cells and thus used as the first stage of a hypothetical cure for HIV....This did not produce a viral load in any study participant detectable by standard tests, but is an indication that the cells in which HIV hides are being prodded into activity and thereby revealing themselves to the immune system.

    November 20, 2015
    aidsmap
  • The National Institutes of Health announced that it would end its support for invasive research on chimpanzees and retire the 50 chimps that it had set aside for future biomedical research. The decision, announced Wednesday, brings to a close years of controversy about federally funded primate experimentation, and follows a 2013 decision by the NIH to retire all but 50 of its chimpanzees to animal sanctuaries.

    November 20, 2015
    New York Times
  • During his headline-grabbing TV interview yesterday, [Hollywood actor] Charlie Sheen said he was blackmailed by some people after he disclosed his HIV status. In fact, many people living with HIV have experienced similar negative reactions when they disclose: blackmail, threats of criminal prosecution, unwanted disclosure of HIV status, and physical violence.

    November 19, 2015
    Star Observer
  • When handled well, celebrity endorsements can be an incredible boost to efforts to raise awareness of issues in health and the fight against HIV has benefited over the years from the engagement of numerous high-profile figures....But celebrity, media, and HIV are not always easy bedfellows. In early November, a showbusiness website, RadarOnline, carried a story of a high profile Hollywood actor with HIV....The stigma evident in the reporting of the story serves to remind us how easily hard-won progress can be undermined and how far there is yet to go.

    November 18, 2015
    Lancet
  • Nowhere else in the world has HIV hit harder than Sub-Saharan Africa, where nearly one in 20 people are living with the virus. The region is also a hot spot for armed conflict (this year is likely no exception), leading students in the region to wonder whether war might help to spread HIV. But according to a new paper, HIV infections spread most rapidly in the five years prior to armed conflict, indicating the connection between HIV and war is subtler than previously thought.

    November 17, 2015
    Pacific Standard
  • Hepatitis C virus is present in large enough quantities in the rectal fluid of men with HIV and hepatitis C co-infection to permit HCV transmission without the presence of blood, researchers from Mount Sinai Hospital, New York, reported Sunday at the 2015 AASLD Liver Meeting in San Francisco....An unrelated German study also at that meeting shows that HCV is present in faeces, leading the authors to suggest that contact with faeces may be a route of transmission, at least in men.

    November 16, 2015
    aidsmap
  • A new US bipartisan study advocates promoting global health to both "do the right thing" and advance wide-ranging foreign policy interests.....The study calls PEPFAR, the President's Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief, established in 2003 by President George W. Bush with strong bipartisan support in Congress, "the greatest ever example of humanitarian action by a single country."

    November 16, 2015
    Strategic Health Diplomacy Initiative
  • Gilead Sciences enjoys top dog status in the hep C market with Sovaldi and combo drug Harvoni, and the drugmaker wants to keep it that way. The company recently scored FDA approval for new indications for Harvoni in patients with HIV and certain subtypes of hep C, giving Gilead more ammo as it protects its market share from archrival AbbVie. The agency signed off on Harvoni for individuals with genotype 4, 5 and 6 of chronic hep C and for people who are co-infected with HIV and hep C.

    November 13, 2015
    Fierce Pharma

Published Research

  • Co-trimoxazole preventive therapy started before or with ART, irrespective of CD4 cell count, reduces morbidity and mortality with benefits that continue indefinitely. Isoniazid preventive therapy as an adjunct to ART prevents tuberculosis in high-exposure settings, with long-term treatment likely to be needed to sustain this benefit.

    December 1, 2015
    Lancet
  • A globally effective vaccine strategy must cope with the broad genetic diversity of HIV and contend with multiple transmission modalities. Understanding correlates of protection and the role of diversity in limiting protective vaccines with those correlates is key.

    December 1, 2015
    Amer J Prev Med
  • Due to their ability to inhibit HIV attachment and entry into target cells, broadly neutralizing monoclonal antibodies (nAbs) may be suitable for use as topical HIV microbicides....We theorize[d] that nAbs can inhibit viral transmission through mucosal tissue, thus reducing the incidence of HIV infection....Our data suggest topically applied nAbs are safe and effective against HIV infection of mucosal tissue and support further development of nAbs as a topical microbicide that could be used for anal as well as vaginal protection.

    December 1, 2015
    Antimicrob Agents Chemother
  • Treatment options for individuals infected with human immunodeficiency virus type 2 are restricted by the intrinsic resistance of the virus to nonnucleoside reverse transcriptase inhibitors and the reduced susceptibility of HIV-2 to several protease inhibitors used in antiretroviral therapy....Taken together, our findings show that BMS-986001 is an effective inhibitor of HIV-2 replication [and] to our knowledge...is the first nucleoside analog that, tested against diverse HIV-1 and HIV-2 isolates, exhibits more potent activity against HIV-2 than against HIV-1 in culture.

    December 1, 2015
    Antimicrob Agents Chemother
  • We used bone marrow/liver/thymus (BLT) humanized mice to establish the effect of semen on vaginal HIV infection and on the efficacy of topically applied maraviroc. Our results demonstrate that vaginal transmission of cell-free HIV occurs efficiently in the presence of semen and that topically applied maraviroc efficiently prevents HIV transmission in the presence of semen. We also show that semen has no significant effect on the transmission of transmitted/founder viruses or cell-associated viruses.

    December 1, 2015
    Antimicrob Agents Chemother
  • We set out to explore the antiviral properties of a griffithsin (GRFT) and carrageenan (CG) combination product against herpes simplex virus 2 (HSV-2) and human papillomavirus (HPV) as well as determine the mechanism of action of GRFT against both viruses....While GRFT significantly protected mice against vaginal HPV infection when dosed during and after HPV16 pseudovirus challenge, greater CG-mediated protection was afforded by the GRFT-CG combination for up to 8 hours. These findings support the development of the GRFT-CG combination as a broad-spectrum microbicide.

    December 1, 2015
    Antimicrob Agents Chemother
  • Rectal microbicides are currently being studied to determine their efficacy for HIV prevention, yet willingness to use rectal microbicides among male couples is largely unknown.....Data from 333 HIV-negative and HIV-discordant male couples...were used to assess anal douching practices and willingness to use a rectal microbicide for HIV prevention....

    November 25, 2015
    AIDS and Behavior
  • Approximately 24.7% of sexually active adult men who have sex with men (MSM) (492,000), 18.5% of persons who inject drugs (115,000), and 0.4% of heterosexually active adults (624,000), had substantial risks for acquiring HIV consistent with PrEP indications. Based on current guidelines, many MSM, persons who inject drugs, and heterosexually active adults have indications for PrEP....These data can be used to inform scale-up and evaluation of PrEP coverage.

    November 24, 2015
    MMWR
  • Across all periods studied, 1,708 Medicaid recipients filled at least one prescription for PrEP, most of whom were New York City residents, male, aged <50 years, and, for those with available data on race, white. PrEP use by Medicaid-insured persons increased substantially in the years following statewide efforts to increase knowledge of PrEP among potential prescribers and candidates for PrEP. Other jurisdictions can follow New York state’s example by taking similar steps to remove the financial and knowledge barriers experienced by both potential users and prescribers of PrEP.

    November 24, 2015
    MMWR
  • Few studies have projected the global resources needed for rapid scale-up of ART. Under the Health Policy Project, we conducted modeling analyses for 97 countries to estimate eligibility for and numbers on ART from 2015 to 2020, along with the facility-level financial resources required. We compared the estimated financial requirements to estimated funding available.

    November 24, 2015
    PLoS Medicine
  • Health authorities recommend HIV-infected patients starting treatment as soon as possible after diagnosis, regardless of the level of immunosuppression and viral load. Even in the worst scenario, if patients recover immunologic response recovers or decreases viral load, the patient is able to control the disease, suggests a study with nearly 2,300 severely immunocompromised HIV patients.

    November 23, 2015
    Science Daily
  • Nov 20, 2015 sees the launch of the first European International HIV and Hepatitis Testing Week. The concept originated in 2012, when the UK ran a highly visible public health campaign to encourage testing for HIV in the most affected populations....Data on cascades of care for viral hepatitis are far scarcer than for HIV, and testing on such a large scale provides an opportunity to begin changing this. European HIV and Hepatitis Testing Week will be a chance to start closing the gap between the undiagnosed and the diagnosed.

    November 15, 2015
    Lancet
  • We analyzed final height (FH) of 273 perinatally HIV-infected Asian adolescents aged ≥18 years at their last clinic visit. By the WHO child growth reference, 30% were stunted, but by the Thai child growth reference, 19% were stunted. Half of those who were stunted at antiretroviral therapy initiation remained stunted over time. Being male and having a low baseline height-for-age z-score of <-1.0 were associated with low FH z-score.

    October 19, 2015
    Pediatr Infect Dis J
  • This cohort study included HIV-infected patients with their first positive HIV test during 2003-2012....Among 3,744 patients, 72% were late presenters....Older patients were more likely to be late presenters than younger. Injecting drug users were more likely and those with homosexual HIV exposure were less likely to be late presenters compared to those with heterosexual HIV exposure. Females were less likely to be late presenters. The year of first positive HIV test was not associated with late presentation.

    October 15, 2015
    AIDS Res Hum Retroviruses

Announcements