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27 JUNE 2014, VOLUME 15, ISSUE 26

Media Coverage

  • For years, people with HIV have had access to drugs that allow them to live a full life. Now, the CDC has issued new guidelines for Truvada, an anti-retroviral drug with a novel use: the promise of blocking HIV infection to begin with....Truvada is regularly given to HIV-positive patients, but can now be prescribed for Pre-Exposure Prophylaxis or PrEP. By taking Truvada every day a patient can drastically reduce the chance that unprotected sex will result in an HIV infection. The medication works by blocking the replication of HIV that enters the body.

    June 26, 2014
    WNYC
  • Professor Sharon Lewin co-authored the latest review of the global HIV epidemic, published in The Lancet. Professor Lewin, who's the co-chair of the 20th International AIDS Conference next month in Melbourne, says one of the most important advances has been anti-HIV drugs, which dramatically reduces a person's infectiousness, hence leading to fewer transmissions.

    June 26, 2014
    Radio Australia
  • [Human Rights Watch's Joseph] Amon believes a more robust response from the international community is vital if control efforts in Uganda are not to be derailed. "In the context of limited global HIV funding, investing in countries that refuse to adopt evidence-based approaches and criminalise those at high risk of HIV does not suggest good value for money." He recommends directing money towards community organisations. Dennis Odwe [Action Group for Health, Human Rights and HIV/AIDS, Kampala] agrees that this could be an effective approach.
     

    June 26, 2014
    Lancet Infectious Diseases
  • HIV prevalence among Injection Drug Users (IDUs) is 22 percent with new infections occurring at a high rate despite harm reduction services, the findings of AVHI [the Averting HIV Infections Among Injecting Drug Users] programme further stated that majority of the IDUs were not aware that they were HIV positive until they were tested as part of the programme. Avina Sarna, country director, Population Council said that while India has seen a decrease in HIV prevalence, the IDU population is “hidden and extremely vulnerable” and has very high prevalence of new infections.

    June 25, 2014
    Sentinel (New Delhi)
  • Australia is called the Land Down Under for a reason: It’s far away from most everywhere. So organizers of the 20th International AIDS Conference to be held in Melbourne on 20 to 25 July say it’s no surprise that the anticipated attendance is about half the number of participants who attended the 2012 meeting in Washington, D.C.  “We still think it’s a good amount,” says Francoise Barre-Sinoussi, the international chair of the meeting, who stressed that in addition to increased numbers of delegates from Asia and the Pacific, Africa will have more attendees than in past years.

    June 25, 2014
    Science
  • It doesn’t generate the headlines it once did, but by the end of this week, 4,000 babies and 7,000 young women will have been newly infected with HIV, and 24,000 people with AIDS in Africa will have died from the disease. Ambassador Deborah Birx, recently confirmed as the US Global AIDS Coordinator, cited those numbers Monday to underscore the point that, despite its lower profile, the HIV epidemic hasn’t halted or been solved....“If there’s complacency in the US, there will be complacency throughout the globe,” said Dr. Birx.

    June 24, 2014
    Washington Times
  • While the Anti-Homosexuality Act (AHA) is already in force, activists have expressed fears that the HIV/AIDS Prevention and Control Bill 2014 could stigmatize those with the virus and restrict access to health....On 12 June Health Minister Maria Kiwanuka announced in her 2014-2015 budget speech that the government had allocated US$38.5 million, the same as the previous financial year, to enroll a further 100,000 people living with HIV on life-prolonging anti-retroviral (ARV) drugs.

    June 24, 2014
    IRIN
  • Responding to a major case of research misconduct, federal prosecutors have taken the rare step of filing charges against a scientist after he admitted falsifying data that led to millions in grants and hopes of a breakthrough in AIDS vaccine research. Investigators say former Iowa State University laboratory manager Dong-Pyou Han has confessed to spiking samples of rabbit blood with human antibodies to make an experimental HIV vaccine appear to have great promise.

    June 24, 2014
    Associated Press
  • As other articles in this issue of Achieve point out, the old adage of "Use a Condom Every Time" is not working. Rates of HIV infection are rising among men who have sex with men (MSM), not just in the US, but around the world, and especially among young MSM of color and transgender women. As Jim Eigo writes in this issue, Truvada, when taken by HIV-negative people as PrEP, can significantly lower the risk of infection.

    June 23, 2014
    The Body
  • TheBody.com recently interviewed longtime activist Mark Harrington, the executive director of Treatment Action Group. Harrington talks about the ramifications of the PARTNER study results, as well as what to expect from HIV treatment and care in the next five years.

    June 23, 2014
    The Body Pro
  • Union Health Minister Harsh Vardhan on Wednesday rejected reports that he underplayed the role of condoms in fighting AIDS but insisted that official campaigns should focus on safe sex as a holistic concept, which includes highlighting the role of “fidelity to single partners”. His statement on informing people on the supremacy of fidelity as an AIDS prevention measure is not only a piece of cultural advice but also a scientific one, he said.

    June 23, 2014
    Indian Express
  • The National Institutes of Health will soon launch a carefully monitored clinical trial in 12 countries, including the United States....It is hoped that this study will prove that immediate treatment for HIV-infected newborns can protect them from a lifetime of anti-HIV therapy, while furthering our understanding of how we might pursue a cure for HIV infection in adults, particularly those who are treated early in their infections....

    June 20, 2014
    Washington Post
  • A sharp rise in new HIV infections in the Middle East and North Africa is a worrying trend, despite some positive developments, UNAIDS chief Michel Sidibe told AFP on Friday. While the epidemic remains very "concentrated" within the region, with homosexuals, sex workers, migrants and drug addicts comprising the vast majority of cases, the Arab world has seen a dramatic increase in new cases in recent years. This compares with a fall in global infection rates of 35 percent.

    June 20, 2014
    Agence France-Presse
  • Last week with the introduction of the International Human Rights Defense Act (S. 2472), Sen. Edward Markey (D-Mass.) took a critical step toward ensuring the continued success of the United States landmark global AIDS response. The Act would establish an office within the Department of State responsible for coordinating efforts to defend the human rights of sexual minorities worldwide.

    June 20, 2014
    The Hill
  • The United States on Thursday cut aid to Uganda, imposed visa restrictions and canceled a regional military exercise in response to a Ugandan law that imposes harsh penalties on homosexuality. The White House said in a statement the measures were intended to "reinforce our support for human rights of all Ugandans regardless of sexual orientation or gender identity."

    June 20, 2014
    Reuters
  • Chronic shortages of antiretrovirals across Mozambique are endangering the health and the lives of tens of thousands of HIV positive people on treatment. Some 454,000 people are on antiretroviral (ARV) treatment, or just under one-third of the 1.6 million Mozambicans living with HIV in 2013, according to government figures. “Our patients complain they are not receiving the complete dosage of medicines,” says Judite de Jesus Mutote, president of Hi Xikanwe, a group that assists people on ARV treatment in Maputo.

    June 19, 2014
    IPS
  • The Washington Post reported that  the Geneva-based Medicines Patent Pool kicked off an initiative to encourage major drug companies to manufacture and distribute HIV drugs in the correct formulation for children....Joining in the initiative are UNITAID and the Drugs for Neglected Diseases Initiative. Drug manufacturers Gilead and Bristol-Myers Squibb have agreed to share knowledge, and the initiative is in talks with Merck and AbbVie.

    June 17, 2014
    Washington Post
  • Gay Star News reported that Thailand’s Research Institute for Health at Chiang Mai University was conducting a phase II human extended safety study to determine if an anal lubricant containing anti-HIV drugs could prevent HIV transmission among men who have sex with men and transgender people in Thailand. South Africa, Bangkok, Peru, and the United States also would conduct trials to confirm the effectiveness of the regimen....

    June 16, 2014
    Gay Star News

Published Research

  • The purpose of this study was to evaluate the ability of men who have sex with men (MSM) testing for HIV at commercial sex venues to assess the following: their candidacy for pre-exposure chemoprophylaxis (PrEP) as defined by meeting entry criteria for the iPrEx (Iniciativa Profilaxis Pre-Exposición) phase III clinical trial of PrEP, and their perception of their own HIV risk and candidacy for PrEP. Interviewers surveyed 629 MSM at three NYC commercial sex venues from June 2011 through June 2012.

    June 27, 2014
    LGBT Health
  • It is known that HIV-related stigma hinders prevention efforts. Previous studies have documented that HIV-related stigma may be associated with socioeconomic and socioecological factors. Mass media use may moderate this association, but there is limited research addressing that possibility. In this study, based on cross-sectional data pooled from the 2006-2011 Demographic and Health Surveys of 11 sub-Saharan African countries (N = 204,343), we investigated the moderating effects of exposure to mass media on HIV-related stigma.

    June 27, 2014
    PLoS ONE
  • This paper presents findings from a qualitative investigation of ethical and participatory issues related to the conduct of biomedical HIV prevention trials among marginalized populations in Thailand. This research was deemed important to conduct, as several large-scale biomedical HIV prevention trials among marginalized populations had closed prematurely in other countries, and a better understanding of how to prevent similar trial closures from occurring in the future was desired.
     

    June 27, 2014
    PLoS ONE
  • Individuals from the so-called Chinese floating population are referred to as people who live in a different area than where their household is registered....The included studies between 2005 and 2012 indicate that HIV prevention interventions among Chinese floating populations in the past decade were only marginally effective at increasing condom use, but relatively successful at increasing HIV knowledge and decreasing stigma.

    June 26, 2014
    PLoS ONE
  • We describe the geographic patterns of two forms of HIV stigma in a cross-sectional sample of women of childbearing age from western Kenya: internalized stigma (associated with shame) and externalized stigma (associated with blame). Our results may point to differences in the underlying social processes motivating each form of HIV stigma. Externalized stigma may be driven more by cultural beliefs disseminated within communities, whereas internalized stigma may be the result of individual-level characteristics outside the domain of community influence.

    June 26, 2014
    AIDS
  • Data from 12 cross-sectional studies among PWID from seven countries were used. Despite the absolute differences in reported risk behaviours among PWID in western and eastern Europe, the associations of risk behaviours with HIV status were similar across the sites and regions. There is a substantial potential for further HIV transmission and acquisition based on the continuous risk behaviours reported. HIV prevention and harm reduction interventions targeting PWID should be evaluated.
     

    June 26, 2014
    AIDS
  • In this issue of The Lancet Infectious Diseases, you will notice a large amount of HIV content in the journal. We have pooled this content from the many HIV/AIDS-related submissions that the journal received to mark the occasion of the 20th International AIDS Conference, AIDS 2014, in Melbourne this year, July 20-25. This content also heralds an exciting development in the Lancet journals' engagement with the HIV community, the launch of a new title: The Lancet HIV.

    June 26, 2014
    Lancet Infectious Diseases
  • HPV vaccination was very cost effective in 87% of 179 countries. If 71 phase 2 GAVI-eligible countries adopt vaccination according to forecasts, then in 2070 GAVI Alliance-funded vaccination could prevent 200 000 cases of cervical cancer and 100 000 deaths in some of the highest-burden countries. Large between-country disparities exist for HPV vaccination, with countries with the most to gain yet to introduce national HPV vaccination....

    June 26, 2014
    Lancet Global Health
  • Soon after HIV was first identified as the cause of AIDS, studies began to explore whether therapeutic vaccination might have a role in slowing or preventing the progression of disease. On September 19th and 20th, in Bethesda, Maryland, USA, AVAC and Treatment Action Group, in collaboration with the Timely Topics series of the Global HIV Vaccine Enterprise, convened a workshop of over 100 researchers, funders, and advocates to discuss current issues in therapeutic HIV vaccine research and development.

    June 23, 2014
    Science Direct

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