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28 Oct 2016 VOLUME 17 ISSUE 43

Media Coverage

  • A majority of participants at IDWeek 2016 in New Orleans thought they should still be advised to use condoms -- a proportion that actually increased after a debate that laid out the evidence.

    October 28, 2016
    HIV & Hepatitis
  • Age was the only factor significantly associated with harm; women who experienced violence were 3.8 times more likely to be younger than 21 years. The good news is that, when women disclosed the abuse and received counseling on how to talk to partners or cope with fear, adherence levels rose....The effect of the inclusion of risk for social harms in adherence counseling will be assessed in the HIV Open-Label Prevention Extension, known as HOPE, a planned follow-on to ASPIRE.

    October 27, 2016
    Medscape
  • Newly published research is rewriting the earliest chapter of the historical account of how the AIDS epidemic began in the United States. The work, detailed in a study released Wednesday, discounts the long-held notion that a French-Canadian flight attendant, whose story was highlighted in the seminal book “And the Band Played On,” brought the virus to the United States. “This individual was simply one of thousands infected before HIV/AIDS was recognized,” said one of the authors.

    October 26, 2016
    STAT
  • Oral cancer is on the rise in American men...according to a new analysis of insurance claims. The most dramatic increases were in throat and tongue cancer, and the data show that claims were nearly three times as common in men as in women during that period, with a split of 74 to 26 percent....They illustrate both the cascading effect of human papillomavirus in the United States and changes in sexual practices.

    October 26, 2016
    Washington Post
  • Few people who are at risk of HIV infections—including gay and bisexual men—know about PrEP, the drug that can reduce the risk of becoming infected. Just as scary, those who are aware of PrEP, also sold as the drug Truvada, find out about the medicine not from doctors or health care professionals, but the Internet....Only 12.6 percent of the men surveyed said they learned about PrEP from a doctor.

    October 26, 2016
    OUT
  • According to The Resource Tracking for HIV Prevention R&D Working Group's (RTWG) 12th annual report, HIV Prevention Research & Development Investments, 2000-2015 Investment priorities to fund innovation in a challenging global health landscape, released...last week, funding for R&D of new and emerging prevention options decreased slightly in 2015....,due in part to decreases from the US public sector and a downswing in global philanthropic funding.

    October 26, 2016
    The Herald
  • The CDC’s infectious disease branch is turning to text messages to prevent HIV among men who have sex with men. The agency is proposing a new, two-year study to measure whether a smartphone-based program called M3 can boost HIV prevention behaviors among that population. The trial would include more than 1,200 sexually active men located in Atlanta, Detroit, and New York City.

    October 26, 2016
    STAT
  • The personal values and moral judgements of healthcare providers are likely to interfere with the appropriate provision of PrEP, Sarah Calabrese of Yale University told the HIV Research for Prevention conference last week....This was one of several presentations which highlighted inequalities in access to PrEP in the United States.

    October 25, 2016
    aidsmap
  • Whether or not CRISPR/Cas9 genome editing can create superheroes as depicted on a new Netflix show, what it’s indisputably good at is...editing a lot of genes really, really fast. In research published Tuesday in Cell Reports, scientists announced that they had used CRISPR/Cas9 to test gene after gene...to identify those that have anything to do with infection by the HIV virus....They wound up with half a dozen...whose excision thwarted HIV wholly or partly.

    October 25, 2016
    STAT
  • HHS is holding a two-day meeting to talk about how to keep human study subjects safe during medical research....Take a study on HIV prevention strategies — to reduce bias, researchers might pull just 20 percent of random samples from a larger group of participants with HIV. What rights do the other 80 percent have over their personal information and access to treatment?

    October 25, 2016
    STAT
  • Although conferences tend to pay little attention to well-established prevention interventions such as male circumcision, female condoms and PMTCT programmes, there are lessons to be learnt from their implementation, speakers [at last week's HIVR4P 2016 conference] said. In each case, concerted efforts, marketing insights and functional health systems have been required to bring the interventions to scale. When these have been absent, coverage has been limited.

    October 24, 2016
    aidsmap
  • The HIV vaccine research field is currently going through probably its most fertile and diverse period yet, the second HIV Research for Prevention conference in Chicago heard last week....At the opening plenary, Georgia Tomaras of Duke University in North Carolina, USA gave an overview of the field.

    October 23, 2016
    aidsmap
  • "We need to think outside the box," Sharon Hillier of the Microbicide Trials Network told participants at the HIVR4P 2016 conference this week...."We have to remember that making products that work is only half the battle," she said. "We also have to develop products that are less stigmatizing, are fun to use, and don’t undermine the sexual experience"....She outlined the microbicide products that are in development.

    October 22, 2016
    HIV & Hepatitis
  • Since many gay men use enemas and douches, it seemed logical to try and make a microbicide formulated as an enema, and scientists have been developing one for at least 5 years....Researchers at the HIVR4P Conference this week presented the first results...for 4 different enema formulations,...showing that it is possible to make an enema microbicide that causes cells to actively absorb drug, and human studies are planned.

    October 22, 2016
    HIV & Hepatitis
  • An aggressive program of voluntary male circumcision in Kenya has already prevented thousands of infections, and is on track to prevent many thousands more in the next 14 years even if no more men are circumcised,... John Stover told reporters at the HIV Research for Prevention conference.

    October 21, 2016
    MedPage Today
  • How can you be sure your potential partner doesn't have HIV? There's an app for that. A smartphone dongle is under development that can diagnose HIV and syphilis within minutes, according to Iván Balán, New York State Psychiatric Institute and Columbia University. While there's a way to go before it's commercially available, such a technology would be very acceptable to groups who routinely engage in high-risk sex, Balán told reporters at the HIVR4P conference.

    October 21, 2016
    MedPage Today
  • Stigma against LGBT communities remains a challenge for organizations that work with HIV/AIDS patients. But “Perhaps the greatest challenge is keeping AIDS in the public eye and making sure a message of hope gets out there,” Anne Aslett, executive director of the Elton John AIDS Foundation, told Humanosphere. “Public perception veers between ‘AIDS is all over’ to ‘It’s a hopeless case.’ Neither are true.”

    October 20, 2016
    humanosphere
  • “Previous research suggests Hispanics/Latinos are more likely to delay entry into HIV medical care because of unmet transportation, shelter, or food service needs, and to enter into care with more advanced HIV disease than non-Hispanics/Latinos,” Lauren Korhonen from the CDC and colleagues wrote in MMWR. “Addressing unmet needs for ancillary services among Hispanics/Latinos living with HIV can help reach the National HIV/AIDS Strategy goals".

    October 14, 2016
    Healio

Published Research

  • A number of issues emerged, including cultural and political clashes within relevant agencies and a lack of confidence in those agencies, policy barriers that hinder long-term international response, a shortage of personnel and resources, itemized funding streams that limit flexibility to direct resources, and challenges to deploying responders internationally....The data suggest that the world remains ill prepared to handle sustained responses and global pandemics.

    December 1, 2016
    Public Health
  • Temporal and geographical inferences, based upon partial HIV-1 genomes that postdate recognition of AIDS in 1981, remain contentious and the earliest movements of the virus within the US are unknown.... Here, we report eight coding-complete genomes from US serum samples from 1978–1979....This early, full-genome ‘snapshot’ reveals that the US HIV-1 epidemic exhibited extensive genetic diversity in the 1970s but also provides strong evidence for its emergence from a pre-existing Caribbean epidemic.

    October 27, 2016
    Nature
  • In 1982, Canadian air steward Gaëtan Dugas...was identified as ‘Patient Zero’ of the US epidemic, demonized as a...deliberate transmitter of disease....[This week disease scientists report how they have analysed [the] genetic sequence [of the virus that closed down his immune system]. The results are important for two reasons. In clinical terms, they show that Dugas’s virus was, in many ways, unexceptional. And in human terms, they clear his name.

    October 27, 2016
    Nature
  • Campus violence is affecting many of South Africa’s 26 universities — and the impact is spilling over into research....Researchers are also concerned at the prospect of falling budgets as the government...looks to trim other areas of spending. The South African Medical Research Council, for example, has been given a 7% budget cut for the year 2017–18, says council head Glenda Gray.

    October 27, 2016
    Nature
  • Clinical trials and demonstration projects in Europe have focused solely on men having sex with men....In contrast to global PrEP research, Europe seems to have overlooked heterosexuals at risk of HIV, mostly sub-Saharan African migrants and other ethnic minorities from endemic regions (eg, South America or southeast Asia). Research should urgently investigate how to offer PrEP to all people in need.

    October 27, 2016
    Lancet
  • Probably the first dichotomy that split the international health community apart was prevention versus treatment....A fourth dichotomy is that between infections and non-communicable diseases....[I]nfectious diseases are not necessarily discrete biological events and the exclusive domain of a primitive stage in the health transition, but rather part of a biological continuum and a shifting component of every epidemiological pattern.

    October 27, 2016
    Lancet
  • These models are helping countries examine the potential effects on program impact and cost-effectiveness of prioritizing specific subpopulations for VMMC services, for example, by client age, HIV-positive status, risk group, and geographical location. The modeling also examines long-term sustainability strategies, such as adolescent and/or early infant male circumcision, to preserve VMMC coverage gains achieved during rapid scale-up.

    October 26, 2016
    PLoS One
  • Previous limited studies conducted in Guangxi suggested that only some 50% of patients screened HIV-positive received confirmation testing. Our study suggests the figure could be even lower at the county level, at 43%. Our results also confirm that only 22% of newly identified ART-eligible patients in Guangxi are engaged in HIV treatment. A major cause...is the complicated and lengthy diagnostic pathway, and disjointed HIV services, constrained by local structural and cultural factors.

    October 21, 2016
    PLoS One

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