Email Updates

Search form

You are here

29 April 2016 ISSUE 17 VOLUME 17

Media Coverage

  • Executive Director of the Wits Reproductive Health and HIV Institute‚ Dr. Helen Rees is an internationally renowned expert in HIV prevention‚ reproductive health‚ vaccines and drug regulation....Rees is among four Wits recipients of National Orders this year - the others are Professor Benedict Wallet Vilakazi (posthumous) (Father of Zulu poetry)‚ Professor Mamokgethi Phakeng (President of Wits Convocation)‚ and Wits alumna‚ Sylvia “Magogo” Glasser (choreographer).

    April 28, 2016
    Times Live
  • A single infusion of antibodies can protect monkeys from infection with a virus that is similar to HIV for nearly six months. The finding provides further evidence that antibodies — specialized proteins that the body produces to fight infections — could one day be used as a method to prevent people from becoming infected with HIV.

    April 27, 2016
    Antibody Related Research
    Nature
  • Expanding HIV preexposure prophylaxis to cover people who inject drugs would reduce their disease burden by averting an estimated 26,700 new HIV infections every year, and would also benefit the health of the entire population, according to a cost-effectiveness analysis published online April 25 in Annals of Internal Medicine. However, such a program would be very expensive.

    April 27, 2016
    PM360
  • Providing sexual health services, including PrEP to youth is not only possible, but necessary. Embracing best practices, developing networks of care and advancing advocacy efforts can assure all youth have access to the HIV prevention methods that work for them.

    April 27, 2016
    Huffington Post
  • Since 2008, HIV infection cases have been on the decline in Goa state, but infection in women is on the rise. Presently out of every three cases detected, one is a female compared to one in eight or 10, a few years ago.

    April 26, 2016
    Times of India
  • Approximately a third of cases of non-travel-related Shigella dysentery in the UK involve HIV-positive patients, according to research presented to the annual conference of the British HIV Association last week....The investigators believe their findings confirm previous research showing that HIV-positive MSM are a new high-risk group for Shigella, the infection being transmitted sexually.

    April 26, 2016
    aidsmap
  • The Kenyan ministry of health and partners on Monday launched an HIV/Aids research hub to strengthen evidence-based interventions to contain [the]...epidemic. Speaking during the launch ceremony in Nairobi, Cabinet Secretary for health Cleopa Mailu said Kenya aims to become a continental hub for cutting edge research on HIV/Aids prevention, treatment and management, [and]...will enhance web-based interactions and sharing of information among key stakeholders.

    April 26, 2016
    Xinhua
  • The Ministry of Health will not implement the long awaited universal ARV drugs eligibility this month as earlier stated, The Daily Times has learnt....Ministry of Health spokesperson Adrian Chikumbe confirmed this development, saying the ministry needs more time to do capacity building and strengthen human resources,...[but that] the HIV treatment guidelines, which will allow this to happen, are ready and will be presented to the ministry’s senior management for endorsement.

    April 26, 2016
    Daily Times Malawi
  • Between April 2015 and February 2016, almost 28,000 people have paid £29.95 for a kit allowing them to test for HIV at home, according to a presentation at the British HIV Association conference last week....User feedback has been positive, with 97% saying that they would use the test again and 98% saying that the test was easy to perform....But HIV self-testing may involve harms as well as benefits.

    April 26, 2016
    aidsmap
  • A revolutionary drug that stops the spread of HIV is to be available to more than 2,000 men in Australia after the launch of a $6 million drug trial program. On Tuesday the Queensland Government announced the decision to make Pre-Exposure Prophylaxis, also known as 'PrEP', available to gay men living in the state. Queensland Aids Council executive director Michael Scott said the trials were a brave move by the Government.

    April 26, 2016
    Daily Mail Australia
  • The research...team assessed data from more than 700 sexually experienced adolescents in Eastern Cape Province, South Africal....83 percent of the participants had experienced at least one type of intimate partner violence within the past year. Girls who reported suffering more instances of IPV were less likely to use condoms the last time they had sex,...[but] boys who experience IPV and who have lower relationship power are more likely to use condoms.

    April 26, 2016
    Science Daily
  • Retroviruses such as HIV must insert their viral DNA into host-cell DNA. A new study led by researchers at The Ohio State University Comprehensive Cancer Center reveals details about the viral DNA's search for an insertion point. The findings could help improve treatments for HIV infection and gene therapy.

    April 26, 2016
    Science Daily
  • The amount of money spent by wealthy countries reached an all-time high in 2015. But an aid transparency group says most of these countries are not living up to commitments to publish their data to the internationally accepted standard. With only 10 donors meeting their commitments, some 75 percent of the more than $130 billion in aid spent in 2015 is not transparent.

    April 26, 2016
    Humanosphere
  • Los Angeles LGBT Center, with AIDS Project Los Angeles, is cosponsoring a bill.... that would ensure high-risk HIV-negative individuals receive information about all federal government-approved methods that reduce the risk of contracting HIV, including PrEP and PEP....A law like this shouldn’t be necessary, but unfortunately it is — especially when....AIDS Healthcare Foundation, actively campaigns against the use of a pill for PrEP.

    April 26, 2016
    Advocate
  • But not all diseases can be tackled rapidly. There are some...for which the body does not naturally build an effective immunity, including, most notably, the HIV virus. “For [these] we have to go through a lot of kinds of tricks,” Dr [Anthony] Fauci says. Mark Feinberg, head of the International AIDS Vaccine Initiative,...[says]: "I remain an optimist, but this is perhaps the most complicated scientific challenge in vaccine development”.

    April 26, 2016
    Financial Times
  • In his April 22 op-ed, “Cultural factors in the HIV crisis,” Michael Gerson made a powerful case that the HIV crisis among young women in Africa deserves Americans’ attention. Important HIV prevention programs funded by U.S. taxpayers can significantly reduce new infections among vulnerable girls and women so they can stay healthy and thrive.

    April 26, 2016
    Washington Post
  • The California HIV/AIDS Research Program of University of California has awarded grants totaling $9.4 million to three teams of investigators to provide and evaluate PrEP – the HIV prevention pill – among transgender persons at risk for HIV acquisition in California. It is the first PrEP demonstration project in the United States to focus exclusively on transgender persons.

    April 25, 2016
    Health Canal
  • The report recommends the creation of new incentives to encourage small companies and the rest of the private sector to develop global health technologies....[It] also recommends monitoring the effectiveness of the US FDA’s Priority Review Voucher program, to encourage new investment in neglected disease R&D and promote affordability and access to lifesaving technologies.

    April 25, 2016
    Science Speaks
  • Expanding human papillomavirus (HPV) vaccination programs to include males in Canada will help protect them against HPV-related cancers, according to an analysis published in the Canadian Medical Association Journal. HPV is the most common sexually transmitted disease in Canada [and] men who have sex with men are at high risk of HPV-related diseases.

    April 25, 2016
    Science Daily
  • New research from North Carolina State University and Pennsylvania State University finds that black female college students were often unlikely to use online resources related to HIV prevention, due to the stigma associated with the disease and concerns that their social network would learn they were accessing HIV-related materials.

    April 25, 2016
    Science Daily
  • Women are, to a certain extent, the silent face of HIV. Gay men constitute one of the most empowered groups living with HIV,...at the forefront of HIV activism for thirty years. Like gay men, women face a multiplicity of issues...I am a confident gay and HIV positive man. I went through an empowering process of acceptance around my sexuality and HIV status. It is important to show solidarity with women living with HIV.

    April 22, 2016
    Huffington Post
  • Many of the four million people living with a disability in Tanzania are currently excluded from accessing health information and critical HIV services.... Until recently, the impact of the HIV epidemic upon people with disabilities has received little attention.

    April 22, 2016
    Key Correspondents
  • Despite a WHO recommendation that countries should make pre-exposure prophylaxis available to HIV-negative people, the Namibian government has still not included it in its HIV prevention campaign. Director for special programmes in the Ministry of Health and Social Services, Anne-Marie Nitschke, has confirmed that according to ARV guidelines, PrEP is only approved for couples where one partner is HIV positive and they want a child. This makes Namibia’s policy a direct contradiction of the WHO recommendations.

    April 22, 2016
    Namibian Sun
  • On Monday [25 April], UN Mission co-facilitators Zambia and Switzerland released the Zero Draft of the political declaration for the United Nations High-Level Meeting on HIV/AIDS....Civil society organizations have provided extensive feedback to defend and strengthen points critical to the many communities affected by the global HIV response....The consolidated comments [were used] to present 5 critical priorities for the Zero Draft.

    April 22, 2016
    MSMGF
  • Comparing patients in London who did not attend regularly with those who did, the researchers found that a wide range of social and health factors were associated with missing appointments. Although there were some points in common, the circumstances which make engaging with medical care difficult are specific to each individual.

    April 22, 2016
    HIV Update
  • A growing movement to make international drug policy more of a public health issue, versus a criminal justice matter, was central to this week’s United Nations General Assembly meeting on international drug policy....The recommendations fall short of what some experts have wanted, including...more of a focus on decriminalizing certain drugs on an international level.

    April 22, 2016
    ABC News
  • Researchers report that zinc deficiency may contribute to chronic inflammation among HIV-positive individuals. Theirs is believed to be the first investigation to explore the association between serum zinc levels and inflammation among people with HIV infection, while taking their antiretroviral therapy into account.

    April 22, 2016
    Science Daily
  • Ethics panels may be hindering HIV prevention efforts by requiring gay and bisexual adolescents to get parental consent before taking part in research, experts suggest...."Without the science, we won't have service," said Brian Mustanski at Northwestern University in Chicago. "Without the service we're going to continue to see a growing epidemic in this population."

    April 21, 2016
    Times of India
  • HPV vaccination rates increased among high-risk urban youth with health-seeking behaviors, highlighting the significant influence health care providers have over vaccine adherence, according to research presented at the Annual Conference on Vaccine Research.

    April 21, 2016
    Healio
  • Thanks to combination antiretroviral therapy, many people with HIV can be expected to live decades after being infected. Now a study published April 21 in Molecular Cell has applied a highly accurate biomarker to measure just how much HIV infection ages people at the biological level -- an average of almost 5 years.

    April 21, 2016
    Science Daily
  • TPP is really big...[and] could happen soon....But what does it have to do with HIV?...Currently, patents have different lifespans in different countries. But under TPP, these would not only be uniform, but also longer in most cases....So, longer lifespans for pharma patents means longer waits for generics. This is huge for people living with HIV.

    April 13, 2016
    The Body

Published Research

  • A long-acting injectable form of rilpivirine (RPV) is being evaluated in clinical trials for prevention of HIV infection. Preclinical testing was undertaken to define RPV pharmacokinetic and pharmacodynamic activities in ectocervical and colonic tissue treated in vitro. [Our] data demonstrate that RPV can suppress HIV infection in mucosal tissue but that higher levels are needed in female genital tract tissue than in gastrointestinal tract tissue for protection.

    May 1, 2016
    Antimicrob Agents Chemother
  • We conducted conversation analysis of audio-recorded encounters between 34 providers and 58 patients reporting ARV non-adherence in post-encounter interviews. Among 42 visits where adherence status was unknown by providers, clinicians asked 75 ARV-related questions. Negatively-framed questions were 3.8 times more likely to elicit accurate disclosure than all other question types. Providers can improve disclosure probability by asking directly about missed doses.

    May 1, 2016
    AIDS and Behavior
  • Eligible interventions included U.S.-based studies with a comparison or one-group design with pre-post data, international randomized controlled trials, and having objective measures of LRC-relevant outcomes. We identified 10 best practices: 5 evidence-based interventions (EBIs) tested with a comparison group and 5 evidence-informed interventions. None focused on re-engagement.

    May 1, 2016
    AIDS and Behavior
  • We used a non-human primate model to determine potential interactions of combining a partially effective ARV-microbicide with an envelope-based vaccine. The vaccine alone provided no protection from infection following 12 consecutive low dose intravaginal challenges....The vaccine-microbicide combination provided an 88% reduction in per exposure risk of infection relative to vaccine alone, 79% reduction relative to controls.

    April 29, 2016
    J of Virology
  • The recent sub-analysis of iPrEx found that PrEP can be an effective HIV prevention tool for trans women. The iPrEx sub-analysis found no seroconversions among trans women with detectable drug concentrations, but 70% of trans women in the sample were taking few or none of their PrEP pills....We could not agree more with the call for culturally competent care for trans women. However, linking PrEP provision to trans health services might, in practice, limit access for many.

    April 28, 2016
    Lancet
  • Despite hopes...that nations would step back from the ‘war on drugs’ rhetoric that has defined international policy — and science — for decades, instead the UN blandly reformatted the existing status quo....This will disappoint the many readers of Nature who want to see a more evidence-based approach....If the overall message coming down from the highest levels remains the same, then so does the stance taken by those who fund research.

    April 28, 2016
    Nature
  • Because HIV is a rapidly mutating virus, a successful vaccine will need to elicit an immune response against a variety of HIV strains—broadly neutralizing antibodies (bnAbs)....However, Zhang et al. report that...in mouse and macaque, precursors to these antibodies are either deleted or do not attain sufficient affinity to neutralize virus. Therefore, a successful vaccine for HIV will need to overcome immune tolerance mechanisms.

    April 27, 2016
    Science Transl Med
  • Here we show...the efficacy of a single injection of four anti-HIV-1-neutralizing monoclonal antibodies...in blocking repeated weekly low-dose virus challenges....Compared with control animals, a single broadly neutralizing antibody infusion prevented virus acquisition for up to 23 weekly challenges....If administered to populations at high risk of HIV-1 transmission, such an immunoprophylaxis regimen could have a major impact on virus transmission.

    April 27, 2016
    Antibody Related Research
    Nature
  • Data from the Demographic and Health Survey from Congo, Mozambique, Nigeria, and Uganda—was used to examine whether modern or traditional forms of contraception were associated with uptake of HIV testing....In the total sample and in Mozambique, women who used modern forms of contraception were more likely to be tested for HIV compared to those who did not use contraception. This positive association was not demonstrated in Congo, Nigeria, or Uganda.

    April 25, 2016
    PLoS ONE
  • Privacy concerns...limited the organic reach of the intervention by confining the intervention to those who already held the norms diffused through it, and by discouraging participants from sharing and commenting on content. Care should be taken to address concerns when designing interventions delivered through social media. Gated interventions may be more beneficial for marginalised communities, while large-scale interventions...may provide a useful backdrop for face-to-face interventions.

    April 14, 2016
    Sexual Health
  • Higher attendance was independently associated with older age, study site, and report of transactional sex in past month. Lower attendance was associated with reporting multiple partners in the past two months. Appointment reminders through SMS, phone calls and in-person reminders increased uptake of repeat HIV test by 40 percent. This low-cost intervention could facilitate detection of acute HIV infections and recommended repeat testing.

    April 14, 2016
    PLoS ONE
  • Cross-sectional data from 212 Youth living with HIV, ages 16–29, collected between 2011–2014 in Chicago were analyzed to assess the relationship of multiple psychosocial conditions (e.g., depressive [and] anxiety symptoms, moderate/heavy marijuana use, moderate/heavy alcohol use, HIV-related stigma) to ART adherence (i.e., a “syndemic.”). In regression analysis, likelihood of ART adherence decreased with the number of syndemic conditions as did odds of viral load suppression.

    March 30, 2016
    AIDS Patient Care and STDs
  • Between 2006 and 2013, there were significant declines in adolescent females' receipt of formal instruction about birth control, saying no to sex, sexually transmitted disease, and HIV/AIDS, [and] a significant decline in males' receipt of instruction about birth control. Declines were concentrated among adolescents living in nonmetropolitan areas. 21% of females and 35% of males did not receive instruction about...birth control from either formal sources or a parent.

    March 28, 2016
    J Adolescent Health

Announcements