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3 February VOLUME 18 ISSUE 5

Media Coverage

  • As HIV infection rates continue to rise among young women in sub-Saharan Africa, a new clinical trial for an HIV vaccine could hold the promise of a reliable solution for stopping the spread of the disease...Women & Girls recently sat down with Ntando Yola, spokesman for the Cape Town-based Desmond Tutu HIV Foundation...to discuss what is being called the largest trial of its kind since 2009 and the promise that a vaccine holds for young women in the sub-Saharan region.

    February 2, 2017
    NewsDeeply
  • Efforts to combat [diseases] rely on networks of scientists....Researchers say President Donald Trump’s travel ban challenges that process, putting the United States at risk....Arash Alaei, an HIV researcher at the University at Albany in New York,...says his projects to curb the HIV epidemic in Iraq and Syria are now in danger....When he and his brother were jailed in 2008 for running Iran’s first HIV harm-reduction programme, researchers and AIDS activists successfully rallied for his release.

    February 2, 2017
    Nature
  • The grassroots team coordinating the March for Science on Washington, D.C., have now set a date: 22 April, and are inviting organizers in cities around the world to lead parallel demonstrations. Organizers have said they want to appeal to anyone who, as its mission statement puts it, “champions publicly funded and publicly communicated science as a pillar of human freedom and prosperity.”

    February 1, 2017
    Science
  • Shortly after then–President-elect Donald Trump announced...that he planned to appoint Katy French Talento to his Domestic Policy Council as his health care expert, the backlash began....She was slammed for her attempts while she worked as a U.S. Senate staffer in 2003 to derail federal HIV/AIDS research grants that focused on sex workers...and people who injected drugs. But Talento... took the most heat for her articles warning women that the birth control pill is “seriously risky”.

    February 1, 2017
    Science
  • President Trump wants to remake the FDA. And he happens to have a “fantastic person” in mind — someone who will turn the agency into an industry-friendly shop that cranks out new cures on the double. But does anyone really want a deregulated FDA? STAT canvassed biopharma insiders, physicians, Wall Street analysts, and FDA veterans. Their verdict: Trump’s plan sounds like a solution in search of a problem.

    February 1, 2017
    STAT
  • People who support vaccinations are typically not a loud advocacy bloc. But they’re now mobilizing urgently to find their collective voice....It’s a dramatic turnabout for a coalition that has seen little need for vocal advocacy in the past — but now sees fresh threats to public health popping up both in states and at the federal level.

    January 31, 2017
    STAT
  • Talk is growing about a March for Science on Washington, similar to the Women’s March the day after President Trump’s inauguration. It is a terrible idea....Trying to recreate the pointedly political Women’s March will serve only to reinforce the narrative from skeptical conservatives that scientists are an interest group and politicize their data, research and findings for their own ends.

    January 31, 2017
    NY Times
  • Life expectancy among HIV-positive people with higher education in Switzerland nearly matched life expectancy of people in the lowest education bracket in the general population, according to results of a large matched comparison. But highly educated people with HIV lagged highly educated HIV-negative people by 5.6 years in life expectancy. And HIV-positive people with only a compulsory education lagged their education-level peers in the general population by 8.8 years.

    January 30, 2017
    BodyPro
  • Two-thirds of HIV clinics in the UK do not think there is a current need for specialist care services targeted at older adults, investigators report in HIV Medicine. “This is important as, although there is no current need,... there is a clear trajectory towards cohort ageing within the UK,” write the authors. “We would anticipate clinic populations of older adults to grow in time, which may alter this perception of need.”

    January 30, 2017
    aidsmap
  • A new method for estimating HIV incidence found a steady decline in new HIV cases between 2003 and 2010 in the US, the Journal of Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndromes reports. Previous CDC estimates showed stable numbers for that period....The results of this new method "suggest that CDC may have overestimated HIV incidence," study authors write, [but] caution that interventions to prevent HIV acquisition should be continued since there are still around 40,000 new HIV cases a year.

    January 27, 2017
    BodyPro
  • We highlight three major trends in global health governance: towards more discretionary funding, away from core or longer-term funding; towards defined multi-stakeholder governance, away from traditional government-centred representation and decision-making; and towards narrower mandates or problem-focused vertical initiatives and away from broader systemic goals.

    January 27, 2017
    Lancet
  • A partnership between LGBT advocacy group Human Rights Campaign (HRC) and Prevention Access Campaign (PAC), Accuracy Watchdog launched this month. The joint initiative will, for example, correct scientific misinformation pertaining to people living with HIV who are on treatment and maintain an undetectable viral load—(TasP)—and to HIV-negative people adhering to the daily pill Truvada as pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP).

    January 26, 2017
    POZ
  • Here are some of the big developments we’ll be watching and responding to in 2017:...Dangerous complacency around HIV....Reproductive health care on the precipice....A race for new vaccines and the struggle to uphold the ones we have....Strikes, shortages and other labor woes in the health workforce....The uncertain future of global health and international aid.

    January 23, 2017
    Humanosphere
  • People over age 50 now represent one third of all people living with HIV [in the UK], but the social care, healthcare and welfare systems aren’t ready for this growing cohort, according to research published today....[which] describe[s] the situation as a ‘social care timebomb’....But the...older a person living with HIV got, the happier they felt, the better their wellbeing, and the lower their levels of HIV self-stigma.

    January 19, 2017
    aidsmap

Published Research

  • In this article we consider the challenges in the cascade, and consider the role of national laboratories in improving outcomes across the continuum of care, with a call for focus on unique single patient national identifiers as a means to better assess and improve HIV programme and pharmacovigilance, in an era where electronic data systems are making contact and tracking of patients more of an option.

    March 1, 2017
    Curr Op HIV&AIDS
  • Here we are pleased to introduce Wendy Stevens, Professor and Head of the Department of Molecular Medicine and Haematology at the University of the Witwatersrand, South Africa, and the Section Editor for this issue, which is entirely dedicated to HIV and Diagnostics. [All articles in this issue are Free Access.]

    March 1, 2017
    Curr Op HIV&AIDS
  • Last month we wrote about the decision by NHS England to roll out PrEP...following an upheld legal challenge to their initial decision not to fund [its] provision....More news has come to light that emphasises the scale of the opportunity missed by [the] NHS delay. A request made under the Freedom of Information Act by BuzzFeed revealed that the...total spend by NHS England will likely exceed £115,000.

    February 2, 2017
    Lancet
  • Our population consisted of 5,205 individuals with HIV followed up for 24,031 person-years....Among living patients, 82% knew their HIV status, 45% were linked to care, 39% were eligible for ART, 35% initiated ART, and 33% had reached therapeutic response....Over calendar time, rates of linkage to care have decreased and patients presenting for the first time for care were, on average, healthier.

    February 2, 2017
    Lancet
  • “I hope to be part of the team that discovers an HIV vaccine so we can put a stop to the 2 million new infections that happen globally every year,” Lynn Morris tells The Lancet Infectious Diseases. She is well placed to work towards this goal, as head of the HIV Virology section at South Africa's National Institute for Communicable Diseases, and as a research professor at the University of the Witwatersrand, Johannesburg, South Africa.

    February 2, 2017
    Lancet
  • Incident HIV is possible despite adherence to preexposure prophylaxis when persons are exposed to FTC-resistant virus, TDF-resistant virus, or both. We recommend that patients be counseled regarding the use of preexposure prophylaxis as part of a combination approach to HIV prevention.

    February 2, 2017
    NEJM
  • HIV vaccine clinical researchers depend on HIV incidence data to design, properly power, and conduct efficacy trials. Such data come from two main sources: Observational longitudinal cohorts in relevant populations and control arms of past HIV prevention efficacy trials. The Global Vaccine Enterprise, in collaboration with the HVTN, IAVI, MHRP, and HPTN, created a quick-reference table to help researchers identify studies that may provide relevant incidence data.

    February 2, 2017
    Vaccine Enterprise
  • The forthcoming election of a new leader of the WHO has focused attention on the future direction of the United Nations’ public-health agency. Supporters like to repurpose Voltaire’s famous line about God and argue that if the WHO didn’t exist, it would be necessary to invent it. But the organization is far from being omnipotent and all-powerful. In fact, it would benefit from trying to be a little less of both.

    February 2, 2017
    Nature
  • On January 27, President Donald Trump issued an executive order suspending “entry into the United States...of aliens from Iraq, Iran, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria, and Yemen for 90 days, suspending the US Refugee Admissions Program for 120 days, and suspending the Visa Interview Waiver Program....Although all medical specialties share the goal of preventing violence, including terrorist attacks, we—chairs of major academic departments of medicine—are concerned that the consequences...for US health care, and our field of internal medicine, are far reaching and damaging.

    February 1, 2017
    NEJM
  • To investigate anxiety about HIV disclosure in HIV-positive populations, we conducted a systematic review of qualitative and quantitative studies, with 119 studies included. The review demonstrated that perceived interpersonal risks are associated with HIV disclosure and outlined evidence of associations with anxiety, fear and worry. Implications for helping people living with HIV struggling with significant levels of anxiety about HIV disclosure are discussed.

    January 31, 2017
    AIDS and Behavior,
  • Worldwide, we calculated that there were roughly 13,138,600 cases of T gondii co-infection in HIV-infected people, with 87.1% in sub-Saharan Africa Our findings emphasise the importance of routine surveillance for T gondii infection in all HIV-infected people.

    January 31, 2017
    Lancet
  • Toxoplasmic encephalitis has been reported to be the most common cause of focal brain lesions due to opportunistic infections complicating the course of AIDS, [perhaps] because T gondii enhances immune impairment after HIV infection and progression of the disease to AIDS after the patient becomes co-infected with other opportunistic pathogens.

    January 31, 2017
    Lancet
  • We contend that a lack of emphasis on evidence for the efficacy of drug candidates is all too common in decisions about whether an experimental medicine can be tested in humans....We call for infrastructure, resources and better methods to rigorously evaluate the clinical promise of new interventions before testing them on humans for the first time.

    January 30, 2017
    Nature
  • Dramatic and concerning increases in syphilis have been reported in men who have sex with men across Western Europe, the USA and China. A large proportion of these patients have been noted to be HIV co-infected. The article by Bissio et al published in this issue extends these findings to Argentina....Why these significant increases in syphilis have been seen in MSM, and HIV-infected MSM in particular, is the subject of the paper by Rekart et al, also published in this issue.

    January 16, 2017
    Sex Transm Infect
  • [An] observational cohort study...of partner services for individuals with acute and early HIV infection (AEH) enrolled in the San Diego Primary Infection Resource Consortium 1996–2014 [found that] partner services for persons with AEH within 30 days of diagnosis represents an effective tool to find HIV-unaware persons, including those with AEH who are at greatest risk of HIV transmission.

    January 14, 2017
    AIDS

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