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31 July 2015 VOLUME 16 ISSUE 31

Media Coverage

  • Adolescents in Sub-Saharan Africa who live in HIV-affected households are more likely than their peers to initiate sexual activity. According to an analysis of Demographic and Health Survey data collected in 2003–2008 from 19 countries, adolescents aged 15–17 who lived with at least one HIV-positive adult had 27% higher odds of having ever had sex than did adolescents not living with an HIV-positive adult.

    July 30, 2015
    Intl Perspectives on Sexual & Reproductive Health
  • In California, New York, Texas and elsewhere, health workers are trying to get more high-risk Latino men to use the drug, Truvada....for “Pre-Exposure Prophylaxis” or PrEP....But health workers are encountering barriers among many Latinos. Among them are a lack of knowledge about the drug and the stigma attached to sleeping with men or perceived promiscuity. Many Latinos also have concerns about costs and side effects.

    July 30, 2015
    Kaiser Health News
  • Today, the Obama Administration is releasing the National HIV/AIDS Strategy: Updated to 2020 ("Updated Strategy").... under the Updated Strategy will prioritize the groups most affected by HIV: gay and bisexual men of all races/ethnicities (especially young Black gay and bisexual men), Black women and men, Latinos and Latinas, people who inject drugs, youth aged 13 to 24 years and transgender women (particularly Black transgender women). We will also focus on the areas with the highest burden of disease, such as the Southern United States.

    July 30, 2015
    Huffington Post
  • Will people taking PrEP stop using condoms and could this actually lead to an increase in HIV and sexually transmitted infections (STIs)? Evidence to date has shown mixed results when it comes to continued condom use with PrEP.

    July 30, 2015
    The Conversation
  • While in Kenya, President Obama announced that the country will be included in the DREAMS project that aims to lower HIV rates among girls and young women in up to 10 countries, Voice of America reports.

    July 29, 2015
    POZ
  • With data from 3737 mother/infant pairs, which included 84 transmissions during delivery, in three randomised perinatal HIV prevention trials undertaken in the same setting, Dr Marc Lallemant and colleagues defined a historical control, built an intrapartum transmission model, and concluded that ART intensification for women presenting late only having had a short course of antiretrovirals is very effective in preventing HIV transmission during labour and delivery. IAS 2015 Conference, abstract MOAC0204.

    July 29, 2015
    AIDSmap
  • Hormonal contraceptive methods are highly effective in reducing the risk of pregnancy in women living with HIV whether on antiretroviral therapy or not, according to an evaluation involving over 5000 women, Maria Pyra told participants at the Eighth International AIDS Society Conference in Vancouver, Canada, last week. Contrary to limited evidence suggesting ART may reduce the effectiveness of contraceptive methods, notably implants, the data showed implants to be highly effective compared to no contraception and more effective than injectables or oral contraceptive pills.

    July 29, 2015
    AIDSmap
  • As well as being remembered as the ‘90-90-90’ conference, IAS 2015 will also be remembered as the conference where PrEP moved from clinical trials to real world use....IAS 2015 also heard results of demonstration studies designed to show how PrEP works in the ‘real world’, outside clinical trials....Self-testing was another subject that attracted a lot of attention....We hope you have found our news reporting from IAS 2015 useful. This is our final bulletin from the conference.

    July 29, 2015
    AIDSmap
  • India’s foremost HIV/AIDS researcher Dr. Suniti Solomon, who documented the nation’s first HIV case before setting up the first voluntary testing and counseling center for the disease, died Tuesday in Chennai. Solomon began tracking the infection when many in the country were reluctant to delve into what was a little known field. In 1986, her discovery of the infection in six blood samples collected from female sex workers in southern India generated headlines internationally.

    July 29, 2015
    TIME
  • Tenofovir alafenamide maintains viral suppression at least as well as standard tenofovir (Viread, Gilead), has potential bone- and renal-sparing effects, and is not associated with additional adverse events, according to the largest switch study of its kind.

    July 29, 2015
    Medscape
  • Win or lose? This is the question posed by two reports on the state of the global AIDS epidemic...[that] present two dramatically different scenarios for the future. In the first,...the battle against AIDS will soon be won, rates of death and infection...reduced to the point that AIDS can safely be considered under control, no longer presenting a global health emergency....The second warns of an ominous resurgence of the disease, bringing more infections, death, social devastation, and escalating costs.

    July 28, 2015
    Toronto Star
  • Many Americans are skeptical about foreign aid because they believe a large share of US assistance is lost to corruption....So it was of no small consequence when UNAIDS announced this month that the global goal adopted in 2011 of getting 15 million people on HIV antiretroviral treatment by end 2015 had been met nine months early....Much of the funding for this was provided by the US government and, ultimately, taxpayers.

    July 27, 2015
    Wall Street Journal
  • Transgender people are not getting adequate health care, and widespread discrimination is largely to blame, according to a recent WHO report....JoAnne Keatley, one of the authors,...tells NPR: "There was a recent meta-analysis demonstrating that a transgender woman was 49 times as likely to be living with HIV [than the general population] in 15 countries in which data was analyzed".... Among sex workers, transgender women are nine times likelier to have HIV than their non-transgender counterparts.

    July 26, 2015
    NPR
  • More than 6,500 deaths have been reported in the Donbass region, where Ukrainian forces have battled Russian-supported separatist fighters for control since April 2014. The political violence has led to a humanitarian crisis. More than 8,000 patients being treated for H.I.V. or drug dependence have had life-saving medicines cut off, or will soon be without them, unless action is taken right now to allow a humanitarian convoy through.

    July 26, 2015
    NY Times
  • India's fight against AIDS is being jeopardised by a cut in social spending by Prime Minister Narendra Modi's government, with health workers laid off and programmes to prevent spread of the disease curtailed....The government anti-AIDS programme had been in trouble for more than a year, with bureaucratic delays and a funding crunch resulting in shortages of condoms and drugs. Then in February, Modi slashed the 2015-16 central AIDS budget by 22 percent.

    July 24, 2015
    Reuters
  • Manufactured by Bio-Rad Laboratories, the BioPlex 2200 HIV Ag-Ab assay is the first FDA-approved diagnostic able to differentiate between HIV-1 antibodies, HIV-2 antibodies and HIV-1 p24 antigen....Karen Midthun, MD, director, FDA Center for Biologics Evaluation and Research, said: “The ability to diagnose HIV infection early and differentiate between types of infection" is important due to the similarity of HIV-1 and HIV-2 symptoms.

    July 24, 2015
    Healio

Published Research

  • HIV-1 persists indefinitely in memory CD4+ T cells and other long-lived cellular reservoirs despite antiretroviral therapy. Our group had previously demonstrated that HIV-1 can establish a productive infection in renal epithelial cells and that the kidney represents a separate compartment for HIV-1 replication. Our results suggest the presence of a distinct HIV compartment in the genitourinary tract.

    August 24, 2015
    AIDS
  • Cases of Leishmania/HIV coinfection have been reported in the Mediterranean region, mainly in France, Italy, Portugal, and Spain. Since highly active antiretroviral therapy was introduced in 1997, a marked decrease in the number of coinfected cases in this region has been reported. The...risk of relapse is one of the main challenges in improving the treatment of coinfected patients....This article reviews the epidemiological, diagnostic, clinical, and therapeutic aspects of Leishmania/HIV coinfection in the Mediterranean region.

    August 21, 2015
    PLoS
  • Findings suggest both community and fast track testing service models are important to increase HIV testing among GBM with a similar yield of HIV diagnoses at the 3 services. The community models reached more untested men and the fast track model more infrequent testers.

    August 1, 2015
    JAIDS
  • Among 300 pregnant female participants [in Kenya], the majority of male (81 %) and female (65 %) participants recommended home over alternative HTC venues. Adjusting for whether or not the partner was tested during follow-up did not significantly alter preferences.

    July 31, 2015
    BioMed Central
  • Longer breastfeeding duration was independently associated with a lower risk of HIV superinfection after controlling for study arm and baseline viral load. Conclusion: There was a significant level of HIV superinfection in women postpartum, but this was not associated with an increased risk of MTCT via breastfeeding.

    July 31, 2015
    AIDS
  • Direct measurement of antiretroviral treatment program indicators essential for evidence-based planning and evaluation – especially HIV incidence, population viral load, and ART eligibility – is rare in sub-Saharan Africa. This study demonstrates how population-level data can help optimize HIV programs. Based on these results, new regional programs are prioritizing diagnosis and expanding ART eligibility, key steps to reach undetectable viral load.

    July 31, 2015
    AIDS
  • WHO recommends ritonavir-boosted protease inhibitor with two nucleoside reverse transcriptase inhibitors in HIV-infected patients failing non-nucleoside reverse transcriptase inhibitor-based first-line treatment.....The three second-line regimens obtained similar and satisfactory virologic control and confirmed the WHO recommendation as a valid option. However, the suboptimal response for patients with high viral load warrants research for improved strategies.

    July 31, 2015
    AIDS
  • An estimated 3, 226, 872 or 5.8% of men aged 18–44 years were identified as MSM, with 24.6% of them reporting ever experiencing nonvolitional sex [NVS]. MSM reporting NVS at age 18 years or older were more likely to have had sex with an IDU and exchanged sex for money or drugs in the past 12 months compared with those not reporting NVS.

    July 30, 2015
    AIDS
  • Sex workers remain a vulnerable population at risk for HIV acquisition and transmission.... International efforts are taking a public health approach calling for decriminalization of sex work as the most effective public health strategy for reducing HIV incidence among sex workers. Although such an approach is not yet politically feasible in the US, some urgent practical policy changes can be implemented to improve... generation of evidence to support HIV programs targeting sex workers.

    July 27, 2015
    Reproductive Health Matters
  • Uganda adopted voluntary medical male circumcision (VMMC), as part of its HIV prevention strategy in 2010. Since then, the Ministry of Health (MOH) has implemented VMMC mostly with support from the United States President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR).... Quality gaps were identified...In response, PEPFAR... provided support in quality improvement to the MOH and implementing partners to improve quality and safety in VMMC services and build capacity of MOH staff to continuously improve VMMC service quality.

    July 24, 2015
    PLoS
  • In a nationally representative population-based cross-sectional survey of households in South Africa conducted in 2012,..we found evidence of less risky sexual risk behavior among people living with HIV on ART compared to those not on ART. For males and females, the odds of reporting consistent condom use and condom use at last sex were statistically significantly higher for individuals on ART compared to those not on ART;...there were no statistically significant differences in odds of reporting multiple sexual partners in the past year.

    July 21, 2015
    AIDS and Behavior
  • South Africa has made significant progress in expanding access to HIV testing, and at current testing rates, the target of 90% of HIV-positive adults diagnosed by 2020 is likely to be reached. However, uptake is relatively low in men and older adults.

    July 17, 2015
    AIDS

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