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4 September 2015 VOLUME 16 ISSUE 36

Media Coverage

  • Lifting a ban on spending city money on needle exchanges for intravenous drug users prevented 120 new cases of HIV in two years in Washington, according to a new study that researchers hope can help other communities deal with a surge in addicts shooting up. “Policy change makes a difference,” says Monica Ruiz of George Washington University, lead author of the research published Thursday in AIDS and Behavior. “While this study looks at (Washington), DC, we’re seeing the same thing in Indiana,” which recently changed its policy to make needle exchanges legal.

    September 3, 2015
    USA Today
  • In addition to medical care, HIV patients treated at facilities funded by the 25-year-old Ryan White HIV/AIDS Program (RWHAP) were more likely to receive support services and achieve viral suppression compared with patients at other facilities,....[and] more likely to be younger, female, black....Hispanic, have less than a high school education, an income at or below the federal poverty line, and have no health insurance.

    September 3, 2015
    MedPage Today
  • The reality is America spends less than 1 percent on foreign aid. According to ForeignAssistance.gov, America spends approximately 0.8 percent of its entire budget on foreign aid....Think about these five ways the US has been able to improve other countries while spending less than 1 percent of its budget: 1.8 million people have received life-saving HIV treatment, and 56.7 million people have received HIV counseling and testing.

    September 2, 2015
    San Francisco Sentinel
  • Launching the National Adolescent Sexual and Reproductive Health Policy 2015 in Nairobi yesterday, Health Cabinet Secretary James Macharia said his ministry and that of Education are working to empower young people with appropriate information and skills to help them make informed choices about their sexuality...."As a government we are proud to report our efforts towards reducing new HIV infections among the adolescents. The presidential directives given provided a platform for accelerating prevention and management of HIV among adolescents."

    September 2, 2015
    Standard Digital News Kenya
  • Demonstrating that taking a daily pill to prevent HIV infection works in the real world, San Francisco’s largest private health insurer announced that not one of its 657 clients receiving the drug had become infected over...more than two years. That outcome contradicts the prognostications of some critics who had predicted that so-called pre-exposure prophylaxis, or PrEP, would lead to more HIV infections, because those taking the drugs would stop using condoms.

    September 2, 2015
    NY Times
  • In this edition of HIV Update, we summarise an expert review which outlines what doctors know about the potential interactions between HIV medications and recreational drugs. Prepared by experts based in the UK, the review focuses on the drugs that are most commonly used by gay men living with HIV in the UK.

    September 2, 2015
    aidsmap
  • Despite the CDC’s 2006 recommendation that most health care providers screen older patients for HIV, regardless of symptoms, a large proportion of older adults are not being tested, according to recently published data in Public Health Reports....The only consistent increase in testing was seen among older black individuals.

    September 1, 2015
    Healio
  • In settings with a high prevalence of HIV, such as South Africa, provision of antiretroviral therapy programmes in the workplace can be cost saving for companies due to reductions in healthcare costs, absenteeism, and staff turnover, according to new research published in PLOS Medicine....The analysis was the result of a long-standing collaboration [between] the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, UK, and the Aurum Institute, South Africa.

    September 1, 2015
    Science Daily
  • The UN’s first take on goal-setting, the Millennium Development Goals adopted in 2000, had largely been reached by development experts meeting in a room and coming up with what they considered to be the eight pressing needs of developing countries. They ranged from reducing extreme poverty to cutting maternal and infant mortality and addressing HIV/AIDS. But the three-year process that resulted in the SDGs was very different animal.

    September 1, 2015
    Christian Science Monitor
  • Sharon Hillier,...professor of obstetrics-gynecology and reproductive services at the University of Pittsburgh,... introduces herself as a vaginal ecologist and calls the vagina a “beautiful ecosystem.” Hillier, 61, has spent close to three decades examining the curious lives of microbes that inhabit the vagina, and is one of the most prominent scientists in the burgeoning field of research into microbicides.

    September 1, 2015
    Science Friday
  • In recent years, evidence has been building that injectable contraceptive depot medroxyprogesterone acetate (Depo-Provera or DMPA) is associated with an increased risk of HIV infection. Now a study published in the September 1st issue of mBio...provides a biological explanation for the phenomenon....The researchers analyzed cervical swabs and data from 823 women between ages 18 and 35...in family planning clinics in Uganda and Zimbabwe.

    September 1, 2015
    Science Daily
  • In applying their PrEP care continuum to a cohort of MSM in Atlanta, Colleen Kelley and colleagues found that, given the barriers currently in place, only 15% of MSM were projected to achieve protection from HIV....Novel strategies are needed to remove the current barriers, they said, and should include free or low-cost open access PrEP programs aimed at high-risk populations.

    August 31, 2015
    Healio
  • Q: I am HIV-positive, but after taking HIV medication for the past few years, my viral load is undetectable, which means it would be almost impossible for me to pass the virus on to a sexual partner. I wonder if you think I should be required to disclose my HIV status to a partner or if, because I'm undetectable, is it OK for me to keep it to myself?" A: ...If you're asking for permission to avoid disclosing it, you've come to the wrong guy. But the reason I'm giving you this advice may surprise you. It's not about medical science or disclosure laws; it's about personal responsibility.

    August 31, 2015
    Washington Post
  • Singapore...has lifted a two-decade ban on HIV-infected people from entering the country, but will limit their stay to a maximum of three months. The ban was lifted on April 1, "given the current context with more than 5,000 Singapore residents living with HIV and the availability of effective treatment for the disease." The three-month restriction is apparently aimed at preventing long-term residence by foreigners, such as those looking to work in the island-nation or looking to accompany a child studying here.

    August 31, 2015
    AP
  • HIV-1 infection with multiple founder variants points to poorer clinical outcomes than infection with a single variant, according to a paper published in the journal Nature Medicine. In the study, researchers analyzed large sample sets from two important HIV vaccine efficacy trials -- the Step HIV vaccine clinical trial (HVTN 502) and RV144, the landmark vaccine clinical trial conducted in Thailand.

    August 31, 2015
    Science Daily
  • A consortium of research organisations will embark on clinical trials of an HIV vaccine in Zimbabwe starting with 24 volunteers this coming November.

    August 30, 2015
    Zim Daily
  • Aaron Motsoaledi, South Africa's health minister, recently fired up debates on global drug policy by warning that proposed changes to Indian patent law could spell death for Africans who depend on cheap, Indian-made drugs. “We regard India as the pharmacy of the developing world,” Motsoaledi said. “They were our heroes, and if they change their laws now, we will be in big trouble in Sub-Saharan Africa.”

    August 28, 2015
    SciDevNet
  • Gay and bisexual teenage boys were unlikely to undergo HIV testing, according to research published in the Journal of Adolescent Health. “As one of the first studies to investigate the HIV testing behaviors of adolescent gay and bisexual men, findings highlight the many modifiable barriers that young men face in accessing testing services,” Gregory Phillips II, department of medical social sciences at Northwestern University, and colleagues wrote.

    August 28, 2015
    Healio
  • Latin America and the Caribbean countries have set new regional targets for 2020, aiming to reduce new HIV infections, guarantee a coordinated and comprehensive approach to HIV prevention, and achieve an environment of zero stigma and discrimination against people living with HIV and the populations most affected by the epidemic....The targets were agreed to during the second Latin American and Caribbean Forum on the HIV Continuum of Care,...held last week in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.

    August 27, 2015
    Caribbean 360
  • Researchers from the Gladstone Institutes have revealed that HIV does not cause AIDS by the virus's direct effect on the host's immune cells, but rather through the cells' lethal influence on one another....The virus turns host immune cells into suicide machines, using them to spread the virus and cause the progression from HIV to AIDS.

    August 27, 2015
    Science Daily
  • The International Union Against Tuberculosis and Lung Disease released a report recently arguing that second-hand smoke must be addressed in the treatment of patients with TB and HIV. The research identifies a critical missed opportunity in TB and HIV programs: smoking and exposure to second hand smoke are known to exacerbate these diseases.

    August 26, 2015
    VOA
  • It took less than a minute for a panel of judges in Senegal to sentence seven men to six months in prison for homosexuality last week, but campaigners say the harm to the African nation's anti-HIV efforts could last much longer....Campaigners warned that Friday's verdict, based on a police discovery of condoms and lubricant in the house where the men were arrested, was a hammer blow to groups promoting safe sex.

    August 26, 2015
    Reuters
  • Young men who have sex with men have the highest risk for HIV infection, but only one in five has ever been tested for HIV, a much lower rate than testing for non-adolescents, reports a new national Northwestern Medicine study conducted in partnership with the Center for Innovative Public Health Research.

    August 26, 2015
    Science Daily
  • Although opportunistic infections and death are less common among HIV-infected youth receiving ART, these patients are now experiencing higher rates of psychiatric, neurodevelopment, metabolic, inflammatory and genital tract diseases, according to a recent study published in Clinical Infectious Diseases.

    August 24, 2015
    Healio

Published Research

  • We examined whether a repetitive dose regimen [of SR-2P, a novel dual-component microbicide gel comprising acyclovir and tenofovir,] could prevent death and reduce levels of virus in mice. Nearly all...the mice that received SR-2P for 2 days prior to infection or 1 h prior to infection and were administered SR-2P once a day for 10 days after infection showed no clinical symptoms of infection and no viral loads in vaginal swabs and survived for 28 days postinfection. We conclude that SR-2P is an effective anti-HSV-2 agent in mice.

    September 3, 2015
    Antimicrob Agents Chemother
  • We sought to understand reasons for lack of ART usage in patients meeting the Health Resources Services Administration definition of retention as well as what motivated HIV primary care appointment attendance in the absence of ART. [T]his study identifies the patient-provider encounter as a key factor in ART usage by HIV-positive individuals...; the researchers make several recommendations about the role of the provider in ART initiation.

    September 3, 2015
    PLoS ONE
  • The evaluation drew upon a structured survey of transition readiness...; a structured survey assessing institutionalization of program features...; and (3) case studies. The study suggests that significant investments in transition preparation contributed to a smooth transition and sustained service coverage. Notwithstanding, there were substantive program changes post-transition. Five key lessons for transition design and implementation are identified.

    September 1, 2015
    PLoS ONE
  • PrEP is best combined with a parallel plan to prevent other STIs, which may include use of condoms, frequent testing and treatment, and discussion of STI test results with prospective partners.

    September 1, 2015
    Clin Infect Dis
  • Workplace ART provision can be cost-saving for companies in high HIV prevalence settings due to reductions in healthcare costs, absenteeism, and staff turnover. Company-sponsored HIV counselling and voluntary testing with ensuing treatment of all HIV-positive employees and family members should be implemented universally at workplaces in countries with high HIV prevalence.

    September 1, 2015
    PLoS ONE
  • Both human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) and human herpesvirus (HHV) infections persist lifelong, and almost all individuals infected with HIV are also infected with ≥1 HHV. These coinfections are not independent processes or benign. In this review, we discuss how HHVs, and cytomegalovirus in particular, interact with concurrent HIV infection, and we describe the next steps necessary to understand and address these connections.

    September 1, 2015
    J Infect Dis
  • In this study, we explored an additional function of ADS-J1: inhibition of SEVI fibril formation and blockage of SEVI-mediated enhancement of viral infection....Combination of ADS-J1 with several antiretroviral drugs exhibited synergistic effects against HIV-1 infection in semen, with little cytotoxicity to vaginal epithelial cells. Our results suggest that ADS-J1 or a derivative may be incorporated into a combination microbicide for prevention of the sexual transmission of HIV-1.

    September 1, 2015
    Antimicrob Agents Chemother
  • In this article, we show that in young reproductive-age women most vulnerable to HIV, hormonal contraceptives [HC] are associated with altered cervical immunity in a manner dependent on the presence of genital tract infections....A high prevalence of asymptomatic infections among HC users that remain undiagnosed and untreated raises even more concerns in light of their combined effects on biomarkers of HIV risk.

    September 1, 2015
    ASM
  • Referrals for and initiation of preexposure prophylaxis (PrEP) for HIV infection increased dramatically in a large clinical practice setting since 2012. Despite high rates of sexually transmitted infections among PrEP users and reported decreases in condom use in a subset, there were no new HIV infections in this population.

    September 1, 2015
    Clin Infect Dis
  • Two studies now reported in the Journal — the TEMPRANO ANRS 12136 study and the Strategic Timing of Antiretroviral Treatment (START) study — provide important additional evidence to support early ART initiation.... Converting the new evidence from these two trials into treatment programs for all people living with HIV will require substantial additional resources....[I]t is now more important than ever to make the motto of “Test, Treat, Retain, Respect, and Prevent” a global action statement.

    August 27, 2015
    NEJM
  • We applied several relatively standard toxicology study methodologies to female sheep, incorporating an assessment of the pharmacokinetics, safety, tolerability, and local toxicity of a dapivirine-containing human vaginal ring formulation (Dapivirine Vaginal Ring-004)....The sheep represents a very useful model for the assessment of the safety and pharmacokinetics of microbicide drug delivery devices, such as the vaginal ring.

    July 31, 2015
    Antimicrob Agents Chemother
  • The linkage between sexual and gender-based violence (SGBV) and risk of HIV...is especially pronounced in countries with high HIV prevalence, such as Zambia. Growing awareness of these negative consequences led the Government of Zambia to develop national guidelines...for a response system linking the health, police, and social services sectors. A critical component of this response is provision of...HIV post-exposure prophylaxis (PEP).

    July 7, 2015
    BMC

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