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5 August 2016 VOLUME 17 ISSUE 31

Media Coverage

  • If there was one success story to emerge from the International AIDS Conference in Durban, South Africa, it was that more people are getting treated for HIV/AIDS than ever before....Falling drug prices played a key role in helping providers reach this point. But...Doctors Without Borders (Médecins Sans Frontières) warned at a press conference that trade negotiations around the world put future gains at risk.

    August 3, 2016
    Politifact
  • Hillary Clinton has an updated plan to end the AIDS epidemic both nationally and internationally. The plan, released Monday, included many applause-worthy commitments to achieve this end, which will go into motion if Clinton becomes president....Yet Clinton’s plan is missing a key element: a hard timeline to end the epidemic.

    August 3, 2016
    Advocate
  • New research demonstrates that a first-of-its-kind next-generation sequencing test can detect HIV drug resistance mutations that conventional tests fail to identify. This test could play a critical role in helping clinicians to optimize HIV treatment regimens, while also helping public health initiatives to minimize the development of global resistance to antiretroviral drugs.

    August 3, 2016
    Science Daily
  • Collaborators at the Sandia National Laboratories' Biological and Engineering Sciences Center have developed a new hybrid method to study a protein called Nef involved in HIV progression to AIDS, with the ultimate goal of blocking it. The method also could work on many other proteins that damage cellular processes and cause diseases.

    August 3, 2016
    Science Daily
  • Some infections, such as HIV, cannot be cured with antiviral therapy because the virus effectively hides from the immune system. An international team of scientists...have discovered that killer T cells, a specialised type of white blood cells, can find these "hidden" infected cells in tissue and destroy them. This discovery, published today in Nature Immunology, could provide new insights into finding a lifelong cure for chronic infections such as HIV.

    August 3, 2016
    Science Daily
  • As the NHS is set to appeal a High Court decision to fund PrEP, a drug that can prevent HIV, rhetoric shaming LGBT people has resurfaced.

    August 3, 2016
    New Statesman
  • A High Court judge yesterday ordered health officials to provide the daily Prep tablets - branded a 'promiscuity pill' by critics - costing taxpayers up to £20 million a year. NHS England will appeal because providing the £5,000 annual patient cost will hit funding for 13 other treatments.

    August 3, 2016
    Daily Mail
  • Reaching the remaining millions of people living with HIV who are not yet receiving treatment won’t be easy. The many barriers blocking such expansion – such as access to HIV testing, the cost of the drugs and the persistent stigma of HIV infection – were discussed by a panel of six experts at a recent Guardian seminar supported by Gilead Sciences...in Durban, South Africa, during the International Aids Society's 21st conference

    August 3, 2016
    The Guardian
  • Scottish ministers are to seek approval as soon as possible for the use of a “game changer” HIV drug which the High Court in London ruled yesterday should be funded by NHS England south of the Border.

    August 2, 2016
    Scotsman
  • People infected with a parasitic worm called Wuchereria bancrofti in areas where HIV is endemic may be more likely to acquire HIV than people who are not infected with the worm, according to a new study in southwest Tanzania.

    August 2, 2016
    Science Daily
  • AIDS campaigners are celebrating a watershed victory after the high court ruled that NHS England can pay for “game-changer” drugs that prevent people being infected with HIV by their partners. But NHS England made it clear that the fight to get PrEP – pre-exposure prophylaxis – to everyone at risk is far from over.

    August 2, 2016
    Guardian
  • The Hillary Clinton campaign launched a comprehensive plan to tackle HIV/AIDS on its website today, laying the groundwork for extensive backing of Truvada in all its forms, as well as other strategies to help create the first AIDS-free generation....Specifically, Clinton is pledging to tackle transmissions among at-risk minority groups.

    August 2, 2016
    OUT
  • Tim Murphy’s hugely ambitious new novel, “Christodora,” tackles the legacy and costs of AIDS and the activism that arose to meet it....As the novel shifts back and forth across four decades, from the first reported cases of AIDS to an imagined New York City of 2021, Murphy offers a compelling portrait of the community of activists that transformed queer life in the 1980s and ’90s.

    August 2, 2016
    Washington Post
  • When the International AIDS Conference is held in Africa, not only do you get Elton John, Queen Latifah and the rest of the celebrity set, but African royalty appear as well....Malawi’s rate of new infection has been dropping, and perhaps that’s in part due to Senior Chief Theresa John Ndovie Kachindamoto....As a powerful female ruler in a man’s world, she’s taken some bold steps to save young women from infection. What follows is an edited version of our dinner conversation.

    July 29, 2016
    Global Health Now
  • They compared that headline in New Vision and the general content of the story with newspapers from Europe and America and found that New Vision had a better headline which was not too much hype and also found that the content was better edited and factually and well presented.

    July 29, 2016
    New Vision
  • I awoke on the morning 18th July 2016 excited to attend my first International AIDS Conference....I had no idea what to expect. Neither had I ever heard of microbicides. That is until I met Anna Miti....She invited me to the Women's Network Zone session where microbicides were to be discussed. And what a session it was!

    July 26, 2016
    What's Up HIV
  • An undetectable viral load was something unimaginable even 20 years ago, when the first antiretrovirals -- with their severe side effects and limited effectiveness -- were distributed. Today, their side effects are milder and their effectiveness is so high.

    July 22, 2016
    The Body

Published Research

  • In Rakai district, Uganda, the circumcision service program is attracting sexually active men at higher risk of HIV and we find no evidence of behavioral disinhibition following circumcision. Genital ulcers were less reported among circumcised compared with uncircumcised men. The SMC program in this setting has the potential to reduce the HIV epidemic among men.

    August 24, 2016
    AIDS
  • ART prescription and viral suppression increased significantly [in the United States] during 2009–2013, overall and in subgroups. The largest increases were among 18–29 year olds, 30–39 year olds, and non-Hispanic blacks.... Recent efforts to promote early antiretroviral therapy use may have contributed to these increases, bringing us closer to realizing key goals of the National HIV/AIDS Strategy.

    August 24, 2016
    AIDS
  • HIV-positive status has a profound impact on mobility: HIV infection leads to significantly higher mobility through all forms of migration captured in our study. These findings emphasize that migration is more than just an independent risk factor for HIV infection: greater prevalence of HIV among migrants is partly due to selection of HIV-positive individuals into migration.

    August 24, 2016
    AIDS
  • We discuss the relative strengths and weaknesses of existing methods and models, and propose a research agenda for advancing network analysis in HIV epidemiology. We make the case for a combination approach that integrates multiple data sources into a coherent statistical framework.

    August 24, 2016
    AIDS
  • Residual HIV transmission risk persists during the first 6 months of ART, with incomplete viral suppression in blood and genital compartments. For HIV-serodiscordant couples in which the infected partner starts ART, other prevention options are needed, such as pre-exposure prophylaxis, until viral suppression is achieved.

    August 15, 2016
    JAIDS
  • Concomitant with ART scale-up in sub-Saharan Africa, anticipated stigma in the general population increased despite a decrease in social distancing toward people living with HIV [PLWH]. Although ART scale-up may help reduce social distancing toward PLWH,...other interventions targeting symbolic or instrumental concerns about HIV may be needed.

    August 15, 2016
    JAIDS
  • The current method based on HIV case reporting may have overestimated PLWH in the United States. While we continue cleaning HIV case reporting data to improve its quality, we should take the opportunity to use comprehensive HIV laboratory reporting data to estimate PLWH at both the national and local levels.

    August 15, 2016
    JAIDS
  • Using data from 1092 women enrolled in an RCT in Durban, South Africa,...we established that HIV does not increase incidence of IPV for all HIV-positive women, [but] found an elevated risk of IPV among HIV-positive women who chose not to disclose their status to their partner....Counselors should either find alternative safe options for disclosure or support women's decisions not to disclose.

    August 15, 2016
    JAIDS
  • Mucosal fluids were positively correlated with tissue concentrations and including plasma concentrations improved regression models in most cases. [Our] findings suggest that mucosal fluid and plasma concentrations may be used for qualitative inference of tissue concentrations for these antiretrovirals.

    August 15, 2016
    JAIDS
  • Understanding of the HIV epidemic continues to be refined through innovations in global estimates, long-term data on key populations, and detailed geospatial studies of specific regional disease dynamics. A challenge now presents itself to marry prevention efforts to these patterns at the right scale....HIV/AIDS risk should be matched by specific interventions targeted at key populations and focused on hotspots of disease to have the maximum effect and reduce global HIV incidence while ensuring no-one is left behind.

    August 4, 2016
    Lancet HIV
  • Overall, 67% (n =3,276) of the sample were in support of MC but only 28% had circumcised partners. Women who had the knowledge that circumcision reduces HIV risk were about 6 times [more] likely to support MC...Ability to negotiate condom use and refuse sex were also positively associated with support of MC. Several sociodemographic factors particularly wealth index were also positively associated with women’s support of MC.

    August 2, 2016
    BMC Public Health
  • For a $US20 billion representative expenditure over the 15 year period, scale-up of prevention along present funding channels could avert 5·3 million infections relative to no scale-up....Targeting by both risk and geography is best for total impact, could achieve gains of up to three times more than present channels,...[and] would rebalance resources towards more cost-effective interventions and emerging epidemics.

    August 2, 2016
    Lancet
  • Longitudinal data on episodes of receptive anal intercourse (RAI), lubricant, and enema use in 41 sexually active men who have sex with men were collected using a prospective sex diary. Data on 550 episodes of RAI showed that lubricants were used in 88.9% of episodes and enemas were used in 30%.

    August 1, 2016
    Sex Trans Dis
  • Three thousand two hundred twenty-six couples from the Partners PrEP Study were included in this analysis. Participants at high risk of acquiring HIV were slightly more likely to report high perceived risk; nevertheless, only 20% of participants with high-risk reported high perceived risk....Perceptions of risk are likely socially determined and more complex than Likert scale questionnaires capture.

    August 1, 2016
    Sex Trans Dis
  • Design: Rigorous systematic review and meta-analysis. Conclusion: PrEP is protective against HIV infection across populations, presents few significant safety risks, and there is no evidence of behavioral risk compensation. The effective and cost-effective use of PrEP will require development of best practices for fostering uptake and adherence among people at substantial HIV risk.

    July 31, 2016
    AIDS
  • The HPV vaccine has proven efficacy. But a decade on, its uptake has been poor, with a worldwide coverage of only 1.4% of women. Vaccines are one of the strongest levers to improve public health; their study, licensing, and implementation require more urgency than China and the USA have so far displayed.

    July 30, 2016
    Lancet
  • Some HIV-infected individuals produce antibodies that can target multiple HIV strains—broadly neutralizing antibodies [bnAbs]. Moody et al. compare HIV-infected individuals who produce these antibodies with those who do not [and] find that bnAb production associates with particular immune traits....Vaccine protocols that can mimic these immune perturbations may promote induction of bnAbs and lead to a more successful immune response to HIV.

    July 29, 2016
    Antibody Related Research
    Science
  • We aimed to assess whether a social network intervention was superior to HIV testing and counselling in affecting HIV incidence among PWID. [Our] data provide strong support for integrating peer education into comprehensive HIV prevention programmes for PWID and suggest the value in developing and testing peer-led interventions to improve access and adherence to PrEP and ART.

    July 28, 2016
    Lancet HIV
  • MTN-015 was implemented initially at six African sites and enrolled 100 of the 139 eligible women who seroconverted in HPTN 035. Retention was good with >70% of visits completed. Implementation challenges included regulatory reviews, translation and testing of questionnaires, and site readiness. Data and samples collected will be used to assess safety of investigational HIV microbicides and answer other important public health questions for HIV infected women.

    July 28, 2016
    HIV Clin Trials
  • A new study designed to assess the ability of chloroquine, a Toll-like receptor inhibitor, to reduce immune system activation and inflammation caused by chronic HIV infection showed chloroquine to be only somewhat effective. Jeffrey Jacobson and coauthors representing the AIDS Clinical Trial Group A5258 Protocol Team describe the study design and interpret the results in an article available free on the AIDS Research and Human Retroviruses website until September 4, 2016.

    July 27, 2016
    AIDS Research and Human Retroviruses
  • Jurisdictions can use this HIV prevalence prediction tool, accessible at https://dph.georgia.gov/hiv-prevalence-projections, to assess local capacity to meet future HIV care and social services needs. In this model, achieving 90/90/80 by 2020 in [the US state of ] Georgia slowed but did not reverse increases in HIV prevalence, and the number of HIV-infected persons needing care and support services more than doubled. Improving the HIV care infrastructure is imperative.

    July 26, 2016
    PLOS
  • This field note...provides an example of how health workforce data can be analyzed alongside country-level HIV service statistics to ensure an adequate supply of human resources for health...to achieve 90–90–90 goals.

    July 24, 2016
    AIDS
  • An interim analysis of data from the HPTN 052 trial showed that antiretroviral therapy prevented more than 96% of genetically linked infections caused by HIV-1 in serodiscordant couples. ART was then offered to all patients with HIV-1 infection. The study included more than 5 years of follow-up....Conclusion: The early initiation of ART led to a sustained decrease in genetically linked HIV-1 infections in sexual partners.

    July 21, 2016
    NEJM
  • From November 18, 2014, to November 1, 2015, HIV infection was diagnosed in 181 case patients....Contact tracing investigations led to the identification of 536 persons who were named as contacts of case patients; 468 of these contacts were located, assessed for risk, tested for HIV, and, if infected, linked to care. The number of times a contact was named as a syringe-sharing partner by a case patient was significantly associated with the risk of HIV infection.

    July 21, 2016
    NEJM

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