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7 August 2015 VOLUME 16 ISSUE 32

Media Coverage

  • In a substudy from a randomized trial, a tenofovir-containing gel used pericoitally cut risk of infection with herpes simplex-2 virus by about half, according to Salim Abdool Karim, Centre for the AIDS Programme of Research in South Africa, and colleagues....Jeanne Marrazzo, University of Washington,...one of the leaders of the VOICE trial, which saw almost the same protection against HSV-2, said..."The catch will be finding "user-appropriate drug delivery systems," since many women appear not to like what is currently on offer.

    August 6, 2015
    MedPage Today
  • In 2010, seven African first ladies issued a statement calling for increased access to HPV vaccination and cancer screening. Progress is underway in many countries, including Uganda...Mozambique...and Rwanda, where adult women had the second-highest probability of dying from cervical cancer in 1990 [and] was the first African country to introduce universal HPV vaccine coverage, in 2011.

    August 6, 2015
    Humanosphere
  • For the last few years, Wangda Dorje and Tshering Choden have been the public face of HIV/AIDS in Bhutan. They were among a group of five who were the first in the country to come out as HIV-positive — in front of the King, and then on national television.

    August 6, 2015
    KFF.org
  • In San Francisco, the Getting to Zero consortium aims to make the city the first U.S. jurisdiction to achieve the goals of eliminating new HIV infections, HIV-related deaths, and HIV stigma and discrimination, using a three-prong strategy of expanded access to PrEP, rapid access to antiretroviral therapy, and retention of HIV-positive people in care.

    August 6, 2015
    Bay Area Reporter
  • This week, Amnesty International will consider adopting a policy calling for the decriminalization of sex work..... Decriminalization not only addresses the grave human rights abuses sex workers face every day, it is also good public health policy....The US anti-prostitution loyalty oath (APLO)...requiring organizations receiving US global HIV/AIDS funds to adopt an organization-wide policy opposing prostitution is an example of when such policies fail and exacerbate the AIDS crisis.

    August 5, 2015
    Huffington Post
  • In California, New York, Texas and elsewhere, health workers are trying to get more high-risk Latino men to use PrEP but are facing barriers such a lack of knowledge about the drug, and the stigmas attached to sleeping with men and to perceived promiscuity. Many Latinos also have concerns about costs and side effects.

    August 5, 2015
    NPR
  • Northwestern Medicine scientists have received a $17.5 million grant from the National Institutes of Health to use over the next five years for the development of an implantable drug delivery system to protect high-risk individuals from HIV infection.

    August 5, 2015
    Daily Northwestern
  • Contrary to reports that women shun female condoms, it is a different phenomenon at Raiply new residential site in Mzimba District where female condoms sell like hot cakes amid concerns of high prostitution in the area.

    August 4, 2015
    Malawi News Agency
  • According to domain name whois records, Johnson & Johnson (J&J) purchased the domain name HIVAidsVaccine.com.

    August 4, 2015
    The Domains
  • Scientists have backed the use of an anti-retroviral drug before sex to prevent HIV infection among couples where one partner is not infected. The development will now make it possible for families where only one of the partners is HIV positive (discordant couples) and not on medication to give birth without risk.

    August 3, 2015
    Daily Nation
  • Over the past decade, the US President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief — in partnership with other countries and financing mechanisms — has helped change the trajectory of the AIDS epidemic. Yet, right now, PEPFAR is operating without targets. Read why targets are necessary and how they drive action.

    August 3, 2015
    Devex
  • The new National HIV/AIDS Strategy (NHAS), now updated for 2015-2020, is focused heavily on prevention and includes a strong endorsement of PrEP as a strategic option. This article in BuzzFeed takes on six common misconceptions about PrEP and clarifies what the science really has to say about this blue pill.

    August 2, 2015
    BuzzFeed
  • A study by researchers at NIAID and Duke University helps explain why the candidate vaccine used in the HVTN 505 clinical trial was not protective against HIV infection despite robustly inducing anti-HIV antibodies: the vaccine stimulated antibodies that recognized HIV as well as microbes commonly found in the intestinal tract, part of the body's microbiome....More work is needed to clarify how the microbiome may affect the production and effectiveness of vaccine-induced antibodies that target HIV.

    July 31, 2015
    News-Medical.Net
  • The plan unveiled Thursday updates one issued five years ago. Developments since then include new diagnostic tests, a daily pill for infection prevention, and implementation of the Affordable Care Act. However, new infections with HIV...have stayed about the same, at around 50,000 a year. Diagnosed infections have dropped in women and heterosexuals, but climbed in gay and bisexual men. The updated document adds some new goals for 2020.

    July 31, 2015
    AP
  • A set of recommendations has been released by experts for how states across the US can improve HIV prevention and care outcomes in an effort to achieve the goals identified within the National HIV/AIDS Strategy.

    July 30, 2015
    Science Daily
  • Highly active anti-retroviral therapy has helped millions survive the human immunodeficiency virus. Unfortunately, HIV has a built-in survival mechanism, creating reservoirs of latent, inactive virus that are invisible to both HAART and the immune system. But now, researchers at UC Davis have identified a compound that activates latent HIV, offering the tantalizing possibility that the virus can be flushed out of the silent reservoirs and fully cured.

    July 30, 2015
    Science Daily
  • Less than half of men in a high-risk South African township knew whether their partners had ever been tested for HIV, and women weren’t much more informed, according to a survey of heterosexual couples....Fear of isolation from their partner, dependency issues, fear of blame and violence might keep couples from discussing their HIV status and history.

    July 30, 2015
    Reuters
  • A new study published in Science suggests that the gut microbiome’s influence on the childhood immune system may be the reason a promising experimental HIV vaccine failed to protect [against HIV] infection in recent clinical trials....These findings point to new directions researchers can take to develop a working HIV vaccine, including possibly vaccinating earlier in life, before the microbiome has the chance to fully shape the immune system.

    July 30, 2015
    Fred Hutch News
  • USAID has awarded five 5-year PEPFAR-funded cooperative agreements for Microbicide Research, Development, and Introduction to five Implementing Partners: OPTIONS Consortium - Optimizing prevention technology introduction on schedule (FHI 360, Wits RHI,AVAC); POWER - Prevention options for women evaluation research (University of Washington); EMOTION - Enhancing microbicide uptake in high-risk end users (CONRAD); CHARISMA - Community health clinic model for agency in relationships and safer microbicide adherence intervention (RTI International); GEMS - Global evaluation of microbicide sensitivity - Microbicide/PrEP roll-out (University of Pittsburgh).

    July 29, 2015
    USAID
  • While the numbers coming out of side events at Addis were hardly worth the single shake of a string-free pom-pom, and the launch of a Global Partnership for Sustainable Development Data raised a lot of questions, there were some bright spots in the US commitments to that partnership. In particular, PEPFAR promised a leap towards data transparency.

    July 29, 2015
    Center for Global Development
  • In Zimbabwe where HIV infection is prevalent and soccer almost a religion, sports stars have successfully teamed up with a non-governmental agency to promote male circumcision among the nation's youth,...reported Rebecca Hershow of Grassroots Soccer, based in Cape Town, South Africa, and colleagues....Sharon Lewin, professor of medicine....at the University of Melbourne in Australia, called "Make the Cut" a "very clever program."

    July 24, 2015
    MedPage Today
  • French scientist Francoise Barre-Sinoussi....spoke with CNN at this week's International AIDS Society Conference, in Vancouver, about activism, the future of HIV and why there's still no cure.

    July 24, 2015
    CNN
  • The 2015 International AIDS Society conference will be remembered as a milestone in the global effort to eliminate new infections and expand treatment to everyone living with HIV worldwide, experts said.

    July 23, 2015
    Bay Area Reporter
  • With the success of antiretroviral drugs in treating HIV/AIDS, many infected people are able to lead more normal lives. But treatment is not a cure.

    July 22, 2015
    Voice of America
  • ATN 110 demonstrated that participants that engage in higher risk HIV activities more frequently are more adherent to PrEP.

    July 22, 2015
    Beta Blog

Published Research

  • One hundred fifty male infants were enrolled in the trial; the result provides evidence of noninferiority of AccuCirc compared with the Mogen Clamp. Nearly all mothers (99.5%) reported great satisfaction with the outcome. All mothers, regardless of arm said they would recommend EIMC to other parents, and would circumcise their next son. There was no difference in the rate of adverse events by device.

    August 15, 2015
    JAIDS
  • The Vancouver Consensus statement, which emerged at....IAS 2015, signals the scientific affirmation that, rather than limiting access to those who are immune compromised, immediate access to antiretroviral medicines holds the power to rapidly advance the fight to end AIDS. The consensus-signed by more than 500 researchers, clinicians, and civil society experts- is clear: "All people living with HIV must have access to antiretroviral treatment upon diagnosis."

    August 8, 2015
    Lancet
  • We assessed the effectiveness of pericoital tenofovir gel in preventing HSV-2 acquisition in a subgroup of 422 HSV-2–negative women enrolled in the CAPRISA 004 study, a double-blind, randomized, placebo-controlled trial. As confirmed by Western blot testing, there were 16 HSV-2 seroconversions among women assigned to tenofovir gel as compared with 36 among those assigned to the placebo gel....In this study in South Africa, pericoital application of tenofovir gel reduced HSV-2 acquisition in women.

    August 6, 2015
    NEJM
  • Early infant male circumcision (EIMC) has a lower unit cost when using AccuCirc compared with Mogen Clamp. To minimize unit costs, countries planning to scale-up EIMC using AccuCirc need to control costs of consumables and personnel. There is also need to negotiate a reasonable device price and maximize capacity utilization.

    August 6, 2015
    JAIDS
  • This is a big week in the fight against Ebola: a clinical trial of an Ebola vaccine in Guinea has reported a promising outcome....That such a vaccine could be clinically tested — a process that usually takes years — in a short space of time and without the facilities of a sophisticated research hospital, must rewrite the rules for how drug trials for infectious-disease threats are conducted.

    August 5, 2015
    Nature
  • A HIV-1 DNA prime-recombinant Adenovirus Type 5 (rAd5) boost vaccine failed to protect from HIV.... We studied the nature of the vaccine-induced antibody (Ab) response to HIV-1 envelope (Env). HIV-1-reactive plasma Ab titers were higher to Env gp41 than gp120, and repertoire analysis demonstrated that 93% of HIV-1-reactive Abs from memory B cells was to Env gp41...HIV-1 Env DNA-rAd5 vaccine induced a dominant IM-polyreactive, non-neutralizing gp41-reactive Ab repertoire response that was associated with no vaccine efficacy.

    July 30, 2015
    Science
  • The three-dose vaccination coverage was sufficient for the 4vHPV types to almost disappear in Australian-born women aged 21 years or younger within 3 years of introduction of the national HPV vaccination programme. We noted strong herd protection, with significant decrease in the prevalence of 4vHPV in unvaccinated women. The 4vHPV vaccination programme in Australia has been successful.

    July 19, 2015
    Lancet

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