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9 December 2016 VOLUME 17 ISSUE 49

Media Coverage

  • Every morning, [after] Mandisa Khumalo (37) sends her two children off to school, she gets ready for work [and] takes out a blue pill to swallow with water. "I am a sex worker, you see," she says. "I'm HIV negative and I want to stay that way." Khumalo is also a peer educator at the Johannesburg-based Wits Reproductive Health and HIV Institute (WRHI)...Part of Khumalo's job is to promote the use of PrEP among HIV-negative sex workers. But this hasn't been easy.

    December 8, 2016
    Bhekisisa
  • The Government of Ghana and the Ghana AIDS Commission estimated the number of adults and children living with HIV as of 2015 at 275,000 and prevalence at two percent,....Girmay Haile, Country Director at UNAIDS Ghana, said. “Children are still dying of AIDS-related causes. They face the highest risk of AIDS-related death compared to all other age groups. The AIDS-response must focus on solutions for this extremely vulnerable population.”

    December 8, 2016
    Modern Ghana
  • The legislation introduced yesterday in the House of Representatives would hold spending flat at most science agencies, with some limited increases. These include an extra US$872 million to implement the 21st Century Cures Act, a bill that would reform drug development and biomedical research,...split between the NIH, FDA, and state governments.

    December 8, 2016
    Nature
  • The National Health Service of the UK recently announced that more than 10,000 people will be given PrEP as part of a large clinical trial, which will take the next three years at a cost of more than ten million dollars. This announcement could be the end of a long-running battle between the NHS and (UK) national AIDS charities.

    December 7, 2016
    HIV Equal
  • Human Rights Watch said in a report released Thursday that HIV prevalence among men who have sex with men has increased tenfold in the last five years,...HIV prevention education in schools is woefully inadequate, commercial marketing of condoms is nonexistent, and barriers to condom access and HIV testing — particularly those below 18— have contributed to the worsening epidemic,....compounded by longstanding resistance of the Roman Catholic church to contraceptives.

    December 7, 2016
    AP
  • The controversial Swiss pharmaceutical company Novartis has started work to expand health-care access in low-income countries through its nonprofit Novartis Foundation. The role of pharmaceutical companies in developing countries usually begins and ends with drug supplies. The expansion into a role that builds health systems is stirring all kinds of questions.

    December 7, 2016
    Humanosphere
  • An Indiana University nursing researcher has been awarded $1.1 million to study the ethical complexities of involving adolescents ages 14-17 at high risk for HIV in biomedical prevention trials. Amelia "Amy" Knopf, assistant professor of nursing, received the award, which is supported by the national Adolescent Medicine Trials Network for HIV/AIDS Interventions.

    December 7, 2016
    News-Medical
  • Zero. That’s the number of new HIV infections California officials are aiming for under a comprehensive initiative released this fall. The “Getting to Zero” plan, intended to guide the state’s AIDS policy from 2017 to 2021, is designed to boost surveillance, increase access to care and eliminate disparities in treatment.

    December 7, 2016
    Kaiser Health News
  • Global health agencies are succeeding in getting more people with HIV on antiretroviral therapy, a combination of drugs that suppress the virus to undetectable levels in the blood and reduce the risk of transmission to another person. But scientists are beginning to detect a disturbing new trend: The rise of drug-resistant HIV strains, especially in countries such as Kenya, Zambia, Uganda, Nigeria, Tanzania and South Africa.

    December 6, 2016
    Huffington Post
  • There’s a lot of good news about HIV/AIDS....In South Africa, however, this is not the case....So how can the country ensure that more adolescent girls are able to test for HIV and, where necessary, start taking antiretrovirals...to include early ART, provision of pre-exposure prophylaxis and medical male circumcision,...concerted effort to promote knowledge of HIV status, comprehensive age appropriate education in schools, economic empowerment and easy access to sexual and reproductive health services.

    December 6, 2016
    The Conversation
  • Triple-drug antiretroviral therapy achieved significantly lower rates of early HIV transmission from infected mother to infant; however, this therapy increased the risk for adverse outcomes in both mothers and infants, according to recent data from the PROMISE trial.

    December 6, 2016
    Healio
  • Four of seven sub-Saharan African countries...now can track the effectiveness of HIV treatment with tests...at least once a year, according to last week’s CDC Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report. Across those four countries — Namibia, South Africa, Kenya, and Côte d’Ivoire — and the other three — Malawi, Tanzania and Uganda — all countries increased the numbers of people living with HIV whose viral load was measured....But...a breakdown of the numbers collected in each also illustrate the continuing cost, capacity and resource challenges.

    December 5, 2016
    Science Speaks
  • Since 2007 more than 9 million circumcisions have been performed in eastern and southern Africa. But...about 20 million more men need to be circumcised....[and] there are many places where it has faced challenges....Uganda is a case in point. Our research found that religious and cultural beliefs compete with the messages about the purpose of circumcision...[that] got in the way of men deciding whether or not to be circumcised medically and affected the way they behaved afterwards.

    December 5, 2016
    South Africa News
  • Researchers have been exploring the “shock and kill” method to [cure HIV] for good, but a new study warns that the strategy could make things even worse....“Our study sounds a major cautionary note about...unintended consequences of the shock-and-kill treatment strategy,” Janice Clements at Johns Hopkins said....“The potential for the brain to harbor significant HIV reservoirs that could pose a danger if activated hasn’t received much attention in the HIV eradication field.”

    December 5, 2016
    HCP Live
  • A brand new type of HIV vaccine will move onto phase II clinical trials in 2017, after phase I trials showed that it was safe to use in humans. The potential new vaccine will be tested on 600 people in North America, to see how well it can prevent them from getting the virus...."We were very excited with the phase I results," said team leader Chil-Yong Kang, from Western University in Canada.

    December 5, 2016
    Science Alert
  • Data from the Influenza Hospitalization Surveillance Network showed that antiviral treatment increased among US patients hospitalized with influenza during the 2010-2011 to 2014-2015 seasons. However, researchers estimated that just over half of these patients received treatment on the first day of hospital admission despite the CDC’s recommendation to initiate early therapy in all patients with suspected or confirmed influenza.

    December 3, 2016
    Healio
  • For World AIDS Day, we sat down with US Global AIDS coordinator, Deborah Birx, to talk about the epidemic and PEPFAR....Birx: "We have made it incredibly clear that PEPFAR is a response for 100 percent of the people at risk for HIV/AIDS. [I]f...it becomes clear that the government of Tanzania doesn't believe that everyone in their country deserves access to health care, that would be difficult for us to continue that kind of investment in Tanzania. communities."

    December 1, 2016
    NPR
  • Researchers from the University of Liverpool's Institute of Translational Medicine have been awarded a grant of up to US$ 8.9 million to lead a multinational research consortium that aims to reduce mother-to-child transmission of HIV. The DolPHIN-2 investigators were funded as part of a major UNITAID initiative to gather evidence on the use of new priority antiretroviral regimens for first-line therapy in developing countries.

    December 1, 2016
    News-Medical
  • Today is World AIDS Day, and three neighboring countries [Malawi, Zambia, Zimbabwe] in southern Africa that have been hard-hit by HIV received remarkably good news....In each country, more than 86% of the people receiving antiretroviral treatment had fully suppressed HIV....The rate of new infections has also plummeted by more than 50% in the region since 2003.

    December 1, 2016
    Science
  • Representative Andy Harris (R–MD), an anesthesiologist who has shown a keen interest in the National Institutes of Health while in Congress, has put his hat in the ring for NIH director in the administration of President-elect Donald Trump, he told ScienceInsider today....Some Republicans in Congress, meanwhile, want the Trump transition team to keep current NIH Director Francis Collins on for another 4 years.

    December 1, 2016
    Science

Published Research

  • Approximately, 9.7% of participants [N = 761] had ever used PrEP; 87% of those deemed good candidates for screening were not current or past users. PrEP use was associated with higher income; receptive condomless anal sex, HIV-positive sex partners, popper use, and recent sexually transmitted infection diagnosis. Some users (41.5%) wanted help remembering to take PrEP. The top reason for discontinuation was concern about long-term side effects (33.0%). Young men MSM app users are prime candidates for PrEP, despite low uptake.

    January 1, 2017
    JAIDS
  • We used data from...KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa (2000–2014). 17.4% of participants migrated at least once outside the community....Risk of acquiring HIV infection increased by 50% for migration distances of 40 km (men) and 109 km (women), [and] by 50% when participants spent 44% (men) and 90% (women) outside the study community. This analysis revealed a clear nonlinear relationship between distance migrated and HIV acquisition [and] that even relatively short-distance migration events confer substantial additional risk.

    January 1, 2017
    AIDS
  • HIV Prevention Trials Network 052 demonstrated that ART prevents HIV transmission in serodiscordant couples. HIV from index–partner pairs was analyzed to determine the genetic linkage status of partner infections. Forty-six infections were classified as linked, indicating that the index was the likely source of the partner's infection. Lack of viral suppression and higher index viral load were associated with linked infection....Linked infections were not observed when the index participant was stably suppressed on ART.

    January 1, 2017
    JAIDS
  • Condomless sex was reported by >80% of participants, and condomless anal sex with last partner was associated with higher tenofovir diphosphate levels. Acceptability of PrEP was high, and most participants achieved protective drug levels during monthly visits. As visit frequency decreased, so did adherence. YMSM in the United States may need PrEP access in youth-friendly settings with tailored adherence support and potentially augmented visit schedules.

    January 1, 2017
    JAIDS
  • Older HIV-positive adults in an HIV hyperendemic community of rural South Africa report sexual behaviors consistent with high HIV transmission risk. Older HIV-negative adults report sexual behaviors consistent with high HIV acquisition risk. Prevention initiatives tailored to the particular prevention needs of older adults are urgently needed to reduce HIV risk in this and similar communities in sub-Saharan Africa.

    January 1, 2017
    JAIDS
  • The massive survey effort led by Columbia University's Mailman School of Health discovered that the rate of new infections in Zimbabwe and Zambia was substantially lower than previously estimated by modeling done by the Joint United Nations Programme on HIV/AIDS (UNAIDS) that relied on less rigorous data. This bolsters hopes that these countries are on the path to the UNAIDS goal of controlling their AIDS epidemics by 2030.

    December 9, 2016
    Science
  • We enrolled 126 adolescents on ART for a median of 6.3 years. A total of 38% missed a scheduled visit within 24 months of enrollment. Older adolescents (18–20 years) were more likely to miss a visit compared to adolescents aged 12–14 years. Those identified to have difficulty in taking medication...were more likely to miss a visit. Awareness of treatment fatigue, challenges to taking ART, and caregiver difficulties is important...to improved treatment outcomes among adolescents.

    December 8, 2016
    AIDS Research and Treatment
  • The increasing use of antiretrovirals for averting HIV infection before potential exposure is under debate. Whereas there is no doubt about the bene­fit of using Truvada (tenofovir plus emtricitabine) to reduce HIV acquisition in uninfected persons who have sex with HIV-infected stable partners, concerns are rising about the increasing rate of sexually transmitted infections in subjects engaged in sex with multiple partners, due to misinterpreted self-security.

    December 8, 2016
    AIDS Reviews
  • Representative Tom Price, the physician and congressman who is Donald Trump’s nominee to head the Department of Health and Human Services, represents a wealthy suburban district of Atlanta regularly ranked...as one of the best places to live in the country. But Price’s district is also experiencing public health crises he will likely be dealing with as HHS secretary: a serious heroin and opioid abuse epidemic, as well as elevated HIV infection rates.

    December 2, 2016
    Science
  • 60% of people living with AIDS are still without access to ART. This highlights the importance of two things: the clinical and global health strategies of World AIDS Day on December 1, 2016 and its theme, “Access Equity Rights Now,” and the research outlined in this special topic issue of AIDS Patient Care and STDs....selected from presentations at a think tank convened by amfAR in Portland, Oregon from June 24–26, 2016, entitled “Gene therapy strategies to eradicate HIV.”

    December 1, 2016
    AIDS Patient Care and STDs
  • Improving provider recommendations is critical to addressing low HPV vaccination coverage. Thus, we sought to determine the effectiveness of training providers to improve their recommendations using either presumptive “announcements” or participatory “conversations"....Announcements are brief statements that assume parents are ready to vaccinate, whereas conversations engage parents in open-ended discussions....Training providers to use announcements resulted in a clinically meaningful increase in HPV vaccine initiation among young adolescents.

    December 1, 2016
    Pediatrics

Announcements