Email Updates

Search form

You are here

9 October 2015 VOLUME 16 ISSUE 41

Media Coverage

  • Researchers presented findings from several HIV studies at the 55th Interscience Conference on Antimicrobial Agents and Chemotherapy (ICAAC) last week in San Diego, USA, including an overview of the START treatment initiation study, an all-women antiretroviral therapy trial, studies of a better tolerated version of tenofovir and news about integrase inhibitors. This conference...was the last under the ICAAC name; next year it will be incorporated into the new ASM Microbe 2016 meeting.

    October 7, 2015
    aidsmap
  • We conducted interviews in the Eastern Cape to understand perceptions and experiences of sexual and reproductive health rights. The study is conducted in collaboration with the AIDS Foundation of South Africa, a non-governmental organisation that supports community-based initiatives to strengthen men and women’s access to sexual and reproductive health rights....Our study (yet to be published) found people have mixed feelings about initiation.

    October 7, 2015
    SABC News
  • Regulatory filing and review delays keep Truvada as pre-exposure prophylaxis out of reach of those who need it most....For the majority of people who need or desire PrEP as part of a complete prevention package, the medication is not affordable without regulatory approval and inclusion in national health programs....There needs to be a coordinated effort among activists, manufacturers, and regulatory agencies to accelerate and streamline approval of PrEP.

    October 7, 2015
    TAGLine Fall
  • Last year, the Ugandan government began rolling out test and treat within communities at high risk, called “key populations”....In Uganda, this means sex workers and long-distance truck drivers, as well as people living in the highly transient fishing communities – where HIV rates are often more than double the national prevalence of 7.2%....Test and treat is also available around the country for children under 15, pregnant women and patients who have tuberculosis or hepatitis B.

    October 7, 2015
    Guardian
  • Projects such as the Colorado Family Planning Initiative and Contraceptive Choice Project have been gaining steam, spreading the good word about long-acting reversible contraceptives (LARCs)....But knowledge and finances still remain monolithic barriers when it comes to accessibility of other types of sexual health resources. As one example, there's PrEP.....still not a resource many people know about....The LARC initiatives and the continuing advocacy for PrEP are just two examples of what continues to be a complex issue around accessibility to sexual health resources.

    October 7, 2015
    Contemporary Sexuality Newsletter
  • As US President Barack Obama and Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi met in New York, Médecins Sans Frontières/Doctors Without Borders (MSF) warned that US pressure for India to change its intellectual property policies could result in millions of people around the world losing their lifeline of affordable medicines....More than 80 per cent of the medicines MSF uses to treat over 200,000 people living with HIV in its projects are Indian generics, and MSF sources essential medicines from India to treat other diseases, including tuberculosis and malaria.

    October 7, 2015
    EP News Bureau-Mumbai
  • THE National Emergency Response Council on HIV/AIDS (NERCHA) has clarified on the ‘AIDS-free’ statement, saying it does not mean complete elimination of people with HIV but elimination of new infections. Making a presentation to the Swazi Observer staff yesterday morning, NERCHA’s Nokwazi Mathabela said ‘AIDS-free’ relates to controlling new infections through certain interventions that the organisation facilitates.

    October 6, 2015
    Swazi Observer
  • HIV particles are effectively trapped by the cervicovaginal mucus from women who harbor a particular vaginal bacteria species, Lactobacillus crispatus. The findings, published this week in mBio, an online open-access journal of the American Society for Microbiology, could lead to new ways to reduce or block vaginal transmission of HIV and other sexually transmitted infections (STIs).

    October 6, 2015
    Science Daily
  • Khanyisile Mavimbela was five months pregnant in 2008 when she took a test and learned she had HIV....Her partner...wouldn’t talk to her about it. But someone who did offer her a compassionate ear and was able to provide her information on treatment was a Mentor Mother with mothers2mothers, a nonprofit organization that pays local women in African communities [who have HIV themselves] to be educators and counselors.

    October 6, 2015
    NPR NewsHour
  • Botswana is eyeing closer cooperation with China in the fight against HIV/AIDS, especially on education and monitoring programs. In a recent interview with Xinhua, National Coordinator of Botswana National AIDS Cooperating Agency (NACA) Grace Muzila said "Education is very important and it will be very useful for China to get into Botswana schools and educate the learners on health issues including HIV.

    October 6, 2015
    Xinhua
  • Approximately 40% of [US] women and 20% of men showed serological evidence of exposure to at least one of the nine types of HPV, according to recent data. Moreover, race/ethnicity disparities were observed in the seroprevalence of all type categories....For all type categories, men had lower seropositivity than women.

    October 6, 2015
    Healio
  • New research has found some women’s bodies create natural armor against sexually transmitted infections, a mechanism that could someday be harnessed to create a kind of biological condom. A study published Tuesday in mBio, an online journal of the American Society for Microbiology, found cervicovaginal mucus (CVM) that contains a specific type of naturally occurring bacteria can work as a natural barrier to the HIV virus...in ways researchers don’t yet fully understand, the study’s lead author Sam Lai said.

    October 6, 2015
    MotherBoard
  • [N]o one, other than perhaps the trade reps who made the deal, appears to be happy...; not the pharma giants that want to protect major investments and not the countries with national health plans or NGOs that want access to cheaper biosimilars or generics...."The big losers in the TPP are patients and treatment providers in developing countries," said Judit Rius Sanjuan, US manager and legal policy adviser for Doctors Without Borders' Access Campaign.

    October 6, 2015
    Fierce Pharma
  • 2015 AVAC Fellow, Carol Njoroge, says sex workers and others are ready for PrEP and Kenya is poised to roll it out....Fortunately, Kenya has moved faster than many other countries in its consideration of PrEP....In addition to being home to one of the clinical trials that gave us the evidence that PrEP works, Kenya has taken the bold step of including PrEP in our National HIV Prevention Revolution Roadmap.

    October 6, 2015
    The Star
  • "The findings of this study suggest that most infectious diseases providers who are HIV specialists in the United States generally recommend early ART and that many also perceive a role for themselves in providing PrEP to partners of their HIV-infected patients. However, only 1 in 3 clinicians had prescribed PrEP to partners, [and] many do not feel prepared to deliver protective interventions to PWID,” conclude the authors. “Investing in interventions to optimize practices among frontline infectious diseases specialists could have an appreciable impact on the HIV epidemic.

    October 6, 2015
    aidsmap
  • International humanitarian medical provider, , Médecins Sans Frontières/Doctors Without Borders (MSF), has challenged African governments to make HIV and AIDS “treatment for all” a reality.....“[F]or it to work as a tool to control the epidemic it will require drastic changes and greatly increased investment,” MSF southern Africa medical director Tom Ellman said. Ellman also said HIV care had to move out of clinics and into the communities with mobilised and empowered people living with HIV and AIDS.

    October 5, 2015
    NewsDay Zimbabwe
  • It wasn’t his first broken condom, so Rafael didn’t worry. But three weeks later, the man he’d met in a bar called to say that he had “probably been exposed” to H.I.V....Despite bad luck in sex-with-strangers roulette, Rafael did have some good fortune: He lives in San Francisco, which is turning the tide against H.I.V. and serving as a model for other cities. The city once the epidemic’s ground zero now has only a few hundred new cases a year, the result of a raft of creative programs that have sent infection rates plummeting.

    October 5, 2015
    New York Times
  • The World Health Organization’s early release last week of some of the agency’s updates to guidelines on antiretroviral treatment for people living with HIV served as a heartening new sign of the direction HIV-fighting efforts will take, but also as a reminder, for those who need it, of the stark difference between medical and political.

    October 5, 2015
    Science Speaks
  • Medical leaders have the knowledge and the tools to greatly curtail the global AIDS epidemic within the next 15 years. The question is whether the nations of the world will invest the resources to do it....The United States is by far the largest donor, but needs to put up hundreds of millions of dollars more in the next two years to meet its own targets.

    October 5, 2015
    NY Times
  • For students admitted to seven universities in Beijing this year, the first lesson they were given this September was on HIV/AIDS....11,000 students from seven universities participated in nine sessions on HIV/AIDS prevention last month,...in response to the rising rate of HIV/AIDS infection in the nation's capital, particularly among young people....These sessions are currently still being trialed but will likely be rolled out across all colleges in the capital.

    October 3, 2015
    Xinhua
  • Obatunde Oladapo, national coordinator, Treatment Access Movement, and member of UNAIDS Programme Coordinating Board NGO, raised an alarm when individuals accessing their HIV/AIDS treatment at the PEPFAR site of University College Hospital, Ibadan, suddenly woke up to series of levies to access treatment hitherto not there before....This...contradicts the Federal Government’s policy and instruction that People Living With HIV/AIDS be treated free at all government hospitals covering HIV and other associated illnesses.

    October 2, 2015
    The Nation
  • Although women make up roughly half of the world’s HIV cases, they remain largely excluded from clinical trials testing drugs, vaccines and potential cures for the virus, a research review confirms. In an analysis spanning several decades that included work done as recently as 2012, researchers found that women typically comprised about 11 percent of participants in trials investigating cures for HIV. Similarly, drug studies were only about 19 percent female and just 38 percent of vaccine trial subjects were women.

    October 2, 2015
    Reuters
  • “Despite these significant challenges, the time to act is now. If we are serious about ending the epidemic in South Africa, we need to move towards implementing all evidence based tools at our disposal,” said McIntyre. He encouraged the South African government to consider revising its HIV treatment strategy to align with the WHO guidelines as soon as possible, insisting that doing so will save lives.

    October 2, 2015
    Mamba Online
  • Sri Lanka's Health Ministry on Thursday warned that the number of HIV/AIDS cases was on the rise amongst the youth in the island nation....The Health Ministry said that the spread of the disease was due to the tourism industry, use of drugs, homosexual behavior, and immigration.

    October 1, 2015
    Xinhua
  • Dr. Gottfried Hirnschall of WHO said if the guidelines are adopted around the world, the number of HIV-positive people on ART would jump from 28 million to 37 million....But Hirnschall was more circumspect when he predicted the immediate impact of Wednesday's new guidelines. "Does this mean that Monday morning all these people are at the doorstep of the clinic in low- and middle-income settings?" he asked. "No, because many do not know they are HIV-positive."

    October 1, 2015
    NPR
  • The change in the WHO Guidelines, unsurprising as it might be, makes good sense scientifically. Time for a different sort of science — “implementation science” — to figure out how to make it happen, and how to benefit people the most.

    October 1, 2015
    HIV and ID Observations
  • We have been waiting quite a long time to get an HIV prevention method that you can use in privacy, without anxiety and PrEP is really the answer to that,” said Dr Nittaya Phanuphak, Chief, Prevention Department, Thai Red Cross AIDS Research Centre.

    October 1, 2015
    unaidsap
  • The WHO just released new guidelines for caring for people with HIV, recommending that anyone infected with the virus be treated with antiretroviral medications as soon as possible....This removes any restrictions on eligibility for the drugs....The global health agency also advised that people at "substantial" risk of HIV be offered a preventive antiretroviral treatment,...expanding their recommendation beyond the 2014 guidance that PrEP be used mainly by men who have sex with men. The radical expansion...is part of a push to end the AIDS epidemic over the next 15 years.

    September 30, 2015
    Vox
  • The WHO released updated guidelines today calling for antiretroviral therapy for everyone diagnosed with HIV, regardless of CD4 cell count, and pre-exposure prophylaxis for people at substantial risk of HIV infection...."The new recommendation will enable a wider range of populations to benefit from this additional prevention option...., allows the offer of PrEP to be based on individual assessment rather than risk group, and is intended to foster implementation informed by local epidemiological evidence regarding risk factors for acquiring HIV."

    September 30, 2015
    aidsmap
  • To estimate the economic and epidemiologic impact of suboptimal engagement, researchers from the schools of medicine and public health at Johns Hopkins constructed a dynamic model incorporating HIV transmission, disease progression and health system engagement among U.S. adults...projected over a 20-year period. While all intervention strategies had some benefit, the largest was seen with the adoption of retention and re-engagement.

    September 29, 2015
    Healio

Published Research

  • 103 drug-using women in Kuala Lumpur were recruited to assess their medical, psychiatric and social comorbidity [and] engagement in...HIV testing and monitoring activities. Sex work and infrequent condom use were common, as was underlying psychiatric illness and physical and sexual violence during childhood and adulthood. Most women had unstable living situations and suffered from an unmet need for social support and health services. Suboptimal HIV testing and/or monitoring was positively associated with interpersonal violence.

    February 1, 2016
    Addictive Behaviors
  • At baseline, repeat-testers (n = 3,202) reported more male partners and more condomless receptive anal intercourse (CRAI) when compared to single-testers (n = 5,405). In 2,457 repeat testers there was a strong association observed between repeated HIV tests obtained and increased risk behavior, with number of male partners, CRAI with high risk persons, non-injection stimulant drug use, and sexually transmitted infections all increasing between the first and last test.

    October 7, 2015
    BMC Medicine
  • Hormonal implants and injectables significantly predicted lower mortality; implants were protective for ART initiation. OCPs and pregnancy were not associated with death or ART initiation, while breastfeeding was protective for both. Findings from this 18-year cohort study suggest 1) HIV-positive women desiring pregnancy can be counseled to do so and breastfeed, and 2) all effective contraceptive methods including injectables and implants should be promoted to prevent unintended pregnancy.

    October 7, 2015
    JAIDS
  • We evaluated the effect of a single DMPA injection on cell-mediated immunity (CMI), T cell activation (Tact), regulation (Treg) and inflammation in HIV-infected women on cART. Conclusions: A single dose of DMPA did not have immune-suppressive or pro-inflammatory effects in HIV-infected women on cART. Additional studies need to assess the effect of multiple doses.

    October 7, 2015
    JAIDS
  • This work advances our understanding of the complex barrier properties of mucus and highlights the differential protective ability of different species of Lactobacillus...against HIV and other sexually transmitted infections. These findings could lead to the development of novel strategies to protect women against HIV.

    October 6, 2015
    mBio
  • A lactobacillus-dominant vaginal microbiota has been shown to decrease heterosexual HIV transmission. Nunn et al. now report that a vaginal microbiota dominated by Lactobacillus crispatus is associated with a relative inability of HIV pseudoviral particles to transverse cervicovaginal mucus in vitro....The utility of enhancing L. crispatus dominance to inhibit HIV transmission awaits assessment of the influence of ejaculated semen on this property.

    October 6, 2015
    mBio
  • Among persons with HIV, calendar trends in cumulative incidence and hazard rate decreased for Kaposi sarcoma and non-Hodgkin lymphoma. Despite decreasing hazard rate trends for lung cancer, Hodgkin lymphoma, and melanoma, cumulative incidence trends were not seen because of the compensating effect of the declining mortality rate. The high cumulative incidences by age 75 years for Kaposi sarcoma, non-Hodgkin lymphoma, and lung cancer support early and sustained antiretroviral therapy and smoking cessation.

    October 6, 2015
    Annals of Internal Medicine
  • The results from this analysis reveal that contrary to expectation, efficiency gains from the integration of HIV and SRH services, if any, are likely to be modest. Efficiency gains are likely to be most achievable in settings that are currently delivering HIV and SRH services at a low scale with high levels of fixed costs.

    October 5, 2015
    Sex Transm Infect
  • Adolescent females (N=387) were recruited from primary care clinics for a longitudinal cohort study of STIs and sexual behaviour. Less than 30% of bleeding-associated vaginal sex events were condom protected. Low condom rates during bleeding-associated vaginal sex can increase STI and bloodborne virus risk. Providers should consider integrating partner-specific and behavioural factors when they deliver sexual health messages to young women.

    October 5, 2015
    BMJ
  • Applications of implantable drug-eluting devices include, among others, diabetes management, contraception, HIV/AIDS prevention, chronic pain management, cardiology, oncology, and central nervous system (CNS) health.

    October 1, 2015
    Drug Development & Delivery
  • Over a 15-year simulation, the HIV epidemic among YMSM [in Chicago] continued to rise, with Latino/white YMSM facing a steeper increase in the HIV burden compared with black YMSM. YMSM in partnerships with older MSM, in particular black YMSM with older black MSM, were at highest risk for HIV....[O]f all HIV infections among YMSM, 14.6% were attributable to NG and CT infections.

    October 1, 2015
    JAIDS
  • Data of 6037 MSMs from 14 TI sites were analyzed. MSMs registered with the TI program in India were mostly young, educated, and employed; more than half were married. Many MSM also had a history of heterosexual relationships, and thus had the potential of transmitting HIV infection to the otherwise low risk general population. Cohort analysis revealed a statistically significant declining trend in average age of initiation of sex over the past two decades.

    September 30, 2015
    World Journal of AIDS
  • In a widely anticipated move, WHO today endorsed antiretroviral treatment for all 37 million HIV-infected people around the world....WHO dubbed the new recommendations an “early release guideline” and plans to release more complete revisions in 2016. WHO began releasing HIV treatment guidelines in 2002, at which point ARVs were recommended only for people who had fewer than 200 CD4s.

    September 30, 2015
    Science
  • This paper discusses a recent high-profile Australian case where HIV transmission or exposure has been prosecuted, and considers how the interpretation of law in these instances impacts on HIV prevention paradigms. In addition, we consider the implications of an evolving medical understanding of HIV transmission, and particularly the ability to determine infectiousness through viral load tests.

    September 29, 2015
    J Med Ethics
  • The majority of patients consented to acute HIV (AHI) testing. AHI prevalence was substantially higher in sexually transmitted infection (STI) clinics than HIV testing and counseling (HTC). Remarkably high viral loads and concomitant genital sores demonstrates the potential for transmission. Universal AHI screening at STI clinics, and targeted screening at HTC centers, should be considered.

    September 29, 2015
    JAIDS
  • Women represented a median of 19.2% participants in antiretroviral drug (ARV) studies (387), 38.1% in prophylactic vaccine studies (VAX) and 11.1% in curative strategies (CURE) studies (104). Funding source was not correlated with the proportion of female participants in VAX and CURE studies, but was for ARV studies. ARV trials funded by private non-commercial sources had the highest proportion of women, while publicly-funded trials had the lowest female participation (median 16.7%).

    September 8, 2015
    JAIDS
  • Our results suggest that inclusion of a Tat inhibitor in current ART regimens may contribute to a functional HIV-1 cure by reducing low-level viremia and preventing viral reactivation from latent reservoirs....The latent pool of cells in an infected individual would be stabilized, and death of the long-lived infected memory T cells would result in a continuous decay of this pool over time, possibly culminating in the long-awaited sterilizing cure.

    July 7, 2015
    mBio

Announcements