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April 29, 2011
Follow-Up Study Confirms Pneumonia Might Be More Common in Fuzeon Users
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has announced that people taking the antiretroviral drug Fuzeon (enfuvirtide) might indeed be at a higher risk of developing serious bacterial pneumonia while taking the drug.
April 28, 2011
Low CD4 Counts Increase Fracture Risk in HIV
HIV-positive people who have low CD4 counts are at much higher risk of fragility fractures than people with higher CD4 counts, according to a study published online April 23 in the Journal of Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndromes.
Vertex Hep C Protease Inhibitor Receives Approval Recommendation
Vertex announced Thursday, April 28, that the Antiviral Drugs Advisory Committee (ADAC) of the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) voted 18 to 0 to recommend approval of telaprevir, the company’s experimental protease inhibitor for the treatment of chronic hepatitis C virus (HCV) infection.
April 27, 2011
HIV Drug Levels in Snips of Hair Predict Treatment Success
Measuring the levels of the antiretroviral (ARV) drug Reyataz (atazanavir) in snippets of hair might be the best way to predict treatment success, even among people with previous adherence problems, according to a study published in the May 15 issue of the journal Clinical Infectious Diseases. The new method could add a much-needed and more accurate way to detect people who are having a hard time taking their medication as prescribed.
Merck’s Victrelis Gets FDA Panel Nod of Approval
Merck announced Wednesday, April 27, that the Antiviral Drugs Advisory Committee of the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) unanimously recommended approval of the company’s protease inhibitor Victrelis (boceprevir) for the treatment of patients with chronic hepatitis C virus (HCV) genotype 1 infection in combination with current standard therapy.
April 26, 2011
Another Study Implicates HIV in Heart Problems
Having HIV, particularly ongoing HIV reproduction, is an independent risk factor for developing heart failure, according to a study published in the April 25 issue of the Archives of Internal Medicine.
April 25, 2011
Egrifta Reduces Inflammation as Well as Gut Fat
Egrifta (tesamorelin), a drug approved to reduce gut fat accumulation, also reduces cellular inflammation, according to a study published online April 21 in the journal AIDS. These data suggest that the drug might also help reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease in those who achieve significant gut fat loss.
April 21, 2011
Gold Drug Shows HIV Eradication Potential
Using a compound containing gold to treat six monkeys infected with an HIV-like virus, a team of researchers has been able to shrink the reservoir of virus-infected CD4 cells impervious to modern-day antiretroviral (ARV) drugs. These early stage results, to be published in a forthcoming issue of AIDS, contribute to a growing body of research exploring the possibility of curing HIV, this time using a drug already approved for the treatment of rheumatoid arthritis: Ridaura (auranofin).
April 20, 2011
Anti-CMV Drug Reduces HIV-Related Inflammation
Adding the anti-cytomegalovirus (CMV) drug Valcyte (valgancyclovir) to an antiretroviral (ARV) regimen calms down immune system inflammation in people with HIV, according to a study published in the May 15 issue of The Journal of Infectious Diseases.
April 19, 2011
Overdose Deaths Drop Significantly Near Safe Drug Injection Site
Deaths from drug overdoses dropped in the vicinity of North America’s only safe injection site—located in Vancouver—four times faster than in other areas of the city, according to a study published online April 18 in The Lancet.
April 18, 2011
"Surprising and Disappointing" Results in a New Truvada PrEP Study for Women
A clinical trial testing the HIV-prevention potential of Truvada (tenofovir plus emtricitabine) in HIV-negative African women has been stopped early because of concerns about effectiveness, according to an announcement by the trial sponsor, Family Health International (FHI). This result stands in stark contrast to another study reported in late 2010, which found that Truvada cut new HIV infections by at least 44 percent in men who have sex with men (MSM) and transgender women.
April 15, 2011
Moving Can Be Hazardous to Your Health
HIV-positive people who moved to a new location outside the range of their HIV clinic had poorer health than those who stayed in care within the clinic, according to a study published in the May 1 issue of the Journal of Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndromes.
April 14, 2011
Low Vitamin D Levels Are Common in Both HIV-Positive and HIV-Negative Women
Though nearly two thirds of women in a large study had low vitamin D levels—a risk factor for bone and heart problems—the HIV-positive women were actually slightly less likely than HIV-negative women to be vitamin D deficient. These data were published online April 5 in the Journal of Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndromes.
April 13, 2011
Peripheral Nerve Damage Remains Common Despite HIV Therapy
The prevalence of a sometimes-painful nerve condition called peripheral neuropathy (PN) remains high in people with HIV despite effective antiretroviral (ARV) therapy, according to a study published in the April 24 issue of AIDS. Older age, diabetes, a low CD4 count and the use of nerve-toxic ARV drugs were the strongest predictors of developing the condition.
Treatment for Depression Increases Hep C Adherence
Antidepressants can significantly boost adherence rates in people living with hepatitis C virus (HCV) being treated with interferon, a drug known to cause depression, according to a study presented at the International Conference on Viral Hepatitis 2011.
April 12, 2011
Tenofovir Might Reduce Inflammation, Boost Immune System
The antiretroviral (ARV) drug tenofovir (found in Viread, Truvada and Atripla) might calm the immune system in people with HIV and make them less susceptible to other infections, according to a study published online April 5 in the Journal of Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndromes.
April 11, 2011
Brain Impairment Might Be Less Common in People With HIV Than Originally Suspected
People with HIV might be at much lower risk of brain impairment than a recent study suggested, according to two presentations at the 17th annual conference of the British HIV Association (BHIVA) held April 6 to 8 in Bournemouth, England. The results of the two new studies, reported by the website aidsmap, offer hope to people with HIV and demonstrate the need to understand why brain impairment rates have varied so widely in studies.
April 08, 2011
Sign-On to Support an Increase in Medicare Reimbursement for Facial Fillers
A prominent AIDS activist is asking people with HIV and the organizations that serve them to sign on to a letter asking the agency that sets reimbursement rates for Medicare to boost the rate it offers doctors to administer the facial fillers Sculptra (poly-L-lactic acid) and Radiesse (calcium hydroxylapatite).

April 07, 2011
Some Cancers of the Stomach and Esophagus Are More Common in People With AIDS
People with an AIDS diagnosis are far more likely to develop some types of stomach and esophageal cancers than HIV-negative people, according to a study presented at the 102nd Annual Meeting of the American Association for Cancer Research, held April 2 to 6 in Orlando.
April 06, 2011
Long-Term Consistent Use of HIV Therapy Protects the Liver
People with HIV who aren’t also infected with viral hepatitis are at significant risk of developing liver disease, but long-term consistent use of antiretroviral (ARV) therapy appears to be protective, according to a study published in the May 9 issue of Clinical Infectious Diseases.
April 04, 2011
Could Switching HIV Therapy Early Avoid Treatment Failure?
Switching an antiretroviral (ARV) regimen within three months of starting treatment could significantly increase the odds of treatment success and decrease the risk of developing drug resistant virus. This is the conclusion of researchers using a complex computer model, published in the March 24 issue of the online journal PLoS One.
April 01, 2011
Anal Cancer Screening Is Both Feasible and Warranted
A new study from a Veterans Affairs (VA) HIV clinic in Miami found that instituting widespread anal cancer screening among its HIV-positive patients was not only feasible but also justified—it detected a high rate of both precancerous lesions as well as two cases of anal cancer. Though researchers are still working to prove the value of screening, and the best methods to use, this new study, published April 1 in AIDS Patient Care and STDs, lends further weight to those arguing that such screening is both possible and necessary.
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