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August 29, 2008
Hormonal Contraceptives and HIV Disease Progression
There is a possible link between hormonal contraceptives and faster HIV disease progression, according to a research review article in the October 1 issue of Clinical Infectious Diseases (CID).
SMART Study Findings on Abacavir and Cardiovascular Risk
Abacavir (found in Ziagen, Epzicom and Trizivir) is associated with a quadrupled risk of a heart attack in HIV-positive patients using the drug, according to the authors of a study published in the September 12 issue of AIDS.
August 28, 2008
PML Still a Risk and Often Progressive
Even though combination antiretroviral (ARV) therapy effectively reduces the risk and severity of many AIDS-related conditions, progressive multifocal leukoencephalopathy (PML) remains a debilitating and deadly disease for many people living with HIV, according to a study published in the September 1 issue of the Journal of Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndromes.
August 27, 2008
Better HIV Treatment Response Seen in Older Patients
People who become infected with HIV after the age of 30 have a better response to antiretroviral (ARV) therapy than people who become infected at a younger age, according to a study published in the September 1 issue of the Journal of Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndromes.
August 25, 2008
Cases of HIV Detectable in Semen, but Not Blood
Five percent of HIV-positive men in a French study had detectable HIV in their semen even when no HIV was detectable in their blood, say the authors of a study published in the August 20 issue of AIDS.
August 22, 2008
New Drug Interaction Information With Reyataz
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) issued new instructions on potential drug interactions between the protease inhibitor Reyataz (atazanavir) and several other types of medications, including antiretroviral drugs, hormonal contraceptives and stomach acid reducers.
Non-Nukes and Triglyceride Levels Affect HDL Cholesterol
Having an undetectable viral load and taking a regimen including a non-nucleoside reverse transcriptase inhibitor (NNRTI) may protect against unhealthy reductions in “good” HDL cholesterol, according to a study published in the July issue of AIDS Patient Care and STDs.
August 21, 2008
Short-term Therapy May Help HIV-Related Depression
A short 20-week course of psychotherapy may improve depression and anxiety symptoms for gay men living with HIV, according to a study in the July issue of AIDS Patient Care and STDs.
Transcript: AIDS Activism For The Next Decade
August 20, 2008
Rapid Hep C Disease Progression in HIV-Positive Men
Rapid progression of liver disease shortly after becoming infected with hepatitis C virus (HCV), has been documented in a group of HIV-positive gay men, according to a study published in the September 1 issue of The Journal of Infectious Diseases.
August 19, 2008
AIDS 2008: AIDS Activism For The Next Decade
Mark Harrington, a long time AIDS activist and the Executive Director of the Treatment Action Group in New York City, predicts the coming challenges in AIDS activism and explains what people with HIV and their allies can do about them.
Suicidal Thoughts Common in People With HIV
Nearly a third of people with HIV from five London clinics reported having had recent thoughts of suicide, according to a study published in the August 20 issue of AIDS.
August 18, 2008
Antiretrovirals Diminish Artery Hardening
HIV-positive people taking antiretroviral (ARV) therapy have less hardening of the arteries than HIV-positive people not on therapy, say the authors of a study published in the August 20 issue of AIDS.
Vaccines: Lessons Learned
CEO and President of the International AIDS Vaccine Initiative, Seth Berkley, MD, explains what we've learned about the challenge to build a better vaccine after recent vaccine failures and lays out next steps in research and advocacy.
August 15, 2008
Milk Thistle Shows Potential for Hep C
A medicinal compound in milk thistle, a flowering member of the daisy family, may benefit liver function in people infected with HIV and the hepatitis C virus (HCV), according to the results of a small New York study reported at the XVII International AIDS Conference in Mexico City.
AIDS 2008: Human Rights Struggles Define AIDS Fight
Harvard's Sofia Gruskin, JD, MIA, associate professor of health and human rights, talks about the impact of human rights struggles on the AIDS epidemic, progress finally being made, and the legacy of Dr. Jonathan Mann.
Norvir Tablets Similar to Capsules, Expected in 2009
Abbott Laboratories has developed a tablet version of its protease inhibitor (PI) Norvir (ritonavir), typically used in drug regimens to boost blood levels and the effectiveness of other PIs. Study results presented at the XVII International AIDS Conference (IAC) in Mexico City indicate that the heat-stable tablet results in similar blood levels of the drug compared with the approved capsule formulation.
PrEP: Preparing For Success?
The University of Pittsburgh's Ian McGowan, MD, PhD, talks about the promise of pre-exposure prophylaxis to prevent HIV transmission and how we should prepare for the possibility that current PrEP trials will prove it to be successful.
August 14, 2008
AIDS 2008: New HIV Numbers: New Prevention Strategy? Part 1
The CDC's Kevin Fenton, MD, PhD, tells Regan Hofmann about the new HIV incidence report and the possibility of a national HIV strategic plan. Part 1 of 2
New HIV Numbers: New Prevention Strategy? Part 2
The CDC's Kevin Fenton, MD, PhD, tells Regan Hofmann about the new HIV incidence report and the possibility of a national HIV strategic plan. Part 2 of 2
Defining the Risk Factors for Kidney Damage in Patients Using Tenofovir
HIV-positive patients with high blood pressure and on medications known to increase the risk of kidney damage are at the highest risk for kidney damage if tenofovir—the active drug in Viread and a component of Truvada and Atripla—is used as a component of antiretroviral (ARV) therapy, according to a study reported at the XVII International AIDS Conference (IAC) in Mexico City.
August 13, 2008
Encouraging Data From Second Tesamorelin Study for Lipo
Treatment with a tesamorelin, a synthetic compound that sparks the production of natural human growth hormone, resulted in a significant loss of visceral adipose tissue (VAT)—deep belly fat—compared with a placebo in people with lipodystrophy, according to new results reported August 5 at the XVII International AIDS Conference in Mexico City.
Viread Receives Second Approval for Hep B Infection
Gilead Sciences announced earlier this week that the U.S. Food and Drug Administration has approved Viread for the treatment of chronic hepatitis B virus (HBV) infection, a leading cause of liver cancer among HIV-positive and HIV-negative people.
August 12, 2008
AIDS 2008: Future Options for the Treatment Experienced
Andrew Carr, MD, Professor of Medicine at the University of New South Wales in Sydney, Australia, shares his views on the future of HIV treatment and what's in the pipeline for people with HIV who've been on many treatment regimens.
Isentress, Intelence and Prezista Combo Shines for Treatment Veterans
A drug regimen consisting of Isentress, Intelence and Norvir-boosted Prezista has pushed viral loads to undetectable levels in 90 percent of heavily treatment-experienced patients, according to astonishing new data from the Agence Nationale de Recherches sur le Sida et les Hépatites Virales (ANRS) 139 TRIO study reported at the XVII International AIDS Conference (IAC) in Mexico City.
Studies Disagree on Abacavir for Patients With High Viral Loads
HIV-positive patients with high viral loads who start their first antiretroviral treatment regimen with Epzicom experience virologic failure and moderate-to-severe side effects faster than those who start with a regimen containing Truvada, according to early results from a federally funded AIDS Clinical Trials Group study reported at the XVII International AIDS Conference in Mexico City. However, an analysis of six clinical trials reported at the conference by GlaxoSmithKline, Epzicom's manufacturer, indicates similar safety and efficacy among patients with viral loads both above and below 100,000 copies.
New Options for Those New to Treatment
Sharon Walmsley, MD, professor of medicine at the University of Toronto, tells David Evans about new uses for approved antiretrovirals and the latest on two experimental drugs for people new to treatment.
August 11, 2008
Abacavir and Cardiovascular Risk: Is There or Isn’t There?
New data from the SMART trial indicate that abacavir—found in Ziagen, Epzicom and Trizivir—is associated with an increased risk of cardiovascular disease, echoing the findings of a recent analysis of the D:A:D study. The study results, reported at the XVII International AIDS Conference (IAC) in Mexico City, also point to a possible reason for the elevated risk—higher levels of two inflammatory proteins that may be associated with disease of the arteries. However, as was also reported at IAC, an analysis of 54 clinical trials in which abacavir was used failed to find any such risk.
IDX899 Safe, Reduces Viral Load in Preliminary Study
New data presented last week at the XVII International AIDS Conference (IAC) in Mexico City support the continued development of IDX899, an experimental non-nucleoside reverse transcriptase inhibitor (NNRTI) being developed by Cambridge, Massachusetts-based Idenix Pharmaceuticals.
August 08, 2008
Achieving Universal Treatment Access: The Experience in Rural Malawi
Universal access to antiretroviral (ARV) therapy is feasible even in the most rural areas of in low- and middle-income countries by using a simple and standardized approach to care, according to a report out of the rural Thyolo district of Malawi reviewed at the XVII International AIDS Conference by Moses Massaquoi, MD, of Medecins Sans Frontieres. However, a second presentation at the conference by researchers associated with a University or North Carolina (UNC) research project in Lilongwe, Malawi, indicates that high-level drug resistance is a major concern among patients no longer responding to their first ARV regimen and may greatly impede their ability to benefit from subsequent regimens. 
AIDS 2008: New NNRTI RDEA806 Shows Promise in Seven-Day Study
An experimental non-nucleoside reverse transcriptase inhibitor (NNRTI), currently dubbed RDEA806 by its developer Ardea Biosciences in San Diego, appeared to have robust antiviral activity and a favorable safety profile in a Phase II study reported at the XVII International AIDS Conference (IAC) in Mexico City. 
August 07, 2008
Abacavir and Heart Attack Risk: Round 2
Donald Kotler, MD, puts breaking data at the 17th International AIDS Conference on abacavir and heart attack risk into perspective.
Microbicides: Assessing Progress
International Partnership for Microbicides's CEO, Zeda Rosenberg, ScD, shares with POZ and AIDSmeds lessons learned from recent trials and what's next for this important HIV prevention tool.
Having Children a Priority for Many Positive Women
A substantial number of HIV-positive women surveyed in a Johns Hopkins University study believe that it is acceptable for women living with the virus to become pregnant, with half reporting that they intend to start or continue having children, researchers reported at the XVII International AIDS Conference in Mexico City. Many of the women, however, were unaware that antiretroviral (ARV) therapy, when used during pregnancy and delivery, can profoundly reduce the risk of transmitting HIV to the baby. 
August 06, 2008
AIDS 2008: Isentress Continues to Show Well Versus Sustiva as First-Line Treatment
New 96-week data from a clinical trial of Isentress (raltegravir), Merck's integrase inhibitor approved for treatment-experienced patients by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration in October 2007, suggest that it has comparable long-term efficacy to Sustiva (efavirenz) in those starting treatment for the first time. The new data, which also indicate fewer side effects with Isentress, were reported yesterday, August 5, at the XVII International AIDS Conference in Mexico City by Martin Markowitz, MD, of the Aaron Diamond AIDS Research Center in New York.
Hep C: The Other Epidemic
Shruti Mehta, PhD, explains the trends in hepatitis C transmission, prevention and treatment around the globe.
Stigma, Fear of Side Effects, Keep Many off Treatment
People living with HIV around the globe still live in fear of the societal stigma that surrounds the disease, and some are so concerned about side effects that they have chosen to stop their antiretroviral drug regimens, according to a new survey released at the XVII International AIDS Conference in Mexico City. 
Sustiva Bests Kaletra for Treatment of Advanced HIV Disease
HIV-positive individuals with very low CD4 cells starting therapy for the first time may be more likely to keep their viral loads undetectable and to remain on treatment using a regimen containing Sustiva (efavirenz) versus Kaletra (lopinavir/ritonavir), according to a new Mexican study reported at the XVII International AIDS Conference in Mexico City. 
NNRTI Rilpivirine (TMC-278) Comparable to Sustiva in 96-Week Study
An international team of researchers presented follow-up results from a Phase II study of rilpivirine (TMC-278), Tibotec’s experimental non-nucleoside reverse transcriptase inhibitor, August 5, at the XVII International AIDS Conference in Mexico City. The 96-week data indicate that, when combined with Truvada or Combivir , rilpivirine has results similar to leading NNRTI Sustiva. 
August 05, 2008
Report: Now Is Time to Prepare for PrEP
A new report issued by the AIDS Vaccine Advocacy Coalition (AVAC) at the XVII International AIDS Conference in Mexico City calls for increased action while preparing for initial results—expected as early as 2009—from the first trials of antiretroviral (ARV) drugs being tested for HIV prevention, known as pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP). The report, Anticipating the Results of PrEP Trials, also provides information about ongoing and planned PrEP research and lays out an agenda for action on key issues that the organization says must be addressed as research on PrEP moves forward.
Some Gender and Racial Differences with Three Protease Inhibitors
Results using first-line treatment regimens containing three approved protease inhibitors may vary somewhat by race and gender, notably some side effects, according to a handful of studies reported August 5 at the XVII International AIDS Conference (IAC) in Mexico City. For the most part, however, treatment outcomes using these regimens are comparable in their safety and effectiveness among women and people of color.
August 04, 2008
Human Growth Hormone May Reduce Internal Fatty Deposits
While using human growth hormone (HGH) may be risky, experts affirm that low-dose injections may help reduce fatty deposits around internal organs, a common antiretroviral (ARV) medication side effect, The Associated Press (AP) reports.
AIDS 2008: Similar Survival Among IDUs on ARV Treatment
HIV-positive injection drug users (IDUs) are just as likely to be alive 5 years after starting antiretroviral (ARV) therapy as non-IDU HIV-positive individuals, according to a report published in the August 6 issue of The Journal of the American Medical Association, coinciding with the start of the XVII International AIDS Conference in Mexico City. Julio Montaner, MD, of the University of British Columbia in Canada, and his study colleagues argue that these new data contradict the belief that IDUs with HIV receive fewer benefits from ARV therapy. 
Shortage of Health Care Workers Threatens African HIV Care
A lack of health care workers in southern Africa is having a profound negative impact on efforts to increase access to treatment and care for people living with HIV, experts associated with Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF; Doctors Without Borders) reported in a satellite meeting on the first day of the XVII International AIDS Conference in Mexico City. 
IAC Panelists: Scale Up, Leadership and Youth Crucial to HIV Response
The first major session of the XVII International AIDS Conference in Mexico City, held on Monday morning, provided an assessment of recent advancements and challenges toward the scale up of HIV treatment and prevention programs, along with calls for greater leadership and an urgent youth HIV/AIDS agenda. 
August 03, 2008
Annual HIV Infections in U.S. Substantially Higher Than Believed
Thousands of more new HIV cases are occurring in the United States every year than was previously believed, according to new data from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control (CDC).
August 01, 2008
Discrimination Doesn’t Worsen Treatment Adherence
Poorer antiretroviral (ARV) therapy adherence among HIV-positive people of color cannot be explained by experiences of discrimination or distrust in health care settings, conclude the authors of a study published online July 23 in the Journal of Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndromes.
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