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December 27, 2011
HIV’s 'Pathogenic Landscape' Research Identifies New Drug Targets
A University of California at San Francisco (UCSF)-led team of researchers believes it has succeeded in mapping every apparent physical interaction HIV makes with components of the immune system cells it infects, work the researchers say should ultimately reveal new therapeutic and curative drugs. The encouraging findings are reported in two papers published in the December 21 issue of Nature.
December 22, 2011
Isentress Approved for Children 2 and Older
Isentress (raltegravir), Merck’s integrase inhibitor, is now approved for children 2 years of age and older, according to a U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) announcement. In addition, 100 milligram (mg) and 25 mg chewable tablets were approved for use in children requiring antiretroviral (ARV) therapy involving Isentress.
Same-Sex Marriage Reduces Health Care Costs for Gay Men
State laws legalizing same-sex marriage result in gay men leading healthier lives and spending less on health care costs, especially those related to mental health issues, according to a study led by researchers at the Columbia University Mailman School of Public Health and published in the American Journal of Public Health.
December 21, 2011
FDA Lacks Authority to Prevent Rising Number of Drug Shortages, Report Says
Pharmaceutical companies should be required to notify the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) of situations that may lead to drug shortages, thereby allowing the agency to address production issues and enhance product availability, according to a new report by the U.S. Government Accountability Office (GAO).
December 20, 2011
Liquid Prezista Formulation Approved for HIV-Positive Children 3 and Older
A liquid version of the drug was approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) on December 16. According to an announcement from the agency, the drug’s package insert has also been updated to provide dosing information for children as young as 3 years old.
December 19, 2011
Rituxan Prolongs HIV-Related Lymphoma Survival
For people diagnosed with AIDS-related lymphomas, adding Rituxan (rituximab) to standard chemotherapy has a major positive effect on survival, according to new German cohort data published ahead of print by the journal AIDS. Importantly, the study found that Rituxan was beneficial in the setting of severe immune deficiency and that it was not associated with an increased risk of fatal infections.
Improper Use of a Neti Pot Can Be Fatal
Two Louisiana residents died of a rare brain infection after they used tap water instead of boiled or bottled water in neti pots. This news, accompanied by a warning on proper use of the devices, was issued by the Louisiana Department of Health and Hospitals on December 6.
December 16, 2011
Chronic Hep B Doubles Risk of AIDS Illnesses and Death in People Living With HIV
Chronic hepatitis B virus (HBV) infection almost doubles the risk of AIDS or death in people diagnosed with HIV infection, compared with those only living with HIV, according to a new paper published ahead of print in The Journal of Infectious Diseases.
December 15, 2011
Headaches, Migraines Common in People Living With HIV
Headaches affect one in two HIV-positive people, with more than one in four people living with the virus experiencing chronic migraines, according to a new University of Mississippi research paper published ahead of print in the medical journal Headache.
Novel HIV-Associated Diarrhea Drug Crofelemer Goes to FDA for Approval Review
Raleigh, North Carolina-based Salix Pharmaceuticals announced on December 15, 2011, that it has submitted a New Drug Application (NDA) to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) requesting approved for Crofelemer, a novel therapy for HIV-associated diarrhea.
December 14, 2011
Animal Studies Suggest Anti-Reservoir Drugs May Help 'Functionally Cure' HIV
Drugs targeting HIV reservoirs in the body may result in spontaneous control of viral replication, in the absence of antiretroviral (ARV) therapy, according to a new study involving 18 monkeys conducted by Andrea Savarino, MD, PhD, of the Istituto Superiore di Sanita in Rome and his colleagues. The new findings, among the most noteworthy at an HIV eradication conference recently held in St. Maarten, in the Caribbean, could prove highly useful as researchers continue exploring ways to functionally cure HIV infection.
December 09, 2011
Diabetes Med Glucophage and Diet/Exercise Changes Improve Cardio Risks in HIV
People living with HIV and metabolic syndrome who combined the diabetes drug Glucophage (metformin), both with and without dietary changes and exercise, may be able to stave off signs of cardiovascular disease (CVD), according to a new research paper published online ahead of print in the journal AIDS.
December 07, 2011
Green Tea Compound May Prevent Post-Transplant Hep C Recurrence
An antioxidant component of green tea blocks the ability of the hepatitis C virus (HCV) to enter liver cells (hepatocytes), making it potentially useful in protecting the liver against infection with the virus, notably following transplant surgery when there is a high risk of disease recurrence. This is the conclusion of a study conducted by German, Belgian and Canadian researchers and published online by the journal Hepatology late last month.
December 05, 2011
Boosting Agent Cobicistat Comparable to Norvir in Phase III Study
Compared with Norvir (ritonavir), people living with HIV using Gilead Sciences’ novel boosting agent cobicistat were just as likely to see their viral loads drop to undetectable levels and no more likely to discontinue therapy due to side effects, according to preliminary results from a Phase III study comparing both drugs in combination with Reyataz (atazanavir) and Truvada (tenofovir plus emtricitabine). 
December 01, 2011
NYC Recommends Early HIV Treatment, Regardless of CD4s
New York City health officials now recommend offering antiretroviral (ARV) treatment to all city residents living with HIV, regardless of their CD4 cell counts, making it the second major city in the United States—after San Francisco—to bypass the more conservative federal HIV treatment guidelines.
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