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February 25, 2010
Bone Fracture Risk Higher Among People Living With HIV
People living with HIV face a higher risk of bone fractures than people of similar ages in the general population, according to data from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC’s) HIV Outpatient Study (HOPS) presented Thursday, February 18, at the 17th Conference on Retroviruses and Opportunistic Infections (CROI) in San Francisco.
Vitamin D Deficiency Common Among HIV Positive
Vitamin D insufficiency is common among people living with HIV in the United States—although not necessarily more so compared with the general population—according to a study reported on Friday, February 19, at the 17th Conference on Retroviruses and Opportunistic Infections (CROI) in San Francisco.
February 24, 2010
HIV in the Brain Usually Matches Levels in the Blood
People with undetectable HIV levels in the blood are also likely to have undetectable levels in the brain, according to a study presented February 19 at the 17th Conference on Retroviruses and Opportunistic Infections (CROI) in San Francisco. However, the study doesn’t fully answer whether people living with HIV must be on antiretrovirals (ARV) that penetrate the central nervous system in order to prevent damage to the brain.
Hep C Treatment Might Also Guard Against HIV Disease Progression
Hepatitis C virus (HCV) treatment—when successful—offers survival benefits over and above reductions in liver disease among people coinfected with both HIV and HCV, according to a study reported February 19 at the 17th Conference on Retroviruses and Opportunistic Infections (CROI) in San Francisco.
February 23, 2010
Truvada and Norvir-Boosted Reyataz More Likely to Cause Bone Loss in ACTG Study
Truvada (tenofovir and emtricitabine) is more likely to lead to bone loss than Epzicom (abacavir and lamivudine); in addition, Norvir (ritonavir)-boosted Reyataz (atazanavir) is more likely to contribute to bone loss than Sustiva (efavirenz), according to new data from the AIDS Clinical Trials Group (ACTG) reported Thursday, February 18, at the 17th Conference on Retroviruses and Opportunistic Infections in San Francisco.
Norvir-Boosted Invirase Potentially Linked to Abnormal Heart Rhythms, FDA Warns
The combination of Norvir (ritonavir)-boosted Invirase (saquinavir) may be associated with adverse effects on the heart, according to new data released today by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA).
Maintaining Higher CD4s Protects Against Brain Damage
People who are able to maintain CD4 counts above 350 have a lower risk of developing brain damage. This conclusion, based on an analysis of data from a large cohort study, was presented as a poster February 16 at the 17th Conference on Retroviruses and Opportunistic Infections (CROI) in San Francisco.
February 22, 2010
Routine HIV Testing Proving Successful in Washington, DC
More HIV-positive residents of Washington, DC, are being tested and diagnosed earlier, entering into care faster and progressing to AIDS more slowly in recent years, according to data presented Wednesday, February 17, at the 17th Conference on Retroviruses and Opportunistic Infections (CROI). These encouraging findings likely speak to the effectiveness of an initiative launched by the DC Department of Health in 2006 to implement routine HIV testing with improved linkage to care throughout the city.
Testing and Treatment Tied to Fewer New HIV Cases in S.F. & Vancouver Studies
New public health data from San Francisco and British Columbia indicate that increased HIV testing and viral load-reducing antiretroviral therapy are affecting transmission rates in both locales, according to new reports at the 17th Conference on Retroviruses and Opportunistic Infections (CROI) in San Francisco.
February 20, 2010
HIV and Heart Disease Risks
At the 17th Conference on Retroviruses and Opportunistic Infection (CROI) in San Francisco, David Evans talks with Priscilla Hsue, MD, a researcher and physician at the University of California in San Francisco, about how HIV might increase the risk of cardiovascular disease through inflammation, and what people with HIV ought to do about it.
February 19, 2010
Non-AIDS Cancer Risk Decreases With Higher CD4 Cell Counts
Some good news regarding cancers: If antiretroviral therapy is able to maintain higher CD4 cell counts, it may reduce the risk of various non-AIDS-related cancers—notably those caused by other infectious diseases, human papillomavirus (HPV), for example—in people living with HIV. 
Smoking Cessation Reduces Cardiovascular Disease Risk in HIV
The risk of developing various forms of cardiovascular disease in people living with HIV decreases with time upon stopping cigarette smoking, according to new data from the D:A:D study reported on Thursday, February 18, at the 17th Conference on Retroviruses and Opportunistic Infections (CROI) in San Francisco. Though the results may not come as a surprise, they are among the first to show that smoking cessation has a positive affect on the lives of HIV-positive people.
No Efficacy Differences in ACTG Study Comparing Sustiva or Reyataz with either Epzicom or Truvada
Among HIV-positive patients with viral loads below 100,000 copies/mL, there are no significant differences in long-terms effectiveness between those using Reyataz (atazanavir) or Sustiva (efavirenz) in combination with either Epzicom (abacavir plus lamivudine) or Truvada (tenofovir plus emtricitabine), according to final results from a federally funded AIDS Clinical Trials Group (ACTG) study reported on Wednesday, February 17, at the 17th Conference on Retroviruses and Opportunistic Infections (CROI) in San Francisco.
Increased Risk of Chronic Kidney Disease Linked to Tenofovir and Atazanavir
Continued use of two commonly used antiretrovirals (ARVs)—tenofovir (found in Viread, Truvada and Atripla) and atazanavir (Reyataz), along with the older protease inhibitor indinavir (Crixivan)—is associated with an increased risk of kidney function deterioration, according to an analysis of the large ongoing EuroSIDA study reported on Thursday, February 18, at the 17th Conference on Retroviruses and Opportunistic Infections (CROI). It is the first study reported to date linking the long-term use of specific ARVs and chronic kidney disease (CKD).
February 18, 2010
New CCR5 Antagonist Shows Promise in Early Study
TBR-652, a CCR5 receptor antagonist being developed by Tobira Therapeutics, was safe and well tolerated in a small 10-day study reported on Wednesday, February 17, at the 17th Conference on Retroviruses and Opportunistic Infections (CROI) in San Francisco. 
Once-Daily Prezista Effective, Safer for HIV Treatment-Experienced Patients
Once-daily Norvir (ritonavir)-boosted Prezista is as effective and associated with fewer side effects compared with standard twice-daily dosing in treatment-experienced patients, according to 48-week data from a clinical trial reported on Wednesday, February 17, at the 17th Conference on Retroviruses and Opportunistic Infections (CROI) in San Francisco.
H1N1 Meets HIV
People with HIV are generally no more likely to experience severe complications of H1N1 influenza virus than people not infected with HIV, according to studies reported on Wednesday, February 17, at the 17th Conference on Retroviruses and Opportunistic Infections (CROI). However, studies presented here also paint a conflicting picture regarding the ability of H1N1 vaccines to spark sufficient immune responses against the virus in people with HIV hoping to avoid the novel influenza virus still circulating the globe. 
HIV Contributes to Lung Cancer Risk, but Not Nearly as Much as Smoking
HIV infection increases the risk of developing lung cancer by about 80 percent, according to a study presented Wednesday, February 17, at the 17th Conference on Retroviruses and Opportunistic Infections (CROI) in San Francisco. However, it is smoking among people living with HIV that poses the greatest risk of developing lung cancer. 
Vicriviroc Falls Short in Treatment-Experienced HIV Studies
Merck’s CCR5 receptor antagonist vicriviroc, combined with an optimized regimen of approved drugs, failed to prove itself superior to an optimized regimen alone in two Phase III clinical trials involving treatment experienced patients reported on Wednesday, February 17, at the 17th Conference on Retroviruses and Opportunistic Infections (CROI) in San Francisco. 
February 17, 2010
Quad Pill and Boosting Drug Show Well in Studies
Gilead Sciences’ experimental “Quad” tablet and boosting agent cobicistat continue to show promise in two ongoing clinical trials reported Wednesday, February 17, at the 17th Conference on Retroviruses and Opportunistic Infections (CROI) in San Francisco.
February 16, 2010
Viral Load Throughout Pregnancy Associated With HIV Transmission Risk
Viral load should be kept as low as possible throughout pregnancy, not just immediately before delivery, in order to minimize the risk of mother-to-child HIV transmission (MTCT), according to a French study published in the February 15 issue of Clinical Infectious Diseases and reported by aidsmap.
February 12, 2010
Physical, Psychological Symptoms Predict Viral Rebound Among ARV Adherent
People on antiretroviral (ARV) therapy with fully suppressed virus were more likely to see virus levels go up if they also reported physical symptoms—such as vomiting, or aches and pains—and psychological symptoms like anxiety and sadness, according to a study published online February 10 in the Journal of Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndromes.
February 11, 2010
FDA Approves Heat-Stable Norvir Tablets
A tablet version of Norvir (ritonavir) has been approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), according to notices from the agency and Norvir’s manufacturer Abbott Laboratories.
February 10, 2010
HIV Treatment Might Increase Clearance of HPV Infection in Women
Women living with HIV who regularly take antiretroviral (ARV) therapy may be more likely to clear human papillomavirus (HPV) and cervical lesions than women who don’t consistently take their meds, according to a study published in the March 1 issue of The Journal of Infectious Diseases.

February 09, 2010
HIV Treatment Success in Everyday Clinics Is Comparable to Rates in Clinical Trials
People with HIV can achieve just as much benefit from treatment in “real world” clinics as they do in clinical trials, according to a University of Alabama at Birmingham (UAB) study published February 15 in Clinical Infectious Diseases and reported by aidsmap. 
February 08, 2010
Targeting Hidden HIV: Research Group Licenses New Prostratin Technology
Los Angeles-based AIDS Research Alliance (ARA) has been granted exclusive rights to novel technology that will allow researchers to synthesize prostratin, a natural compound believed to target HIV hiding in inactive CD4 cells in the body, according to a February 8 press release.
February 05, 2010
ViiV Drug Co-Pay Program Extended to Selzentry, Viracept and Rescriptor
ViiV Healthcare—an HIV-focused company established by GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) and Pfizer—announced it will continue a drug co-payment assistance program for drugs formerly sold by GSK and will extend the program to cover Selzentry (maraviroc), Viracept (nelfinavir) and Rescriptor (delavirdine), formerly sold by Pfizer. Co-pay assistance programs allow companies to reduce the out-of-pocket costs of medications for people with health insurance.
February 04, 2010
HIV Drug Abacavir Increased Heart Attack Risk by 95 Percent in Danish Study
A study conducted in Denmark suggests abacavir (found in Ziagen, Epzicom and Trizivir) increases the risk of a heart attack by 95 percent—a risk that remains elevated even after the drug is stopped—according to a study published in the February edition of HIV Medicine and reported by aidsmap.
February 03, 2010
New Drug Fights HIV and Many Other Viruses
Researchers found a new antiviral drug that appears to effectively target not only HIV, but also Ebola, influenza and Rift Valley fever, according to a study published online January 28 in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.
February 02, 2010
Rare, Serious Liver Disease Associated With HIV Drug Videx EC
The nucleoside analogue Videx EC (didanosine) is associated with a liver disorder called non-cirrhotic portal hypertension, according to a warning issued by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA). Though this form of liver disease can be serious, it is a rare occurrence among people living with HIV and using Videx EC and the drug’s benefits “continue to outweigh potential safety risks,” the agency said.
February 01, 2010
Scientists Crack Integrase Inhibitor Mystery
Scientists have grown a crystal version of an integrase enzyme very similar to HIV’s, which could help them better understand how integrase inhibitors such as Isentress (raltegravir) actually work and possibly help scientists design even better drugs. The research results will be published January 30 in Nature and were reported by ScienceDaily.
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