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February 28, 2011
CCR5 Gene Therapy Shows HIV Treatment Potential
SB-728-T, a gene therapy designed to knock out the CCR5 receptor on CD4 cells, protects and increases CD4s in patients experiencing poor immunologic recovery while on antiretroviral (ARV) therapy, according to preliminary Phase I study data reported on Monday, February 28, at the 18th Conference on Retroviruses and Opportunistic Infections (CROI) in Boston. The new results, reported by Jay Lalezari, MD, are among the first from a human study illustrating the therapeutic—and curative—potential of this novel approach being developed by Sangamo BioSciences.
February 24, 2011
Frequent HIV Testers Have a Better Prognosis After Infection
People who frequently test for HIV remain healthier and much less likely to die than people who wait long periods before getting tested. These data, published online February 22 in the journal AIDS, are the first to examine the link between frequent HIV testing and health outcomes.
February 23, 2011
AIDS Activists Call on Public to Support New FDA HIV Drug Approval Policy
The AIDS Treatment Activists Coalition (ATAC) is asking people to sign on to a letter in support of a proposed U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) policy that will hopefully make it easier for drugs to be approved for heavily treatment experienced people.
February 22, 2011
New Possibility for Some Heavily Treatment Experienced: Add Reyataz or Invirase
A drug-resistance mutation in HIV’s protease gene may actually be advantageous and make the virus more sensitive to antiretroviral drug regimens containing either Reyataz (atazanavir) or Invirase (saquinavir), according to a paper published online ahead of print in AIDS Research and Therapy.
February 17, 2011
Statins Show Promise as Anti-inflammatory Therapies for HIV Infection
Beyond their ability to lower cholesterol, a class of drugs called statins may hold a key health benefit for people living with HIV, as demonstrated in a recent study to be published in The Journal of Infectious Diseases evaluating the effects of the drug Lipitor (atorvastatin) on potentially harmful markers of immune activation and inflammation
February 16, 2011
Best HIV Treatment Practices Among Women Receiving ADAP
Women enrolled in AIDS Drug Assistance Programs (ADAPs) in California, New York and Illinois were more likely to be taking antiretroviral (ARV) medication according to treatment guidelines than women not on ADAPs. These findings, published in the March 1 issue of the Journal of Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndromes, hold up even when the analysis includes women with public or private health insurance.
February 14, 2011
New Study Says HIV Vaccines Might Not Need to Produce Protective Blood Antibodies
A new study suggests that an HIV vaccine could protect against sexual transmission of the virus without producing protective antibodies in the blood—instead, the virus would provoke the body to produce mucosal antibodies in the vagina and rectum. These findings, published online February 10 in the journal Immunity, open up new avenues of HIV vaccine research
February 11, 2011
Gilead and Tibotec’s Combo HIV Drug Is Back on Track
Gilead announced that it is back on track with the approval process for the combination antiretroviral (ARV) pill it is developing in partnership with Tibotec, having refiled its New Drug Application (NDA) with the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA). The FDA rejected the original NDA in a letter dated January 25 over concerns about impurities found during test-batches of the new pill.
February 10, 2011
FDA Puts a Hold on Development of ViiV HIV Drug
ViiV Healthcare announced that the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has placed a hold on the development of a non-nucleoside reverse transcriptase inhibitor (NNRTI) that it was studying, a drug it had licensed from Idenix Pharmaceuticals in 2009.
February 09, 2011
Math Wizards Develop New HIV Drug Candidates
Using a blend of high-level math and chemical engineering, a team of researchers at Princeton University has discovered several new drugs that their colleagues at Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore say are potent against HIV. Their process for finding new drugs against diseases, outlined in a paper published online November 17 in Biophysical Journal, could significantly speed up the laborious task of searching for and testing promising chemical compounds.
February 08, 2011
New Cure-Related Research: Antabuse to Flush HIV Reservoir
A new clinical trial has just gotten underway to test the ability of Antabuse (disulfiram)—a drug used for years to treat alcoholism—to flush out the hidden reservoir of HIV that evades both the immune system and antiretroviral (ARV) drugs. Though the trial will be small and isn’t seeking to cure the study participants, it could help propel HIV cure research forward.
February 07, 2011
New Reyataz Dosing Recommendations for HIV-Positive Pregnant Women
Bristol-Myers Squibb (BMS) has issued new dosing recommendations for HIV-positive pregnant women who wish to use Reyataz (atazanavir) as part of an antiretroviral (ARV) regimen. The new dosing recommendation is particularly important for treatment-experienced women using tenofovir (found in Viread and Truvada) or an acid-reducing H2 receptor antagonist. 
February 04, 2011
HIV-Positive Men Who Bareback Should Have More Frequent Hep C Testing
A new study has found that 75 percent of new hepatitis C virus (HCV) infections in HIV-positive men occurred in those with no history of injection drug use (IDU), mirroring other studies documenting a rise in cases of HCV infection in men who have sex with men (MSM) in Western Europe, Australia and urban cities in the United States. The study, published online January 31 in the journal Clinical Infectious Diseases, prompted the researchers to echo the conclusion of other cohort findings by recommending more frequent testing for HCV antibodies in those with high-risk practices, such as MSM who practice anal sex without condoms.
February 03, 2011
Clinical Trial of Triple-Drug Combination Pill 572-Trii Begins

ViiV Healthcare and Shionogi & Co. announced that the first patient has been enrolled into a study exploring the safety and efficacy of 572-Trii, the companies’ fixed-dose combination pill containing the experimental integrase inhibitor S/GSK1349572 (S/GSK-572) and Epzicom (zidovudine plus abacavir).

February 01, 2011
Drug Resistance Shouldn’t Preclude Using NRTIs in an HIV Salvage Regimen
People with heavily drug-resistant HIV benefit from adding two nucleoside reverse transcriptase inhibitors (NRTIs) to a regimen that contains Isentress (raltegravir), even if their virus is partially or fully resistant to the NRTIs. These data were published online January 28 in the Journal of Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndromes.
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