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February 28, 2012
U.K. Guidelines Expand 'Preferred' Treatment Options, Emphasize Treatment as Prevention
Treatment guidelines in the United Kingdom continue to recommend that people living with HIV start antiretroviral (ARV) therapy when the CD4 cell count falls to 350 or below, though the preliminary version released February 4 and reviewed by aidsmap also recommends that health care providers discuss the evidence that treatment reduces the risk of HIV transmission at any CD4 level. 
February 27, 2012
Possible Cure in Protein That Starves HIV of Needed Building Blocks
Focusing on a protein called SAMHD1, a team of researchers believes it has stumbled upon the mechanism in which some immune system cells keep HIV from hijacking their cellular machinery to produce new virus. The findings, published online ahead of print by the journal Nature Immunology, pave the way for novel methods to treat—and potentially cure—HIV infection.
February 23, 2012
HIV Therapeutic Vaccine Developer Reports Encouraging Results
Vacc-4x, an experimental therapeutic HIV vaccine, helps reduce viral load among people living with HIV remaining off antiretroviral (ARV) therapy for six months, compared with those who didn’t receive the vaccine, according to preliminary results from a clinical trial highlighted in a news announcement by the compound’s developer Bionor Pharma.
February 21, 2012
Lipodystrophy-Related Waistline Increases Are Linked to Decreased Mental Functioning
New data published in the February 14 issue of Neurology suggest that an expanding waistline associated with lipodystrophy is associated with decreased mental functioning, whereas general weight gain has a protective effective against neurocognitive decline in people living with HIV. The contradictory—and largely unexplained—findings come from an ongoing study exploring the various affects of HIV and antiretroviral therapy on central nervous system functioning.
Hep C Now Trumps HIV as Cause of Death in U.S.
More U.S. residents are now dying of hepatitis C complications than HIV-related illnesses, according to sobering data summarized in the February 21 issue of Annals of Internal Medicine. Fortunately, an accompanying editorial notes, the future looks particularly bright for people living with hepatitis C, on account of the anticipated arrival of new treatments that are expected to substantially improve disease-free survival rates.
February 16, 2012
Hep C, HIV Drug-Drug Interaction Studies Must Be a Priority, Activists Say
An international Hep C activist group is calling on government regulators and pharmaceutical companies developing therapies for hepatitis C virus (HCV) infection to conduct necessary interaction studies involving other medications commonly used by people living with HCV and HIV/HCV coinfection as early as possible.
February 15, 2012
Half of New HIV Transmissions Originate From Those Unaware of Their Infections
New mathematical modeling conducted by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and Johns Hopkins researchers underscores how important it is to get all people unknowingly living with HIV in the United States tested. According to a report published online ahead of print by the journal AIDS, roughly 50 percent of HIV is being transmitted by the 20 percent of people living with the virus and are unaware of their infection.
February 13, 2012
Tenofovir Increases Risk of Irreversible Kidney Disease
The nucleostide reverse transcriptase inhibitor tenofovir is associated with an increased risk of kidney damage and chronic kidney disease that increases over time and doesn’t appear to be reversible, according to a new analysis by University of California at San Francisco (UCSF) researchers that’s published online ahead of print by the journal AIDS.
February 10, 2012
FDA Panel: Qutenza Pain Patch for Neuropathy Not Ready for Approval
A U.S. Food and Drug Administration advisory committee voted unanimously against recommending the approval of a novel patch applied to the soles of the feet to remedy pain associated with neuropathy in people living with HIV. Though the patch is commercially available for the treatment of shingles-related neuropathy pain, the FDA’s Anesthetic and Analgesic Drug Products Advisory Committee’s review of two clinical trials of the Qutenza capsaicin patch involving HIV-positive volunteers did not find “substantial evidence of effectiveness.”
February 09, 2012
Antibiotics Losing Battle Against Gonorrhea
The last line of defense against gonorrhea is losing its effectiveness against the gonorrhea, according to a new article published February 9 in the The New England Journal of Medicine. With no new antibiotics effective against the sexually transmitted infection (STI) on the horizon, Gail Bolan, MD, of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and her fellow authors, are worried about an upswing in gonorrhea samples showing to be less susceptible to cephalosporins—the only class of drugs active against the bacteria resistant to other standard treatments.
February 08, 2012
Merck Warns of Victrelis and HIV Protease Inhibitor Interactions
The hepatitis C protease inhibitor Victrelis (boceprevir) has some significant drug-drug interactions with common Norvir (ritonavir)?boosted protease inhibitor (PI) combinations, according to preliminary data from a clinical trial and a warning issued to health care providers by Merck on February 6. 
February 07, 2012
Spinal Cord Stimulation Shows Potential for Peripheral Neuropathy
Electrical stimulation of the spinal cord markedly reduced peripheral neuropathy (PN)–associated pain in a man living with HIV who didn’t respond to more conventional PN therapies, according to a February 5 presentation at the 6th World Congress of the World Institute of Pain in Miami and reported by Medscape. 
February 06, 2012
CDC Recommends HPV Vaccine for Boys and Young Men, Hep B Vaccine for Diabetics
It’s official: All males between 11 and 21 years of age should be vaccinated against human papillomavirus (HPV), a leading cause of oral, genital and anal cancers, according to new U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention guidelines published February 3 in the health agency’s Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report. HPV vaccination is also recommended for previously unvaccinated men between 22 and 26 years of age who have compromised immune systems, are HIV positive or have sex with other men. 
February 02, 2012
Isentress, Intelence, Prezista Regimen Goes the Distance for HIV Treatment Veterans
A drug regimen containing Isentress (raltegravir), Intelence (etravirine) and Norvir (ritonavir)–boosted Prezista (darunavir) has been shown to be “highly potent and durable in terms of efficacy and safety” in a French clinical trial involving heavily treatment-experienced people living with HIV. According to the research paper published ahead of print by the Journal of Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndromes (JAIDS), 88 percent of those using this regimen had undetectable viral loads after nearly two years of treatment.
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