Low Vitamin D Levels Tied to Heart Disease Risk in People With HIV People with HIV who had lower blood levels of vitamin D were more likely to have early signs of cardiovascular disease than HIV-positive people with normal vitamin D levels, according to a study published online January 27 in the journal Clinical Infectious Diseases.
January 28, 2011
Study Suggests HIV Causes Rapid Aging of Key Immune Cells A new study by researchers at the University of California at Los Angeles (UCLA) suggests that HIV causes immune cells to age quicker than normal—potentially causing more rapid HIV disease progression in older people with HIV and earlier onset of aging-related diseases in younger people. These data were published January 26 in the online journal PLoS One.
January 27, 2011
HIV Lipo Drug Egrifta Now Available; Financial Assistance Programs Open Egrifta (tesamorelin), the lipodystrophy treatment approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) late last year, is now officially available to people living with HIV and their health care providers, according to EMD Serono. To expedite prescriptions and reimbursement, the company also described various services—including patient assistance and co-pay programs—now open to HIV-positive patients who need the drug.
CDC Issues Interim Guidance to Providers About PrEP The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has published an interim guidance for health care providers regarding pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP) for high-risk individuals. The guidance comes on the heels of data released late last year, concluding that daily use of Truvada (tenofovir and emtricitabine) among HIV-negative men who have sex with men (MSM) reduced new HIV infections by about 44 percent.
January 26, 2011
Approval of Gilead and Tibotec’s New Combo HIV Pill Hits Snag
Gilead Sciences announced January 25 that the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has refused to accept the company’s New Drug Application (NDA) supporting the approval of a new three-in-one HIV drug that combines Tibotec’s rilpivirine (TMC278) with Gilead’s Truvada (tenofovir plus emtricitabine).
January 25, 2011
Discovery About HIV Could Lead to New Prevention and Treatment Approaches Researchers have discovered how HIV is able to reproduce within a type of immune cell called a macrophage and how it evades many of the most common antiretroviral (ARV) therapies. This new finding was published December 10 in The Journal of Biological Chemistry and detailed in a release from the University of Rochester in New York.
January 24, 2011
NIH Launches Center to Help Develop New Drugs
The National Institutes of Health is forming a new center whose purpose will be to develop new medications, and the Obama administration is supporting the endeavor with $1 billion in funds. According to reporting by The New York Times, the center will move the NIH for the first time in the direction of early development of new drugs, a role that has traditionally been played only by the pharmaceutical industry.
January 21, 2011
Hep C Treatment Telaprevir Gets Fast-Tracked FDA Review
Vertex Pharmaceuticals announced on January 20 that the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has agreed to expedite its approval review of the experimental hepatitis C protease inhibitor telaprevir. The agency has until May 23—six months from the original New Drug Application (NDA) filing date of November 23—to complete its review.
Head-and-Neck Cancer Treatment Works Just as Well in People With HIV
Standard radiation treatment for head-and-neck cancer is just as effective and safe in people with HIV as in their HIV-negative counterparts, according to a small study published in the January issue of the International Journal of Radiation Oncology-Biology-Physics. These data answer concerns that treatment for head-and-neck cancers could potentially be riskier for HIV-positive people.
January 20, 2011
Stroke Rates Increasing in People With HIV
The rate of stroke diagnoses increased significantly between 1997 and 2006 in people living with HIV, while simultaneously falling in HIV-negative people, according to a study published online January 19 in the journal Neurology and reported by the Los Angeles Times.
January 19, 2011
Manufacturer Recalls Alcohol Swab Products Packaged with Fuzeon, Other Meds Triad Group, a manufacturer of alcohol prep pads, alcohol swabs and alcohol swab sticks, announced it is recalling all of these products because of concerns they may be contaminated with a bacterium known as Bacillus cereus. The Triad Group alcohol prep pads are co-packaged and distributed with some medications used by people living with HIV, including Genentech's Fuzeon and Pegasys.
January 18, 2011
Study Says Race, Gender and Geography Predict Poorer Health With HIV
HIV-positive women, nonwhites and people residing in the Southern United States had poorer health than HIV-positive men, whites and people residing outside the South—despite having nearly equal access to antiretroviral (ARV) therapy. These data, published online January 18 in The Journal of Infectious Diseases, suggest there might be significant challenges in achieving the goals of the 2010 National HIV/AIDS Strategy.
January 14, 2011
Women Might Have More Favorable Blood Levels of Some HIV Drugs
A new study, presented at the 1st International Workshop on HIV and Women, held January 10 to 11 in Washington, DC, suggests women might have more desirable blood levels of at least two HIV drugs than men. The study was reported by the National AIDS Treatment Advocacy Project (NATAP).
U.S. Government Updates HIV Treatment Guidelines The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) issued an update to federal HIV treatment guidelines January 10, offering clarification or changes to recommendations about three antiretroviral (ARV) therapies, monitoring CD4 cells and managing ARV treatment in people with tuberculosis.
Undetectable Viral Load Key to Long-Term Health in Late HIV Treatment Starters In order to reduce their long-term risk of AIDS-defining illnesses, HIV-positive people who have low CD4 counts when they start treatment should focus on getting and keeping their viral load undetectable, according to a study published in the February 1 issue of The Journal of Infectious Diseases. Though people starting treatment for the first time who experience rapid CD4 gains face a lower risk of AIDS illness than those whose CD4s respond more slowly, this difference diminishes after six months provided that viral load remains undetectable.
January 07, 2011
New Study in San Francisco Aims to Improve HIV Care for Aging Population
Researchers at the University of California in San Francisco (UCSF) have launched a study to discover the best comprehensive care methods for people living with HIV as they get older. In a news article by the university about the project, the study’s leaders explain they will be integrating the expertise of specialists in geriatric medicine with that of infectious disease experts to address the fact that HIV-positive people are experiencing age-related problems at a younger age than HIV-negative people.
J&J Invests in New Noninvasive Cancer Test Johnson & Johnson (J&J) has announced that it is investing $30 million in a new test that could detect—and help doctors treat—a variety of cancers from a simple blood draw, according to reporting by Yahoo Canada News. While experts concede that such a test is still years away, some are predicting that it could revolutionize cancer detection and treatment.
January 03, 2011
Study Suggests Genetic Tests Could Predict HIV Drug Side Effects
A new study published in the January 15 issue of The Journal of Infectious Diseases suggests genetic testing might help predict whether a person will have side effects from some HIV drugs. This could allow people to avoid those drugs or at least take them with greater caution.
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