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July 31, 2009
IAS 2009: Isentress Without a Protease Inhibitor Is Effective for Treatment Experienced Patients
It might not be necessary to combine the integrase inhibitor Isentress (raltegravir) with a protease inhibitor (PI) in treatment experienced people with HIV, according to a study published at the Fifth International AIDS Society (IAS) Conference on HIV Pathogenesis, Treatment and Prevention in Cape Town. People on an Isentress regimen without a PI maintained undetectable virus levels at about the same rate as those on a PI.
IAS 2009: South African Study: Nurses Comparable to Doctors in Monitoring HIV Management
Nurses in South Africa perform just as well as doctors in terms of monitoring people living with HIV receiving antiretroviral (ARV) therapy, according to study results reported Wednesday, July 22, at the Fifth International AIDS Society (IAS) Conference on HIV Pathogenesis, Treatment and Prevention in Cape Town. These results will likely be viewed favorably as plans continue to scale up ARV access in sub-Saharan Africa and other resource-poor areas, where there may be some reluctance to roll out expanded treatment initiatives in communities without licensed medical doctors to monitor patients
July 30, 2009
Acyclovir Slows HIV Disease Progression, But Fails to Reduce HIV Transmission
Acyclovir doesn’t prevent HIV-positive people from transmitting the virus to their uninfected partners, but it does appear to slow HIV disease progression, according to a study presented at the Fifth International AIDS Society (IAS) Conference on HIV Pathogenesis, Treatment and Prevention in Cape Town.
Perhaps More Lipodystrophy With Sustiva?
People taking a regimen including Sustiva (efavirenz) appeared to have greater limb fat loss and gut fat accumulation than those on Kaletra (liponavir/ritonavir)?based regimen, according to a study presented at the Fifth International AIDS Society (IAS) Conference on HIV Pathogenesis, Treatment and Prevention in Cape Town.
July 29, 2009
High Prevalence of Vitamin D Deficiency in HIV-Positive Men
Nearly half of a group of HIV-positive men in New York City had abnormally low levels of vitamin D—potentially leaving them at risk for developing bone problems, according to a study presented at the Fifth International AIDS Society (IAS) Conference on HIV Pathogenesis, Treatment and Prevention in Cape Town.
July 28, 2009
Once- vs. Twice-Daily Kaletra for Treatment Veterans
Once-daily Kaletra (lopinavir/ritonavir) dosing may be an option for treatment-experienced people living with HIV, according to study results presented July 21 at the Fifth International AIDS Society (IAS) Conference on HIV Pathogenesis, Treatment and Prevention in Cape Town. Caution may be necessary, however, for individuals with more than three key mutations in their HIV’s protease gene, because once-daily dosing might not be potent enough to keep viral load undetectable.
Menopause May Occur Earlier in HIV-Positive Women
HIV-positive women may experience menopause at a younger age than their HIV-negative counterparts, according to a study presented at the Fifth International AIDS Society (IAS) Conference on HIV Pathogenesis, Treatment and Prevention in Cape Town.
IAS 2009: Antidepressants May Be Helpful With Fatigue
Antidepressant drugs may help alleviate symptoms of fatigue, even in HIV-positive people who are not otherwise depressed. These findings were presented at the Fifth International AIDS Society (IAS) Conference on HIV Pathogenesis, Treatment and Prevention in Cape Town.
July 27, 2009
Two Studies Explore Switch to Boosted Prezista Monotherapy
Switching to Norvir (ritonavir)?boosted Prezista (darunavir) monotherapy after achieving an undetectable viral load using combination antiretroviral (ARV) treatment worked well in two clinical trials reported at the Fifth International AIDS Society (IAS) Conference on HIV Pathogenesis, Treatment and Prevention in Cape Town. While both studies found Norvir/Prezista alone to be comparable to continued triple-drug therapy, the immediate benefits associated with this treatment simplification approach remain unclear.
Switch From Norvir-Boosted to Unboosted Reyataz Safe and Effective
People whose virus is well controlled by a regimen containing Norvir (ritonavir)-boosted Reyataz (atazanavir) can drop the Norvir—while increasing the Reyataz dose from 300 mg to 400 mg—without losing control of HIV, according to a study presented at the Fifth International AIDS Society (IAS) Conference on HIV Pathogenesis, Treatment and Prevention in Cape Town.
Chronic Stress and Non-AIDS Diseases—Is There a Link?
Chronic stress may increase the risk of non-AIDS, age-related health problems in people living with HIV, according to a team of Spanish researchers presenting intriguing new data at the Fifth International AIDS Society (IAS) Conference on HIV Pathogenesis, Treatment and Prevention on Tuesday, July 21, in Cape Town. 
July 24, 2009
Kaletra Is Better Than Viramune for Kids Exposed to Viramune at Birth
HIV-positive children exposed to single-dose Viramune (nevirapine) at birth are more likely to have virologic success later with a Kaletra (lopinavir/ritonavir)?based regimen than a Viramune-based regimen. These data were presented at the Fifth International AIDS Society (IAS) Conference on HIV Pathogenesis, Treatment and Prevention in Cape Town.
Study Hints That Micronutrient Supplement Might Help HIV-Positive Kids
A daily supplement including key vitamins and minerals showed promise for increasing survival in Ugandan children living with HIV, according to a study presented at the Fifth International AIDS Society (IAS) Conference on HIV Pathogenesis, Treatment and Prevention in Cape Town.
A Quad NRTI Regimen Fails to Perform
A quadruple combination of four similar drugs from the same class—Truvada (tenofovir plus emtricitabine), Retrovir (zidovudine) and Ziagen (abacavir)—is inferior to standard three-drug regimens containing either a protease inhibitor (PI) or a non-nucleoside reverse-transcriptase inhibitor (NNRTI). These data were presented at the Fifth International AIDS Society (IAS) Conference on HIV Pathogenesis, Treatment and Prevention in Cape Town.
No Transmission and Few Birth Defects in Babies Born to African Mothers on HIV Treatment
There were no HIV transmissions and few birth defects in the babies of HIV-positive African women who were treated with antiretroviral (ARV) therapy, according to a study presented at the Fifth International AIDS Society (IAS) Conference on HIV Pathogenesis, Treatment and Prevention in Cape Town.
July 23, 2009
HIV Treatment Effective Without Laboratory Monitoring in Southern Africa Study
Regular laboratory monitoring isn’t necessary for making sound antiretroviral (ARV) treatment decisions in resource-poor areas, according to data from the largest clinical trial for people with HIV ever conducted in sub-Saharan Africa. Authors of the Development of Antiretroviral Therapy in Africa (DART) study—reported on Tuesday, July 21, at the Fifth International AIDS Society (IAS) Conference on HIV Pathogenesis, Treatment and Prevention in Cape Town—conclude that many more people with HIV in Africa could be treated for the same amount of money as is currently spent if lab tests are not routinely used to monitor the effects of ARV treatment.
Viramune Has Similar Efficacy to Reyataz
People on a regimen containing either once or twice daily Viramune (nevirapine) were as able as people on a Norvir (ritonavir)?boosted Reyataz (atazanavir) regimen to get their virus below 50 copies. The data from the ARTEN study were presented on Monday, July 20, at the Fifth International AIDS Society (IAS) Conference on HIV Pathogenesis, Treatment and Prevention in Cape Town.
Zinc Supplements Prevent Immune Decline in Chronic Substance Users
Chronic drug users who were treated with zinc supplements were less likely to see their CD4 counts fall below 200 than people taking a placebo, according to a study presented at the Fifth International AIDS Society (IAS) Conference on HIV Pathogenesis, Treatment and Prevention in Cape Town.
Efavirenz, Race Linked to Vitamin D Deficiency
People on a regimen containing efavirenz (Sustiva or Atripla) had a higher risk of having low vitamin D levels—which can lead to bone problems—than people on a protease inhibitor regimen. The study, which also found race and season of the year to play a role in vitamin D levels, was presented at the Fifth International AIDS Society (IAS) Conference on HIV Pathogenesis, Treatment and Prevention in Cape Town.
Cancer Rates Are Lower, but Still Present at Higher CD4 Levels
Cancer of all types is more likely when a person’s CD4 counts fall below 200; however, even people with CD4 counts up to 699 had a higher risk for non-AIDS-defining cancers (NADCs) than people with CD4s over 700. These results were presented at the Fifth International AIDS Society (IAS) Conference on HIV Pathogenesis, Treatment and Prevention in Cape Town.
More Than Half of People With HIV Might Have Cognitive Impairment
Researchers with the CNS HIV Antiretroviral Therapy Effects Research (CHARTER) report that 53 percent of their cohort of HIV-positive patients has at least mild impairment in thinking, memory and physical coordination—known as cognitive impairment. These data were presented at the Fifth International AIDS Society (IAS) Conference on HIV Pathogenesis, Treatment and Prevention in Cape Town.
July 22, 2009
Infected & Affected in South Africa
"Infected and Affected: Portraits of a Community Combating Stigma" is a project by photographer Joan L. Brown, which is sponsored by POZ and other organizations. In July 2009, Brown photographed attendees of the 5th IAS Conference on HIV Pathogenesis, Treatment and Prevention Conference in Cape Town, South Africa, as well as visitors to a local HIV pediatric service. (Watch video.)
Pediatric Viramune May Still Work as Treatment in Kids Exposed at Birth
Infants exposed to single-dose Viramune (nevirapine) monotherapy at the time of delivery—potentially resulting in rapid resistance to the drug if HIV infection does occur—may still benefit from a Viramune-based treatment regimen, according to an important finding reported Monday, July 20, at the Fifth International AIDS Society (IAS) Conference on HIV Pathogenesis, Treatment and Prevention in Cape Town. 
Triple-Drug Regimen Works Well for Heavily Treatment-Experienced Patients
A drug regimen containing Isentress (raltegravir), Intelence (etravirine) and Norvir (ritonavir)?boosted Prezista (darunavir) continues to work astonishingly well in a French clinical trial involving heavily treatment-experienced people living with HIV. About 86 percent of those using this potent regimen active against drug-resistant virus have undetectable viral loads after 48 weeks of treatment, report researchers from the Agence Nationale de Recherches sur le Sida et les Hépatites Virales (ANRS) 139 TRIO study team at the Fifth International AIDS Society (IAS) Conference on HIV Pathogenesis, Treatment and Prevention in Cape Town.
Efavirenz Five-Days-On, Two-Off, Works as Well as Continuous Treatment
People who took a regimen including efavirenz (found in Sustiva and Atripla) for five days each week, with two-days off over the weekend, had similar viral load reductions and side effects as people who took their regimen continuously. What’s more, people on the on-off approach reported universally that they preferred intermittent therapy to continuous therapy. Cal Cohen, MD, from the Community Research Initiative (CRI) in Boston, presented the study at the Fifth International AIDS Society (IAS) Conference on HIV Pathogenesis, Treatment and Prevention in Cape Town.
ARV Therapy of Little Benefit in Preventing Anal Cancer
ARV therapy may not afford much protection against anal cancer among HIV-positive people, according to sobering study results reported Wednesday, July 22, at the Fifth International AIDS Society (IAS) Conference on HIV Pathogenesis, Treatment and Prevention in Cape Town. In fact, according to the Veterans Administration analysis reported by Nancy Crum-Cianflone, MD, of the Naval Medical Center in San Diego, rates of anal cancer are progressively increasing. 
ARV Treatment Eases Cape Town TB Rates
Wider use of antiretroviral (ARV) therapy during the past three years has significantly reduced the rate of tuberculosis (TB). This encouraging news was reported Wednesday, July 22, at the Fifth International AIDS Society (IAS) Conference on HIV Pathogenesis, Treatment and Prevention in Cape Town. 
People on Sustiva Have Less Risk for Treatment Failure Than People on Kaletra
People taking a regimen containing efavirenz (found in Sustiva and Atripla) appear to have less chance of virologic failure on treatment than people on a regimen including lopinavir/ritonavir (Kaletra), no matter their initial CD4 count. The study was presented at the Fifth International AIDS Society (IAS) Conference on HIV Pathogenesis, Treatment and Prevention in Cape Town by Heiner Bucher, MD, MPH, from the University Hospital Basel in Switzerland. The study and adds another voice to a chorus of conflicting previous studies comparing the two treatments.
Mma Bana: Lowest-Ever Mother-to-Child HIV Transmission Rates With Combo Therapy in Botswana
Not only can combination antiretroviral therapy be used with confidence to prevent mother-to-child HIV transmission (MTCT) during pregnancy and delivery in resource-poor countries, but it can also be used safely and effectively to prevent the spread of the virus during breast feeding. These results, from the first randomized clinical trial evaluating combination ARV regimens in pregnancy and during breast feeding, were reported Wednesday, July 22, at the Fifth International AIDS Society (IAS) Conference on HIV Pathogenesis, Treatment and Prevention in Cape Town. 
Substantial Single-Year Gains in ARV Access in 2008
In 2008, there was a 33 percent increase in the number of HIV-positive individuals in low- and middle-income countries receiving antiretroviral (ARV) therapy, according to new data from three international agencies shared on Wednesday, July 22, at the Fifth International AIDS Society (IAS) Conference on HIV Pathogenesis, Treatment and Prevention in Cape Town. 
July 21, 2009
Selzentry Comparable to Sustiva After 96 Weeks in Treatment Naives
Selzentry (Celsentri; maraviroc) is comparable to Sustiva (efavirenz) in HIV-positive patients starting antiretroviral (ARV) treatment for the first time, according to 96-week data from a reanalysis of a study that originally suggested that Selzentry was less effective than the standard-of-care non-nucleoside reverse transcriptase inhibitor (NNRTI). The latest review of the data, relying on a new enhanced-sensitivity tropism assay, was reported Tuesday, July 21, at the Fifth International AIDS Society (IAS) Conference on HIV Pathogenesis, Treatment and Prevention in Cape Town. 
IAS 2009: Isentress Going Strong After Three Years in Treatment Starters
Long-term data from a Phase II clinical trial show that Merck’s integrase inhibitor Isentress (raltegravir) works just as well as mainstay therapy efavirenz (found in Sustiva and Atripla) in HIV-positive individuals starting treatment for the first time. These encouraging results were reported Monday, July 20, by Eduardo Gotuzzo, MD, of the Hospital Nacional Cayetano Heredia in Lima, Peru, and his colleagues at the Fifth International AIDS Society (IAS) Conference on HIV Pathogenesis, Treatment and Prevention in Cape Town.
Circumcision Protects Insertive MSM Partners
Circumcision may protect men who have sex with men (MSM) against HIV transmission via insertive anal intercourse, according to a cohort study conducted in Soweto, South Africa, and reported Monday, July 20, at the Fifth International AIDS Society (IAS) Conference on HIV Pathogenesis, Treatment and Prevention in Cape Town. 
More Than Half Could Need Treatment Within 2 Years of Infection
If HIV treatment guidelines were updated to recommend beginning treatment at 500 CD4 cells, then more than half of all people with HIV would need to initiate antiretroviral (ARV) treatment within two years of becoming infected. This startling finding was presented Monday, July 20, at the Fifth International AIDS Society (IAS) Conference on HIV Pathogenesis, Treatment and Prevention in Cape Town. 
ARV Treatment Protects Against Malaria in Ugandan Study
Using antiretroviral (ARV) therapy to restore the immune system may substantially reduce the risk of malaria in countries where both HIV and malaria are endemic, according to new data presented Tuesday, July 21, at the Fifth International AIDS Society (IAS) Conference on HIV Pathogenesis, Treatment and Prevention in Cape Town. 
Shionogi-GSK Integrase Inhibitor Shows Promise
A new integrase inhibitor being developed by GlaxoSmithKline in collaboration with Osaka, Japan-based pharmaceutical company Shionogi & Co. was well tolerated and associated with “unprecedented antiviral activity” in a 10-day study, reported Tuesday, July 21, at the Fifth International AIDS Society (IAS) Conference on HIV Pathogenesis, Treatment and Prevention in Cape Town.
July 20, 2009
Pediatric HIV: Successes and Challenges
Combination antiretroviral (ARV) therapy dramatically improves survival among children born with HIV infection in resource-poor areas, according to encouraging data presented by Thailand- and Cambodia-based researchers at the Fifth International AIDS Society (IAS) Conference on HIV Pathogenesis, Treatment and Prevention on Monday, July 20, in Cape Town. Troubling, however, was a South African study reporting significant delays in switching children to second-line ARV regimens after virologic failure on an initial drug combination.
GRACE Shows Similar Treatment Response Rates in Women and Men on Prezista Treatment
Long-awaited 48-week data from the Gender, Race and Clinical Experience (GRACE) study indicate that Norvir (ritonavir)?boosted Prezista (darunavir) can be used in women and men with similar safety and efficacy outcomes. Reported by Kathleen Squires, MD, of Jefferson Medical College in Philadelphia and her colleagues on Monday, July 20, at the Fifth International AIDS Society (IAS) Conference on HIV Pathogenesis, Treatment and Prevention in Cape Town, GRACE also documented higher rates of study discontinuation among women, underscoring the need for further investigation into ways to better retain women in clinical trials.
CD4 Counts Key to AIDS-Free Survival While on HIV Treatment
When starting antiretroviral (ARV) therapy—especially for those starting treatment after the immune system has become suppressed—it is essential to maintain a CD4 count above 200 cells, even if viral load is undetectable. This is the conclusion of a study reported by Mona Loutfy, MD, of the University of Toronto and her colleagues at the Fifth International AIDS Society (IAS) Conference on HIV Pathogenesis, Treatment and Prevention in Cape Town on Monday, July 20. 
July 17, 2009
Gilead and Tibotec Partner to Produce AIDS Drug
Gilead Sciences and Tibotec have announced that they will collaborate on a new fixed-dose combination HIV pill that will include Gilead’s Truvada (tenofovir and emtricitabine) and an experimental Tibotec drug called rilpivirine (TMC-278).
Vicriviroc Trial in Treatment Newbies Gets OK to Continue
A clinical trial investigating the entry inhibitor vicriviroc in people new to HIV treatment has gotten the approval from a safety board to continue onto the second step of the study. The trial extension was announced July 15 by the drug’s developer, Schering-Plough.
July 16, 2009
Early HIV Treatment Helps Acute Hep C Treatment Response
Starting early HIV therapy at the same time as hepatitis C virus (HCV) treatment—in people simultaneously infected with both HIV and HCV—yields universally good HCV treatment responses, according to a study published in the August 1 issue of Clinical Infectious Diseases.
July 15, 2009
GSK Announces $80 Million to Prevent and Treat Pediatric HIV
Andrew Witty, chief executive officer of GlaxoSmithKline (GSK), announced yesterday that GSK will spend up to $80 million during the next 10 years to prevent mother-to-child HIV transmission and to support AIDS orphans and vulnerable children globally. Witty also announced a $17 million fund to develop new HIV drugs for children. In addition, he said that GSK intends to collaborate with other companies on fixed-dose combination pills for HIV and that GSK will voluntarily license its drug abacavir (found in Ziagen, Epzicom and Trizivir) to the generic company Aspen Pharmaceuticals.
July 14, 2009
Why Women and Men Have Differences in Disease Progression
A study, published July 13 online in Nature Medicine, has discovered why HIV-positive women have faster disease progression than HIV-positive men with the same viral loads. The answer may be greater levels of immune inflammation.
July 13, 2009
Hep C Doubles Risk for AIDS Illnesses
People coinfected with both HIV and hepatitis C virus (HCV) have double the risk of developing an AIDS defining illness (ADI) as people infected with only HIV, according to a study published online July 10 in Clinical Infectious Diseases.
July 10, 2009
Isentress Gets FDA Approval for Treatment Newbies
Merck & Co. yesterday received approval by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to market its integrase inhibitor, Isentress (raltegravir), for people who have never taken HIV treatment. Isentress was previously approved only to treat people who have used and become resistant to other antiretroviral therapies.
July 09, 2009
HIV Ravages Antibody-Producing Cells Days After Infection
Researchers may have figured out why the body is so slow in producing effective antibodies against HIV. According to study details published in the July 2009 online issue of PLoS Medicine, HIV cripples the production of antibody-producing B cells within just 17 days after infection. 
July 08, 2009
Abbott Wins Appeal on Norvir Antitrust Case
A federal appellate court has ruled in favor of Abbott Laboratories and dismissed claims that the company is guilty of maintaining a monopoly in the HIV treatment marketplace and overcharging for its protease inhibitor Norvir (ritonavir). 
July 07, 2009
Gradual Efavirenz Dosing Shows Promise
Starting efavirenz (found in Sustiva and Atripla) at a lower dose and steadily increasing it over two weeks might help decrease the risk or severe dizziness, hallucinations and trouble concentrating—common central nervous system (CNS) side effects of the drug—according to a study published in the August 4 issue of the Annals of Internal Medicine
July 06, 2009
Effects of Race and Ethnicity on HIV Medication Adherence
Hispanic and black men with HIV were more likely than white men to miss doses of their HIV medication, according to a study published online in The Journal of Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndromes (JAIDS). The JAIDS study also revealed that Hispanic and black men of Central and South American or Caribbean descent were more likely than those with European family ties to have problems with adherence.
July 02, 2009
Post-Menopausal Women Do Well on HIV Therapy
Women living with HIV who’ve gone through menopause do just as well when starting antiretroviral (ARV) therapy for the first time, compared with pre-menopausal women, according to a study published online June 25 in Clinical Infectious Diseases.
July 01, 2009
Unexpected Finding: Penetration of ARVs Into Nervous System Doesn’t Protect the Brain
While antiretroviral (ARV) drugs known to penetrate into the cerebrospinal fluid (CSF)—and thus possibly the brain—do lower HIV levels in the brain, they do not appear to protect against detrimental changes in thinking, memory and physical coordination. This is the conclusion of a study published in the July 17 issue of AIDS.
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