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July 27, 2011
WHO World Hepatitis Day Report: One in 12 Living With Chronic Hep B or C
Nearly one out of every three people in the world, about 2 billion people, have been infected with the hepatitis B virus (HBV), and one in 12—more than 520 million people—live with chronic HBV or chronic hepatitis C virus (HCV) infection, according to a report released by the World Health Organization (WHO) ahead of World Hepatitis Day, which is observed July 28.
July 26, 2011
Hearing Loss Tied to Age, Gender, Race; Not HIV
Neither HIV infection nor its treatment appears to be associated with hearing loss, according to data from two large U.S. cohort studies reported Tuesday, July 19, at the 6th IAS Conference on HIV Pathogenesis, Treatment and Prevention in Rome. According to the presenting researchers, the only factors that contributed to hearing loss among people living with HIV were gender, age and race.
July 25, 2011
Norvir-Boosted Reyataz Comparable in HIV-Positive Women Versus Men
Antiretroviral (ARV) drug regimens containing Norvir (ritonavir)-boosted Reyataz (atazanavir) appear to work just as well for women, compared with men, in the “real world,” according to an analysis of three databases reported Monday, July 18, at the 6th IAS Conference on HIV Pathogenesis, Treatment and Prevention in Rome.
July 22, 2011
PrEP in iPrEx: 92% Fewer Infections in Those With Detectable Drug Levels
Truvada (tenofovir plus emtricitabine) reduced new infections among men who have sex with men and transgender women by more than 90 percent—if there was lab test evidence of them having actually taken the drug—according to final data from the iPrEx study reported at the 6th IAS Conference on HIV Pathogenesis, Treatment and Prevention in Rome.
July 21, 2011
Five-Year Follow-Up: Isentress Comparable to Sustiva
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, according to final five-year follow-up results from a Phase II clinical trial. These encouraging results were reported Wednesday, July 20, by Eduardo Gotuzzo, MD, of the Hospital Nacional Cayetano Heredia in Lima, Peru, and his colleagues at the 6th IAS Conference on HIV Pathogenesis, Treatment and Prevention in Rome.
Selzentry Reduces Liver Stiffness in HIV/HCV-Coinfected Patients
Just as people coinfected with HIV and hepatitis B virus (HBV) dually benefit from taking the antiretroviral Truvada (tenofovir plus emtricitabine), could people coinfected with HIV and hepatitis C virus (HCV) benefit from Selzentry (maraviroc)? Possibly, according to an important new study reported Wednesday, July 20, at the 6th IAS Conference on HIV Pathogenesis, Treatment and Prevention in Rome.
Edurant and Sustiva Similar, With Some Failure and Safety Differences, in Two-Year Studies
The efficacy of Janssen Therapeutics’ Edurant (rilpivirine) is similar to that of Sustiva (efavirenz) over two years of treatment, according to an analysis of two large clinical trials, but Edurant demonstrated much fewer central nervous system side effects, according to a presentation Tuesday, July 19, at the 6th IAS Conference on HIV Pathogenesis, Treatment and Prevention in Rome.
New Jersey: Emergency Room HIV Testing Works
Testing people for HIV during visits to hospital emergency departments in New Jersey has yielded the highest percentage of diagnoses of the infection among all publicly funded counseling and testing sites in the state, a finding that underscores the value of routine testing for the virus in trauma centers. The results, which help validate universal testing initiatives targeting hospital emergency departments, were reported Monday, July 18, at the 6th IAS Conference on HIV Pathogenesis, Treatment and Prevention in Rome.
Hormone-Based Birth Control Raises HIV Risk
A new study shows that HIV-positive women are twice as likely to transmit the virus to a sexual partner if they use hormone-based birth control, The New York Times reports. 
VIRxSYS Vaccine 'Functionally' Cures Two Monkeys in Recent Study
Encouraging preliminary results involving a vaccine being developed by Maryland-based VIRxSYS Corporation were presented Monday, July 18, at the 6th IAS Conference on HIV Pathogenesis, Treatment and Prevention in Rome. Two of five monkeys given the vaccine and then exposed to a primate version of HIV show early signs of being functionally cured, based on blood measurements of viral load, along with measurements of simian immunodeficiency virus (SIV) in blood and tissue cells.
July 20, 2011
HIV Treatment Works in Female Genital Tract
Genital secretions from women living with HIV using antiretroviral (ARV) therapy contain high drug concentrations and low amounts of infectious virus, according to an important new study conducted by Anandi Sheth, MD, and her colleagues at the Emory Center for AIDS Research in Atlanta.
Brain-Penetrating ARVs Don't Improve HIV Neuro Problems, Says Ontario Study
Drugs known to penetrate the central nervous system do not appear to offer much in the way of additional protection against neuropsychological (NP) problems associated with HIV infection, according to a new Canadian study reported Monday, July 18, at the 6th IAS Conference on HIV Pathogenesis, Treatment and Prevention in Rome.
Elvitegravir Proving Comparable to Isentress in HIV Treatment Veterans
Gilead’s experimental once-daily integrase inhibitor (INI) elvitegravir works as well as Merck’s approved INI Isentress (raltegravir) in treatment-experienced patients, when both drugs are combined with a Norvir (ritonavir)?boosted protease inhibitor and a third antiretroviral (ARV), according to a presentation on Wednesday, July 20, at the 6th IAS Conference on HIV Pathogenesis, Treatment and Prevention in Rome
July 19, 2011
PrEP Cuts Sexual HIV Transmissions 62% to 78% in Men and Women
Viread (tenofovir) and Truvada (tenofovir plus emtricitabine), when used as pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP) “definitively” reduced the risk of contracting HIV, by 62 and 73 percent respectively, among mixed-status heterosexual couples, according to official preliminary results from the Partners PrEP study reported on Monday, July 18, at the 6th IAS Conference on HIV Pathogenesis, Treatment and Prevention in Rome.
HIV Integrase Inhibitor Dolutegravir Showing Well in First-Time Treatment Takers
ViiV Healthcare’s experimental integrase inhibitor dolutegravir (S/GSK-572), using the highest dose studied in the SPRING-1 clinical trial, was at least as effective as efavirenz (found in Sustiva and Atripla) in controlling HIV levels with fewer side effects over 48 weeks. These data from the study involving first-time HIV treatment takers were presented Tuesday, July 19, at the 6th IAS Conference on HIV Pathogenesis, Treatment and Prevention in Rome.
Early Treatment Reduces Serious Illnesses by 40% in HPTN 052
Starting antiretroviral (ARV) therapy once a CD4 count falls below 550 was associated with a 40 percent reduction in the risk of serious illness, but not deaths, in HPTN 052, according to researchers summarizing the second set of major findings from the study at the 6th IAS Conference on HIV Pathogenesis, Treatment and Prevention in Rome.
Non-Nuke Lersivirine Promising in First-Time Treatment Takers
Lersivirine (UK-453061), ViiV Healthcare’s experimental non-nucleoside reverse transcriptase inhibitor (NNRTI), achieves similar rates of viral load suppression compared with Sustiva (efavirenz), according to 48-week data from a Phase II study reported Tuesday, July 19, at the 6th IAS Conference on HIV Pathogenesis, Treatment and Prevention in Rome.
July 18, 2011
IAS Organizers: HIV Science Breakthroughs Only Half the Battle
Organizers of the 6th IAS Conference on HIV Pathogenesis, Treatment and Prevention (IAS 2011) kicked off this year’s gathering in Rome by applauding the significant breakthroughs in treatment and prevention science over the past two years, but warned that research discoveries only matter if they can effectively be rolled out evenly throughout the world.
Traditional Risk Factors Greatest Risk for Bone Fractures
Though there has been a significant increase in osteoporotic bone fracture rates in the years since combination antiretroviral (ARV) therapy became commonplace in countries like the United States, the drugs themselves do not appear to be chief culprits, according to new Veterans Administration data presented Monday, July 18, at the 6th IAS Conference on HIV Pathogenesis, Treatment and Prevention in Rome.
Survival Benefit Among HIV-Positive Liver, Kidney Transplant Recipients
Survival is “excellent” among people living with HIV undergoing kidney transplants, according to a new analysis presented by researchers associated with the Solid Organ Transplantation in HIV Study at the 6th IAS Conference on HIV Pathogenesis, Treatment and Prevention on Monday, July 18, in Rome. The study authors also note a clear survival advantage among people living with HIV undergoing liver transplants, particularly among those who are gravely ill with high Model for End-Stage Liver Disease (MELD) scores.
IAS 2011: Building a Global Strategy Towards an HIV Cure
Leading scientists and research stakeholders are calling for accelerated research toward a cure for HIV, according to an International AIDS Society (IAS) statement.
HIV Treatment as Prevention: 96% Reduction of Sexual Transmission in HPTN 052 Study
A large clinical trial conducted by the international HIV Prevention Trials Network (HPTN) confirms that treating HIV-positive people with antiretroviral (ARV) drugs reduces the risk of transmitting the virus to HIV-negative sexual partners by 96 percent—at least among heterosexual couples—according to data from the study reported Monday, July 18, at the 6th IAS Conference on HIV Pathogenesis, Treatment and Prevention in Rome.
July 15, 2011
HIV, Hep C Drug Development Pipeline is 'Robust,' Says Report
The HIV drug development pipeline is robust, with 12 novel agents and fixed-dose combinations (FDCs) in Phase II or III studies—and several promising compounds in Phase I clinical trials—according to an optimistic report produced by U.K.-based i-Base in collaboration with U.S.-based Treatment Action Group (TAG). 
July 14, 2011
Do Studies Accurately Predict Treatment Effectiveness in the Real World?
Clinical trials of HIV treatments have historically yielded more favorable results than those seen in the real world, a phenomenon known as the “trial effect” that has now been proved by researchers at the University of North Carolina (UNC) at Chapel Hill, according to an analysis published July 13 in the online journal PLoS One.
July 12, 2011
Substance Use Doesn’t Increase Risk of Neurocognitive Problems in HIV
Neurocognitive problems—notably HIV-associated neurocognitive disorder (HAND)—are no more likely to occur in illicit substance users compared with non-substance users, according to a report published ahead of print on the Journal of Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndromes website.

July 11, 2011
NIH Supports New HIV Cure Research Strategies
Three teams focusing on HIV cure research are primed to receive $70 million during the next five years in the form of annual grants from the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID), a division of the National Institutes of Health (NIH), according to a July 11 announcement from the agency. First-year funding is guaranteed and will exceed $14 million.
July 08, 2011
Survey Finds Support for Universal Hep C Testing
Universal testing for hepatitis C virus (HCV) infection, as opposed to testing based on known risk factors, is the way to go, according to a survey of people attending general outpatient clinics in Seattle. 
July 07, 2011
Study Warns of Adrenal Problem in Infants Receiving Kaletra
Infants exposed to a Norvir (ritonavir)?inclusive regimen—notably Kaletra (lopinavir/ritonavir)—during pregnancy and immediately after birth may be at an increased risk for adrenal dysfunction, according to a French study published in the July 6 issue of The Journal of the American Medical Association. The researchers also warn of life-threatening adrenal insufficiency in infants born prematurely and exposed to Kaletra and, quite possibly, other Norvir-boosted protease inhibitors. 
July 06, 2011
CD4s Above 500: HIV Treatment Need Still Unclear
If you’re diagnosed with HIV and have a CD4 cell count above 500, should you start antiretroviral (ARV) therapy immediately? An Australian study suggests that even though there may be some immunologic benefits to starting therapy earlier than is currently recommended—once the CD4 count drops below 500—the jury is still out on whether this translates into important clinical benefits. 
July 01, 2011
Abacavir Should (Again) Be a “Preferred” HIV Treatment Option
Researchers of a new study, published online June 24 in the Journal of Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndromes, found similar rates of treatment success in people taking abacavir plus lamivudine (Epzicom), compared with people taking tenofovir plus emtricitabine (Truvada). Moreover, they conclude that abacavir should once again be listed as a “preferred” option in HIV treatment guidelines.
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