Despite ARV Therapy, HIV/Hep C Patients Face Increased Risk of Serious Liver Disease Even with the use of antiretroviral (ARV) therapy, U.S. veterans living with both HIV and hepatitis C virus (HCV) face a higher risk of advanced liver disease, compared with people only infected with HCV (monoinfection), according to sobering new data reported Wednesday, July 25, at the XIX International AIDS Conference (AIDS 2012) in Washington, DC.
Domestic Violence Doubles Risk of Death for HIV-Positive Women Episodes of domestic violence dramatically raises the short-term risk of death for women living with or at risk of contracting HIV, according to research announced on Wednesday, July 25, at the XIX International AIDS Conference (AIDS2012) in Washington, DC. The data contribute to a growing body of information on the higher risks of infection, illness and death among women in the United States.
Young and Restless: Youth Leadership Demands Place at the Table As momentum builds for an advocacy effort that pools resources, information and expertise in order to curtail—and eventually end—the HIV epidemic, one group feels like they may be left behind: youth. Young people around the world face singular challenges in the changing HIV epidemic yet, more often than not, feel ignored by the adults at the table. Youth leaders from around the world gathered Monday, July 23, at a session during the XIX International AIDS Conference (AIDS 2012) to answer one question: What can youth leaders contribute to the expert work being done around the globe?
July 30, 2012
Turning the Tide on Transmission: Women and Girls Advocacy for the health and rights of women and girls, particularly when it comes to HIV and AIDS, has long been a cornerstone of the biannual International AIDS Conference. At this year’s gathering, three dynamic and captivating speakers—Chewe Luo, MD, and Geeta Rao Gupta, PhD, both of UNICEF; and Linda Scruggs of the AIDS Alliance for Children, Youth and Families—took the podium during a plenary sessions to bring into sharp view the inequalities that limit the options of women and girls to protect themselves.
New Stem Cell Transplant Cases Encouraging, but Cure Buzz May be Premature
Have two HIV-positive stem cell transplant patients been cured of their infection? Several mainstream media headlines following a presentation by Boston researchers on Thursday, July 26, at the XIX International AIDS Conference (AIDS 2012) suggest they have. Though the case reports are encouraging—both patients experienced marked declines in their cell-based HIV levels and have been experiencing declines in their HIV antibody levels following chemotherapy, stem cell transplants and while remaining on antiretroviral therapy following cancer diagnoses—references to a cure may be premature.
July 27, 2012
U.S. Tops List of Global HIV-Criminalization Hot-Spots
Two new studies create a combined portrait of the United States as an HIV-criminalization hot-spot, where statutes and criminal prosecutions have created an uncertain and inequitable legal environment for people living with HIV and will have profound effects on public health efforts to get more people infected with the virus tested and into care.
High Viral Loads Linked to HIV Risk Among Black MSM
The high HIV incidence among black men who have sex with men (MSM) in the United States may be explained, at least in part, by the finding that HIV-negative black MSM, compared with white MSM, are more than twice as likely to encounter a sex partner who can transmit HIV if safer sex practices are not followed. Eli Rosenberg, PhD, a researcher at the Emory University Rollins School of Public Health, delivered that startling conclusion on Monday, July 23, at the XIX International AIDS Conference (AIDS2012) in Washington, DC.
Behavioral Factors Don't Explain Disproportionate HIV Epidemic Among Black MSM
Black men who have sex with men (MSM) are significantly more likely to become infected with HIV compared with other MSM, yet they are less likely to engage in many risky behaviors, according to a critical review of nearly 200 studies reported by Gregorio Millet, MPH, of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and his colleagues on Tuesday, July 24, at the XIX International AIDS Conference (AIDS 2012) in Washington, DC, and published in a special supplement of The Lancet.
Young Black MSM Acquiring HIV at Three Times the Rate of White MSM The rate of new HIV cases among black men who have sex with men (MSM) in the United States is two times that among white MSM. Among black MSM under the age of 30, the rate is even higher—three times that of white MSM. These alarming data from HIV Prevention Trials Network study 061 (HPTN 061) were announced Monday, July 23, at the XIX International AIDS Conference (AIDS 2012) in Washington DC, and echo those of another analysis of nearly 200 studies reported during a symposium on Tuesday, July 24. The HPTN 061 preliminary results were reported by Kenneth Mayer, MD, of Boston’s Fenway Health Center, and Beryl Koblin, of the New York Blood Center.
Turning the Tide of HIV for MSM, Sex Workers and Trans People There has been much optimistic talk this past year about turning the tide of HIV and creating an AIDS-free generation. For this to translate to reality, we must address the high HIV prevalence rate among the most vulnerable populations: men who have sex with men (MSM), sex workers and transgender people. In addition, antiretrovirals—heralded as treatment and prevention—must be made available to millions more HIV-positive people. Is any of this possible in the real world, and if so—how do we do it? Four speakers addressed these topics in a plenary session titled “Dynamics of the Epidemic in Context” on Thursday, July 26, at the XIX International AIDS Conference (AIDS 2012) in Washington, DC.
July 25, 2012
Entry, Retention and Treatment Success Rates Vary in Four U.S. Cities Data from the four large cities—San Francisco, Los Angeles, Philadelphia and Chicago—highlight discrepancies in progress towards universal HIV care and help identify cities where interventions may be successfully promoting access to care and treatment, according to new data presented Tuesday, July 24, at the XIX International AIDS Conference in Washington, DC.
MSM Able to Use Home HIV Tests to Screen Sex Partners and Lower Risk Men who have sex with men and are at “high, high risk” of HIV can successfully use in-home rapid HIV tests to screen their sexual partners for the virus, according to a study involving a sample of this MSM population. The research, by Alex Carballo-Dieguez, PhD, and his colleagues at the HIV Center for Clinical and Behavioral Studies at the New York State Psychiatric Institute and Columbia University, was presented Tuesday, July 24, during an oral poster discussion at the XIX International AIDS Conference (AIDS 2012) in Washington, DC.
International AIDS Experts: Meeting Today’s HIV Challenge
With new resources now available in the fight against HIV, cooperation, strategic planning and a focus on cure research, global funding and human rights can overcome the pandemic’s persistence. That theme emerged from the Tuesday, July 24, plenary session at the XIX International AIDS Conference (AIDS2012) in Washington, DC. Javier Martinez-Picado, PhD, of the AIDS Research Institute (irsiCaixa) in Barcelona; Nelly Mugo, MD, of the Kenyatta National Referral Hospital in Kenya; Bernhard Schwartländer, MD, director for evidence, innovation and policy at UNAIDS; and Howard Koh, MD, United States Assistant Secretary for Health, each outlined strategic use of resources in research and development, health care implementation, funding and political cooperation.
Nuke-Sparing Selzentry Regimen Shows Potential as First-Line HIV Therapy A nucleoside reverse transcriptase inhibitor (NRTI)-sparing regimen containing Selzentry (maraviroc) and Norvir (ritonavir)-boosted Reyataz (atazanavir) has roughly comparable efficacy and safety as a standard regimen consisting of Norvir-boosted Reyataz plus Truvada (tenofovir and emtricitabine) in first-time HIV treatment takers, according to 96-week data from a study reported Tuesday, July 24, at the XIX International AIDS Conference (AIDS 2012) in Washington, DC.
‘Substantial Minority’ of MSM Would Use Condoms Less When on PrEP
A “substantial minority” of men who have sex with men (MSM) anticipated that they would use condoms less if they were taking PrEP, or pre-exposure prophylaxis, according to results of a survey conducted by Douglas Krakower, MD, of Harvard Medical School/Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, and his colleagues. The survey findings were presented Tuesday, July 24, at the XIX International AIDS Conference in Washington, DC.
Test-and-Treat Has Cost Versus Benefit Considerations Targeting groups at high-risk for HIV infection for testing and immediate treatment, with the intention of improving disease-free survival and preventing ongoing spread of the virus, is more cost effective than a community-wide test-and-treat initiative among New York City residents, according to data presented Monday, July 23, at the XIX International AIDS Conference in Washington, DC.
Similar Efficacy, Side Effects in Study of Gilead Booster Cobicistat Versus Norvir
Compared with Norvir (ritonavir), people living with HIV using Gilead Sciences’ novel boosting agent cobicistat were just as likely to see their viral loads drop to undetectable levels and no more likely to discontinue therapy due to side effects, according to preliminary results from a Phase III study comparing both drugs in combination with Reyataz (atazanavir) and Truvada (tenofovir plus emtricitabine). The study’s 48-week findings were reported Tuesday, July 24, by Joel Gallant of Johns Hopkins University and his colleagues at the XIX International AIDS Conference in Washington, DC.
Criminalizing Condom Possession Puts Sex Workers at Risk
The criminalization of condoms in major cities across the U.S. is preventing sex workers from carrying them, undermining million-dollar public health efforts, endangering sex workers and contributing to the HIV epidemic. This is the conclusion of an important study presented Tuesday, July 24, at the XIX International AIDS Conference (AIDS 2012) in Washington, DC.
HIV Employment Discrimination Still an Issue in US, UK
Employment law and licensing practices in the United States and the United Kingdom are making it increasingly difficult for people living with HIV to enter the workforce, further increasing stigma and discrimination, according to two studies presented Tuesday, July 34, at the XIX International AIDS Conference (AIDS 2012) in Washington, DC.
Study Explores Treatment Improvements, Challenges in 23 Countries
A new study conducted by Medecins Sans Frontieres/Doctors Without Borders (MSF) indicates that while the governments of 23 key countries have made improvements to get better antiretroviral (ARV) treatment to more people, implementation of innovative community-based strategies is lagging in some countries. The results of the study were reported by Sharonann Lynch, MSF’s HIV policy advisor, and her colleagues Tuesday, July 24, at the XIX International AIDS Conference (AIDS 2012) in Washington, DC.
We Can End AIDS March Converges on White House
Coinciding with the XIX International AIDS Conference (AIDS 2012), a mass of approximately 1,000 demonstrators under the banner of the We Can End AIDS Coalition crisscrossed Washington, DC, on July 24, ultimately converging on the White House to demand major changes to domestic and international HIV policy.
AIDS 2012 Opener: Collaboration is Key to an 'AIDS-Free Generation'
Speakers at the opening ceremony of the XIX International AIDS Conference (AIDS 2012), held on Sunday evening, July 22, called on the world community to capitalize and build on scientific research successes that have brought us to the brink of realizing the goal of achieving a completely “AIDS-free generation.”
Fauci, Wilson, Clinton: Moving Towards an 'AIDS-Free Generation'
The global community already possesses the tools necessary to ultimately end the AIDS epidemic. This is the readily apparent take-home conclusion of the July 23 opening plenary session of the XIX International AIDS Conference (AIDS 2012), featuring Anthony S. Fauci, MD, director of the National Institute of the Allergy and Infections Diseases (NIAID) at the National Institutes of Health; Phill Wilson, president and CEO of the Black AIDS Institute; and U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton.
Hillary Clinton Backs Demand for AIDS-Free Generation Blueprint
Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton called on U.S. Global AIDS Coordinator Eric Goosby, in her remarks during the July 23 opening plenary at the XIX International AIDS Conference (AIDS 2012) in Washington, DC, to create a blueprint for the U.S. government to achieve an AIDS-free generation.
HPTN 052 Follow Up: No Increase in Unsafe Sex; Continued Viral Suppression Follow-up data from HIV Prevention Trials Network Study 052 (HPTN 052) show that HIV-serodiscordant couples in which the positive partner is receiving antiretroviral (ARV) therapy are no more likely to abandon safer sex practices over time, according to a report Monday, July 23, at the XIX International AIDS Conference (AIDS 2012) in Washington, DC.
July 21, 2012
Ending AIDS: AVAC, amfAR Outline Key Interventions, Priorities “Prioritization” is emerging as a central theme in the hours leading up to the official July 22 start of the XIX International AIDS Conference (AIDS 2012) in Washington, DC. A prime example of this can be found in a report outlining a global action agenda aimed at accelerating progress towards the end of the AIDS epidemic, released July 19 by AVAC and amfAR, The Foundation for AIDS Research.
July 20, 2012
HIV Cure Research Priorities Outlined in Report, Symposium
A scientific strategy—consisting of seven major research priorities—has been launched by an International AIDS Society working group, according to a report published Friday, July 20, in a the journal Nature Reviews and discussed in detail in a two-day symposium taking place July 21 and 22 ahead of the XIX International AIDS Conference (AIDS 2012) in Washington, DC.
July 18, 2012
Robert Carr Doctrine: Time to Stop Social Inequity in HIV/AIDS Fight
Scientific advances in HIV prevention and treatment, while welcomed and strongly encouraged, are wasted when marginalized communities disproportionately affected by HIV/AIDS are blatantly denied access to services or cannot access them safely. This is one of a handful of principles released in advance of the XIX International AIDS Conference (AIDS 2012) by a coalition of global organizations.
July 17, 2012
HIV Treatment Now Reaching More Than 6 Million in Southern Africa In less than a decade, access to antiretroviral therapy in sub-Saharan Africa has increased more than 100-fold, according to new statistics released by UNAIDS in advance of the XIX International AIDS Conference (AIDS 2012) beginning this weekend in Washington, DC. And for the second year in a row, an additional 1.1 million people in sub-Saharan Africa received antiretroviral, reaching a total of 6.2 million people across the region, which represents nearly 70 percent of the global HIV burden.
July 16, 2012
FDA Approves Truvada as PrEP The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has approved Truvada (tenofovir plus emtricitabine) as the first prescription drug—to be used daily and in conjunction with condoms and other safer-sex measures—to prevent HIV among those at high risk for the infection. Truvada’s approval as pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP) was announced via statements from both the FDA and Truvada’s manufacturer, Gilead Sciences.
July 12, 2012
HIV Testing Initiatives Work: The Bronx Experience Efforts to increase HIV testing in urban areas—where the U.S. epidemic remains concentrated and roughly one in six people living with the virus are unaware they’re infected—are showing signs of success, notably in New York City’s Bronx borough, according to telephone survey results published online ahead of print by the Journal of Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndromes (JAIDS).
July 11, 2012
Dolutegravir/Epzicom Combo May Have Edge Over Atripla Dolutegravir, an experimental integrase inhibitor being developed by ViiV Healthcare and Shionogi, combined with Epzicom (abacavir plus lamivudine), appears to have an efficacy advantage over Atripla (efavirenz plus tenofovir and emtricitabine) among people starting HIV treatment for the first time.
Potential Cause of HIV-Related Depression, Cognitive Problems Discovered Researchers at Georgetown University Medical Center believe they have discovered a cause of depression and dementia-like symptoms in people living with HIV, according to a paper published in the July 11 issue of the Journal of Neuroscience. The authors suggest the finding not only has therapeutic potential, but may also provide a way to test people living with HIV to determine their risk for developing depression and cognitive problems.
July 10, 2012
Shingles Still More Common in People With HIV
New cases of herpes zoster, better known as shingles, appear to be on the decline among people living with HIV, but rates are still higher than those seen in the general population, according to Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine data published online ahead of print by the Journal of Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndromes.
July 09, 2012
Punitive Laws, Human Rights Abuses Threaten HIV Progress
Punitive laws that abuse human rights are costing lives,
wasting money and undermining the progress made against HIV according to HIV
and the Law: Risks, Rights and Health, a
report released ahead of the XIX International AIDS Conference by the Global
Commission on the HIV and the Law, an independent body of experts convened by
the United Nations Development Programme.
July 05, 2012
Virus-Free Gene Therapy for HIV Shows Promise An experimental gene therapy for HIV may actually be easier—and even safer—than experts originally hoped. Experimenting with zinc finger nucleases (ZFNs), researchers at the Scripps Research Institute in La Jolla, California, have discovered it’s possible to cut out an undesirable “middle man”—a virus (not HIV) that carries the gene-altering payload to cells in the body. Until now, such viral vectors were considered a necessary element of gene therapy.
July 03, 2012
FDA Approves In-Home, Do-It-Yourself Rapid HIV Test
OraSure’s OraQuick In-Home HIV Test, the first do-it-yourself HIV test kit to detect the presence of antibodies to HIV, has been approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, according to news announcements by the company and the agency. It is the first rapid diagnostic test for any infectious disease to be approved by the FDA for sale over the counter.
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