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June 29, 2011
HIV-Weakened Blood-Brain Barrier Could Help Explain Cognitive Problems
An expert team of neuroscientists has discovered that HIV weakens the blood-brain barrier that keeps infectious diseases and harmful chemicals from entering and damaging the brain. The study, to be published in the June 29 issue of The Journal of Neuroscience, could help explain why some people experience cognitive problems despite having undetectable viral loads from antiretroviral (ARV) therapy.
June 28, 2011
Norvir-Free Boosted Prezista Tablet in the Works
Tibotec Therapeutics—the research and development division of Janssen Pharmaceuticals—has entered an agreement with Gilead Sciences to develop a fixed-dose combination (FDC) tablet containing its protease inhibitor Prezista (darunavir) and Gilead Sciences’ experimental boosting agent cobicistat, according to a Janssen announcement.
June 27, 2011
Older HIV Drugs Accelerated Aging Effects in Muscle Cells
People treated with some of the older versions of a class of HIV drugs known as nucleoside reverse transcriptase inhibitors (NRTIs) were more likely to have signs of premature aging than people with HIV who weren’t treated with those drugs. The authors of this study, reported online June 26 in the journal Nature Genetics, claim that the cellular aging effects they found could help explain why some people with HIV are experiencing age-related diseases earlier than HIV-negative people.
June 24, 2011
Tobira Launches Phase II Study of Entry Inhibitor Cenicriviroc
Tobira Therapeutics is recruiting for a Phase IIb study of its CCR5/CCR2 entry inhibitor cenicriviroc (TBR-652). It is hoped that cenicriviroc will not only offer people a new antiretroviral (ARV) option to keep HIV in check, but that it will also prove useful in reducing the cellular inflammation that scientists believe is behind a host of health problems.
June 23, 2011
Turning to Stock-Market Math in Search of an HIV Cure
A mathematical model usually employed to predict the behavior of the stock market may help identify a critical weakness in HIV, according to a Wall Street Journal blog report. This finding, the researchers say, not only offers a new target for treatment research, but also highlights a model that may lead the way toward overcoming substantial obstacles to finding a preventive vaccine.
June 22, 2011
Credit Scoring Company Turns Technology to Predicting Med Adherence
FICO, the credit scoring giant, says it is going to start using its mathematical technology to inform the health insurance industry about which people will be most at risk of not adhering to their medication.
June 21, 2011
Hep A Immune Response Mystery Has Implications for Hep C Research
A surprising finding in a study comparing hepatitis C virus (HCV) with hepatitis A virus (HAV) infections in chimpanzees sheds new light on the nature of the body’s immune response to these viruses. The results are published online ahead of print by the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS).
June 20, 2011
Study Furthers Understanding of Age-Related Muscle Loss
A new study, published online June 20 in the free journal Immunity & Aging, contributes to our understanding of why muscle breaks down as we get older and offers hints about how and when to use drugs such as testosterone in older age, including in those living with HIV.
June 17, 2011
Body Satisfaction Increased With Fat Gains in Prezista Study
Although treatment experienced HIV-positive men and women had slightly greater gains in trunk fat after switching to a new regimen containing Prezista (darunavir), they also reported increased satisfaction with their bodies. These data were published in the July issue of AIDS Patient Care and STDs.
June 16, 2011
Activists Call for Earlier Access to Hep C Treatments
Hepatitis and HIV activists have called for pharmaceutical companies and drug regulators to provide earlier access to new hepatitis C virus (HCV) therapies in development to people at greater need of treatment, including people on transplant wait lists and those coinfected with HCV and HIV. These demands were issued following a meeting of 50 activists, researchers, regulators and pharmaceutical representatives held in early June in Sitges, Spain.
June 15, 2011
Most HIV-Positive People Vaccinated for Hep A Have a Durable Response
A substantial number of people with HIV who are vaccinated against hepatitis A virus (HAV) maintain their initial antibody response to the virus for up to 10 years, according to a study published in the June 15 issue of The Journal of Infectious Diseases. The authors comment however, that because these response rates are still lower than in HIV-negative people, we should, perhaps be giving HIV-positive people an additional vaccine booster shot.
June 14, 2011
Certain Anti-Seizure Drugs Up the Risk of HIV Treatment Failure
People taking older anti-seizure medications that are broken down by the same liver enzyme (CYP3A4) as many common antiretroviral (ARV) drugs were more likely to experience treatment failure than people taking seizure medications that aren’t broken down by that liver enzyme. These data were published online May 16 in the journal AIDS Research and Therapy.
June 13, 2011
Sexual Dysfunction Not Necessarily More Common in MSM With HIV
A new survey confirms that rates of sexual dysfunction are higher in HIV-positive men who have sex with men (MSM) compared with HIV-negative MSM, according to findings published in the July issue of AIDS Patient Care and STDs. However, in the absence of other important factors, such as older age or also having an AIDS diagnosis, people living with HIV were no more likely to experience one common sexual challenge: erectile dysfunction. 
June 10, 2011
Noninvasive Tests Reduce Need for Liver Biopsies in Hep C
The use of noninvasive alternatives to liver biopsies to assess liver disease in people with chronic hepatitis C is becoming increasingly more common and reliable in certain situations, according to an expert article published in the June issue of Hepatology reviewing two such diagnostic options: elastography and blood tests.  
June 09, 2011
Panel Issues New Guidelines on Ideal Vitamin D Levels
An expert panel has issued new recommendations suggesting that people with HIV might require two to three times the level of vitamin D as their HIV-negative peers. The new guidelines, published online June 6 in The Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism, also recommend supplementation of higher doses of vitamin D than another recent government panel.
June 08, 2011
Treatment Is Affected by the T-Cell Coreceptor HIV Uses
The coreceptor used by HIV to infect CD4 cells (referred to as its tropism) affects how well standard HIV treatment works, according to a study published in the July 1 issue of The Journal of Infectious Diseases. This is the first study to suggest that viral tropism affects the response to treatments other than the drug Selzentry (maraviroc).
June 07, 2011
Drinking Coffee Doubles Hep C Treatment Responses
Advanced hepatitis C patients with chronic liver disease may benefit from drinking coffee during treatment, according to a new study in Gastroenterology. Patients receiving standard therapy who drank three or more cups of coffee per day were two times more likely to respond to treatment compared with those who didn't drink coffee.
Study Suggests Cause of Tenofovir’s Bone and Kidney Problems
Compared with the nucleoside analog abacavir, tenofovir is more likely to increase levels of a hormone responsible for regulating calcium in the blood, potentially explaining the increased risk of bone mineral density loss and kidney problems in people living with HIV using the drug. These results, published in the July issue of AIDS Research and Human Retroviruses, indicate that parathyroid hormone (PTH) levels are raised substantially soon after the drug is started and that these elevations are most likely to be seen in people with low vitamin D levels.
June 06, 2011
First Test of New Cancer Drug in People With HIV Is Promising
A newer cancer drug, Sutent (sunitinib), is tolerable when paired with at least some antiretroviral (ARV) drugs in people with HIV. The study results, presented at the 2011 meeting of the American Society of Clinical Oncology, being held June 3 to 7 in Chicago, represent an important step forward, as many cancer drugs are not tested in people with HIV.
June 03, 2011
Unrealistic Expectations Might Reduce PrEP Acceptability
A new study suggests there might be a very high bar for acceptance of pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP) among men who have sex with men (MSM), transgender females and female sex workers. The study, published in the May 5 issue of the International Journal of STD & AIDS, found that PrEP would need to be cheap, highly effective and used only intermittently before these groups would want to use it.
June 02, 2011
Low CD4s Linked to Non-AIDS Cancers
Having a low CD4 count, whether past or present, is associated with developing a non-AIDS-related cancer, according to a study published in the June 15 issue of Clinical Infectious Diseases. This finding was particularly true for non-AIDS cancers that are caused by viral infections other than HIV.
June 01, 2011
Shorter Treatment for Acute Hep C Works in HIV-Coinfected MSM
HIV-positive men who have sex with men (MSM) diagnosed with acute hepatitis C virus (HCV) infection are just as likely to clear their HCV with a 24-week course of treatment as those treated for a full 48 weeks, according to a report published online May 25 in AIDS.
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