GeoVax Vaccine to Treat HIV Enters Human Clinical Trial GeoVax Labs has been given the green light by the U.S. Food and Drug Adiministration (FDA) to begin studying its therapeutic vaccine candidate in a Phase I clinical trial involving people living with HIV, according to a press release from the company. The non-blinded study, to be conducted at the AIDS Research Consortium of Atlanta (ARCA), will test the vaccine in HIV-positive individuals who started drug treatment during the first year of infection.
Cardio Risk: Increased Homocysteine Levels Common During HIV Treatment HIV treatment is associated with increases in the amino acid homocysteine, which may help explain the higher rates of arterial disease seen in people living with HIV receiving antiretroviral (ARV) therapy compared with those not infected with the virus, according to a small Mexican study published online ahead of print by the Journal of Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndromes (JAIDS).
March 26, 2010
HIV Treatment at Conception Reduces Maternal HIV Transmission HIV-positive pregnant women who were taking antiretroviral (ARV) treatment at the time of conception were far less likely to pass the virus to their babies than women who started ARV treatment after becoming pregnant, according to a study published online March 23 in the Journal of Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndromes (JAIDS). Moreover, the earlier a woman started ARVs during pregnancy the less likely maternal HIV transmission became.
March 25, 2010
European Researchers Patent Promising New HIV Compound
A team of French, Italian and Spanish researchers announced March 19 that they’ve developed a promising new type of antiviral compound that may work well as a microbicide to help prevent HIV transmission. The new agent, which is in the process of being patented by the academic scientists, targets an immune cell receptor on dendritic cells (DCs) called DC-SIGN.
March 24, 2010
Medicare to Cover HIV-Related Facial Wasting Treatment
The Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) announced March 23 that it will begin covering the cost of U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved facial wasting (lipoatrophy) treatments for Medicare beneficiaries who have facial lipoatrophy caused by antiretroviral drug use. Effective immediately, CMS will begin covering the cost of facial fillers for people living with HIV who are experiencing symptoms of depression related to the stigmatizing effects of lipoatrophy.
March 23, 2010
Acne Drug May Aid Antiretroviral Therapy for HIV A safe and inexpensive antibiotic used to treat acne may also be useful for people living with HIV who combine it with standard antiretroviral therapy, according to a research article and an accompanying editorial published in the April 15 issue of The Journal of Infectious Diseases (JID). According to researchers at Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine in Baltimore, minocycline’s anti-inflammatory properties effectively target dormant HIV-infected CD4 cells in the body and, as a result, prevent the virus from reactivating and replicating.
March 22, 2010
HIV Lipo Treatment Egrifta to Be Reviewed May 27 A U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) independent advisory committee is set to review Montreal-based Theratechnologies' New Drug Application (NDA) for Egrifta (tesamorelin) for the treatment of HIV-associated fat increases (lipohypertrophy), according to an announcement from the Office of the Federal Register. The meeting of the Endocrinologic and Metabolic Drugs Advisory Committee (EMDAC) to review the supporting safety and efficacy data is scheduled for May 27 at the University of Maryland University College in Adelphi.
March 19, 2010
Telaprevir for Hep C Study Open to People Living With HIV
A clinical trial exploring the safety and effectiveness of Vertex Pharmaceutical’s hepatitis C virus (HCV) protease inhibitor telaprevir in people also infected with HIV is open and enrolling patients, according to Vertex-verified report posted online by the National AIDS Treatment Advocacy Project (NATAP).
March 18, 2010
No Benefit From Cyclosporine During Early Infection Adding cyclosporine to an antiretroviral (ARV) regimen during the first few weeks or months of HIV infection does not offer additional benefit in terms of virus suppression, CD4 cell increases or reduced immune activation. That’s the verdict, according to a study published March 17 in The Journal of Infectious Diseases.
March 16, 2010
Twice-Daily ARV Treatment Better than Once-Daily for Some Even though people living with HIV may be more likely to adhere to a Kaletra (lopinavir/ritonavir)-based treatment regimen taken once a day compared with twice a day, those with high pre-treatment viral loads may experience virologic failure faster using Kaletra’s once-daily dosing option, according to a study published in the April 1 issue of Clinical Infectious Diseases.
March 15, 2010
Chemical in Bananas May Prevent and Treat HIV A chemical in bananas has been found to inhibit HIV, according to research findings from a University of Michigan Medical School published in the March 19 issue of the Journal of Biological Chemistry. According to the study authors, this may lead to the development of inexpensive microbicides to prevent HIV transmission and, quite possibly, novel compounds to treat the disease.
March 12, 2010
Sexual Problems More Common Among HIV-Positive Women
Women living with HIV are significantly more likely to experience sexual problems compared with those not living with the virus, according to new results from the Women's Interagency HIV Study (WIHS) published online ahead of print by the Journal of Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndromes (JAIDS).
March 11, 2010
Replication Capacity: An Additional Measure of HIV Disease Progression? HIV’s replication capacity (RC), a measurement of the virus’s fitness, may be useful for people living with HIV and their health care providers in figuring out how quickly HIV disease will progress, according to new data published in the April 1 issue of the Journal of Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndromes (JAIDS). The study results show that untreated people living with HIV with lower, compared with higher, RC had a slower progression to a CD4 cell count below 350 cells—the widely accepted threshold for starting antiretroviral (ARV) therapy.
March 09, 2010
Treatment Interruptions “Particularly Hazardous” for Those Coinfected With Hep B
Interrupting antiretroviral (ARV) therapy may be “particularly hazardous” for people living with HIV and chronic hepatitis B virus (HBV) infection, according to data from the Strategies for the Management of Antiretroviral Therapy (SMART) study published online by the journal AIDS. Increases in HBV viral load and accelerated immune deficiency were documented among coinfected individuals partaking in structured drug holidays in the study.
HIV and the Brain: Part 2
At the 17th Conference on Retroviruses and Opportunistic Infections (CROI) in San Francisco—David Evans speaks with Scott Letendre, MD, from the University of California in San Diego, about the relationship of HIV levels in the brain versus the blood, and what that might mean for treating HIV.
New Treatments for HIV: Part 1
At the 17th
Conference on Retroviruses and Opportunistic Infections (CROI) in San
Francisco—Tim Horn speaks with David Hardy, MD, from Cedars Sinai
Medical Center in Los Angeles, about new HIV treatments—including the
drug blood level-booster, cobicistat, and the new integrase inhibitor,
elvitegravir. Part 1 of a 2-part video.
New Treatments for HIV: Part 2
At the 17th Conference on Retroviruses and Opportunistic Infections (CROI) in San Francisco—Tim Horn speaks with David Hardy, MD, from Cedars Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles, about new HIV treatments—including two entry inhibitors: vicriviroc and TBR-652. Part 2 of a 2-part video.
March 08, 2010
Cancer Risks and HIV
At the 17th Conference on Retroviruses and Opportunistic Infections (CROI) in San Francisco—David Evans speaks with Michael Silverberg, PhD, from the Kaiser Permanente Division of Research in Oakland, California, about the latest research on cancer risk in people with HIV, and strategies for reducing the risk.
HIV and the Brain: Part 1
At the 17th Conference on
Retroviruses and Opportunistic Infections (CROI) in San Francisco—David
Evans speaks with Ronald Ellis, MD, PhD, from the University of
California in San Francisco, about factors that protect the brain from
HIV. This is the first of a two part video on HIV and the brain.
HIV Prevention: On the Verge of Success?
At the 17th Conference on Retroviruses and Opportunistic Infections (CROI) in San Francisco—David Evans speaks with Mitchell Warren, from the AIDS Vaccine Advocacy Coalition in New York City, about the state of prevention research, which could be on the verge of new successes with PrEP and test-and-treat strategies.
HIV Treatment in Southern Africa
At the 17th Conference on Retroviruses and Opportunistic Infections (CROI) in San Francisco—David Evans speaks with Suzanne Ingle, from the University of Bristol in England, about factors affecting the roll out of HIV treatment in Southern Africa.
March 05, 2010
MRSA Rates Six Times Higher in People With HIV
Rates of community-associated methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (CA-MRSA) infection—drug-resistant staph infection acquired outside the hospital setting—are significantly higher in the Chicago area among people with HIV than in people who are HIV negative, according to a study published in the April 1 issue of Clinical Infectious Diseases.
March 04, 2010
Abortion Pill for HIV Doesn’t Pan Out in Study One of the most intriguing compounds to be studied as an antiretroviral (ARV) is mifepristone, a medication sold in the United States as Mifeprex (also known as RU-486) and used to chemically induce abortions in the early stages of pregnancy. While the scientific rationale behind using mifepristone as an HIV-fighting agent has piqued the interest of researchers for several years, the results of a clinical trial have been published online by the Journal of Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndromes, indicating that its therapeutic potential for this indication remains unclear.
March 03, 2010
Stopping Tenofovir Doesn’t Always Reverse Kidney Damage Kidney damage caused by tenofovir (found in Viread, Truvada and Atripla) may not reverse itself after a year of discontinuing the drug, according to new study results published ahead of print on the website for the Journal of Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndromes (JAIDS).
March 02, 2010
Normal Life Expectancy With Maintenance of CD4s Above 500
Survival among HIV-positive men who keep their CD4 counts above 500 cells for at least three years is comparable with that of the general population, according to optimistic data from a large European cohort reported on Friday, February 19, at the 17th Conference on Retroviruses and Opportunistic Infections (CROI). More sobering findings were documented among HIV-positive women: mortality rates, even among those responding well to antiretroviral (ARV) therapy, were still lower compared with HIV-negative women.
March 01, 2010
One in Six New HIV Cases Involves Drug-Resistant Virus
About one of every six new HIV cases diagnosed in 2007 involved virus with antiretroviral (ARV) drug-resistance mutations, according to data reported by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) on Wednesday, February 17, at the 17th Conference on Retroviruses and Opportunistic Infections (CROI) in San Francisco.
HIV and Bone Health
At the 17th
Conference on Retroviruses and Opportunistic Infections (CROI) in San
Francisco, David Evans speaks with Grace McComsey, MD—division chief of
Pediatric Infectious Disease and Rheumatology at Case Western Reserve
University in Cleveland—about the causes of bone loss in people living
with HIV, and what can be done about it.
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