Encouraging New Data on the Experimental Hep C Treatment, Telaprevir
Three quarters of people with hepatitis C virus (HCV) who took a regimen including the experimental drug telaprevir managed to clear the virus with just six month’s of treatment, according to a release from the drug’s developer, Vertex Pharmaceuticals, and reporting by The New York Times. Though the study only included HIV-negative people, it was conducted in people with a difficult-to-treat strain of HCV—genotype 1—and the results offer real promise that the drug could substantially increase cure rates in people infected with both HIV and HCV.
FDA Committee Unanimously Recommends Egrifta for Lipodystrophy
A U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) advisory committee has
unanimously recommended that Egrifta (tesamorelin), Montreal-based
Theratechnologies' experimental product for the treatment of excess
abdominal fat in HIV-positive people with lipodystrophy. Though the
FDA is not required to follow the recommendations of its advisory
committees, it usually does so.
May 25, 2010
Avandia Improves Lipoatrophy in Patients Not on Zerit or Retrovir Avandia (rosiglitazone) significantly improved HIV treatmentrelated limb fat loss (lipoatrophy) in people who stop taking Zerit (stavudine) or Retrovir (zidovudine), according to final results of a study published in the June 1 issue of AIDS. Preliminary findings from the same clinical trial were initially reported at the 16th Conference on Retroviruses and Opportunistic Infections in Montreal in February 2009.
Finding About Anti-Inflammatory Cells Could Lead to New HIV Treatments
A new study suggests that HIV throws off the balance of two types of inflammation-reducing cells, thus allowing the virus to persist in the body and cause ongoing damage to the immune system. This finding—published May 19 in the journal Science Translational Medicine and announced by researchers at the University of California in San Francisco (UCSF)—could lead to a new generation of effective HIV medications that operate in a completely different manner from current antiretroviral (ARV) drugs.
May 19, 2010
Daily Zinc Supplements May Slow CD4 Cell Loss and Reduce Diarrhea
Daily zinc supplementation may help slow disease progression, notably in people living with HIV who are unable to maintain viral loads below undetectable while on an antiretroviral (ARV) drug regimen, and reduce diarrhea, according to a new study published in the June 15 issue of Clinical Infectious Diseases.
May 18, 2010
Elevated Heart and Kidney Disease Risk Despite HIV Treatment?
People with HIV have higher levels of blood markers associated with cardiovascular and kidney disease even when their virus is suppressed by antiretroviral (ARV) treatment, according to a new study published in the June 15 issue of The Journal of Infectious Diseases.
May 14, 2010
Frequent Alcohol Use Might Hasten HIV Disease Progression
HIV-positive people who consume two or more alcoholic drinks every day might experience faster disease progression than lighter drinkers, according to a study published online in the journal AIDS Research and Human Retroviruses.
May 13, 2010
Gene Mutation Might Affect HIV Drug Levels in Body Researchers at Ohio State University announced that they have discovered a gene mutation that can significantly increase blood levels of roughly half of all drugs on the market—including many HIV drugs. This finding could ultimately lead to individualized dosing of medications and potentially reduce the risk of side effects, depending on whether a person has the mutation.
Avexa Shelves Development of HIV Drug Apricitabine Avexa Limited has decided to end its development of apricitabine (ATC), a nucleoside reverse transcriptase inhibitor (NRTI), according to a May 10 announcement by the company. The decision was reached after an ATC Phase III study was closed and, according to Avexa, because of unsuccessful efforts to partner with other pharmaceutical companies to continue developing the drug.
May 07, 2010
“Self” Gene Variant May Play Role in Better Immune Response to HIV A variation in a human gene may explain why a small percentage of people living with HIV progress to AIDS only very slowly, or not at all. According to a report detailing the results of a handful of studies, reported in the May 5 issue of Nature, the HLA-B57 gene variation causes a more complete CD8 cell response to HIV in the earliest stages of infection, ultimately giving the immune system the upper hand for decades to come.
May 06, 2010
Merck to Discount Isentress and Crixivan for ADAPs Merck will continue a price freeze on two of its HIV drugs—Isentress (raltegravir) and Crixivan (indinavir)—and the company will offer steeper discounts to state AIDS Drug Assistance Programs (ADAPs), according to an agreement reached with The National Alliance of State and Territorial AIDS Directors (NASTAD). The new price agreement is intended to address a crisis in ADAP funding that has already resulted in waiting lists in a number of states for people with HIV.
May 04, 2010
Study Finds a Majority Are Still Showing Up Late for HIV Care A new study shows that a disproportionate number of people living with HIV—notably women, African Americans and older adults—are presenting for care with low CD4 counts, a troubling concern that hasn’t improved significantly in recent years. The results were published in the June 1 issue of Clinical Infectious Diseases.
May 03, 2010
Boston Water Main Break: People Living With HIV Should Boil Water Households in the City of Boston and surrounding communities should avoid consuming tap water that has not been boiled first until further notice, according to a warning from the Massachusetts Water Resources Authority (MWRA) and reemphasized by AIDS Action Committee of Massachusetts. Though the warning applies to everyone in the aftermath of a recently discovered water main break, it is especially important for people with immune deficiency, including people living with HIV.
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