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May 31, 2011
Both Viread and Reyataz Lead to Greater Bone Density Loss
Truvada (tenofovir plus emtricitabine) was associated with greater bone loss than Epzicom (abacavir plus lamivudine), according to a study published in the June 15 issue of The Journal of Infectious Diseases. The same study found that Reyataz (atazanavir) was associated with greater bone loss than Sustiva (efavirenz), and that these differences held up even when accounting for classic risk factors for changes in bone density.
May 27, 2011
Marijuana Slows SIV Disease Progression in Monkeys
Monkeys infected with simian immunodeficiency virus (SIV) that were given chronic doses of the active ingredient in marijuana appeared to have slower SIV disease progression than monkeys given a placebo. These results, published in the June edition of the journal AIDS Research and Human Retroviruses, aren’t proof that marijuana will slow human HIV progression, but they do indicate that the drug does not increase disease progression, as had been feared by some.
May 26, 2011
FDA Approves Generic Combivir for the U.S. Market
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has approved a generic version of the antiretroviral (ARV) Combivir (zidovudine plus lamivudine) for sale in the United States. Combivir is a nucleoside reverse transcriptase inhibitor (NRTI) that is used in conjunction with other ARVs to treat HIV disease.
May 25, 2011
Higher Risk of Cirrhosis in HIV/HCV Patients With 'Good' IL-28B Gene Variant
A genetic mutation that typical improves the chances of being cured of hep C using a treatment regimen than contains interferon may actually increase the risk of serious liver scarring (cirrhosis) in people coinfected with HIV, according to a report published in the June 1 issue of The Journal of Infectious Diseases. This finding appears to be unique among HIV/HCV-coinfected patients; similar findings have not been documented in people living with HCV but not HIV.
May 24, 2011
Additional Interferon Improves Early Responses for People With HCV and HIV
A small study has found that adding an additional dose of pegylated interferon to the standard dose of interferon plus ribavirin for the first four weeks of hepatitis C virus (HCV) treatment significantly improved early treatment responses in people coinfected with both HCV and HIV. The study, published in the June 1 issue of AIDS, could offer new hope for coinfected individuals, particularly blacks, who typically have a poorer treatment response.
May 23, 2011
FDA Approves Incivek (Telaprevir), Second New Hep C Drug
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has approved a new hepatitis C virus (HCV) treatment called Incivek (telaprevir). The drug, which is by Vertex Pharmaceuticals and is targeted to people with the difficult-to-treat HCV genotype 1, marks the second in a new class of HCV drugs, called protease inhibitors, to be approved this month.
May 20, 2011
FDA Approves New HIV Drug: Edurant (Rilpivirine)
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has approved a new HIV-fighting non-nucleoside reverse transcriptase inhibitor (NNRTI) called Edurant (rilpivirine). The drug was approved for use as part of a complete treatment regimen for people who haven’t taken antiretroviral (ARV) drugs before.
May 19, 2011
Poorer Immune Restoration and Heart Health Linked to Low Vitamin D
Low vitamin D levels were associated with poorer reconstitution of the immune system after starting antiretroviral (ARV) therapy in people with HIV, as well as with thickening of the carotid artery—an important predictor of cardiovascular disease (CVD). These results, published April 26 online in the journal Antiviral Therapy, are the first to confirm an association between low vitamin D levels and higher CVD risk in people with HIV.
May 18, 2011
Study Finds Tobira’s New HIV Med TBR-652 Safe and Tolerable
An experimental antiretroviral (ARV) drug by Tobira Therapeutics, TBR-652, was found to be both safe and tolerable in a study published in the June 1 issue of the Journal of Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndromes.
May 17, 2011
New HIV Vaccine Candidate Might Offer Success Where Previous Versions Failed
A new type of vaccine has resulted in successful control of SIV (simian immunodeficiency virus), the monkey version of HIV, in about half the monkeys who received the vaccine and were then later exposed to the virus. These findings, published online May 11 in the journal Nature, might offer a new avenue for vaccine research.
May 16, 2011
FDA Approves Merck’s Hep C Drug Victrelis
The first of a new generation of drugs to treat hepatitis C virus (HCV)—Victrelis (boceprevir)—was approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), according to an FDA announcement May 12. The new drug practically doubled the cure rate of people with the hard-to-treat genotype 1 strain of HCV.
May 13, 2011
CVD Risk From Kaletra Might Be Lower Than Suspected
People taking a regimen containing Kaletra (lopinavir plus ritonavir) did have elevations in triglycerides, as has been reported in other studies, but they did not have a related increase in other measures of cardiovascular (CVD) risk. These data, which were published in the May issue of AIDS Research and Human Retroviruses, found that the greatest concerns for CVD—aside from triglyceride elevations—were factors not associated with Kaletra use.
May 12, 2011
Study: ARV Treatment Reduces HIV Transmission 96 Percent
A study funded by the National Institutes of Health (NIH) has confirmed 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 an announcement by the NIH. 
May 11, 2011
Contaminant Found in Batches of Prezista in Europe and Canada
Janssen-Cilag International, a subsidiary of Johnson & Johnson that markets Prezista (darunavir), announced that trace amounts of a wood preservative called 2,4,6 tribromoanisole (TBA) have been found in several batches of the drug in Europe and Canada. So far, the contaminant has not been found in Prezista sold in the United States.
May 10, 2011
Statin Drugs Reduce Inflammation Linked to Heart Disease
Treatment with a statin drug lowers a type of inflammatory protein tied to cardiovascular disease (CVD) in people with HIV, according to a small study reported in the May 15 issue of the journal AIDS.
May 09, 2011
Are Gay Men at Increased Risk for Cancer?
A new study, published online ahead of print by the journal Cancer, has found that gay men are about twice as likely to report being diagnosed with cancer compared with straight men. The study’s lead author, Ulrike Boehmer, PhD, from the Boston University School of Health, told Reuters Health that gay men have much higher rates of cancer risk factors, including HIV, which could partly account for the difference.
May 04, 2011
Abacavir and Tenofovir Associated With Heart Troubles
A new study of HIV-positive military veterans has found that abacavir (found in Ziagen, Epzicom and Trizivir) is associated with an increased risk of heart attacks, whereas tenofovir (found in Viread, Truvada and Atripla) may increase the risk of heart failure. The study, published online April 21 in the journal AIDS, may add a new layer of complexity to the already unclear process of selecting antiretrovirals (ARVs) that won’t heighten the risk of cardiovascular disease (CVD).
May 03, 2011
HIV Drug Shuts Down Precancerous HPV-Infected Cells
The antiretroviral (ARV) drug lopinavir (found in Kaletra) is able to kill cervical cells infected with the human papillomavirus (HPV)—cells that can go on to become cancerous—according to a study published online May 5 in the journal Antiviral Therapy.
May 02, 2011
Low Vitamin D Levels Associated With Serious HIV Disease Progression
HIV-positive people with very low vitamin D levels were more likely to develop AIDS and to die than people with higher vitamin D levels, according to a study published online January 25 in the journal AIDS
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