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Monoclonal antibodies show promise for HIV-positive people with limited treatment options
by Liz Highleyman, 2017-02-22 12:00
A pair of long-acting monoclonal antibodies that prevent HIV from entering human cells – ibalizumab and PRO 140 – may offer new treatment options for people with highly resistant virus and limited treatment options, researchers reported at the Conference on Retroviruses and Opportunistic Infections (CROI 2017) last week in Seattle. Ibalizumab infusions every two weeks

STI rates in PrEP users very high, but evidence that PrEP increases them is inconclusive
by Gus Cairns, 2017-02-22 12:00
A study of PrEP users presented at the Conference on Retroviruses and Opportunistic Infections (CROI 2017) last week, from CROI’s host city of Seattle, showed that PrEP users had very high rates of STI diagnosis – in the order of 20 times higher than among HIV-negative gay men in the

No evidence of risk compensation after circumcision in three African cohorts
by Roger Pebody, 2017-02-22 09:10
Three large studies in South Africa, Zimbabwe and Kenya have found no evidence that men who have been circumcised have more sexual risk behaviours than uncircumcised men. Two of the studies were reported last week at the Conference on Retroviruses and Opportunistic Infections (CROI 2017) in Seattle; the third was published in the February

Accelerated linkage to HIV care improves retention in care by a third
by Carole Leach-Lemens, 2017-02-21 17:50
Close to 60% of adults benefiting from point-of-care CD4 cell count testing at HIV testing sites, accelerated antiretroviral (ART) initiation and SMS appointment reminders were retained in care after one year, compared to just 44% of those receiving the standard of care (SOC) in Mozambique, according to findings from the Engage4Health study presented last

Better depression care could improve outcomes for HIV treatment programmes
by Roger Pebody, 2017-02-21 16:40
Improved management of depression and other mental health disorders has the potential to improve the outcomes of HIV treatment programmes, Pamela Collins of the National Institute of Mental Health told the Conference on Retroviruses and Opportunistic Infections (CROI 2017) in Seattle last week. Mental health treatment should be integrated into HIV services in resource-limited settings, she said. Diabetes,

Peer navigators improve linkage to HIV care and retention in care in South African study
by Carole Leach-Lemens, 2017-02-21 14:20
Adults recently diagnosed with HIV getting help from peers to address personal barriers to care together with SMS check-in messages, appointment and healthy living reminders had nearly twice the odds of being retained in care at one year follow-up compared to those getting standard of care (SOC) at primary health

Prednisone reduces the risk of devloping TB-IRIS after starting antiretroviral treatment
by Keith Alcorn, 2017-02-20 16:30
Prednisone reduces the risk of an immune restoration inflammatory syndrome (IRIS) in people with HIV after starting TB treatment, a randomised trial called PredART has found. The results were presented last week at the Conference on Retroviruses and Opportunistic Infections (CROI 2017) in Seattle, by Dr Graeme Meintjes of the University of Cape Town,

Prednisone reduces the risk of developing TB-IRIS after starting antiretroviral treatment
by Keith Alcorn, 2017-02-20 16:30
Prednisone reduces the risk of an immune restoration inflammatory syndrome (IRIS) in people with HIV after starting TB treatment, a randomised trial called PredART has found. The results were presented last week at the Conference on Retroviruses and Opportunistic Infections (CROI 2017) in Seattle, by Dr Graeme Meintjes of the University of Cape Town,

Will there be a new wave of HIV in injecting drug users in the US?
by Gus Cairns, 2017-02-20 05:00
Ever since there was an outbreak of HIV among white, largely rural heroin users in Indiana in 2015, there have been concerns that the conditions exist on some parts of the US for more outbreaks among heterosexual people who inject drugs.Several presentations at last week's Conference on Retroviruses and Opportunistic Infections in Seattle

Will there be a new wave of HIV in people who inject drugs in the US?
by Gus Cairns, 2017-02-20 05:00
Ever since there was an outbreak of HIV among white, largely rural heroin users in Indiana in 2015, there have been concerns that the conditions exist on some parts of the US for more outbreaks among heterosexual people who inject drugs.Several presentations at last week's Conference on Retroviruses and Opportunistic Infections (CROI 2017)

New NNRTI doravirine shows good efficacy in phase 3 study
by Liz Highleyman, 2017-02-19 00:50
Doravirine, an investigational next-generation non-nucleoside reverse transcriptase inhibitor (NNRTI) from Merck, reduced HIV viral load as well as boosted darunavir in a phase 3 clinical trial of people starting antiretroviral therapy (ART) for the first time, but it had a better lipid profile, according to a late-breaking presentation at the Conference on Retroviruses and Opportunistic

Time spent by people in HIV care in US with a transmissible viral load has fallen by three-quarters since 2000
by Gus Cairns, 2017-02-18 23:50
A study by the US Centers for Disease Control (CDC) presented at the recent Conference on Retroviruses and Opportunistic Infections (CROI 2017) in Seattle found that the proportion of time people with HIV spend in care but not virally suppressed has fallen from 40% to 10% in the last 15 years. It also found that

Time spent by US HIV patients in care with a transmissible viral load has fallen by three-quarters since 2000
by Gus Cairns, 2017-02-18 23:50
A study by the US Centers for the Disease Control (CDC) presented at the recent Conference on Retroviruses and Opportunistic Infections in Seattle found that the proportion of people who are in care but not virally suppressed has fallen from 40% to 10% in the last 15 years.It also found that young

One in five ‘heterosexual’ men in the UK caught their HIV from another man
by Gus Cairns, 2017-02-18 22:50
A genetic analysis of a large database of UK people with HIV in care shows that 18% of men with HIV who claim to be exclusively heterosexual in fact belong to clusters of linked infections that consist only of men.This provides a minimum figure for the proportion of men with HIV in the

When science, community and political will come together, we can end the epidemic, says New York commissioner
by Roger Pebody, 2017-02-17 21:00
New York City’s strategy to end the AIDS epidemic is firmly rooted in science, was developed in conjunction with community activists, and has support from top-level political leaders, Demetre Daskalakis told the 2017 Conference on Retroviruses and Opportunistic Infections (CROI) in Seattle this week.“When you combine political will, biological interventions and harm reduction, you can get

Spanish vaccine induces viral control off ART in nearly 40% of recipients
by Gus Cairns, 2017-02-17 14:00
A so-called ‘HIV Conserv’ vaccine has for the first time produced significant prolonged viral control in a large minority of recipients once they were taken off antiretroviral therapy (ART). So far, one participant has stayed off ART for seven months without having to resume it. Presenting at the Conference on Retroviruses and Opportunistic Infections

New hepatitis C infections among HIV-positive gay men drop by half after direct-acting antiviral roll-out in Netherlands
by Liz Highleyman, 2017-02-17 12:10
A little more than a year after the Netherlands instituted a policy allowing unrestricted access to direct-acting antivirals for the treatment of hepatitis C, researchers have already seen a dramatic decline in acute HCV infections among one at-risk population, HIV-positive men who have sex with men. These findings were reported Thursday at the Conference on

Three-drug regimen beats XDR-TB in first trial
by Keith Alcorn, 2017-02-17 08:10
A regimen of three oral drugs given for six months was enough to clear XDR-TB in 29 of the first 31 patients to have completed the treatment course, Dr Francesca Conradie of Sizwe Tropical Disease Hospital, Johannesburg, told the 2017 Conference on Retroviruses and Opportunistic Infections. If the results are replicated in a larger population,

Stopping smoking cuts the risk of some cancers quickly in people with HIV
by Keith Alcorn, 2017-02-17 08:00
Smoking probably contributes far more to the risk of cardiovascular disease in people with HIV than antiretroviral drug choice, viral load or any factor linked to the virus, but stopping smoking leads to a rapid reduction in the risk of some cancers, according to results from a cluster of studies presented at the

How should HIV self-testing services be provided?
by Roger Pebody, 2017-02-17 08:00
Chairing a session on HIV self-testing at the 2017 Conference on Retroviruses and Opportunistic Infections (CROI) in Seattle this week, Joanne Stekler said that much is already known about the subject - that self-testing is acceptable to a broad range of people, has good uptake with people who have never tested before and can identify new

Unique case of PrEP failure without drug resistance reported from Amsterdam
by Gus Cairns, 2017-02-17 00:10
HIV pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP) appears to be nearly 100% effective if taken consistently so that there are high drug levels in the body at the time of exposure to HIV.However, among tens of thousands of cases of PrEP preventing HIV, there have been a few reports of people who acquired HIV despite high adherence

New HIV infections fall in the US, but demographic and geographic disparities persist
by Liz Highleyman, 2017-02-16 10:40
The number of annual new HIV infections in the US fell by 18% overall since 2008, offering evidence that prevention and treatment efforts are having an impact, according to data from the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) released on Tuesday to coincidence with presentations at the 2017 Conference on Retroviruses and Opportunistic

Isoniazid preventive treatment reduces the risk of death by 37% in people living with HIV
by Keith Alcorn, 2017-02-16 06:10
A six-month course of isoniazid preventive treatment (IPT) at the beginning of the Temprano trial reduced the risk of death by 37% over a mean follow-up period of 4.5 years, Anani Badje reported at the 2017 Conference on Retroviruses and Opportunistic Infections (CROI) in Seattle on Wednesday. Isoniazid is a drug used in the

Treatment or watchful waiting for cervical abnormalities in women with HIV?
by Carole Leach-Lemens, 2017-02-16 06:00
Close monitoring of earlier-stage cervical abnormalities (CIN-2) may be preferable to treatment for many women with HIV, a US study suggests. The findings, presented at the Conference on Retroviruses and Opportunistic Infections (CROI 2017) in Seattle on Tuesday, show that CIN-2 regressed in over three-quarters of women taking antiretroviral therapy, without the need for treatment.