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CROI 2015: Levonorgestrel Contraception May Be Less Effective for Women Taking Efavirenz

African women who took efavirenz as part of a combination antiretroviral regimen were more likely to become pregnant while using the levonorgestrel implant, likely due to a drug interaction that lowers levels of the hormonal contraceptive, according to a presentation at the recent 2015 Conference on Retroviruses and Opportunistic Infections (CROI) in Seattle.

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Trial of CCR5-Deleted Stem Cell Gene Therapy for HIV Gets FDA Go-Ahead

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has given approval to proceed with a clinical trial of a gene therapy method that cuts the gene for the CCR5 coreceptor out of stem cells, making them resistant to HIV entry, the California Institute for Regenerative Medicine (CIRM) recently announced.

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Today Is National Native HIV/AIDS Awareness Day

March 20 marks the 9th annual observation of National Native HIV/AIDS Awareness Day (NNHAAD), an occasion to highlight the impact of HIV and AIDS on American Indian, Alaska Native, and Native Hawaiian communities.

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Valacyclovir May Reduce HIV Viral Load Even in People Without Herpes

The antiviral drug valacyclovir (Valtrex and generics), used to treat herpes simplex virus type 2 (HSV), led to a decrease in HIV viral load even among individuals who did not have genital herpes, according to a small study reported in the March 3 advance edition of Clinical Infectious Diseases.

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CROI 2015: Stopping Co-trimoxazole During ART Raises Risk of Bacterial Illness and Malaria

Stopping trimethoprim/sulfamethoxazole (Co-trimoxazole) prophylaxis increases the risk of serious bacterial infections and malaria, even at high CD4 cell counts, among people with HIV taking antiretroviral therapy (ART) in Uganda, according to results of a randomized trial presented by Jonathan Levin of the UK Medical Research Council at the recent 2015 Conference on Retroviruses and Opportunistic Infections (CROI) in Seattle.

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CROI 2015: Experimental Agents Reverse HIV Latency, Help Immune System Fight Infected Cells

Researchers at the recent 2015 Conference on Retroviruses and Opportunistic Infections (CROI) in Seattle presented data on several experimental agents that may play a role in achieving a "functional cure" for HIV, or prolonged remission without disease progression. These include drugs that reactivate the latent HIV reservoir, interfere with expression of viral DNA, and help the immune system target HIV-infected cells.

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Study Suggests HIV May Be Less Infectious than Assumed During Early Infection

The likelihood of HIV transmission during the acute phase of HIV infection may not be as high as previously estimated based on data from a retrospective cohort study in Rakai, Uganda, according to an analysis published in the March 17 edition of PLoS Medicine. If confirmed, these findings suggests that antiretroviral treatment as prevention (TasP) may be even more effective, as it would not be compromised as much by transmission occurring before partners with HIV are diagnosed and start therapy.

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