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HIV Has Become More Virulent Over Time, Not Less, European Study Finds

The largest cohort study ever to look at CD4 count and viral loads in HIV positive people around the time of diagnosis has found evidence that HIV -- at least in Europe -- has become more virulent over time. The average time taken to reach a CD4 count below 350 cells/mm3 has halved over the last 25 years, researchers calculate. This conflicts with recently reported findings from Africa suggesting HIV has gotten weaker, suggesting that local conditions may drive viral evolution in opposite directions.

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Delaying Treatment More than 12 Months after HIV Infection Reduces CD4 Cell Recovery

People with HIV who start antiretroviral therapy (ART) more than a year after seroconversion have a lower likelihood of regaining normal CD4 T-cell counts, researchers reported in the November 24 online edition of JAMA Internal Medicine. "If full restoration of immunologic and clinical health is our goal, then the present study tells us that the best chance we have is to start antiretroviral therapy within 12 months of infection," according to an accompanying editorial.

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Coverage of the 2014 International AIDS Conference

HIVandHepatitis.com coverage of the 20th International AIDS Conference (AIDS 2014), July 20-25, in Melbourne, Australia.

Conference highlights include biomedical HIV prevention (PrEP and treatment-as-prevention), HIV cure research, interferon-free therapy for hepatitis C and HIV/HCV coinfection, access to treatment, and fighting stigma and criminalization of key affected populations.

Full listing by topic

AIDS 2014 website

7/25/14

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HIV Superinfection May Boost Viral Load but Does Not Worsen Disease Progression

Superinfection with a second strain of HIV may lead to a more rapid increase in plasma HIV RNA levels, but apparently does not contribute much to CD4 T-cell loss or disease progression, according to a study published in the September 24 edition of AIDS.

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Inherited Low Cholesterol in Immune Cells Linked to Slower HIV Disease Progression

A genetic variation linked to lower levels of intracellular cholesterol is associated with reduced transmission of HIV between immune cells, which may contribute to slower evolution of disease in non-progressors, according to a report in the April 29, 2014, edition of the electronic journal mBio, published by the American Society for Microbiology.

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