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New HIV Strain May Lead to Faster Disease Progression

A newly identified natural recombinant form of HIV, dubbed A3/02, was associated with nearly a 3-fold higher risk of progression to AIDS and AIDS-related death -- as well as a shorter time from seroconversion to AIDS or death --compared with 2 more common types found in West Africa, researchers reported in the August 9 advance edition of the Journal of Infectious Diseases.

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Food Insecurity Predicts Worse Outcomes for People with HIV

Lack of adequate nutrition was associated with reduced adherence to antiretroviral treatment, incomplete viral load suppression, and lower CD4 cell counts among HIV positive people in both Uganda and San Francisco, according to 2 recently published studies.

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Alcohol Does Not Worsen Disease Progression or Impair Treatment for People with HIV

People with HIV who consume alcohol did not see detrimental changes in their CD4 T-cell count or viral load when compared with non-drinkers, though those who drank heavily had more difficulty achieving good treatment adherence, researchers reported in the July 25, 2013, advance edition of the Journal of Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndromes.

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Increased Risk of AIDS-defining Illnesses Seen Even at CD4 Counts of 500-750

HIV positive people with CD4 T-cell counts in the 500-749 cells/mm3 range still have a higher risk of AIDS-defining illnesses -- especially cancers -- compared to those with more than 1000 cells/mm3, although the risk is quite low, according to a study published in the August 6, 2013, advance edition of Clinical Infectious Diseases. These findings offer further evidence of the benefits of prompt antiretroviral treatment.

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IAS 2013: Acute Retroviral Syndrome Linked to HIV Disease Progression

People who reported higher scores on a scale of symptom severity during initial HIV infection had lower CD4 T-cell counts, higher viral load set-points, and greater likelihood of HIV disease progression than those with mild or no acute antiretroviral symptoms, researchers reported at the recent 7th International AIDS Society Conference on HIV Pathogenesis, Treatment and Prevention (IAS 2013) in Kuala Lumpur.

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