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Maraviroc Dose May Be Too Low for Many African-American People with HIV

A standard dose of the CCR5 antagonist maraviroc (Selzentry) may not be effective for many black people with HIV due to a genetic variation which increases production of a cytochrome P450 protein that speeds up processing of the drug, according to a study published in the August 12 advance edition of Drug Metabolism and Disposition.

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Mississippi Baby and Other Relapsers Hold Lessons for HIV Cure

Despite the disappointment felt by many, the return of detectable HIV in the Mississippi Baby and 2 patients who received bone marrow transplants are of "enormous scientific importance" and indicate that addressing the latent viral reservoir is the major challenge in achieving a cure or long-term remission, according to an editorial in the August 29 edition of Science.

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AIDS 2014: Novel Techniques Probed in HIV Cure Research

A pair of presentations at the 20th International AIDS Conference in Melbourne described new pathways being explored in the search for either a permanent cure for HIV or for longer-acting drugs. In one study, 2 artificial genes that cause cells to generate antiviral entry inhibitors produced significant inhibition of cellular infection. In the other, a technique that is the exact opposite of the much-explored "kick and kill" strategy (which uses drugs to activate cells latently infected with HIV) used an artificial gene fragment to maintain latently infected cells in a locked-down state that resisted strong immune stimulation.

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AIDS 2014: Low Level Viral Load Does Not Raise Risk of HIV Treatment Failure

People with HIV who have a low-level viral load between 20 and 50 copies/mL were not more likely to experience virological failure of antiretroviral therapy (ART) compared with those who consistently maintained viral suppression below 20 copies/mL, according to research presented at the 20th International AIDS Conference in Melbourne.

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AIDS 2014: Single-tablet HIV Regimens Not Necessarily More Durable

Antiretroviral therapy (ART) regimens consisting of 1 pill taken once-daily -- known as single-tablet regimens -- were not associated with a longer time to treatment discontinuation when compared to some other modern, well-tolerated regimens that involve more pills or twice-daily dosing, according to a study presented at the 20th International AIDS Conference last month in Melbourne.

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AIDS 2014: Australian Bone Marrow Transplant Patients Show No Detectable HIV

An additional 2 people with long-term HIV infection have no evidence of infectious virus or viral genetic material following bone marrow stem cell transplants to treat leukemia or lymphoma, researchers reported at the 20th International AIDS Conference last month in Melbourne. While these individuals remain on antiretroviral therapy (ART) and therefore cannot be considered functionally cured, they offer further evidence that HIV may be controlled off ART in some cases.

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FDA Approves ViiV Single-Tablet Regimen Containing Dolutegravir

ViiV Healthcare announced this week that the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has approved its all-in-1 antiretroviral fixed-dose combination pill containing the HIV integrase inhibitor dolutegravir (Tivicay) plus abacavir and lamivudine (the drugs in Epzicom or Kivexa). The new coformulation -- with the brand name Triumeq -- is the first single-tablet regimen that does not contain tenofovir and emtricitabine, making it an option for people with impaired kidney function. HLA-B*5701 genetic screening should be done prior to starting Triumeq to test for abacavir hypersensitivity. [Editor's note: On September 3 ViiV announced that the European Commission has also approved Triumeq.]

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