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CROI 2016: VRC01 Antibody Delays But Does Not Prevent HIV Rebound After ART Interruption

VRC01, a broadly neutralizing antibody targeting HIV's CD4 binding site, was able to modestly delay the return of viral replication following interruption of antiviral therapy (ART), according to a study presented at the Conference on Retroviruses and Opportunistic Infections (CROI 2016)last month in Boston. VRC01 did not maintain viral suppression on its own, but it may play a role in combination therapy for HIV treatment or a functional cure.

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Johns Hopkins Team Performs Pioneering HIV+ to HIV+ Liver and Kidney Transplants

Doctors at Johns Hopkins announced that they recently performed the first-ever liver transplant and the first kidney transplant in the U.S. from an HIV-positive donor to a recipient living with HIV, made possible by the 2013 HIV Organ Policy Equity (HOPE) Act. Both transplants were successful and the patients are doing "extremely well," infectious disease specialist Christine Durand said at a March 30 press conference.

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CROI 2016: More People with HIV Are Achieving Viral Suppression in U.S.

A growing proportion of people with HIV are reaching an undetectable viral load on antiretroviral therapy (ART), according to a pair of studies from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) presented at the Conference on Retroviruses and Opportunistic Infections (CROI 2016)last month in Boston. Despite this improvement, however, a substantial number of people are still not achieving viral suppression, putting them at risk for disease progression and onward transmission.

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CROI 2016: Dose-Finding Trials of Antibody-Based Drugs for HIV Prevention To Start Soon

The next generation of pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP), and even HIV treatment, may consist of antibodies that could be given as an intravenous infusion or an injection into muscle, according to 2 presenters at the Conference on Retroviruses and Opportunistic Infections (CROI 2016)last month in Boston.

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CROI 2016: Combination Inhibitor BMS-986197 Demonstrates Good Anti-HIV Activity in Early Study

A long-acting bioengineered "combinectin" molecule with a triple mechanism of action demonstrated potent antiviral activity and worked against HIV that developed resistance to any of the 3 separate mechanisms in a laboratory study, and lowered viral load in humanized mice, according to research presented at the Conference on Retroviruses and Opportunistic Infections (CROI 2016)last month in Boston.

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CROI 2016: Personalized Counseling Improves Rate of Entry into HIV Care

Entry into HIV care can be increased by around 40% if people receive a point-of-care CD4 test and counseling sessions to overcome personal barriers to seeking HIV care, according to a large randomized study in South Africa presented at the Conference on Retroviruses and Opportunistic Infections (CROI 2016) last month in Boston. However, the study also found that only half of the people who received the most effective linkage intervention and who were in need of immediate treatment made it onto antiretroviral therapy (ART) within 6 months of their HIV diagnosis, highlighting the need for further improvements in linkage to HIV care.

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CROI 2016: Removing Clinic Barriers to Rapid ART in Uganda Enables 70% to Start on Same Day

Making point-of-care CD4 T-cell count diagnostics available, revising adherence counseling requirements, and giving extra training to healthcare workers can almost quadruple the number of patients who begin antiretroviral therapy (ART) on the day that they are eligible, Gideon Amanyire of Makerere University reported at the at the Conference on Retroviruses and Opportunistic Infections (CROI 2016)last month in Boston. The package of health system reforms was provided to a typical "real world" group of clinics in Uganda and was embedded in everyday practice, suggesting that the same intervention could have a similar impact elsewhere.

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