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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: 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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Updated U.S. Guidelines for Antiretroviral Treatment of Children with HIV

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services has updated its Guidelines for the Use of Antiretroviral Agents in Pediatric HIV Infection. Reflecting recent data from the START and PENPACT1 trials, the guidelines now recommend that all children with HIV start antiretroviral therapy (ART) regardless of CD4 T-cell count, viral load, or clinical symptoms.

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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: START Study Shows People Starting HIV Treatment Earlier Have Better Quality of Life

Rather than treatment side effects having a negative impact on people’s quality of life when they start HIV treatment, data from the large randomized START study show a modest but statistically significant improvement in quality of life, according to a presentation at the recent Conference on Retroviruses and Opportunistic Infections (CROI 2016) in Boston.

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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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FDA Approves Second TAF-Containing Single-Tablet HIV Regimen

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) this week approved Gilead Sciences' new once-daily single-tablet regimen Odefsey, containing the NNRTI rilpivirine (developed by Janssen), emtricitabine, and tenofovir alafenamide or TAF, a new formulation that is easier on the kidneys and bones than the older tenofovir disoproxil fumarate or TDF.

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