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CROI 2015: Retrovirus Conference Starts Monday in Seattle

The 2015 Conference on Retroviruses and Opportunistic Infections (CROI) takes place next week, February 23-26, at the Washington State Convention Center in Seattle. CROI focuses on HIV treatment, prevention, and basic science. For the past several years it has also included substantial hepatitis C content, and this year will feature presentations on Ebola virus. HIVandHepatitis.com will be on site in Seattle all week bringing you news coverage and Twitter updates (@HIVandHepatitis).

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Progress and Problems in the Search for a Cure for HIV

Leading experts discussed the latest developments in the search for an HIV cure at a January 13 Center for AIDS Research symposium in San Francisco, following a year of disappointing setbacks in the field. Researchers are increasingly focusing on a "functional cure" -- or remission -- that would allow people with HIV to remain off antiretroviral therapy (ART) for prolonged periods, as the hopes for true viral eradication have dimmed.

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Black People with HIV Have Less Linkage to Care, Higher Rate of Death

Coinciding with National Black HIV/AIDS Awareness Day last week, a pair of reports in the February 6 Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report look at health disparities among African-Americans living with HIV. One study found that while the mortality rate among black people with HIV is falling, it is still 13% higher that that of whites. The second found that only about half of black people diagnosed with HIV were not linked to care. 

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New Clues about Viral Rebound in Mississippi Child Thought Cured of HIV

Clinicians involved in the care of a child many once hoped was cured of HIV have published details about the case in the February 15 New England Journal of Medicine. The authors found that the virus that eventually returned after the girl had been off antiretroviral therapy for more than 2 years was identical to her mother's viral strain.

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Atazanavir Associated with Less HIV Treatment Failure, Illness, and Death

People with HIV who used antiretroviral regimens containing the ritonavir-boosted protease inhibitor atazanavir (Reyataz) had better outcomes than those taking lopinavir/ritonavir (Kaletra), including lower likelihood of AIDS-defining illnesses or death, less virological failure, and larger CD4 T-cell increases, according to a study published in the January 6 edition of Clinical Infectious Diseases.

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Novel Entry Inhibitor May Provide Vaccine-like Protection Against HIV

A potential new therapy using a molecule that mimics both the CD4 receptor and the CCR5 co-receptor can stop an HIV-like virus from entering host cells, researchers reported in the February 18 online edition of Nature. Monkeys given gene therapy to produce the eCD4-Ig protein did not become infected after repeated virus exposures, suggesting it may be an effective HIV vaccine alternative as well as a long-acting therapy.

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FDA Approves 2 New Boosted Protease Inhibitor Coformulations for HIV

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) this week approved 2 new fixed-dose coformulations of HIV protease inhibitors with a cobicistat booster. Bristol-Myers Squibb's Evotaz contains atazanavir (sold separately as Reyataz) plus cobicistat, while Janssen Therapeutics' Prezcobix contains darunavir (sold separately as Prezista) plus cobicistat.

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