CCR5-Delta-32 Stem Cell Transplants Unsuccessful in 6 Patients -- Berlin Patient Remains the Sole HIV Cure

Bone marrow transplants from donors with a naturally occurring mutation that protects immune cells from HIV failed to cure 6 additional HIV positive blood cancer patients, leaving "Berlin Patient" Timothy Ray Brown as the only person to show no signs of HIV infection several years after receiving this type of transplant, Brown's doctor Gero Hütter reported in the December 18 New England Journal of Medicine. Brown recently published his own story of being the only man known to be cured of HIV.alt 2014 Conference Coverage

Links to full listing of on-site conference coverage during 2014.


CDC Researchers Publish Estimate of Effectiveness of Condom Use for Gay Men

A paper published this month in the Journal of Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndromes finally makes publicly available a study-- originally reported nearly 2 years ago from the 2013 Conference on Retroviruses and Opportunistic Infections but until now unobtainable even as an abstract -- which gives an estimate for the effectiveness of 100% condom use as the strategy of choice for the prevention of HIV infection among gay men. The CDC researchers estimate that condoms used consistently stop 7 out of 10 HIV infections acquired through anal sex between men.


HIV Drug Therapy: Lower-dose Efavirenz Equally Effective with Fewer Side Effects

A reduced dose of efavirenz (Sustiva or Stocrin) for first-line HIV therapy suppressed viral load as well as the standard dose, but was associated with fewer characteristic side effects, researchers reported at the recent HIV Drug Therapy 2014 meeting in Glasgow. A related study found that half the dose maintained viral suppression in people with high efavirenz levels in their blood.


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Neutralizing Antibodies from Llamas Provide Clues for HIV Vaccine Research

Heavy-chain broadly neutralizing antibodies produced by llamas can neutralize a wide range of circulating HIV virus strains, suggesting that immunization could potentially induce protective antibodies against HIV in humans, according to a report in the December 18 edition of PLoS Pathogens.


Smoking Doubles Risk of Death for People with HIV Taking Antiretroviral Therapy

Smoking doubles the mortality risk for people with HIV taking antiretroviral therapy, a study published recently in AIDS shows. Smokers had an increased risk of death from cardiovascular disease (CVD) and non-AIDS-related cancers, and the life expectancy of a 35-year-old man with HIV was reduced by almost 8 years due to smoking.