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Lubricants for Sex Can Damage Cells, but Did Not Increase HIV Risk in Lab Study

Certain sexual lubricant formulations are toxic to cells and can cause damage to the epithelial lining of the vagina or rectum, but this did not appear to facilitate HIV infection, researchers reported in the November 7, 2012, edition of the open-access journal PLoS ONE. alt

HIV Suppression is More Likely if Antiretroviral Treatment Starts When Viral Load is Low

People who start antiretroviral therapy (ART) with a baseline HIV RNA level below 100,000 copies/mL have a better chance of achieving undetectable viral load during their first year on treatment, according to a meta-analysis of more than 20 studies published in the November 22, 2012, advance edition of HIV Medicine, the journal of the British HIV Association. alt

Young Adults Account for One-quarter of New U.S. HIV Cases, Majority Not Aware of Status

Adolescents and young adults between the ages of 13 and 24 account for 26% of new annual HIV infections in the U.S. -- with young gay/bisexual men and African-Americans most heavily affected -- but 60% do not know they are HIV positive, according to the latest Vital Signs report from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). alt

HIV Medical Providers Call for Fair Drug Pricing to Expand Access to Treatment

Practitioners from the American Academy of HIV Medicine (AAHIVM) and the HIV Medicine Association (HIVMA) delivered a joint statement to pharmaceutical company executives this week, asking the industry to reconsider its pricing for antiretroviral drugs so that more people in the U.S. and worldwide are able to access treatment. alt

Activists Focus on Budget Cuts for World AIDS Day

On the eve of the 25th observance of World AIDS Day, people with HIV and those at risk are well positioned to benefit from recent medical advances, but they also face some sobering political and fiscal realities.

The election of Barack Obama to a second term as president brought relief that the Affordable Care Act -- his hard-won health insurance reform package -- would not be immediately overturned. But its implementation remains a challenge, and the looming "fiscal cliff" threatens budget cuts across the board.

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Liver Toxicity Uncommon with Modern Antiretroviral Drugs, but Higher Risk for HIV/HCV Coinfected

Recently approved antiretroviral drugs are generally well-tolerated and seldom cause serious liver enzyme elevations, although protease inhibitors are somewhat more likely to do so, researchers reported in the November 28, 2012, advance online edition of AIDS. People with HIV/HCV coinfection are more likely to experience liver toxicity, however, and early hepatitis C treatment may improve the tolerability of HIV therapy.alt

HIV11: New Studies Challenge Evidence of Reduced Abacavir Potency When Viral Load Is High

An analysis of 2 studies of the new HIV integrase inhibitor dolutegravir presented at the 11th International Congress on Drug Therapy in HIV Infection this month in Glasgow had the incidental effect of bringing into question evidence from a previous study suggesting that the nucleoside reverse transcriptase inhibitor abacavir (Ziagen, also in the Epzicom or Kivexa coformulation) was less potent in people starting HIV therapy with high viral loads than another NRTI drug, tenofovir (Viread, also in the Truvada, Atripla, Complera, and Stribild coformulations). alt