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Harm Reduction Program Reduces Meth Use and HIV Risk Behavior Among Gay Men

Participants in the Stonewall Project, a harm reduction-based substance use program, reduced their use of methamphetamine and cocaine and engaged in less risky sexual behavior that could lead to HIV transmission, according to a pair of studies described in the April 14 online edition of the Journal of Urban Health.

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Human Papillomavirus Vaccine Is Effective for Women with HIV

HIV positive women respond well to the Gardasil human papillomavirus (HPV) vaccine, offering them protection against cervical cancer, according to a study published in the April 14 electronic edition of Clinical Infectious Diseases. Related recent research found that both Gardasil and Cervarix are effective in people with HIV.

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Inherited Low Cholesterol in Immune Cells Linked to Slower HIV Disease Progression

A genetic variation linked to lower levels of intracellular cholesterol is associated with reduced transmission of HIV between immune cells, which may contribute to slower evolution of disease in non-progressors, according to a report in the April 29, 2014, edition of the electronic journal mBio, published by the American Society for Microbiology.

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Coral Proteins Block HIV from Entering Cells, May Be Useful in Microbicides

A set of proteins derived from soft coral identified from a National Cancer Institute repository of biological chemicals can bind to HIV and prevent it entering immune cells, suggesting it may have potential for use in microbicide gels or other products to prevent transmission of the virus, according to a poster presented at the Experimental Biology 2014 meeting last week in San Diego.

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New Recommendations for Earlier HIV Screening and PrEP for Women

The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists last week issued 2 new recommendations on screening and prevention of HIV in women. The first matches the CDC's recommendation that HIV screening should start at age 13 and should be offered at least annually to at-risk women. The second advises that pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP) -- using antiretroviral medications such as Truvada to prevent HIV infection -- may be a useful tool for women at highest risk, including those with HIV positive male partners.

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Updated Antiretroviral Treatment Guidelines Include Cost Considerations

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) this week released an update to its Guidelines for the Use of Antiretroviral Agents in HIV-1-Infected Adults and Adolescents. Among the major changes are the addition of a new section on cost considerations and a recommendation for less frequent CD4 T-cell monitoring for people without advanced disease.

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HIV Viral Load in Semen Can Vary Over a Short Time in Men on Antiretroviral Therapy

Some men on antiretroviral therapy (ART) who have undetectable blood viral load can still sometimes have detectable HIV in their semen, and levels can fluctuate even within a very short time period, according to a study published in the March 3 edition of PLoS ONE. The study also showed that detectable HIV in semen appears more likely among men taking protease inhibitors.

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