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USCA 2014: U.S. Conference on AIDS Underway in San Diego

The 18th annual U.S. Conference on AIDS, sponsored by the National Minority AIDS Council, is taking place this week in San Diego. While other conferences focus on new data about antiretroviral therapy and biomedical prevention, USCA emphasizes the social, economic, and cultural aspects of HIV/AIDS.

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Monkey Transplant Study Rules Out Possible HIV Cure Mechanism

Macaque monkeys that received transplants of their own stem cells after undergoing intensive radiation that killed off their existing SHIV-infected immune cells experienced viral rebound soon after stopping antiretroviral drugs, indicating that pre-transplant "conditioning" was not solely responsible for the only known case of a person cured of HIV.

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UCSF Announces New HIV PrEP Clinic and PrEPline Phone Consultation Service

The University of California at San Francisco has opened a new clinic to help address the unmet need for Truvada pre-exposure prophylaxis, better known as PrEP. In addition, the UCSF Clinician Consultation Center at San Francisco General Hospital has received CDC funding to operate PrEPline, a telephone consultation service to provide expert guidance to healthcare providers across the nation who wish to prescribe PrEP.

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HIV Superinfection May Boost Viral Load but Does Not Worsen Disease Progression

Superinfection with a second strain of HIV may lead to a more rapid increase in plasma HIV RNA levels, but apparently does not contribute much to CD4 T-cell loss or disease progression, according to a study published in the September 24 edition of AIDS.

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National Gay Men's HIV/AIDS Awareness Day: Half Untreated, Most Unaware of PrEP

Only 50% of gay and bi men diagnosed with HIV have started antiretroviral treatment and 42% have achieved undetectable viral load, according to a new Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) report released ahead of National Gay Men’s HIV/AIDS Awareness Day on September 27. A related survey from the Kaiser Family Foundation found that while gay and bi men see HIV as a top health issue, a majority do not get tested regularly and most do not know about pre-exposure prophylaxis, or PrEP.

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HIV Pandemic Likely Originated in Kinshasa, Spread Via New Transportation Routes

Kinshasa, in what is now the Democratic Republic of Congo, was likely the focus of early HIV-1 transmission beginning in the 1920s, leading to the wider global pandemic starting in the 1960s as railroad and river transportation became more widely used, according to a study published in the October 3 edition of Science.

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FDA Approves Elvitegravir and Cobicistat Booster as Stand-alone Drugs

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) this week approved Gilead Sciences next-generation HIV integrase inhibitor elvitegravir (brand name Viteka) and pharmacoenhancer cobicistat (Tybost) as stand-alone agents to be used in combination antiretroviral therapy. The 2 drugs were already available as part of the Stribild single-tablet regimen.

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