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CROI 2017: Infants Treated Within Days of Birth Can Clear HIV Reservoir Rapidly

HIV viral load and viral DNA fall rapidly in infants who begin antiretroviral therapy (ART) within days of birth, a pair of South African studies have found, showing the potential for clearing the reservoir of HIV-infected cells -- but infants with such a dramatic response to treatment may be a minority. The findings were presented at the Conference on Retroviruses and Opportunistic Infections (CROI 2017) this week in Seattle.

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CROI 2017: A Combination of Factors Has Reduced HIV Infections in Hard-Hit Part of Africa

HIV incidence has started to tumble in the Rakai cohort, one of the best-studied groups of people in Africa, according to a report at the Conference on Retroviruses and Opportunistic Infections this week in Seattle. The annual HIV infection rate has fallen 40% in the last 4 years, researchers said. A combination of factors -- including wider availability of antiretroviral therapy, increased male circumcision, and later age of sexual debut in young people -- all appear to be contributing to this decline.

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CROI 2017: Dual Antiretroviral Regimen Maintains Durable HIV Suppression after Switch

People who switched from standard antiretroviral therapy to a 2-drug regimen of dolutegravir (Tivicay) plus rilpivirine (Edurant) were able to maintain an undetectable viral load for 48 weeks in a pair of late-stage clinical trials, according to a late-breaking report at the 2017 Conference on Retroviruses and Opportunistic Infections (CROI) this week in Seattle.

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CROI 2017: Treatment or Watchful Waiting for Cervical Abnormalities in Women with HIV?

Close monitoring of earlier-stage cervical abnormalities (CIN-2) may be preferable to treatment for many women with HIV, a U.S. study suggests. The findings, presented at the Conference on Retroviruses and Opportunistic Infections this week in Seattle, show that CIN-2 regressed in over three-quarters of women taking antiretroviral therapy, without the need for CIN treatment. A higher CD4 count was associated with a lower likelihood that lesions would progress.

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Golden Compass Program Launches at San Francisco General Hospital

The Golden Compass program is now open at Zuckerberg San Francisco General Hospital's Ward 86, offering one-stop shopping for HIV-positive people age 50 and older. The program, which started seeing patients this past fall, held its official launch party on February 3.

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CROI 2017: Integrase Inhibitor Bictegravir Matches Dolutegravir for First-Line HIV Treatment

Bictegravir, an investigational integrase inhibitor from Gilead Sciences, was highly potent, well tolerated and worked as well as dolutegravir (Tivcay) in a Phase 2 clinical trial, according to study results presented at the 2017 Conference on Retroviruses and Opportunistic Infections (CROI) this week in Seattle and published online in The Lancet HIV.

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Hope Overshadowed -- The National HIV PrEP Summit

The U.S. National HIV PrEP Summit, which took place in early December in San Francisco, was designed as an event of celebration and hope. Its structure, its speakers, even the way the plenary room was designed and the way the speakers dressed, all conveyed one message: we are all in this together, and pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP) really is the game-changer we have been looking for.

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