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HIV Disease Progression

Do Sex and HIV/HCV Coinfection Affect Response to Antiretroviral Treatment?

HIV-positive men and women coinfected with hepatitis C virus (HCV) showed impaired CD4 T-cell restoration after starting antiretroviral therapy (ART) and had a 40% greater risk of death than people with HIV alone, though they were equally likely to achieve HIV viral suppression, according to study findings published in the May 18 advance edition of AIDS Patient Care and STDs.

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BHIVA 2015: People Who Don't Reveal HIV Status Have as Good Health Outcomes as Those Who Do

A large survey of people attending HIV clinics in the UK has found that individuals who chose not to disclose their HIV status to other people were no more likely to suffer from depression or anxiety, to have difficulty adhering to antiretroviral therapy (AR), or to have worse HIV outcomes, according to research presented at the British HIV Association (BHIVA) annual meeting last month in Brighton. 

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Researchers May Have Caught HIV Becoming More Virulent in Cuba

A study from Cuba, recently published online in EBioMedicine, has generated wide media interest because researchers have identified a particular variety of the virus, dubbed CRF19_cpx, that is associated with rapid post-diagnosis drops in CD4 T-cell count and progression to AIDS. In the study, all of the still relatively small minority of people with this viral variant progressed to clinically defined AIDS within 3 years of infection. The variant also seems to be becoming more common in Cuba and may partly explain what appears to be an increase in the proportion of people who progress rapidly to AIDS. However, it is not a drug-resistant strain and antiretroviral therapy (ART) works just as well against it as it does against any other strain of HIV.

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CROI 2015: Inflammation and Gut Damage Persist in People with HIV Despite Early ART

Inflammatory changes and damage to the gut begin very soon after initial HIV infection, and may not return to normal even when people start antiretroviral therapy (ART) very early, researchers reported at the recent 2015 Conference on Retroviruses and Opportunistic Infections (CROI) in Seattle. Biomarkers of inflammation, coagulation and fibrosis increased early on, and while they generally decreased after starting ART, they did not fall to levels seen in HIV-negative people.

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Elite Controllers Have Higher Hospitalization Rate, HIV May Hide in B-Cells

Elite controllers -- people who naturally maintain viral suppressed without antiretroviral treatment -- had higher rates of hospitalization than people with HIV on antiretroviral therapy, most commonly for cardiovascular conditions, researchers reported in the December 15 Journal of Infectious Diseases. A related study showed that B cell follicles may act as a reservoir for an HIV-like virus in elite controller monkeys.

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