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Syringe Service Use Up, But a Third of People Who Inject Drugs Still Share Needles

Use of syringe exchange and distribution services has increased substantially over the past decade, and HIV diagnoses among people who inject drugs have fallen by nearly half, but just a quarter of drug injectors use only sterile needles and a third reported sharing a needle within the past year, according to the latest Vital Signs report from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

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Combination HIV Vaccine Efficacy Trial Launches in South Africa

A new HIV vaccine efficacy study -- the first in 7 years -- got underway this week in Cape Town, South Africa. The HVTN 702 trial will evaluate the safety and effectiveness of 2 experimental vaccines -- ALVAC-HIV and a gp120 protein subunit vaccine -- related to a combination that previously demonstrated modest efficacy in the RV144 trial in Thailand. The study aims to enroll more than 5400 sexually active adults and results are expected in late 2020.

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IDWeek 2016: Omega-3 Fatty Acids May Improve Triglycerides and Inflammation in HIV+ People

Long-term use of omega-3 fatty acid supplements was associated with reduced levels of triglycerides and the inflammation biomarker C-reactive protein (CRP) in HIV-positive people with suppressed viral load, according to research presented last week at IDWeek 2016 in New Orleans.

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World AIDS Day: 18 Million Now on HIV Treatment but Many Still Lack Access

Thursday, December 1, is World AIDS Day, an opportunity to remember those lost to the epidemic and to focus on the continuing challenges of universal HIV prevention and treatment. According to a new report from UNAIDS, approximately 37 million people are living with HIV worldwide -- of whom more than 18 million are receiving antiretroviral therapy -- and there were about 2 million new infections in 2015.

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Coverage of IDWeek 2016

HIVandHepatitis.com coverage of IDWeek 2016, held October 26-30 in New Orleans.

Conference highlights include experimental HIV therapies, PrEP and other biomedical HIV prevention, antibiotic resistance, and emerging infectious diseases such as Ebola virus and Zika virus.

Full listing of coverage by topic

IDWeek website

11/4/16

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World AIDS Day: World Health Organization Urges Scale-Up of HIV Self-Testing

The World Health Organization (WHO) this week launched new guidelines encouraging countries to support self-testing in an effort to get more people to learn their HIV status -- the first step toward getting on effective treatment, achieving viral suppression, halting disease progression, and preventing onward HIV transmission. WHO estimates that only 60% of people with HIV are aware of their status, and says that self-testing can help countries meet the UN target of diagnosing 90% of all people with HIV by 2020.

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Coverage of HIV Drug Therapy Glasgow 2016

HIVandHepatitis.com coverage of the 2016 International Congress on Drug Therapy in HIV Infection, held  October 23-26, 2016, in Glasgow, Scotland.

Conference highlights include new antiretroviral therapies and strategies, HIV prevention, HIV-related comorbidities, and expanding access to treatment.

Full listing of coverage by topic

HIV Drug Therapy 2016 website

11/4/16

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World AIDS Day: CDC Releases New HIV Diagnosis and Prevalence Data

In advance of World AIDS Day, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) released its latest report on recently diagnosed HIV infections in the United States. The new HIV Surveillance Report, which covers data through 2015, shows that HIV diagnoses have decreased among both women and men, and among African Americans, Latinos, and whites, but have risen among young people age 25-29. As people with HIV live longer thanks to effective antiretroviral treatment, HIV prevalence has reached an all-time high of more than 955,000 people.

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New Research Sheds Light on Origin of HIV in U.S., Dispelling Patient Zero Myth

A new genetic analysis shows that HIV likely spread from the Caribbean to New York City around 1971 and from there to San Francisco around 1976, laying to rest the misconception that a Canadian flight attendant, Gaetan Dugas, was responsible for sparking the epidemic in the United States.

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HIV Glasgow: 4-Days-On-3-Days-Off HIV Treatment Controls Viral Load in Pilot Study

An experimental "4 days on, 3 days off" antiretroviral regimen kept viral load fully suppressed in 96% of people for 48 weeks in a French study presented at the International Congress on Drug Therapy in HIV Infection (HIV Glasgow) last week. The study recruited people whose viral load had been fully suppressed on standard treatment for a median of 4 years, not people who had started therapy recently.

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IDWeek 2016: HIV+ Men and Men on PrEP in Boston See Large Increase in Sexually Transmitted Infections

Rates of gonorrhea, syphilis, and chlamydia have risen steeply at Fenway Health in Boston since 2011, according to presentation last week at IDWeek in New Orleans. Being HIV-positive and using pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP) to prevent HIV were associated with higher risk of getting-sexually transmitted infections (STIs), but more frequent STI testing and treatment could potentially help reduce the numbers.

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HIVR4P 2016: The Long Tail Problem -- Injectable PrEP Trial To Be Extended Due to Drug Persistence

A study presented at last month’s HIV Research for Prevention (HIVR4P) conference in Chicago shows that in a minority of people who were given the experimental injectable drug cabotegravir as HIV pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP), the drug was still measurable in their body a full year after their last injection.

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HIV Glasgow: HIV Treatment Benefits Outweigh Clinical Impact of Lipodystrophy

Over a 20-year period, people who suffered lipodystrophy (abnormal fat distribution) and especially lipoatrophy (fat loss) when they started antiretroviral therapy (ART) actually had better health outcomes than people who did not suffer from it, according to a report at the 2016 International Congress on Drug Therapy in HIV Infection (HIV Glasgow) last week.

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HIV Glasgow: Long-Acting HIV Fusion Inhibitor Albuvirtide Regimen Matches Standard Therapy

A new fusion inhibitor, albuvirtide, under development in China, combined with a boosted protease inhibitor, proved just as effective as a triple regimen of lopinavir/ritonavir plus 2 NRTIs for treatment-experienced HIV patients, according to a report at the International Congress on Drug Therapy in HIV Infection last month in Glasgow.

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HIV Glasgow: Tests of Online PrEP Purchases Find No Fakes and Adequate Drug Levels

A sexual health clinic in central London that offered to test drug levels in users of tenofovir/emtricitabine pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP) who had bought it online found adequate levels of both drugs in their blood, and no sample suggesting counterfeit drugs.

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HIV Glasgow: Darunavir/Ritonavir + Lamivudine Matches Triple-Drug HIV Therapy

Simplifying antiretroviral therapy to a 2-drug combination of lamivudine plus the protease inhibitor darunavir (Prezista) boosted by ritonavir is just as effective as a 3-drug regimen in people with suppressed viral load, Spanish investigators reported at the International Congress on Drug Therapy in HIV infection (HIV Glasgow) last month in Glasgow.

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HIVR4P: New HIV Prevention Tools Will Need Marketing and Effective Health Services to Expand Reach

There is a naivety among many HIV prevention researchers and advocates about the steps needed to introduce and implement new HIV prevention technologies such as oral pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP), vaginal rings, and vaccines, according to speakers at the HIV Research for Prevention (HIVR4P 2016) conference in Chicago last month. Developing an effective prevention method is the easy part, they suggested -- ensuring that the product reaches end users who need them can be more challenging.

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HIV-Positive People May Lose More Years of Life from Smoking than from HIV/AIDS

People with HIV on effective antiretroviral treatment who smoke cigarettes may incur more risk of death and reduction in life expectancy from smoking than from HIV/AIDS-related conditions, according to a study described in the November 3 advance edition of the Journal of Infectious Diseases.

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IDWeek 2016: Dolutegravir Regimen Works Better than Atazanavir in Clinical Trial for Women

A once-daily regimen containing the potent HIV integrase inhibitor dolutegravir worked better than an older atazanavir-containing regimen -- with higher rates of viral suppression both overall and across race subgroups -- in the ARIA trial, one of the few antiretroviral therapy studies to enroll only women, according to a presentation at IDWeek last week in New Orleans.

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IDWeek 2016: Tenofovir Alafenamide Works Well and Improves Kidney and Bone Markers in Older HIV Patients

A coformulation of tenofovir alafenamide (TAF) plus emtricitabine, used with a third antiretroviral drug, maintained viral suppression as well as tenofovir disoproxil fumarate (TDF) plus emtricitabine in older individuals, and was associated with improvements in kidney function and bone density, which may be of greater concern for this group, according to a presentation last week at IDWeek 2106 in New Orleans.

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IDWeek 2016: Do HIV-Positive Men with Undetectable Viral Load Need to Wear Condoms?

In the face of extensive research showing that HIV-positive people on antiretroviral therapy (ART) with stable undetectable viral load have an extremely low likelihood of transmitting the virus, a majority of participants at IDWeek 2016 in New Orleans thought they should still be advised to use condoms -- a proportion that actually increased after a debate that laid out the evidence.

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