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ICAAC 2014: Cobicistat Long-term Efficacy Matches Ritonavir as PI Booster

Long-term rates of viral suppression and side effects were similar among people using cobicistat and those using ritonavir as a booster for atazanavir (Reyataz), according to 3-year data presented at the 54th Interscience Conference on Antimicrobial Agents and Chemotherapy last week in Washington, DC. Another study found that cobicistat was well-tolerated by people with mild-to-moderate kidney impairment.

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ICAAC 2014: Tenofovir Vaginal Ring and Nanoparticle Gel Are Protective in Animal Studies

A vaginal ring that dispenses tenofovir protected all 6 macaque monkeys exposed to an HIV-like virus, while a heat-sensitive vaginal gel containing tenofovir nanoparticles prevented infection of mice, researchers reported at the 54th Interscience Conference on Antimicrobial Agents and Chemotherapy last week in Washington, DC.

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Maraviroc Dose May Be Too Low for Many African-American People with HIV

A standard dose of the CCR5 antagonist maraviroc (Selzentry) may not be effective for many black people with HIV due to a genetic variation which increases production of a cytochrome P450 protein that speeds up processing of the drug, according to a study published in the August 12 advance edition of Drug Metabolism and Disposition.

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PrEP by the Numbers: Interpreting Conflicting Study Data

A recent ad campaign from the AIDS Healthcare Foundation has kicked of a new round of controversy about HIV pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP) and how to interpret apparently conflicting numbers from prevention studies.

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AIDS 2014: Most Gay Men Who Don’t Use Condoms Attempt to Reduce HIV Risk

Three-quarters of Australian gay and bisexual men who report unprotected anal intercourse with casual male partners say that they often or always employ some sort of risk reduction strategy with those partners, according to a report at the 20th International AIDS Conference in Melbourne. Many men attempt to select partners who they believe have the same HIV status as themselves (serosorting), a significant proportion use condoms most but not all of the time, and smaller numbers practice "strategic positioning" or withdrawal before ejaculation.

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September 18 is National HIV/AIDS and Aging Awareness Day

This Thursday, September 18, is the 7th annual National HIV/AIDS and Aging Awareness Day (NHAAAD), an occasion to focus on the challenges facing the aging population regarding HIV prevention, testing, care, and treatment, as well as overall health and wellbeing for the growing population of older people living with HIV.

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Mississippi Baby and Other Relapsers Hold Lessons for HIV Cure

Despite the disappointment felt by many, the return of detectable HIV in the Mississippi Baby and 2 patients who received bone marrow transplants are of "enormous scientific importance" and indicate that addressing the latent viral reservoir is the major challenge in achieving a cure or long-term remission, according to an editorial in the August 29 edition of Science.

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ICAAC 2014: New Drug Isavuconazole Is Effective Against Opportunistic Fungal Infections

A new antifungal drug, isavuconazole, matched the efficacy of voriconazole for treatment of invasive fungal infections in cancer patients with compromised immunity, but with fewer side effects, researchers reported at the 54th Interscience Conference on Antimicrobial Agents and Chemotherapy last week in Washington, DC.Isavuconazole was shown to be effective against various fungal infections that act as opportunistic illnesses in people with HIV/AIDS, including Aspergillus, Candida, and Cryptococcus.

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HIV May Damage Gut and Trigger Inflammation Within Days of Infection

An HIV-like simian virus disrupted the gut lining within 3 days after infection, due to an inflammatory response initiated by Paneth cells that produce interleukin 1-beta (IL-1β), according to a report in the August 28 issue of PLoS Pathogens. Certain beneficial gut bacteria, however, appeared to reduce the damage.

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NIH Awards Grant for Vaginal Ring for HIV Prevention

The National Institutes of Health has awarded a $20 million grant to a consortium that will seek to develop an intravaginal ring that delivers antiretroviral drugs for prevention of HIV infection, the participating research institutions recently announced. The collaboration will test various combinations of antiretrovirals to determine which are most effective when delivered together for pre-exposure prophylaxis, or PrEP.

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Counseling Helps Improve PrEP Adherence Among Serodiscordant Couples

Cognitive-behavioral counseling sessions significantly increased the likelihood of consistently taking pills among participants with faltering adherence in an African trial of Truvada pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP) for serodiscordant (mixed HIV status) heterosexual couples, according to a report in the August 15 Journal of Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndromes.

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ICAAC 2014: NRTI BMS-986001 Safe and Effective, but Associated with Resistance

BMS-986001, an experimental HIV nucleoside reverse transcriptase inhibitor, was shown to be as effective as tenofovir with less bone loss, but more people who took it developed resistance, researchers reported at the 54th Interscience Conference on Antimicrobial Agents and Chemotherapy this week in Washington, DC. Bristol-Myers Squibb has announced it will end its development of the drug.

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Hepatitis C Infections Fall after Harm Reduction Scale-up in Scotland

Hepatitis C virus (HCV) incidence among people who inject drugs declined rapidly after national scale-up of harm reduction interventions such as syringe exchange in Scotland, according to a report published in the August 11 edition of PLoS ONE. Changes in HCV prevalence, however, are lagging behind.

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ICAAC 2014: PK Study Shows Feasibility of Long-acting Integrase Inhibitor Cabotegravir

A pharmacokinetic (PK) analysis presented at the 54th Interscience Conference on Antimicrobial Agents and Chemotherapy this week in Washington, DC, confirmed that the long-acting HIV integrase inhibitor cabotegravir (formerly GSK1265744) reaches adequate target levels in the blood, setting the stage for efficacy trials for HIV treatment and pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP).

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AIDS 2014: Low Level Viral Load Does Not Raise Risk of HIV Treatment Failure

People with HIV who have a low-level viral load between 20 and 50 copies/mL were not more likely to experience virological failure of antiretroviral therapy (ART) compared with those who consistently maintained viral suppression below 20 copies/mL, according to research presented at the 20th International AIDS Conference in Melbourne.

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Coverage of the Interscience Conference on Antimicrobial Agents and Chemotherapy

HIVandHepatitis.com coverage of the 54th Interscience Conference on Antimicrobial Agents and Chemotherapy (ICAAC 2014), September 5-9, in Washington, DC.

Conference highlights include experimental antiretroviral therapies for HIV, interferon-free treatment for hepatitis C, and news about other infectious diseases including tuberculosis, HPV, influenza, and Ebola virus.

Full listing of coverage by topic

ICAAC 2014 website

9/8/14

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AIDS 2014: Australian Bone Marrow Transplant Patients Show No Detectable HIV

An additional 2 people with long-term HIV infection have no evidence of infectious virus or viral genetic material following bone marrow stem cell transplants to treat leukemia or lymphoma, researchers reported at the 20th International AIDS Conference last month in Melbourne. While these individuals remain on antiretroviral therapy (ART) and therefore cannot be considered functionally cured, they offer further evidence that HIV may be controlled off ART in some cases.

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ICAAC 2014: New Tenofovir Alafenamide Combo Pill Has Less Effect on Kidneys and Bones

An experimental single-tablet regimen containing a new version of tenofovir (tenofovir alafenamide or TAF) and the HIV protease inhibitor darunavir (Prezista) worked as well as a similar regimen containing the older tenofovir disoproxil fumarate (TDF) formulation,but it had less detrimental effects on kidney function and bone density, according to a study presented at the 54th Interscience Conference on Antimicrobial Agents and Chemotherapy this week in Washington, DC.

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Broadly Neutralizing Antibodies May Prevent Reservoir HIV from Entering T-Cells

HIV-specific broadly neutralizing antibodies may be able to prevent virus emerging from latent reservoir sites from entering CD4 T-cells, as well as suppressing viral replication if HIV does manage to get in, according to NIAID research published in the August 25 advance edition of Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

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ICAAC 2014: Sangamo Provides Update on Gene Therapy to Protect T-cells From HIV

Several people with HIV whose CD4 T-cells were modified to make them resistant to viral entry have maintain low-level viral load after interrupting antiretroviral therapy (ART), with 1 individual having HIV RNA <1000 copies/mL for more than a year, according to a presentation at the 54th Interscience Conference on Antimicrobial Agents and Chemotherapy this week in Washington, DC.

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AIDS 2014: Only Half of People Who Start HIV Post-exposure Prophylaxis Complete the Course

There are significant losses at each step of the post-exposure prophylaxis (PEP) "treatment cascade," according to a systematic review and meta-analysis of 97 studies presented to the 20th International AIDS Conference last month in Melbourne. The problems with uptake, adherence, and completion point to a need for a simplified approach, researchers said.

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