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June 27 Is National HIV Testing Day

June 27 is National HIV Testing Day (#NHTD), an opportunity to promote HIV screening and awareness of its importance as a gateway to the continuum of care. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), 1 out of 8 of the estimated 1.2 million people living with HIV do not know they are infected, putting their long-term health at risk.

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ASM Microbe 2016: PrEP Use Is Rising Fast in U.S., But Large Racial Disparities Remain

More than 49,000 people in the U.S. have filled prescriptions for Truvada for pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP) at retail pharmacies, according to the results of a survey by Gilead Sciences presented this week at the ASM Microbe conference in Boston. Among PrEP users with available data, most were white gay men; black people used PrEP much less often, despite having the highest rates of HIV infection.

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American Gay Men's Use of Condoms Has Been Falling for a Decade

There has been a long-term decline in condom use by American gay men, researchers from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reported in the May 5 online edition of AIDS. Similar declines have been seen among men whose sexual partners were of the same HIV status and among men who did not know their sexual partners’ status -- showing that the fall in condom use cannot be explained by sero-sorting or other sero-adaptive behaviors. Moreover, condom use began to fall long before pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP) became available.

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ASM Microbe 2016: PRO-140 Antibody Injections Maintain Viral Suppression Off ART

Subcutaneous injections of PRO 140, a monoclonal antibody that blocks HIV entry into cells, was well-tolerated and maintained undetectable viral load for more than a year after stopping antiretroviral therapy (ART) in patients with viral suppression, according to a study presented at the ASM Microbe 2016 meeting this week in Boston.

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amfAR Announces New Round of HIV Cure Research Grants

This month amfAR, the Foundation for AIDS Research, announced that it has granted 7 awards for research on HIV persistence, the understanding of which could lead to new approaches to an HIV cure -- part of the organization's Countdown to a Cure for AIDS initiative.

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Big Increase in Proportion of HIV+ People with Viral Suppression in US

The proportion of people living with HIV receiving care in the U.S. who accessed antiretroviral therapy (ART) and achieved viral suppression increased substantially between 2009 and 2013, according to research published in the May 20 online edition of AIDS.

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UNAIDS 90-90-90 Targets Could Prevent 2.5 Million HIV Deaths in South Africa

Achieving the UNAIDS 90-90-90 targets for getting more people with HIV tested and on effective treatment in South Africa would cost nearly 16 billion dollars over 10 years, but could avert more than 2 million new HIV infections and prevent 2.5 million deaths, according to a mathematical model analysis published in the May 31 online edition of Annals on Internal Medicine.

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New HIV Infections Decline by 60% Among Children in Most Affected African Countries

HIV incidence has fallen dramatically for children in the African countries with the highest burdens of the disease, more pregnant women are receiving prophylactic antiretrovirals to prevent transmission, and half of infected children are now on antiretroviral treatment, according to a new UNAIDS report release this month to coincide with the United Nations General Assembly High-Level Meeting on Ending AIDS.

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June 5 Marks 35 Years Since First Report of AIDS

Sunday, June 5th marks the 35th anniversary of the first report of what would come to be known as AIDS. The past 3 decades have included remarkable progress in the field -- including highly effective antiretroviral therapy and a pill that can prevent HIV infection -- but much remains to be done to make these advances available to all who need them.

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Tenofovir/Emtricitabine Vaginal Ring Protects Monkeys Against HIV-Like Virus

A vaginal ring that releases tenofovir and emtricitabine -- the antiretroviral drugs in the Truvada PrEP pill -- maintained protective drug levels over 4 months, and all macaque monkeys that received the ring were protected from infection with an engineered HIV-like virus, researchers reported in the June 8 edition of PLoS ONE. A human study of a different type of tenofovir ring showed that it maintained protective drug levels in genital fluid and blood over 14 days.

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17 Million People Worldwide Are Now Receiving HIV Treatment

The number of people with HIV receiving antiretroviral therapy (ART) worldwide has reached 17 million, although about the same number still do not have access to treatment and the decline in new infections has slowed, indicating the need to "reinvigorate" prevention efforts, according to the latest update from UNAIDS.

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FDA Approves Dolutegravir for Smaller Children with HIV

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration this week approved a supplemental indication for the HIV integrase inhibitor dolutegravir (Tivicay), allowing its use for children age 6 years and older who weigh as little as 30 kg. The drug is currently being evaluated in younger and smaller children.

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At Least 6000 People Thought to Be on HIV PrEP in San Francisco

New numbers from the city's largest pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP) programs, along with estimates from primary providers and other smaller sources, suggest that more than 6000 people in San Francisco are receiving or have received Truvada for HIV prevention, most of them gay and bisexual men.

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UN Commits to More HIV Treatment, but Key Populations Are Excluded

United Nations member states last week agreed to new targets for getting more people with HIV on treatment by 2020 and ending the AIDS epidemic as a public health threat by 2030 at the UN General Assembly High-Level Meeting on Ending AIDS. But a coalition of conservative countries was able to exclude civil society groups representing gay and transgender people and people who use drugs -- key affected populates that advocates say must be part of the conversation.

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Denmark Shows Success of HIV Treatment as Prevention Among Gay Men

A study by researchers at the University of California at Los Angeles and Copenhagen University Hospital provides the first unambiguous evidence of a link between high rates of viral suppression among gay men and falling HIV incidence, or the proportion of men who catch HIV each year.

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Starting HIV Treatment at First Clinic Visit After Diagnosis Improves Outcomes

A South African program aimed at shortening the usual process of HIV diagnosis, counseling, and preparation for antiretroviral therapy (ART) led to more people initiating treatment and achieving viral suppression, according to findings from the RapIT study published in the May 10 edition of PLoS Medicine.

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Study Sheds New Light on What Happens During Acute HIV Infection

An individual's HIV viral load set-point is generally reached about a month after plasma viremia is first detectable, according to an analysis published in the May 18 online edition of the New England Journal of Medicine. The RV217 study, which included more than 100 people with acute HIV infection in East Africa and Thailand, found that signs and symptoms were uncommon during the earliest stages of infection, and what happens during this period influences later disease progression.

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Small Risk of HIV Sexual Transmission Persists Through First 6 Months of ART

A risk of HIV transmission to sexual partners persists for 6 months after the initiation of antiretroviral therapy (ART), investigators from a large prospective prevention study confirm in the online edition of the Journal of Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndromes.

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Experimental HIV Vaccine to Enter Large Clinical Trial in South Africa

An investigational vaccine that showed promise in an earlier study will advance to a large-scale efficacy trial at 15 sites in South Africa, the U.S. National Institutes of Health (NIH) announced on May 18, marking HIV Vaccine Awareness Day. The new trial, HVTN 702, designed to determine if the vaccine is safe, well-tolerated, and effective at preventing HIV infection, is due to start this November, with results expected in 4 years.

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World Health Assembly Adopts Strategies for HIV, Viral Hepatitis, and STIs

The 194 member states participating in the 69th World Health Assembly, which governs the World Health Organization (WHO) in late May unanimously approved the adoption of WHO's draft global health sector strategies for management of HIV, viral hepatitis, and sexually transmitted infections (STIs) through the year 2021.

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HIV Prevalence and New Infections Highest Among Gay Men in Southern U.S.

The burden of HIV in the U.S. is disproportionately high for gay and bisexual men -- who account for about two-thirds of all newly diagnosed infections each year -- and HIV prevalence and new infections among men who have sex with men (MSM) is highest in states in the southeast, according to a new analysis published recently in the Journal of Medical and Internet Research -- Public Health and Surveillance.

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