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Broad-Spectrum Killer T-Cells May Be Needed to Fight Latent HIV

Cytotoxic T-cells with a wide spectrum of activity may be necessary to detect and destroy memory CD4 T-cells containing inactive reservoir HIV from people who start antiretroviral therapy (ART) during chronic infection, according to research reported in the January 7 edition of Nature. People who start treatment very early, however, may still have non-mutated virus that is susceptible to detection by normal killer T-cells -- and a therapeutic vaccine may help boost immune responses in those treated later.

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Gilead and Janssen Announce Deal to Develop New TAF Single-Tablet Regimens

Gilead Sciences and Janssen R&D announced an agreement in late December to develop antiretroviral coformulations containing Gilead's novel tenofovir alafenamide (TAF) formulation and emtricitabine plus Janssen's HIV protease inhibitor darunavir (Prezista) or NNRTI rilpivirine (Edurant).

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4. HIV Cure Setbacks: Mississippi Baby and Bone Marrow Transplants

The quest for an HIV cure saw some setbacks in 2014, with further news about 2 stem cell transplant patients in Boston who experienced HIV rebound several months after interrupting antiretroviral therapy (ART). This was followed in July by an announcement that HIV was detected in a child in Mississippi who had maintained undetectable viral load for more than 2 years off treatment.

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Top 14 HIV and Hepatitis Stories of 2014

2014 was an exciting year in the fields of HIV and viral hepatitis, highlighted by growing awareness and promising new data for HIV pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP) and approval of highly effective new interferon-free combination pills for hepatitis C. But there were also some setbacks and challenges, including disappointments in HIV cure research and the high cost of the new hepatitis C drugs.

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6. HIV Drugs: Few New Approvals, but Pipeline Looks Promising

HIV drug development news in 2014 included approval of a new single-tablet regimen and 2 more components of antiretroviral therapy (ART). Promising candidates in the pipeline include a better-tolerated version of tenofovir, a NNRTI with fewer neuropsychiatric side effects, and potential long-acting injectables that may be useful for treatment or pre-exposure prophylaxis.

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