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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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