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HIV Infection Blog

Related terms: Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome, Acquired Immunodeficiency Syndrome (AIDS), Acute HIV Infection, Acute Retroviral Syndrome, AIDS, AIDS-Related Complex, Chronic Symptomatic HIV Infection, HIV Infection, Acute, HIV Seroconversion Syndrome, Human Immunodeficiency Virus Infection, Primary HIV Infection, HIV, ARC, Acquired Immunodeficiency Syndrome, HIV/AIDS

Bacteria in Semen May Affect HIV Transmission, Levels: Study

Posted 5 days ago by Drugs.com

THURSDAY, July 24, 2014 – Human semen is naturally colonized by bacteria, and a new study suggests the microbes might have a role to play in both HIV transmission and levels in infected men. U.S. researchers found that bacteria in semen – the "microbiome" – play a role in local inflammation and in the production of HIV by infected men. They say the findings point to possible targets for reducing transmission of the AIDS-causing virus. The study couldn't prove that the bacteria was causing changes in HIV levels, and the researchers say more research is needed. However, the findings do "suggest an interaction between semen microbiome, local immunology and semen viral load," wrote a team led by Lance Price of the Translational Genomics Research Institute in Phoenix. Although HIV is found in many bodily fluids, the virus is most commonly spread through semen. In addition to sperm, semen ... Read more

Related support groups: HIV Infection

HIV Meds May Also Help Control Hepatitis C, Study Finds

Posted 7 days ago by Drugs.com

WEDNESDAY, July 23, 2014 – For patients infected with both HIV and hepatitis C, HIV antiretroviral therapy may help control both viruses, a small study suggests. Researchers said doctors could use their findings to improve treatment strategies for people with the two diseases. "The findings suggest that HIV suppression with antiretroviral medications plays an important role in the management of individuals with [hepatitis C] and HIV infection," said study leader Dr. Kenneth Sherman, a professor of medicine at the University of Cincinnati College of Medicine. "It supports the concept that in those with HCV/HIV infection, early and uninterrupted HIV therapy is a critical part of preventing liver disease." The researchers conducted the study to address concerns that treating patients who have HIV – the AIDS-causing virus – and hepatitis C with HIV antiretroviral therapy would damage the ... Read more

Related support groups: Hepatitis C, HIV Infection

Scientists Snipped HIV Out of Human DNA

Posted 9 days ago by Drugs.com

MONDAY, July 21, 2014 – A recently developed molecular tool allowed researchers to remove HIV from cultured human cells in the lab. The team of scientists at Temple University School of Medicine in Philadelphia said their approach may one day lead to a permanent treatment for HIV. They added that this technique might also be used to develop a vaccine to offer protection against the disease in the future. "Since HIV-1 is never cleared by the immune system, removal of the virus is required in order to cure the disease," Kamel Khalili, chair of the department of neuroscience at Temple, explained in a university news release. "It's an exciting discovery, but it's not yet ready to go into the clinic. It's a proof of concept that we're moving in the right direction," added Khalili, who is also director of the Comprehensive NeuroAIDS Center at Temple. The study was published online July 21 in ... Read more

Related support groups: HIV Infection

Animal Experiments Shed Light on HIV's Ability to Hide

Posted 9 days ago by Drugs.com

MONDAY, July 21, 2014 – The "viral reservoir" in which HIV can lie dormant for years, avoiding detection and elimination, is established much earlier than previously thought, new animal research indicates. This discovery poses new obstacles for those working to eradicate the AIDS-causing virus, said Harvard researchers working with the U.S. Military HIV Research Program. They said the presence of the viral reservoir remains the most significant challenge to finding a cure for a subtype of HIV, known as HIV-1. "We found that the reservoir was established in tissues during the first few days of infection, before the virus was even detected in the blood," said the study's senior author, Dr. Dan Barouch, director of the Center for Virology and Vaccine Research at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center in Boston. For the study, published online July 20 in Nature, rhesus monkeys were infected ... Read more

Related support groups: HIV Infection

HIV Diagnoses Down in U.S., Except for Young Gay Males: CDC

Posted 9 days ago by Drugs.com

SATURDAY, July 19, 2014 – A new report offers good and bad news about the AIDS epidemic in the United States: The annual diagnosis rate of HIV, the virus that causes the disease, has dropped by one-third in the general population but has climbed among young gay and bisexual males. Significantly fewer heterosexuals, drug users and women were diagnosed each year with HIV, according to the report from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. However, the annual diagnosis rate more than doubled for young gay and bisexual males. The push for safer sex may be falling on deaf ears in a generation too young to have seen the ravages of AIDS, said report co-author Amy Lansky, deputy director for surveillance, epidemiology and laboratory sciences at the CDC's Division of HIV/AIDS Prevention. "It's been more than 30 years since the first cases were reported," she said. "It's harder to ... Read more

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Those With HIV Living Longer, International Study Finds

Posted 13 days ago by Drugs.com

THURSDAY, July 17, 2014 – Overall death rates for HIV-positive adults living in Australia, Europe and the United States have been cut 28 percent since 1999, according to new international research. Deaths from AIDS-related causes dropped more than one-third among the HIV-positive adults in the study. Cardiovascular disease deaths declined by almost two-thirds, while deaths from liver disease were nearly halved, the study authors found. "It is reassuring that death rates continue to decrease amongst HIV-positive people," said lead researcher Colette Smith, a lecturer in biostatistics at the University College London in England. Not all the news was positive, however. Rates of cancer deaths remained stable, the researchers noted. Antiretroviral drugs are credited with making HIV into what some now call a chronic disease rather than a death sentence. This is particularly true in developed ... Read more

Related support groups: HIV Infection

AIDS Epidemic May Be Subsiding: Report

Posted 14 days ago by Drugs.com

WEDNESDAY, July 16, 2014 – A new United Nations report suggests that the AIDS epidemic might be waning: The number of new HIV infections worldwide is at a record low, AIDS-related deaths are down 35 percent, and more people with HIV are getting the lifesaving medications they need. International health officials even set a tentative date for the planned demise of HIV, the virus that causes AIDS. "If we accelerate all HIV scale-up [increased efforts to fight the virus] by 2020, we will be on track to end the epidemic by 2030," Michel Sidibe, executive director of UNAIDS, said in an agency news release. "If not, we risk significantly increasing the time it would take – adding a decade, if not more." At the end of 2013, an estimated 35 million people worldwide were living with HIV, according to the UNAIDS report, which was released Wednesday. However, the trend in recent years is ... Read more

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Mississippi Girl Thought Cured of HIV Shows Signs of Infection

Posted 10 Jul 2014 by Drugs.com

THURSDAY, July 10, 2014 – A Mississippi girl born with HIV who was thought to be cured by immediate and aggressive drug treatment has relapsed, with new tests showing detectable levels of the AIDS-causing virus in her bloodstream, disappointed federal officials announced Thursday afternoon. The girl, now nearly 4 years old, had remained virus-free even though she stopped taking HIV medications when she was 18 months old. Doctors had hoped her remission would open the door to a functional cure for all children born with the virus. But a blood test taken during a routine clinical care visit earlier this month uncovered detectable HIV levels in her blood. Additional testing found that the girl also had a decreased white blood cell count and the presence of HIV antibodies, both of which are signs that an actively replicating pool of HIV has established itself in her body. "Certainly, this ... Read more

Related support groups: HIV Infection

HIV Patients Less Likely to Get Cancer Treatment: Study

Posted 1 Jul 2014 by Drugs.com

TUESDAY, July 1, 2014 – While medications are helping HIV-positive people avoid developing full-blown AIDS indefinitely, a new study finds that cancer patients with HIV are up to four times less likely to be treated for their tumors. The research comes with caveats. It looked at just three states from 1996, when powerful HIV drugs first began changing the face of the disease, to 2010, when patients routinely took the medications. And the study doesn't explain why HIV-positive people with cancer receive less treatment or how this affected their lifespans. Still, "the main message is that these patients are not receiving appropriate cancer therapy," said study author Dr. Gita Suneja, an assistant professor of radiation oncology with the University of Utah. "There's a lack of awareness about the issue as a whole because any one physician will see few of these patients. It's something that ... Read more

Related support groups: Cancer, HIV Infection

HIV Prevention Drug Truvada Might Lower Genital Herpes Risk, Too

Posted 30 Jun 2014 by Drugs.com

MONDAY, June 30, 2014 – A combination drug used to treat and prevent HIV – Truvada – may have an additional benefit: lowering the risk of a genital herpes infection, a new study suggests. Researchers found that African heterosexuals who were at risk of getting HIV from their partners were about 30 percent less likely to get infected with genital herpes if they took the drug tenofovir alone or with emtricitabine. Truvada is made from the combination of these two drugs. The study isn't likely to lead physicians to use tenofovir – alone or in combination with emtricitabine – solely to prevent herpes, one infectious-disease specialist said. "No one is going to use tenofovir specifically to reduce herpes. There are some side effects and the drug is not cheap. It will only be used as prevention for HIV – not herpes – for high-risk people," said Dr. Myron Cohen, associate vice ... Read more

Related support groups: HIV Infection, Herpes Simplex, Pre-Exposure Prophylaxis, Truvada, Herpes Simplex - Prophylaxis, Emtricitabine/Tenofovir

HIV Prevention Drug Truvada Might Lower Genital Herpes Risk, Too

Posted 30 Jun 2014 by Drugs.com

MONDAY, June 30, 2014 – A combination drug used to treat and prevent HIV – Truvada – may have an additional benefit: lowering the risk of a genital herpes infection, a new study suggests. Researchers found that African heterosexuals who were at risk of getting HIV from their partners were about 30 percent less likely to get infected with genital herpes if they took the drug tenofovir alone or with emtricitabine. Truvada is made from the combination of these two drugs. The study isn't likely to lead physicians to use tenofovir – alone or in combination with emtricitabine – solely to prevent herpes, one infectious-disease specialist said. "No one is going to use tenofovir specifically to reduce herpes. There are some side effects and the drug is not cheap. It will only be used as prevention for HIV – not herpes – for high-risk people," said Dr. Myron Cohen, associate vice ... Read more

Related support groups: HIV Infection, Herpes Simplex, Pre-Exposure Prophylaxis, Truvada, Herpes Simplex - Prophylaxis, Emtricitabine/Tenofovir

Study: Common HIV Drug May Boost Suicide Risk

Posted 30 Jun 2014 by Drugs.com

MONDAY, June 30, 2014 – A medication commonly used to treat HIV appears to double the risk that patients will develop suicidal thoughts or take their lives, new research contends. The finding concerns the anti-HIV drug efavirenz, which is marketed as Sustiva. Prior investigations indicated that efavirenz might boost suicide risk because of a negative impact on the central nervous system. The new investigation is the first to pinpoint a link to suicidal thoughts, attempts and completion, the researchers said. "Efavirenz is a very important and effective antiretroviral medication that is the foundation for much of HIV therapy worldwide," said study co-author Dr. Joseph Eron, of the University of North Carolina Center for AIDS Research at Chapel Hill. "Our study demonstrated a clear association between efavirenz and suicidality," he said. Although that risk seems very small, he said, it ... Read more

Related support groups: HIV Infection, Atripla, Sustiva, Efavirenz, Efavirenz/Emtricitabine/Tenofovir

Many Unaware of Their HIV Status Until It's Advanced

Posted 28 Jun 2014 by Drugs.com

THURSDAY, June 26, 2014 – Few patients treated at U.S. emergency departments have HIV, but those who do test positive for the virus are in the most infectious stage or have already developed AIDS, a new study says. "People may believe that HIV and AIDS are diseases of the 20th century, but our results show that many people continue to be infected without being aware of it," said study author Dr. Kara Iskyan Geren, of Maricopa Integrated Health System in Phoenix. Researchers looked at data from nearly 22,500 ER patients who were tested for HIV. Of those, only 0.28 percent of patients were found to have the AIDS-causing virus. Of those who tested positive, 23 percent had acute HIV infections (most infectious stage) and 28 percent had progressed to AIDS, according to the study published online June 23 in the Annals of Emergency Medicine. The researchers also found that 82 percent of ER ... Read more

Related support groups: HIV Infection

Kids More Likely Than Adults To Be Resistant to HIV Meds: Study

Posted 27 May 2014 by Drugs.com

TUESDAY, May 27, 2014 – Children born with HIV face a greater risk of developing resistance to life-saving antiretroviral drugs than HIV-infected adults do, according to new research. Antiretroviral drugs are used to treat people infected with HIV, the virus that causes AIDS. "The problem with drug resistance is that once you develop it, it never goes away," study author Dr. Russell Van Dyke, a professor of pediatric infectious diseases at Tulane University School of Medicine, said in a university news release. "Some patients with very resistant virus have no effective treatment options. Resistant virus is the major reason for death among youth" who were born with HIV, he added. The study looked at 450 HIV-infected children across the United States and found that 74 percent were resistant to at least one type of HIV drug, and 30 percent were resistant to two classes of drugs. By ... Read more

Related support groups: HIV Infection, Incivek, Sovaldi, Victrelis, Baraclude, Viread, Kaletra, Tenofovir, Telaprevir, Norvir, Reyataz, Nevirapine, Entecavir, Lexiva, Lamivudine, Ritonavir, Epivir, Prezista, Boceprevir, Norvir Soft Gelatin

CDC Urges Anti-HIV Pill for People at High Risk of Infection

Posted 14 May 2014 by Drugs.com

WEDNESDAY, May 14, 2014 – People deemed to be at high risk for contracting HIV, the virus that causes AIDS, should take anti-HIV medicines that seem to cut transmission risk, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention announced Wednesday. If used consistently, this approach, called pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP), has been shown to reduce HIV infection rates in prior studies by as much as 90 percent, the CDC noted. "HIV infection is preventable, yet every year we see some 50,000 new HIV infections in the United States," CDC director Dr. Tom Frieden said in a news release from the agency. "PrEP, used along with other prevention strategies, has the potential to help at-risk individuals protect themselves and reduce new HIV infections in the United States." The new guidelines are tied to the 2012 approval by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration of a combo drug called Truvada for ... Read more

Related support groups: HIV Infection, Pre-Exposure Prophylaxis, Truvada, Emtricitabine/Tenofovir

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