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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

Peers Best at Convincing High-Risk Individuals to Get HIV Test: Study

Posted 16 days ago by Drugs.com

FRIDAY, Oct. 10, 2014 – The best way to get people at high risk for HIV tested for the AIDS-causing virus is to have other high-risk people do the convincing, a new study suggests. This approach worked especially when the people doing the urging were paid for each high-risk person they successfully referred for testing, researchers reported. People who were contacted through this approach were 2.5 times more likely to be HIV-positive than those contacted through traditional counseling and referral programs. "A limitation of the traditional approach is that many people who are at high risk of HIV never take the initiative to get tested on their own," wrote study author Dr. Ryan Westergaard, an assistant professor of medicine at the University of Wisconsin School of Medicine and Public Health, in Madison. This lack of testing leads to higher numbers of people with HIV, the virus that ... Read more

Related support groups: HIV Infection, Diagnosis and Investigation

Less Than Half of HIV-Positive U.S. Hispanics Are Getting Proper Care

Posted 16 days ago by Drugs.com

THURSDAY, Oct. 9, 2014 – Even though Hispanics in the United States become infected with HIV at rates triple those of whites, less than half of Hispanics with the virus are receiving adequate treatment, a new report finds. The report, based on 2010 U.S. government health data, finds that while 80 percent of HIV-infected Hispanics do receive care soon after their diagnosis, only about 54 percent continue that care and only about 44 percent receive the virus-suppressing drugs they need to stay healthy. The researchers, led by epidemiologist Zanetta Gant of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), also found that only 37 percent of the more than 172,000 HIV-positive Hispanic adults in the United States have the virus under control. HIV is the virus that causes AIDS. The findings "underscore the need for enhanced linkage to care, retention in care, and viral suppression ... Read more

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2nd Baby 'Cured' of HIV Suffers Relapse

Posted 3 Oct 2014 by Drugs.com

THURSDAY, Oct. 2, 2014 – An Italian toddler thought cured of HIV with early aggressive treatment following birth has suffered a relapse, his doctors report. The 3-year-old child's viral levels of HIV rebounded two weeks after doctors took him off antiretroviral medications, according to a case report published Oct. 4 in The Lancet. The child's HIV levels had been undetectable since he was 6 months old, thanks to aggressive drug therapy that doctors started within 12 hours of his birth, doctors said. This is the second time that a child believed "cured" of HIV with early treatment has suffered a relapse once they stopped taking antiretroviral medication. In July, a 4-year-old Mississippi girl relapsed after living HIV-free for more than two years without medication. "What we've learned here is if you have an HIV-infected child who started treatment early, the fact that you have negative ... Read more

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HIV May Have Emerged in Congo in 1920s: Study

Posted 3 Oct 2014 by Drugs.com

THURSDAY, Oct. 2, 2014 – A new study into the origins of the AIDS virus suggests one strain of the disease appeared in the early 20th century in the western region of Congo and spread through a swath of Africa over the next several decades without notice by the rest of the world. The researchers say the findings support – but don't prove – the theory that the virus expanded its reach in Africa due to social factors such as railroad expansion, changing sexual habits and unsafe medical practices. The study adds to our understanding of "how a virus that is less transmissible than other pathogens like malaria and the common cold can still become established in the human population and eventually grow into a devastating pandemic," said study co-author Philippe Lemey, from the Rega Institute for Medical Research at Catholic University of Leuven, Belgium. "The fact that social changes were ... Read more

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FDA Approves Tybost (cobicistat) for use in the treatment of HIV-1 Infection

Posted 29 Sep 2014 by Drugs.com

September 24, 2014 – The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has approved Tybost (cobicistat), a CYP3A inhibitor used in combination with atazanavir or darunavir for the treatment of human immunodeficiency virus type 1 (HIV-1) infection. Cobicistat is a pharmacokinetic enhancer that works by inhibiting the enzyme (CYP3A) that metabolizes atazanavir and darunavir. It increases the systemic exposure of these drugs and prolongs their effect. Cobicistat is also one of the ingredients in the combination HIV drug Stribild, which was approved by the FDA in August, 2012. Tybost comes in 150 mg tablets and is administered once daily in combination with the protease inhibitors atazanavir (Reyataz), or darunavir (Prezista). Because Tybost inhibits CYP3A, other medications metabolized by CYP3A may result in increased plasma concentrations and potentially severe side effects, which may be ... Read more

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FDA Approves Vitekta (elvitegravir) for HIV-1 Infection

Posted 29 Sep 2014 by Drugs.com

September 24, 2014 – The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has approved Vitekta (elvitegravir), an integrase strand transfer inhibitor for the combination treatment of human immunodeficiency virus type 1 (HIV-1) infection in treatment-experienced adults. Elvitegravir is an HIV integrase strand transfer inhibitor that works by interfering with one of the enzymes that HIV needs to multiply. It is indicated in combination with an HIV protease inhibitor coadministered with ritonavir and with other antiretroviral drugs. It is one of the ingredients in the combination HIV drug Stribild, which was approved by the FDA in August, 2012. Vitekta (elvitegravir) comes in 85 mg and 150 mg tablets. It is administered once daily with food. The approval of Vitekta is based on the analyses through 96 weeks from one randomized, double-blind, active-controlled trial, Study 145, in ... Read more

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Half of HIV-Positive Gay Men in U.S. Aren't Getting Proper Treatment

Posted 26 Sep 2014 by Drugs.com

THURSDAY, Sept. 25, 2014 – Even though gay and bisexual men make up the majority of Americans infected with HIV, half aren't receiving ongoing care or getting the virus-suppressing drugs they need to stay healthy, a new report finds. The study, from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), looked at 2010 data on more than 400,000 male gay and bisexual Americans who were infected with HIV, the virus that causes AIDS. The research shows that while 77.5 percent did initially get HIV medical care within three months of their diagnosis, only about 51 percent continued getting care on an ongoing basis. Experts note that HIV infection can be manageable if powerful antiviral drugs are taken on a regular basis. But the CDC report finds that less than half of HIV-positive gay or bisexual men were prescribed such drugs, and only 42 percent achieved healthy "viral suppression." ... Read more

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California Trees Harbor Fungus Deadly to People With HIV

Posted 28 Aug 2014 by Drugs.com

THURSDAY, Aug. 28, 2014 – A potentially deadly fungus that has been sickening HIV/AIDS patients in Southern California for decades grows on trees, a new study finds. The team of scientists who published the research note that they were tipped off to the finding by a teen girl's science fair project. The Cryptococcus gattii fungus triggers infections of the lungs and brains and is responsible for a full third of all AIDS-related deaths, the researchers noted. They found that three tree species – Canary Island pine, Pohutukawa and American sweetgum – harbor the fungus and are sources of human infection. "Just as people who travel to South America are told to be careful about drinking the water, people who visit other areas like California, the Pacific Northwest and Oregon need to be aware that they are at risk for developing a fungal infection, especially if their immune system is ... Read more

Related support groups: HIV Infection, Fungal Infections

FDA Approves Triumeq (abacavir, dolutegravir and lamivudine) for the treatment of HIV-1 Infection

Posted 25 Aug 2014 by Drugs.com

August 22, 2014 – ViiV Healthcare announced today that the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has approved Triumeq (abacavir 600mg, dolutegravir 50mg and lamivudine 300mg) tablets for the treatment of HIV-1 infection.1 Triumeq is ViiV Healthcare’s first dolutegravir-based fixed-dose combination, offering many people living with HIV the option of a single-pill regimen that combines the integrase strand transfer inhibitor (INSTI) dolutegravir, with the nucleoside reverse transcriptase inhibitors (NRTIs) abacavir and lamivudine. Triumeq alone is not recommended for use in patients with current or past history of resistance to any components of Triumeq. Triumeq alone is not recommended in patients with resistance-associated integrase substitutions or clinically suspected INSTI resistance because the dose of dolutegravir in Triumeq is insufficient in these populations. Before i ... Read more

Related support groups: HIV Infection, Lamivudine, Abacavir, Dolutegravir

People With HIV May Be at Lower Risk for Multiple Sclerosis

Posted 4 Aug 2014 by Drugs.com

MONDAY, Aug. 4, 2014 – People with HIV seem to have a much lower risk of developing multiple sclerosis (MS) than those who don't have the virus, a new study finds. This lower risk may be due to constant suppression of the immune system due to the HIV infection itself and/or the antiretroviral drugs used to treat the infection, according to the researchers. They said their findings could prove important in finding new ways to treat MS, a degenerative nervous system disease. The hospital study observed more than 21,000 HIV patients and nearly 5.3 million people in England who were followed for seven years. During that time, just seven people were diagnosed with MS instead of the expected 18 people. That means people with HIV seemed to be about 60 percent less likely to develop MS compared to those who didn't have HIV. The longer a person had HIV, the less likely they were to develop MS. ... Read more

Related support groups: Multiple Sclerosis, HIV Infection

Bacteria in Semen May Affect HIV Transmission, Levels: Study

Posted 25 Jul 2014 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

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HIV Meds May Also Help Control Hepatitis C, Study Finds

Posted 23 Jul 2014 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 21 Jul 2014 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

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Animal Experiments Shed Light on HIV's Ability to Hide

Posted 21 Jul 2014 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

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

Posted 21 Jul 2014 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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