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February 24, 2010

Hep C Treatment Might Also Guard Against HIV Disease Progression

"Hepatitis C virus (HCV) treatment—when successful—offers survival benefits over and above reductions in liver disease among people coinfected with both HIV and HCV, according to a study reported February 19 at the 17th Conference on Retroviruses and Opportunistic Infections (CROI) in San Francisco."

Read more in POZ, February 24, 2010.

H1N1 Meets HIV

"People with HIV are generally no more likely to experience severe complications of H1N1 influenza virus than people not infected with HIV, according to studies reported on Wednesday, February 17, at the 17th Conference on Retroviruses and Opportunistic Infections (CROI). However, studies presented here also paint a conflicting picture regarding the ability of H1N1 vaccines to spark sufficient immune responses against the virus in people with HIV hoping to avoid the novel influenza virus still circulating the globe."

Read more in POZ, February 18, 2010.

Measurement of Naive CD4 Cells Reliably Predicts Potential for Immune Reconstitution in HIV

"Conclusions: Measurement of naive CD4 percent in patients can identify those least likely to reconstitute immunity, who may benefit from earlier ARV treatment."

Read more in JAIDS, February 24, 2010.

Gardasil highly effective at preventing pre-cancerous anal lesions in gay men

"The genital wart vaccine Gardasil is highly effective at preventing pre-cancerous anal lesions in younger gay men, according to the results of a study presented to a recent conference.

"Delegates to the European Research Organization on Genital Infection and Neoplasia were told that Gardasil reduced the risk of pre-cancerous anal lesions by 78% in a Phase III, randomised, placebo-controlled trial involving gay and other men who have sex with men aged between 18 and 26.

"Gay men, especially those with HIV, have higher rates of anal cancer than those seen in the general population, therefore the high efficacy of the vaccine is encouraging."

Read more in Aidsmap, February 24, 2010.

FDA warns that saquinavir/ritonavir can cause heart rhythm disturbances

"Doctors have been advised that the use of ritonavir-boosted saquinavir should be avoided in patients with a history of prolonged QT interval, as well as by individuals treated with types of drugs that have also been associated with this complication. These include Class IA and Class III antiarrhythmic drugs such as quinidine and amiodarone.

"Individuals who are taking ritonavir-boosted saquinavir should contact their HIV doctor for advice, and not stop taking saquinavir/ritonavir until they have done so.

"Ritonavir-boosted saquinavir can have a potent anti-HIV effect when used as part of combination antiretroviral therapy. However, it is not widely used."

Read more in Aidsmap, February 24, 2010.

February 19, 2010

Highlights from the 2010 Conference on Retroviral and Opportunistic Infections

"A week ago we blogged about ways to stay connected to the 17th Conference on Retroviral and Opportunistic Infections Exit Disclaimer (CROI). Since then, the world's premiere researchers and scientists have come together at the San Francisco Moscone Center to discuss advances and future directions in the prevention and treatment of HIV and AIDS. Throughout the conference (which ends today), conference organizers and participants have shared breaking news through Twitter (using the hashtag #CROI Exit Disclaimer), through webcasts and podcasts Exit Disclaimer of the sessions, and through email updates from AIDSMap Exit Disclaimer. From Washington, DC to India, Kenya and beyond, researchers and scientists have presented the latest findings on topics like global epidemiology, Human Genome sequencing and HIV-1, and reducing Mother to Child Transmission."

Read more in Blog, February 19, 2010.

February 16, 2010

Retroviruses conference events -- BEFORE they happen

"AIDS Treatment News started a temporary blog and Twitter account so that activists and community members will know about scientific and community meetings at the 17th Conference on Retroviruses and Opportunistic Infections (CROI, Feb. 16-19, 2010) that may not be in the official program. This calendar does NOT report on the conference, but notifies people about events here in San Francisco, Web coverage of this CROI, etc. Pardon the late notice, but this project just started today.

"To reach the calendar, anyone can Google jsjcroi -- or click the link below."

Read more in CROI and Community Events, February 16, 2010.

Stay Connected to Research and Events at the 2010 CROI Conference

"The 17th Conference on Retroviral and Opportunistic Infections (CROI) Exit brings together researchers from across the globe working to understand, prevent, and treat HIV/AIDS. The annual conference will be held next week (February 16-19) in San Francisco and they will be using new media to help conference participants and the general public stay connected to the top research and events throughout the four day meeting.

"There are several ways you can stay connected during and even after the conference..."

Comment: Conference begins today. I'm there.

Read more in, February 16, 2010.

SWITCHMRK — Raltegravir Is Not for Everyone!

"An exploratory analysis in this study suggested that a history of ART failure prior to study entry was associated with increased risk of virologic failure among patients who switched to raltegravir, perhaps a consequence of resistance to the nucleoside components of the treatment regimen. The apparent diminished genetic barrier to resistance for raltegravir compared with lopinavir/r then manifested itself with higher rates of virologic failure in this group after the switch. Clinicians should carefully assess all available information — including prior treatment history and results of resistance testing — before modifying successful antiretroviral regimens."

Read more in Journal Watch HIV/AIDS Clinical Care, February 12, 2010.

February 8, 2010

Less resistance with FTC than 3TC when combined with tenofovir

"Amongst patients experiencing a rebound in viral load, those taking 3TC (lamivudine, Epivir) in combination with tenofovir (Viread) were more likely than those taking FTC (emtricitabine, Emtriva) and tenofovir to develop a number of key resistance mutations."

Read more in Aidsmap, February 8, 2010.

February 5, 2010

Rights of vulnerable people and the future of HIV/AIDS

"Despite these gains, prejudice, discrimination, and stigmatisation of people with HIV/AIDS, and key groups most affected by and at most risk of the disease, continue to hamper efforts to tackle the pandemic. The welcome news that the USA has at last lifted a 22 year travel restriction that prevented people with HIV/AIDS entering the country, and that South Korea has removed a similar ban, reminds us that almost 30 countries worldwide still block entry by and repatriate foreign nationals with HIV/AIDS. And in Uganda, the attempt to introduce the death penalty for people known to have engaged in homosexual acts and further criminalise individuals, including health workers, who support such people is a terrifying sign that addressing issues of vulnerability, discrimination, and human rights will be key to future gains in the battle against the pandemic.

"About a third of people living with HIV/AIDS in countries without generalised epidemics are men who have sex with men, sex workers, and injecting drug users, and in countries with generalised epidemics people in these key groups have a higher prevalence of HIV/AIDS than do the general population. The WHO Towards Universal Access report, released last year, identified these as target populations in the fight against HIV, since infections in these groups are likely to drive epidemics in the future. ...

"But funding bodies can help to improve the situation of key populations, not only by providing funds directly, but also by putting conditions on donations to ensure that countries act to remove discrimination and improve the health of people in vulnerable groups. Over the past 5 years, the Ukraine has managed to turn the tide in a rapidly escalating HIV/AIDS crisis by opening needle exchanges and offering counselling for drug users with donations from the Global Fund given on the condition that the country legalised methodone replacement therapy."

Read more in The Lancet Infectious Diseases, February 4, 2010 (free registration to The Lancet required).

February 3, 2010

Tesamorelin safe and effective for fat accumulation in patients taking HIV treatment

"Treatment with tesamorelin significantly improves visceral fat accumulation in patients with HIV, an international team of investigators report in the online edition of the Journal of Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndromes.

"Preliminary results of the study were reported at the 2008 International Conference in Mexico City.

"The results of a 26-week study, followed by a further six-months of analysis showed that therapy with the drug reduced levels of visceral fat and waist circumference without having detrimental metabolic effects."

Read more in Aidsnews, February 3, 2010.

FDA revises ddI product label to warn of serious liver side-effect

"Medicine regulatory authorities in the US have updated the product information for ddI (didanosine, Videx) to warn that treatment with the drug can cause a serious liver problem.

"A communication was circulated by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) on January 29th stating that the label for ddI would be altered and caution that the drug can cause non-cirrhotic portal hypertension."

Read more in Aidsmap, February 1, 2010.

February 2, 2010

Compound found that targets wide range of viruses

"Now, researchers from the University of Texas Medical Branch at Galveston, UCLA, Harvard University, the U.S. Army Medical Research Institute of Infectious Diseases and Cornell University have teamed up to develop and test a broad-spectrum antiviral compound capable of stopping a wide range of highly dangerous viruses, including Ebola, HIV, hepatitis C virus, West Nile virus, Rift Valley fever virus and yellow fever virus, among others.

"UCLA researchers led by Dr. Benhur Lee — corresponding author on a paper on the work appearing this week on the Proceedings of the National Academy of Science Web site — identified the compound (which they call LJ001), after screening a "library" of about 30,000 molecules to find a one that blocked the host cell entry of deadly Nipah virus. Subsequent experiments revealed that LJ001 blocked other viruses that, like Nipah, were surrounded by fatty capsules known as lipid envelopes. It had no effect on nonenveloped viruses."

Read more in Eurekalert!, February 1, 2010.