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February 7 is National Black HIV/AIDS Awareness Day

February 7 is National Black HIV/AIDS Awareness Day (NBHAAD), an opportunity to raise awareness about HIV and AIDS among African Americans -- the group that bears the greatest burden of the epidemic in the U.S. The theme for the 14th annual observance is "I Am My Brother’s and Sister’s Keeper."

"All African Americans deserve lifesaving HIV prevention, testing, care, and treatment services," said Jonathan Mermin, director of the CDC's National Center for HIV/AIDS, Viral Hepatitis, STD, and TB Prevention. 

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amFAR Announces Initiative to Find Cure for HIV by 2020

This week amfAR, the Foundation for AIDS Research, launched a new research initiative, Countdown to a Cure for HIV/AIDS, with the goal of finding a broadly applicable cure for HIV/AIDS by the year 2020.The foundation hopes to raise $100 million to support this effort.

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Low Drug Levels in Lymphatic Tissue May Underlie Low HIV Viral Load

HIV continues to replicate in the lymph nodes of people taking antiretroviral therapy (ART) that suppresses viral load in peripheral blood, according to a small study in the January 27 early online edition of Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. Several commonly used antiretroviral drugs reached lower concentrations in lymphatic tissue compared with blood, allowing ongoing virus production that may contribute to increased inflammation and immune activation in people with apparently well-controlled HIV.

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Cancer Is a Growing Concern Among People with HIV

People with HIV continue to experience higher rates of both AIDS-defining and non-AIDS cancers in the era of effective antiretroviral therapy (ART), according to a report in the February 20, 2014, issue of AIDS. Increased longevity alone does not explain the rise in non-AIDS cancer rates, and further research is needed on the causes and best treatments for cancer in this population, the study authors concluded.

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Crofelemer Improves Diarrhea in People with HIV

Crofelemer (brand name Fulyzaq) was well-tolerated and significantly reduced non-infectious diarrhea among HIV positive people taking antiretroviral drugs, according to a study published in the November-December 2013 issue of HIV Clinical Trials.

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Electron Microscopy Provides Detailed Look at HIV in Gut Tissue

Imaging of active HIV infection of cells in gut tissue using 3-dimensional electron microscopy showed that the virus behaves differently in cultured cells and tissue infection models, providing new information about how HIV spreads within lymphoid tissue, according to a report in the January 30, 2014, edition of PLoS Pathogens.

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Highlights from 2013 ICAAC, IDWeek, and EACS Meetings

Latest Positive Pulse Newsletter

In this overview Paul Sax from Harvard Medical School and Mark Sulkowski from Johns Hopkins discuss selected highlights from this fall's Interscience Conference on Microbial Agents and Chemotherapy (ICAAC), IDWeek, and the European AIDS Conference. The newsletter is available to all for free, with continuing medical education (CME) credit available for physicians and nurses.alt