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National Gay Men's HIV/AIDS Awareness Day: Half Untreated, Most Unaware of PrEP

Only 50% of gay and bi men diagnosed with HIV have started antiretroviral treatment and 42% have achieved undetectable viral load, according to a new Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) report released ahead of National Gay Men’s HIV/AIDS Awareness Day on September 27. A related survey from the Kaiser Family Foundation found that while gay and bi men see HIV as a top health issue, a majority do not get tested regularly and most do not know about pre-exposure prophylaxis, or PrEP.

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FDA Approves Elvitegravir and Cobicistat Booster as Stand-alone Drugs

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) this week approved Gilead Sciences next-generation HIV integrase inhibitor elvitegravir (brand name Viteka) and pharmacoenhancer cobicistat (Tybost) as stand-alone agents to be used in combination antiretroviral therapy. The 2 drugs were already available as part of the Stribild single-tablet regimen.

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ICAAC 2014: New Drug Isavuconazole Is Effective Against Opportunistic Fungal Infections

A new antifungal drug, isavuconazole, matched the efficacy of voriconazole for treatment of invasive fungal infections in cancer patients with compromised immunity, but with fewer side effects, researchers reported at the 54th Interscience Conference on Antimicrobial Agents and Chemotherapy last week in Washington, DC.Isavuconazole was shown to be effective against various fungal infections that act as opportunistic illnesses in people with HIV/AIDS, including Aspergillus, Candida, and Cryptococcus.

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Tenofovir Alafenamide Pill Matches Stribild, Gilead Will Seek Approval Soon

A new single-tablet regimen containing tenofovir alafenamide (TAF), elvitegravir, cobicistat, and emtricitabine worked as well as Stribild at 48 weeks in a pair of Phase 3 trials, but had less detrimental effects on the kidneys and bones, Gilead Sciences announced this week. These findings set the stage for evaluation by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration and European regulators.

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NIH Awards Grant for Vaginal Ring for HIV Prevention

The National Institutes of Health has awarded a $20 million grant to a consortium that will seek to develop an intravaginal ring that delivers antiretroviral drugs for prevention of HIV infection, the participating research institutions recently announced. The collaboration will test various combinations of antiretrovirals to determine which are most effective when delivered together for pre-exposure prophylaxis, or PrEP.

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More iPrEx and OLE Data Published: Adherence Higher in U.S.

Participants enrolled at the U.S. study sites of the global iPrEx trial of Truvada pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP) achieved better adherence than those in other countries, reaching 90% in San Francisco, researchers reported in the September 16 advance edition of Journal of Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndromes. Findings from the iPrEx open-label extension (OLE) were also recently published.

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ICAAC 2014: NRTI BMS-986001 Safe and Effective, but Associated with Resistance

BMS-986001, an experimental HIV nucleoside reverse transcriptase inhibitor, was shown to be as effective as tenofovir with less bone loss, but more people who took it developed resistance, researchers reported at the 54th Interscience Conference on Antimicrobial Agents and Chemotherapy this week in Washington, DC. Bristol-Myers Squibb has announced it will end its development of the drug.

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Many HIV Infections Among Gay Men May Be Related to Condom Failure

About half of all new HIV infections among men who have sex with men in Canada may occur during anal sex with a condom, suggesting that condom failure is more common than previously recognized, according to a report in the September 11 edition of PLoS ONE.

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ICAAC 2014: PK Study Shows Feasibility of Long-acting Integrase Inhibitor Cabotegravir

A pharmacokinetic (PK) analysis presented at the 54th Interscience Conference on Antimicrobial Agents and Chemotherapy this week in Washington, DC, confirmed that the long-acting HIV integrase inhibitor cabotegravir (formerly GSK1265744) reaches adequate target levels in the blood, setting the stage for efficacy trials for HIV treatment and pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP).

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ICAAC 2014: Stribild Works Well Regardless of Age, Sex, or Race/Ethnicity

The elvitegravir-based Stribild single-tablet regimen demonstrated good long-term efficacy and tolerability -- including fewer neuropsychiatric side effects than Atripla -- with consistent results across demographic subgroups, researchers reported at the 54th Interscience Conference on Antimicrobial Agents and Chemotherapy this month in Washington, DC. Other studies showed that Stribild is a good option for black patients either initiating or switching antiretroviral therapy (ART).

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Coverage of the Interscience Conference on Antimicrobial Agents and Chemotherapy

HIVandHepatitis.com coverage of the 54th Interscience Conference on Antimicrobial Agents and Chemotherapy (ICAAC 2014), September 5-9, in Washington, DC.

Conference highlights include experimental antiretroviral therapies for HIV, interferon-free treatment for hepatitis C, and news about other infectious diseases including tuberculosis, HPV, influenza, and Ebola virus.

Full listing of coverage by topic

ICAAC 2014 website

9/8/14

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PrEP Rally: As Numbers Rise, Advocates Want Wider Access

The number of people using pre-exposure prophylaxis, or PrEP, to prevent HIV infection has risen steadily over the past year, according to data presented this week at a San Francisco community engagement forum. But PrEP advocates -- including 3 city supervisors -- say more needs to be done to overcome barriers to access for all who want it.

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ICAAC 2014: New Tenofovir Alafenamide Combo Pill Has Less Effect on Kidneys and Bones

An experimental single-tablet regimen containing a new version of tenofovir (tenofovir alafenamide or TAF) and the HIV protease inhibitor darunavir (Prezista) worked as well as a similar regimen containing the older tenofovir disoproxil fumarate (TDF) formulation,but it had less detrimental effects on kidney function and bone density, according to a study presented at the 54th Interscience Conference on Antimicrobial Agents and Chemotherapy this week in Washington, DC.

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ICAAC 2014: Cobicistat Long-term Efficacy Matches Ritonavir as PI Booster

Long-term rates of viral suppression and side effects were similar among people using cobicistat and those using ritonavir as a booster for atazanavir (Reyataz), according to 3-year data presented at the 54th Interscience Conference on Antimicrobial Agents and Chemotherapy last week in Washington, DC. Another study found that cobicistat was well-tolerated by people with mild-to-moderate kidney impairment.

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ICAAC 2014: Sangamo Provides Update on Gene Therapy to Protect T-cells From HIV

Several people with HIV whose CD4 T-cells were modified to make them resistant to viral entry have maintain low-level viral load after interrupting antiretroviral therapy (ART), with 1 individual having HIV RNA <1000 copies/mL for more than a year, according to a presentation at the 54th Interscience Conference on Antimicrobial Agents and Chemotherapy this week in Washington, DC.

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ICAAC 2014: Tenofovir Vaginal Ring and Nanoparticle Gel Are Protective in Animal Studies

A vaginal ring that dispenses tenofovir protected all 6 macaque monkeys exposed to an HIV-like virus, while a heat-sensitive vaginal gel containing tenofovir nanoparticles prevented infection of mice, researchers reported at the 54th Interscience Conference on Antimicrobial Agents and Chemotherapy last week in Washington, DC.

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Maraviroc Dose May Be Too Low for Many African-American People with HIV

A standard dose of the CCR5 antagonist maraviroc (Selzentry) may not be effective for many black people with HIV due to a genetic variation which increases production of a cytochrome P450 protein that speeds up processing of the drug, according to a study published in the August 12 advance edition of Drug Metabolism and Disposition.

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PrEP by the Numbers: Interpreting Conflicting Study Data

A recent ad campaign from the AIDS Healthcare Foundation has kicked of a new round of controversy about HIV pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP) and how to interpret apparently conflicting numbers from prevention studies.

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AIDS 2014: Most Gay Men Who Don’t Use Condoms Attempt to Reduce HIV Risk

Three-quarters of Australian gay and bisexual men who report unprotected anal intercourse with casual male partners say that they often or always employ some sort of risk reduction strategy with those partners, according to a report at the 20th International AIDS Conference in Melbourne. Many men attempt to select partners who they believe have the same HIV status as themselves (serosorting), a significant proportion use condoms most but not all of the time, and smaller numbers practice "strategic positioning" or withdrawal before ejaculation.

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September 18 is National HIV/AIDS and Aging Awareness Day

This Thursday, September 18, is the 7th annual National HIV/AIDS and Aging Awareness Day (NHAAAD), an occasion to focus on the challenges facing the aging population regarding HIV prevention, testing, care, and treatment, as well as overall health and wellbeing for the growing population of older people living with HIV.

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Mississippi Baby and Other Relapsers Hold Lessons for HIV Cure

Despite the disappointment felt by many, the return of detectable HIV in the Mississippi Baby and 2 patients who received bone marrow transplants are of "enormous scientific importance" and indicate that addressing the latent viral reservoir is the major challenge in achieving a cure or long-term remission, according to an editorial in the August 29 edition of Science.

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