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HIV Triggers CD4 T-Cell Death via Inflammation

HIV infection sets off a vicious cycle of inflammation and cell death dubbed "pyroptosis" -- or fiery cell suicide -- according to a pair of recent reports from researchers at UCSF's Gladstone Institutes.

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PrEP Does Not Promote Increased Sexual Risk Behavior among Gay Men

Using Truvada (tenofovir/emtricitabine) for pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP) to prevent HIV infection was not associated with an increase in sex without condoms and it appears to promote active engagement in risk reduction, according to a report in the December 18, 2013, edition of PLoS ONE.

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Antiretroviral Treatment Has Saved Nearly 3 Million Life-years in South Africa

Widespread use of effective antiretroviral therapy (ART) has led to "massive benefits" in hard-hit South Africa, saving an estimated 2.8 million life-years by 2012, and potentially up to 22 million years over the lifetime of treated individuals, according to a modeling study described in the December 3, 2013, advance edition of the Journal of Infectious Diseases.

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HIV+ People on ART May Match General Population Life Expectancy

Young adults with HIV in high-income countries who take effective antiretroviral therapy (ART) may live nearly as long as HIV negative people in the general population, according to findings from the NA-ACCORD collaboration published in the December 18, 2013, edition of PLoS ONE.

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HIV/AIDS Community Mourns Passing of Nelson Mandela

Numerous HIV/AIDS activists and organizations have joined the worldwide chorus of acclaim for former South African president Nelson Mandela, who in his later years was credited with strengthening that country's response to AIDS, especially after his son died of the disease.

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FDA Approves Complera as Switch Option for People with Suppressed HIV

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration this month expanded the indication for the single-tablet regimen Complera (rilpivirine/tenofovir/emtricitabine, known as Eviplera in Europe). The 3-in-1 combination pill is now approved for people with suppressed viral load who wish to switch regimens.

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HIV Re-emerges in Boston Bone Marrow Transplant Patients

Two bone marrow stem cell recipients who had undetectable HIV according to the most sensitive tests for months after an experimental antiretroviral therapy (ART) interruption have experienced viral rebound and had to restart treatment, frustrating hopes for a functional cure, according to a report at the 6th International Workshop on HIV Persistence during Therapy last week in Miami.

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FDA Approves Complera as Switch Option for People with Suppressed HIV

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World AIDS Day: More Funding for HIV Cure, Global Fund, No One on ADAP Wait List

Acknowledging World AIDS Day on December 1, President Obama announced that the National Institutes of Health (NIH) would reallocate $100 million over the next 3 years towards HIV cure research and donate up to $5 billion to the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria. In other funding news, NASTAD announced last week that there are currently no people with HIV on AIDS Drug Assistance Program (ADAP) waiting lists.

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Severe Seroconversion Symptoms Predict Faster HIV Disease Progression

People who experience more severe symptoms or who have lower CD4 T-cell counts when they first become infected with HIV are more likely to experience faster disease progression later on, according to an international study described in the November 14, 2013, edition of PLoS Medicine.

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New HIV Strain May Lead to Faster Disease Progression

A newly identified natural recombinant form of HIV, dubbed A3/02, was associated with nearly a 3-fold higher risk of progression to AIDS and AIDS-related death -- as well as a shorter time from seroconversion to AIDS or death --compared with 2 more common types found in West Africa, researchers reported in the August 9 advance edition of the Journal of Infectious Diseases.

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BMS Licenses Atazanavir to Medicines Patent Pool, Allowing Cheaper Generics

Bristol-Myers Squibb and the Medicines Patent Pool have reached a licensing agreement that will enable generic drug manufacturers to produce inexpensive versions of the HIV protease inhibitor atazanavir (Reyataz), as well as fixed-dose combinations containing the drug, for use in low-income countries, MPP recently announced. It is the first MPP agreement to cover a preferred second-line therapy.

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Unprotected Sex Rising Among Gay and Bi Men, Knowing HIV Status Reduces Risk

A majority of new HIV infection occurred among gay and bisexual men in all but 2 states, according to the latest data from the National HIV Behavioral Surveillance System, described in the November 29, 2013, Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report. Although the number of gay men reporting unprotected anal sex rose significantly from 2005 to 2011, men who knew they were HIV positive were less likely to engage in risky sex than men who remained unaware of their status.

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Nutritional Supplements Beneficial for HIV+ People Who Do Not Yet Need ART

HIV positive people with CD4 cell counts above 350 cells/mm3 who have not yet started antiretroviral therapy (ART) may reduce their risk of disease progression, immune system decline, and death if they take a multivitamin and selenium supplement, according to a study from Botswana published in the November 27, 2013, issue of JAMA.

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UNAIDS Reports Progress Ahead of World AIDS Day

Sunday, December 1, is the 26th annual observance of World AIDS Day. In advance of the commemoration, UNAIDS issued its 2013 annual report, AIDS by the numbers, showing that most areas of the world have seen accelerated progress against the epidemic, but some are falling behind. The U.S. Congress last week passed the PEPFAR Stewardship and Oversight Act of 2013, extending international HIV/AIDS funding for another 5 years.

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San Francisco Forum Discusses Condomless Sex and HIV Prevention

A standing-room-only crowd packed the house at Magnet in San Francisco's Castro district on December 3 for a Real Talk discussion about condomless sex and HIV prevention. A panel of community members and medical experts considered questions such as: Why do gay and bisexual men have condom-free sex? Are community attitudes around condom use changing? and How do treatment as prevention and pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP) factor into the equation?

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Researchers Reveal Structure of HIV Envelope Protein Used to Enter Cells

Scientists have created a sturdier version of HIV's envelope protein, known as Env, which they used to determine a more complete picture of its overall architecture, the National Institutes of Health announced this week. Better understanding of the protein's structure could aid in the development of HIV vaccines or entry inhibitor drugs.

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IDSA Issues New Guidelines for Vaccination of Immune-compromised People

The Infectious Diseases Society of America (IDSA) this month released new recommendations for vaccinations for people with HIV and other immune-compromising conditions. The guidelines were published in the December 4, 2013, advance edition of Clinical Infectious Diseases.

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CDC Briefing Discusses Complex Causes of Rising HIV Rates Among Young Gay Men

In the lead-up to World AIDS Day, the CDC hosted an LGBT media web briefing on combatting the resurgence of HIV among young gay and bisexual men, in collaboration with the Human Rights Campaign Foundation, the National Black Gay Men's Advocacy Coalition, and New York's Ali Forney Center. Panelist discussed the many social factors -- including homophobia, racism, depression, drug and alcohol use, and homelessness -- that contribute to higher HIV risk among young men who have sex with men.

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Conditioning with Cytoxan Increases Protected Cells in HIV Gene Therapy Trial

Administering cyclophosphamide (Cytoxan), a chemotherapy drug toxic to certain immune cells, prior to zinc-finger gene therapy appears to make room for increased proliferation of altered CD4 T-cells lacking the CCR5 co-receptor, researchers reported at the 6th International Workshop on HIV Persistence during Therapy last week in Miami.

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HIV Integrase Inhibitor Elvitegravir Approved in European Union

The next-generation HIV integrase inhibitor elvitegravir has been approved by the European Commission, to be marketed under the brand name Vitekta, according to an announcement this week from developer Gilead Sciences. It is indicated for use in combination antiretriviral regimens containing a ritonavir-boosted protease inhibitor.

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