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FDA Approves Dolutegravir for Smaller Children with HIV

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration this week approved a supplemental indication for the HIV integrase inhibitor dolutegravir (Tivicay), allowing its use for children age 6 years and older who weigh as little as 30 kg. The drug is currently being evaluated in younger and smaller children.

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UN Commits to More HIV Treatment, but Key Populations Are Excluded

United Nations member states last week agreed to new targets for getting more people with HIV on treatment by 2020 and ending the AIDS epidemic as a public health threat by 2030 at the UN General Assembly High-Level Meeting on Ending AIDS. But a coalition of conservative countries was able to exclude civil society groups representing gay and transgender people and people who use drugs -- key affected populates that advocates say must be part of the conversation.

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Denmark Shows Success of HIV Treatment as Prevention Among Gay Men

A study by researchers at the University of California at Los Angeles and Copenhagen University Hospital provides the first unambiguous evidence of a link between high rates of viral suppression among gay men and falling HIV incidence, or the proportion of men who catch HIV each year.

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Starting HIV Treatment at First Clinic Visit After Diagnosis Improves Outcomes

A South African program aimed at shortening the usual process of HIV diagnosis, counseling, and preparation for antiretroviral therapy (ART) led to more people initiating treatment and achieving viral suppression, according to findings from the RapIT study published in the May 10 edition of PLoS Medicine.

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Study Sheds New Light on What Happens During Acute HIV Infection

An individual's HIV viral load set-point is generally reached about a month after plasma viremia is first detectable, according to an analysis published in the May 18 online edition of the New England Journal of Medicine. The RV217 study, which included more than 100 people with acute HIV infection in East Africa and Thailand, found that signs and symptoms were uncommon during the earliest stages of infection, and what happens during this period influences later disease progression.

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Small Risk of HIV Sexual Transmission Persists Through First 6 Months of ART

A risk of HIV transmission to sexual partners persists for 6 months after the initiation of antiretroviral therapy (ART), investigators from a large prospective prevention study confirm in the online edition of the Journal of Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndromes.

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Experimental HIV Vaccine to Enter Large Clinical Trial in South Africa

An investigational vaccine that showed promise in an earlier study will advance to a large-scale efficacy trial at 15 sites in South Africa, the U.S. National Institutes of Health (NIH) announced on May 18, marking HIV Vaccine Awareness Day. The new trial, HVTN 702, designed to determine if the vaccine is safe, well-tolerated, and effective at preventing HIV infection, is due to start this November, with results expected in 4 years.

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World Health Assembly Adopts Strategies for HIV, Viral Hepatitis, and STIs

The 194 member states participating in the 69th World Health Assembly, which governs the World Health Organization (WHO) in late May unanimously approved the adoption of WHO's draft global health sector strategies for management of HIV, viral hepatitis, and sexually transmitted infections (STIs) through the year 2021.

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HIV Prevalence and New Infections Highest Among Gay Men in Southern U.S.

The burden of HIV in the U.S. is disproportionately high for gay and bisexual men -- who account for about two-thirds of all newly diagnosed infections each year -- and HIV prevalence and new infections among men who have sex with men (MSM) is highest in states in the southeast, according to a new analysis published recently in the Journal of Medical and Internet Research -- Public Health and Surveillance.

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American Gay Men's Use of Condoms Has Been Falling for a Decade

There has been a long-term decline in condom use by American gay men, researchers from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reported in the May 5 online edition of AIDS. Similar declines have been seen among men whose sexual partners were of the same HIV status and among men who did not know their sexual partners’ status -- showing that the fall in condom use cannot be explained by sero-sorting or other sero-adaptive behaviors. Moreover, condom use began to fall long before pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP) became available.

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U.S. On Course to End Its HIV Epidemic -- Eventually

If current trends continue, the U.S. may eventually end its HIV epidemic, a mathematical model recently published in AIDS and Behavior shows. In 2009, the average number of people each person with HIV would infect during their lifetime fell below 1, and has now declined to 0.75, the model shows. This means the number of people living with HIV will eventually start to shrink, as more aging HIV-positive people start to die than new people getting infected. For the moment, however, since mortality among people with HIV also continues to fall, the number of people living with the virus continues to grow slowly.

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amfAR Announces New Round of HIV Cure Research Grants

This month amfAR, the Foundation for AIDS Research, announced that it has granted 7 awards for research on HIV persistence, the understanding of which could lead to new approaches to an HIV cure -- part of the organization's Countdown to a Cure for AIDS initiative.

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Diagnosis of Early HIV Infections May Have Contributed to Fall in Incidence in San Diego

An HIV testing program targeting individuals with acute or early infection likely contributed to a decline in incident or new infections in San Diego after 2008, investigators report in the May 11 online edition of Clinical Infectious Diseases. The Early Test initiative involved negative HIV antibody tests being rescreened using nucleic acid testing (NAT) -- a technique capable of detecting new HIV infections within 7-10 days after exposure.

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UNAIDS 90-90-90 Targets Could Prevent 2.5 Million HIV Deaths in South Africa

Achieving the UNAIDS 90-90-90 targets for getting more people with HIV tested and on effective treatment in South Africa would cost nearly 16 billion dollars over 10 years, but could avert more than 2 million new HIV infections and prevent 2.5 million deaths, according to a mathematical model analysis published in the May 31 online edition of Annals on Internal Medicine.

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Model Suggests There Are Fewer People with HIV in U.S. and More on Treatment

A study comparing recorded diagnoses of HIV with subsequent records of viral load and CD4 T-cell tests suggests that the number of people living with HIV in the U.S. could have been overestimated by as much as 45% -- and the proportion who are on antiretroviral therapy (ART) with undetectable viral loads could have been underestimated by as much as 50%. There could be as few as 820,000 people with HIV in the U.S. compared with the normally accepted figure of 1.2 million -- and up to 55% of those could be on ART and virally suppressed, compared with the most commonly quoted figure of 30%.

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June 5 Marks 35 Years Since First Report of AIDS

Sunday, June 5th marks the 35th anniversary of the first report of what would come to be known as AIDS. The past 3 decades have included remarkable progress in the field -- including highly effective antiretroviral therapy and a pill that can prevent HIV infection -- but much remains to be done to make these advances available to all who need them.

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BHIVA 2016: First Data on Uptake of HIV Self-Testing in the U.K.

Between April 2015 and February 2016, almost 28,000 people have paid £29.95 (about US$45) for a kit allowing them to test for HIV at home, according to a presentation at the recent British HIV Association (BHIVA) conference in Manchester. Marketing on Grindr has been important in driving sales, which have been concentrated in non-urban areas.

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17 Million People Worldwide Are Now Receiving HIV Treatment

The number of people with HIV receiving antiretroviral therapy (ART) worldwide has reached 17 million, although about the same number still do not have access to treatment and the decline in new infections has slowed, indicating the need to "reinvigorate" prevention efforts, according to the latest update from UNAIDS.

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High Prevalence of Geriatric Conditions Among HIV+ People Over Age 50 in San Francisco

Older HIV-positive people have a high prevalence of multiple age-related problems, investigators reported in the March 29 online edition of the Journal of Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndromes. The research involved people aged 50 years and older receiving outpatient care in San Francisco. Overall, 40% reported difficulties with daily activities, most reported loneliness, many had mild cognitive impairment, and 30% had only poor to fair quality of life.

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At Least 6000 People Thought to Be on HIV PrEP in San Francisco

New numbers from the city's largest pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP) programs, along with estimates from primary providers and other smaller sources, suggest that more than 6000 people in San Francisco are receiving or have received Truvada for HIV prevention, most of them gay and bisexual men.

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U.S. Government Updates Guidelines for HIV Post-Exposure Prophylaxis

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) in April issued their latest guidelines for non-occupational post-exposure prophylaxis (PEP) for people potentially exposed to HIV through sex or shared injection equipment. The update includes new antiretrovirals approved since the last revision, with the preferred regimen now being raltegravir (Isentress) or dolutegravir (Tivicay) plus tenofovir/emtricitabine (the drugs in Truvada).

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