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AIDS 2016: Access to Home Testing Doubles Frequency of HIV Testing Among Australian Gay Men

A randomized trial conducted with Australian gay men has shown that easy access to self-testing kits can double the frequency with which men test for HIV, with an even greater increase among men who used to test infrequently, Muhammad Jamil of the Kirby Institute reported at the 21st International AIDS Conference (AIDS 2016) last month in Durban.

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AIDS 2016: HIV Viral Load Pilot Study Shows Roll-Out Will Depend on an Educated Workforce

For viral load testing to prevent HIV treatment failure, drug resistance, and onward transmission, treatment programs will need to invest in better record-keeping and clinic procedures, human resources, demand creation, and decentralization of second-line treatment provision, a large pilot study of viral load test provision in southern Africa has found. Findings were presented last month at the 21st International AIDS Conference (AIDS 2016) in Durban.

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AIDS 2016: Study Looks at Comprehensive HIV Treatment and Prevention Services for Sex Workers

A randomized trial of female sex workers in Zimbabwe, offering enhanced access to HIV treatment and pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP), has failed to show that the extra services helped reduce the proportion with detectable viral load, Frances Cowan reported at the 21st International AIDS Conference (AIDS 2016) last week in Durban. However, it appears that the comprehensive set of sex worker-friendly services offered in the control arm may have already been enough to substantially improve the health of participants.

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AIDS 2016: HIV Criminalization on the Rise, Especially in Sub-Saharan Africa

Globally, 72 countries have adopted laws that specifically allow for HIV criminalization, either because the law is specific to HIV, or because it names HIV as one (or more) of the diseases covered by a broader law. This total increases to 101 jurisdictions when the HIV criminalization laws in 30 of the states that make up the U.S. are counted individually. The findings were presented at the Beyond Blame pre-conference held in advance of the 21st International AIDS Conference (AIDS 2016) last month in Durban.

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AIDS 2016: Large Test-and-Treat Study Fails to Show Impact on New HIV Infections

The first major research study of "test and treat" as a public health intervention to report its final results -- ANRS 12249 -- has found that the strategy failed to reduce new HIV infections in the African communities where it was provided, according to a report at the 21st International AIDS Conference (AIDS 2016) last week in Durban.

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Coverage of 21st International AIDS Conference (AIDS 2016)

HIVandHepatitis.com coverage of the 21st International AIDS Conference (AIDS 2016), held July 18-22, in Durban, South Africa.

Conference highlights include PrEP and other biomedical HIV prevention, HIV cure research, experimental antiretroviral therapy, and access to treatment and prevention for key affected populations.

Full listing by topic

AIDS 2016 website

7/28/16

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AIDS 2016: Progress Towards 90-90-90 Targets in Southern Africa -- Find the Men!

Studies of treatment cascade performance in South Africa and Namibia show large variations between districts and highlight the need for up-to-date information on performance to guide programming, advocacy, and funding, according to presentations at the 21st International AIDS Conference (AIDS 2016) last week in Durban. In particular, the studies emphasized the low rates of HIV diagnosis among men in the region, and low rates of viral suppression, especially among men.

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AIDS 2016: START Analysis Looks at Who Benefits Most from Immediate HIV Treatment

Starting antiretroviral therapy (ART) soon after HIV diagnosis led to better outcomes than delayed treatment in all population subgroups in the START trial, researchers reported at the 21st International AIDS Conference (AIDS 2016) last week in Durban. But some people saw greater risk reductions, including those over age 50, those with a lower CD4:CD8 ratio and higher viral load, and those with cardiovascular risk factors.

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AIDS 2016: Dolutegravir Plus Lamivudine Works Well as First-Line HIV Treatment

A 2-drug regimen of dolutegravir and the well-tolerated NRTI lamivudine led to sustained viral suppression for most people starting antiretroviral therapy (ART) for the first time in a small pilot study, according to a late-breaker presentation at the 21st International AIDS Conference (AIDS 2016) last week in Durban.

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AIDS 2016: Starting Treatment on the Day of HIV Diagnosis Improves Outcomes

Interventions to improve linkage to HIV care and retention in treatment which speed up the start of antiretroviral therapy (ART) or provide intensive support to people before starting treatment produce better retention than standard practices, researchers reported at the 21st International AIDS Conference (AIDS 2016) last week in Durban.

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AIDS 2016: More Confidence on Zero Risk -- Still No Linked HIV Infections in PARTNER Study

The PARTNER study, which 2 years ago generated headlines by establishing that the chance of an HIV-positive person with an undetectable viral load transmitting the virus was very low and quite possibly zero, released new data last week at the 21st International AIDS Conference (AIDS 2016) that further refined this estimate. The findings were also published in the July 12 New England Journal of Medicine.

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AIDS 2016: PrEP Rollout in France Tops 1000, Ipergay Shows 97% Effectiveness

Through July 2016, a total of 1077 people -- 96.4% of them gay men -- have started HIV pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP) through the public healthcare system in France, Jean-Michel Molina, principal investigator of the Ipergay trial, told delegates at the 21st International AIDS Conference (AIDS 2016) last week in Durban. 90 clinics now offer PrEP assessment and prescription, and 273 doctors have been accredited as PrEP physicians.

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AIDS 2016: New HIV Vaccine Efficacy Trial Set to Start this Year

A new efficacy trial for an HIV vaccine -- only the seventh ever conducted in the history of the epidemic -- will start this November, delegates heard at the 21st International AIDS Conference (AIDS 2016) taking place this week in Durban. The HVTN 702 study will enroll 5400 men and women in southern Africa, and is planned to last for 4 years. In May it was announced that a pilot study, HVTN 100, had met the criteria for the vaccine being taken forward into the larger study. But this week was the first time researchers revealed how well it had met those criteria.

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AIDS 2016: Early HIV Treatment -- Mothers Say They Need Time to Think

Findings from the first randomized controlled trial to date evaluating postpartum antiretroviral therapy (ART) for women with high CD4 cell counts (over 400 cells/mm3) highlight a critical need to increase treatment acceptance in this population, according to research presented at the 21st International AIDS Conference (AIDS 2016) last week in Durban.

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AIDS 2016: SEARCH Study Exceeds 90-90-90 Targets After 2 Years of HIV Test-and-Treat

A large study that embeds "'test-and-treat" for HIV within a larger multi-disease prevention campaign in rural Kenya and Uganda has achieved 82% viral suppression after 2 years, and has already exceeded UNAIDS targets for viral suppression after 1 year of activity, investigators from the SEARCH study reported at the 21st International AIDS Conference (AIDS 2016) this week in Durban.

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AIDS 2016: HIV Stigma Persists in the Undetectable Era

In an era of widespread HIV treatment and undetectable viral load, stigma remains a persistent feature in the lives of almost half of people living with diagnosed HIV in the U.K., according to findings from The People Living with HIV Stigma Survey UK 2015, reported at the 21st International AIDS Conference (AIDS 2016) last week in Durban. Nonetheless the majority of people with HIV score highly on measures of psychological resilience, enabling them to cope better with stigma.

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AIDS 2016: South Africa Has Driven Mother-to-Child HIV Transmission Down to 4%

Mother-to-child transmission (MTCT) of HIV at a population level was just over 4% at 18 months of follow-up in a national evaluation in South Africa, Ameena Goga, presenting on behalf of the South African prevention of mother-to-child transmission Evaluation Group, told participants at the 21st International AIDS Conference (AIDS 2016) this week in Durban. 

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AIDS 2016: Once-Daily Raltegravir Works as Well as Twice-Daily For Initial HIV Treatment

A new formulation of the integrase inhibitor raltegravir (Isentress) taken once daily suppressed HIV viral load as well as the older formulation taken twice a day in people being treated for the first time, according to findings from the ONCEMRK study presented in a late-breaker session at the 21st International AIDS Conference (AIDS 2016) last week in Durban.

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AIDS 2016: HIV Treatment Programs Need to Prepare for a "Youth Bulge"

Treatment programs in sub-Saharan Africa must prepare for a growing population of adolescents over the next few years as children born with HIV grow up and begin a transition from child health services to adult clinics, Mhairi Maskew from the University of Witwatersrand told participants at the 21st International AIDS Conference (AIDS 2016) this week in Durban.

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AIDS 2016: Bone Loss Recovers After Stopping PrEP, Biannual Kidney Monitoring Enough for Most

Young adults taking Truvada for pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP) experienced a modest decrease in bone mineral density early on, but this stabilized after a year and those who stopped taking it began to see a reversal of the decline, researchers reported last week at the 21st International AIDS Conference (AIDS 2016) in Durban. Another study found that clinically relevant declines in kidney function among Truvada PrEP users are rare and monitoring every 6 months is adequate for most people.

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AIDS 2016: Australia Adopts Ambitious Plan to Use PrEP to "Virtually Eliminate" HIV

Australia plans an ambitious program of pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP) provision for gay men at high risk of HIV, with the aim of "virtually eliminating" HIV in the gay community by 2020, Iryna Zablotska from the University of New South Wales told delegates at the 21st International AIDS Conference (AIDS 2016) this week in Durban. PrEP roll-out is also underway in some countries in Kenya and South Africa.

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