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San Francisco AIDS Foundation Opens Strut Health and Wellness Center

The San Francisco AIDS Foundation's new integrated health and wellness center for gay men -- dubbed Strut -- opened its doors in the heart of the Castro neighborhood on January 4 after a long delay, and hosted an opening celebration and ribbon-cutting ceremony on January 5.

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HIV Salvage Regimens Can Safely Omit NRTIs, Study Says

Nucleoside/nucleotide reverse transcriptase inhibitors (NRTIs) can be safely omitted from HIV salvage therapy, investigators from Brown University report in the December 15, 2015 Annals of Internal Medicine. "Omitting NRTIs will reduce pill burden, cost, and toxicity in this patient population," the study authors conclude.

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8. Long-term HIV Remission and Post-Treatment Control

A young woman who was infected with HIV at birth and received very early antiretroviral therapy (ART) as a baby has maintained a viral load below the limit of detectability of standard tests for more than 12 years after stopping treatment, shedding more light on "post-treatment control" as a potential functional cure strategy.

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No New HIV Infections Among Consistent Truvada Users in PrEP Demo Project

HIV incidence was "extremely low" in a pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP) demonstration project at community-based clinics in Miami, San Francisco, and Washington, DC, and no new infections were seen among gay and bisexual men who took Truvada (tenofovir/emtricitabine) at least twice a week, according to a report in the January 26 edition of JAMA Internal Medicine. PrEP adherence was higher among people at greater risk for HIV.

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9. HIV and Hepatitis C Treatment Cost and Barriers to Access

Lack of access to HIV and hepatitis C treatment were key issues this year, as studies showed that type of health insurance affects the likelihood of successful treatment. HIV now has the potential to be a chronic manageable illness and hepatitis C can usually be cured, but major barriers and disparities continue to keep many people from accessing treatment.

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New HIV Diagnoses Stable In Western Europe, Rising in Central and Eastern Europe

The annual surveillance report recently released by the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC) shows that the number and rate of new diagnoses of HIV is continuing to rise in Eastern Europe, and is also rising sharply, though from a much lower base, in Central Europe. Meanwhile, the annual number of new diagnoses is stable in Western Europe, but continues to increase among gay men and other men who have sex with men (MSM) in most Central European and Western European countries.

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San Francisco AIDS Foundation Opens Strut Health and Wellness Center2

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Top 10 HIV and Hepatitis Stories of 2015

Antiretroviral treatment for everyone living with HIV, expansion of pre-exposure prophylaxis (better known as PrEP) for HIV prevention, and access to interferon-free therapies for hepatitis C topped the HIV and viral hepatitis headlines this year and will continue to be major issues going into 2016. Here's a look back at some of our biggest news from 2015.

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Happy New Year from HIVandHepatitis.com

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2. More Evidence Shows PrEP Is Highly Effective

Pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP) was again a major HIV story in the mainstream media in 2015, amid growing evidence that it is highly effective both in research studies and in real-world practice when taken consistently.

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Happy Holidays from HIVandHepatitis.com

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1. Treat Everyone Living with HIV

In September the World Health Organization released updated guidelines calling for antiretroviral therapy (ART) for everyone diagnosed with HIV regardless of CD4 T-cell count, as well as pre-exposure prophylaxis for people at substantial risk of infection. WHO estimates that the recommendations, if widely adopted, could avert 21 million deaths and prevent 28 million new infections worldwide by 2030.

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Coverage of the 2015 National HIV Prevention Conference

HIVandHepatitis.com coverage of the 2015 National HIV Prevention Coference, (NHPC 2015), December 6-9 in Atlanta.

Conference highlights include HIV pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP), antiretroviral treatment as prevention, syringe exchange, and addressing disparities in HIV incidence and outcomes.

Full listing by topic

NHPC 2015 website

7/22/15

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4. Getting to Zero -- Progress Toward Ending HIV Epidemic

In July UNAIDS released a report showing that the Millennium Development Goal of getting 15 million people with HIV worldwide onto antiretroviral therapy (ART) by 2015 -- a goal many once considered impossible -- had been reached 9 months sooner than projected. Other targets have also been achieved or exceeded, as new HIV infections have decreased by 35% and AIDS-related deaths by 41%.

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HIVandHepatitis.com 2015 Conference Coverage

Article listings by topic from all HIVandHepatitis.com conference coverage in 2015, including the Conference on Retroviruses and Opportunistic Infections (CROI), EASL International Liver Congress, International AIDS Society Conference in Vancouver, and AASLD Liver Meeting.

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5. Indiana HIV Outbreak Linked to Opioid Injection

In January the Indiana State Department of Health and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) began investigating an outbreak of HIV in rural Scott County, near the Kentucky border. The CDC issued an official health advisory in April, and CDC and Indiana investigators published a report in the May 1 edition of Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report.

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NHPC 2015: Evidence for PrEP Efficacy Grows, but Implementation Presents Challenges

Pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP) was a major topic at the 2015 National HIV Prevention Conference(NHPC) last week in Atlanta. A growing body of evidence continues to confirm that Truvada PrEP is highly effective for preventing HIV if taken regularly, both in clinical trials and in real-world clinical use. Yet uptake has been uneven, and researchers and front-line health workers are learning about barriers to PrEP implementation and scale-up for diverse population groups.

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6. New TAF Version of Tenofovir Approved in Combo Pill

In November the U.S. Food and Drug Administration announced the approval of Gilead Sciences' Genvoya, a new single-tablet regimen containing the integrase inhibitor elvitegravir, the booster cobicistat, emtricitabine, and tenofovir alafenamide or TAF -- a new formulation that is easier on the kidneys and bones than the older tenofovir disoproxil fumarate (TDF).

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NHPC 2015: U.S. Syringe Funding Ban Impedes HIV and Hepatitis C Prevention

Providing sterile syringes is a proven effective method for preventing HIV and hepatitis C virus (HCV) infections among people who inject drugs, yet the U.S. government continues to prohibit use of federal funds for this purpose, presenters said at the 2015 National HIV Prevention Conference (NHPC) last week in Atlanta. A federal budget bill now under consideration could lift the funding ban on syringe exchange programs. 

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7. Simplified Dolutegravir Therapy Looks Promising

The potent HIV integrase inhibitor dolutegravir (Tivicay) taken with a single well-tolerated NRTI fully suppressed viral load in people starting antiretroviral therapy for the first time, while dolutegravir monotherapy was able to keep HIV suppressed in most treatment-experienced people who started with undetectable viral load, according to studies presented at the European AIDS Conference in October.

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Trials Offer Evidence-based Blueprint for HIV Treatment and Prevention

A trio of major clinical trials -- SMART, START, and HPTN 052 -- provide definitive evidence supporting prompt antiretroviral treatment for all people diagnosed with HIV, both to improve their own health and to reduce the risk of transmission to others, according to a recent commentary published in the December 3 edition of the New England Journal of Medicine. Further, results from the IPERGAY study, published in the same issue, add to the growing body of evidence supporting pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP) for HIV prevention.

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