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People with HIV Are at Higher Risk for Cancers Linked to Smoking, Viruses

People with HIV appeared to have a higher overall rate of cancer in a large Danish study, but the difference was only significant for malignancies caused by smoking or other viruses, including lung cancer, anal cancer, and liver cancer. A related U.S. study found the rate of prostate cancer was actually lower among HIV positive men.

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June 5 is National HIV/AIDS Long-Term Survivors Awareness Day

The first National HIV/AIDS Long-Term Survivor Awareness Day (NHALTSAD) will take place this week on June 5. The day is one that has historical significance in San Francisco, but also globally, because it was the same day in 1981 that the U.S. Centers for Disease Control (CDC) reported the first cases of a new and devastating disease we now know as AIDS.

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March 20 Is National Native HIV/AIDS Awareness Day

Tuesday, March 20, marks the 8th annual observation of National Native HIV/AIDS Awareness Day (NNHAAD), an occasion to raise awareness about HIV and AIDS among American Indians, Alaska Natives, and Native Hawaiians.

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AAHIVM, AGS, and ACRIA Release Updated Recommendations for Older Patients with HIV

The American Academy of HIV Medicine (AAHIVM), ACRIA, and the American Geriatrics Society (AGS) this week announced a major update to its 2011 report,  Recommended Treatment Strategies for Clinicians Managing Older Patients with HIV, available online at www.HIV-Age.org. Revised topics include assessing functional capacity, smoking cessation, and management of diabetes, COPD, osteoporosis, and hypertension.

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People with HIV Have Higher Risk of Melanoma Skin Cancer

People with HIV -- especially those with light skin -- continue to have a significantly increased risk of developing melanoma in the era of highly effective antiretroviral therapy, and should protect themselves from the sun, according to a meta-analysis published in the April 16 edition of the open-access journal PLoS ONE.

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New Studies Offer More Insight on HIV Sexual Transmission and Prevention

A new estimate puts the likelihood of HIV transmission via receptive anal sex at 138 per 10,000 acts, but looking at probabilities over a longer period provides a better understanding of risk than per-act probabilities, according to a pair of studies in the May 6 advance online edition of AIDS. Mathematical models showed that combining prevention methods -- especially those that include antiretroviral treatment-as-prevention or PrEP -- can greatly reduce the risk of transmission.

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New CDC Guidelines: People at Risk for HIV Should Consider Truvada PrEP

Healthcare providers should advise people at "substantial risk" for HIV infection about pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP) using tenofovir/emtricitabine, or Truvada, according to new guidelines issued by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). This includes HIV negative people in an ongoing sexual relationship with HIV positive partners, gay or bisexual men who have had sex without condoms during the past 6 months, heterosexual men and women who have sex without condoms with at-risk partners, and injection drug users.

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Kidney Drug Sevelamer May Reduce Gut Leakage During Acute HIV Infection

The phosphate-binding agent sevelamer can bind to bacterial toxins and reduce excessive immune activation in macaque monkeys with a simian virus similar to HIV, according to a report in the June 2 Journal of Clinical Investigation. A related study, however, failed to see a reduction in inflammation biomarkers in people with untreated HIV disease.

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Earlier Antiretroviral Therapy Lowers Risk of Progression to AIDS and Related Conditions

Starting antiretroviral therapy (ART) at higher CD4 cell levels can significantly reduce the risk of AIDS-related clinical events, especially tuberculosis, as well as dramatically reducing the likelihood of HIV sexual transmission, according to findings from the HPTN 052 study published in the April 2014 issue of Lancet Infectious Diseases.

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ASCO: HCV Reactivation, Brain Involvement Do Not Worsen Lymphoma Survival for People with HIV

Reactivation of hepatitis C was common among HIV positive people with lymphoma, but did not appear to lead to worse outcomes or decreased survival, according to a study presented at the 50th American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO) meeting this week in Chicago. A related study found that having central nervous system involvement at the time of diagnosis did not decrease survival of people with AIDS-related lymphoma.

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Harm Reduction Program Reduces Meth Use and HIV Risk Behavior Among Gay Men

Participants in the Stonewall Project, a harm reduction-based substance use program, reduced their use of methamphetamine and cocaine and engaged in less risky sexual behavior that could lead to HIV transmission, according to a pair of studies described in the April 14 online edition of the Journal of Urban Health.

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HIV and Hepatitis C Highlights from CROI 2014

Latest Positive Pulse Newsletter

In this overview, Paul Sax from Harvard Medical School and Mark Sulkowski from Johns Hopkins School of Medicine discuss selected highlights from the recent Conference on Retroviruses and Opportunistic Infections (CROI 2014), focusing on antiretroviral therapy, HIV cure research, and new treatments for hepatitis C and HIV/HCV coinfection.

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Human Papillomavirus Vaccine Is Effective for Women with HIV

HIV positive women respond well to the Gardasil human papillomavirus (HPV) vaccine, offering them protection against cervical cancer, according to a study published in the April 14 electronic edition of Clinical Infectious Diseases. Related recent research found that both Gardasil and Cervarix are effective in people with HIV.

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Rilpivirine Is Associated with Less Blood Fat Elevation than Efavirenz

People with HIV who started first-line treatment with a regimen containing rilpivirine (Edurant, also in the Complera coformulation) had smaller blood lipid increases and were less likely to have abnormal levels than those who started on efavirenz (Sustiva, also in the Atripla coformulation), according to 2-year data from the ECHO and THRIVE trials published in the April 11 online edition of Clinical Infectious Diseases.

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Coral Proteins Block HIV from Entering Cells, May Be Useful in Microbicides

A set of proteins derived from soft coral identified from a National Cancer Institute repository of biological chemicals can bind to HIV and prevent it entering immune cells, suggesting it may have potential for use in microbicide gels or other products to prevent transmission of the virus, according to a poster presented at the Experimental Biology 2014 meeting last week in San Diego.

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People with HIV Have Higher Bone Fracture Risk in Danish Study

Being HIV positive was associated with a nearly 3-fold greater likelihood of bone fractures overall -- and a 9-fold higher risk of hip and spine fractures -- compared with HIV negative people, according to results from a large Danish population study described in the May 1 Journal of Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndromes.

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Updated Antiretroviral Treatment Guidelines Include Cost Considerations

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) this week released an update to its Guidelines for the Use of Antiretroviral Agents in HIV-1-Infected Adults and Adolescents. Among the major changes are the addition of a new section on cost considerations and a recommendation for less frequent CD4 T-cell monitoring for people without advanced disease.

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San Francisco HIV Forum Asks: Is Undetectable the New Negative?

More than 100 participants packed the Eureka Valley Recreation Center in San Francisco on May 20 for the latest Real Talk discussion of new HIV prevention strategies including pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP) and antiretroviral treatment as prevention.

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Inherited Low Cholesterol in Immune Cells Linked to Slower HIV Disease Progression

A genetic variation linked to lower levels of intracellular cholesterol is associated with reduced transmission of HIV between immune cells, which may contribute to slower evolution of disease in non-progressors, according to a report in the April 29, 2014, edition of the electronic journal mBio, published by the American Society for Microbiology.

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Is HIV Transmission Risk Really Near Zero If HIV+ Heterosexual Partners Are on ART?

Serodiscordant heterosexual couples in which the positive partner has been on combination antiretroviral therapy (ART) for more than 6 months may have an HIV transmission risk as high as 13 per 100,000 sex acts -- but the risk could also be zero -- according to an estimate based on a systematic review described in the April 9 online edition of Clinical Infectious Diseases.

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New Recommendations for Earlier HIV Screening and PrEP for Women

The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists last week issued 2 new recommendations on screening and prevention of HIV in women. The first matches the CDC's recommendation that HIV screening should start at age 13 and should be offered at least annually to at-risk women. The second advises that pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP) -- using antiretroviral medications such as Truvada to prevent HIV infection -- may be a useful tool for women at highest risk, including those with HIV positive male partners.

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