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Electron Microscopy Provides Detailed Look at HIV in Gut Tissue

Imaging of active HIV infection of cells in gut tissue using 3-dimensional electron microscopy showed that the virus behaves differently in cultured cells and tissue infection models, providing new information about how HIV spreads within lymphoid tissue, according to a report in the January 30, 2014, edition of PLoS Pathogens.

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Low Drug Levels in Lymphatic Tissue May Underlie Low HIV Viral Load

HIV continues to replicate in the lymph nodes of people taking antiretroviral therapy (ART) that suppresses viral load in peripheral blood, according to a small study in the January 27 early online edition of Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. Several commonly used antiretroviral drugs reached lower concentrations in lymphatic tissue compared with blood, allowing ongoing virus production that may contribute to increased inflammation and immune activation in people with apparently well-controlled HIV.

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Short Antiretroviral Therapy Beneficial during Primary HIV Infection

A short course of combination antiretroviral therapy (ART) started during primary HIV infection is associated with CD4 T-cell gains and viral load reductions after treatment is stopped, according to a meta-analysis published in the December 6 edition of PLoS ONE.

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Crofelemer Improves Diarrhea in People with HIV

Crofelemer (brand name Fulyzaq) was well-tolerated and significantly reduced non-infectious diarrhea among HIV positive people taking antiretroviral drugs, according to a study published in the November-December 2013 issue of HIV Clinical Trials.

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Most U.S. Providers Support PrEP, but Not Many Have Prescribed It

About three-quarters of infectious disease physicians in North America said they favored HIV pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP), but only 9% reported that they had prescribed Truvada (tenofovir/emtricitabine) for this purpose, according to a report in the December 6, 2013, advance edition of Clinical Infectious Diseases.

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Highlights from 2013 ICAAC, IDWeek, and EACS Meetings

Latest Positive Pulse Newsletter

In this overview Paul Sax from Harvard Medical School and Mark Sulkowski from Johns Hopkins discuss selected highlights from this fall's Interscience Conference on Microbial Agents and Chemotherapy (ICAAC), IDWeek, and the European AIDS Conference. The newsletter is available to all for free, with continuing medical education (CME) credit available for physicians and nurses.alt

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Happy New Year from HIVandHepatitis.com

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Low CD4 Count Raises Risk of Heart Attack, Bone Loss

HIV positive people whose CD4 T-cell count falls below 200 cells/mm3 are at greater risk for myocardial infarction, though the heart attack rate is not elevated for people with counts of 500 cells/mm3 or more, researchers recently reported. Another study found that people with low CD4 counts have a higher likelihood of bone loss after starting antiretroviral therapy (ART).

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HIVandHepatitis.com Complete 2013 Conference Coverage

HIVandHepatitis.com 2013 conference and meeting coverage.

Full conference listing

12/30/13

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Dolutegravir for HIV and Sofosbuvir for Hepatitis C Approved in Europe

The European Commission this week approved 2 important new drugs, ViiV Healthcare's HIV integrase inhibitor dolutegravir (brand name Tivicay) and Gilead Science's nucleotide hepatitis C virus polymerase inhibitor sofosbuvir (Sovaldi).

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Top 13 HIV and Hepatitis Stories of 2013

In our last issue for 2013, HIVandHepatitis.com reviews some the year's major HIV, viral hepatitis, and related news highlights, including the advent of effective new therapies for hepatitis C, new global guidelines recommending earlier HIV treatment, and mixed results in the HIV cure field.

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CD4 T Memory Stem Cells Act as HIV Reservoir

A specific type of long-lived CD4 T-cells known as T memory stem cells continue to harbor high levels of HIV DNA despite suppressive antiretroviral therapy, and may constitute one of the main reservoirs that make the virus so difficult to eradicate, according to a reports in the January 12, 2014, online edition of Nature Medicine.

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Happy Holidays from HIVandHepatitis.com

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Researchers Find New Toxic Weapon Against HIV in Mouse Study

Researchers have developed a targeted cytotoxin, or cell-toxic agent, to kill HIV that persists in various tissue reservoirs despite antiretroviral therapy, according to a report in the January 9, 2014, issue of PLoS Pathogens.

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HIV Infection Linked to Structural Heart Disease

People with HIV who have detectable viral load are more likely to have structural heart problems such as left ventricular hypertrophy, diastolic dysfunction, or pulmonary hypertension, according to research presented at the recent EuroEcho-Imaging 2013 conference in Istanbul.

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Studies Shed Light on Sexual Transmission of HIV Among Young Gay Men

Young men who have sex with men tend to have higher HIV viral load compared with heterosexuals, contributing to a greater likelihood of transmission, according to a recent report. Another recent study offers more information on the risk of HIV transmission associated with specific sexual activities in the absence of antiretroviral treatment.

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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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FDA Approves Oral Raltegravir for Children with HIV

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) last month approved a new dosage form of the HIV integrase inhibitor raltegravir (Isentress). The new raltegravir oral suspension is indicated for pediatric patients age 4 weeks or older weighing 3-20 kg (about 7-44 lb).

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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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Ribonucleoside Analogs May Be Potential New Class of HIV Drug

A set of compounds known as ribonucleoside analogs -- related to the nucleoside/nucleotide reverse transcriptase inhibitors that currently form the backbone of combination antiretroviral therapy -- demonstrated activity against HIV in laboratory studies, halting viral replication by interrupting HIV DNA production or causing lethal mutations, according to a report in the January 2014 Journal of Virology.

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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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