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Sunday Is National Black HIV/AIDS Awareness Day

February 7 is National Black HIV/AIDS Awareness Day (NBHAAD), an opportunity to raise awareness about the disproportionate burden of HIV/AIDS among African Americans.According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), African Americans accounted for 45% of new HIV infections in 2013, with young black gay and bisexual men being the most heavily affected.

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African Americans Have Highest HIV Incidence, Lowest Rate of Consistent Care

African Americans in the U.S. have the highest rate of new HIV infections, but black people living with HIV are less likely than white or Latino Americans to receive consistent, ongoing medical care, according to a new Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) report published in the February 5 Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Reportin advance of National Black HIV/AIDS Awareness Day. These findings, the CDC said, "demonstrate yet another persistent disparity that prolongs the epidemic among African Americans."

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Study Sheds Light on Ongoing HIV Replication in Lymph Node Reservoirs

HIV may continue to replicate in sanctuary sites in lymphoid tissues despite antiretroviral therapy, and may not necessarily develop drug resistance mutations, researchers reported in the January 27 online edition of Nature. While the existence of HIV reservoirs is well known, further characterizing the behavior of the virus in these sites could suggest new approaches to a cure.

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Tenofovir Resistance May Develop in More than Half of Patients Failing Treatment

More than half of people who experienced failure of a tenofovir-based antiretroviral regimen in sub-Saharan Africa had resistance to tenofovir, a meta-analysis of drug resistance studies published in the January 28 online edition of Lancet Infectious Diseases has shown. The study found that the prevalence of tenofovir resistance after first-line treatment failure ranged from 20% in Western Europe and North America to 56%-60% in sub-Saharan Africa.

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Updated Antiretroviral Therapy Guidelines Emphasize Benefits of Early HIV Treatment

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services has updated itsGuidelines for the Use of Antiretroviral Agents in HIV-1-Infected Adults and Adolescents to reflect findings from the START and TEMPRANO trials demonstrating the clinical benefits of early initiation of antiretroviral therapy (ART) with a pre-treatment CD4 T-cell count above 500 cells/mm3.

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Moderate Alcohol Consumption May Be More Harmful for People with HIV

People with HIV taking antiretroviral therapy (ART) had a higher likelihood of death and physiological harm at a lower level of alcohol consumption than HIV-negative individuals, according to a report published in the January 28 advance edition of Drug and Alcohol Dependence. This study "suggests the threshold for safe alcohol consumption is likely different for people with HIV," said lead author Amy Justice.

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2 Cases of PrEP Failure on Solo Tenofovir Pose Research Questions

A report originally presented to the 2015 British HIV Association conference last year details 2 cases where therapeutic levels of tenofovir used alone for hepatitis B treatment unequivocally failed to prevent HIV infection in gay men. In one case, despite the tenofovir apparently suppressing the man’s HIV viral load in his blood plasma, it failed to prevent HIV infecting the cells of his immune system.

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Long-term Tenofovir Use Associated with Increased Risk of Serious Liver Disease

Long-term therapy with the antiretroviral drug tenofovir (Viread, also in several coformulations including Truvada and Atripla) increases the risk of end-stage liver disease and liver cancer, according to data from the D:A:D study published in the January 18 online edition of AIDS. Researchers found that 5-year cumulative use of the drug increased the relative risk of serious liver disease by 46%.

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PrEP Plus Increased Testing and Treatment Could Halve HIV Infections Among UK Gay Men

A new British mathematical modeling study published in The Lancet HIV has found that adding pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP) for gay men in the U.K. at high risk of HIV to relatively modest increases in HIV testing and immediate treatment for those diagnosed could substantially cut the number of gay men infected by 2020.alt

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