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Study Sheds New Light on What Happens During Acute HIV Infection

An individual's HIV viral load set-point is generally reached about a month after plasma viremia is first detectable, according to an analysis published in the May 18 online edition of the New England Journal of Medicine. The RV217 study, which included more than 100 people with acute HIV infection in East Africa and Thailand, found that signs and symptoms were uncommon during the earliest stages of infection, and what happens during this period influences later disease progression.

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Experimental HIV Vaccine to Enter Large Clinical Trial in South Africa

An investigational vaccine that showed promise in an earlier study will advance to a large-scale efficacy trial at 15 sites in South Africa, the U.S. National Institutes of Health (NIH) announced on May 18, marking HIV Vaccine Awareness Day. The new trial, HVTN 702, designed to determine if the vaccine is safe, well-tolerated, and effective at preventing HIV infection, is due to start this November, with results expected in 4 years.

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Model Suggests There Are Fewer People with HIV in U.S. and More on Treatment

A study comparing recorded diagnoses of HIV with subsequent records of viral load and CD4 T-cell tests suggests that the number of people living with HIV in the U.S. could have been overestimated by as much as 45% -- and the proportion who are on antiretroviral therapy (ART) with undetectable viral loads could have been underestimated by as much as 50%. There could be as few as 820,000 people with HIV in the U.S. compared with the normally accepted figure of 1.2 million -- and up to 55% of those could be on ART and virally suppressed, compared with the most commonly quoted figure of 30%.

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HIV Prevalence and New Infections Highest Among Gay Men in Southern U.S.

The burden of HIV in the U.S. is disproportionately high for gay and bisexual men -- who account for about two-thirds of all newly diagnosed infections each year -- and HIV prevalence and new infections among men who have sex with men (MSM) is highest in states in the southeast, according to a new analysis published recently in the Journal of Medical and Internet Research -- Public Health and Surveillance.

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BHIVA 2016: First Data on Uptake of HIV Self-Testing in the U.K.

Between April 2015 and February 2016, almost 28,000 people have paid £29.95 (about US$45) for a kit allowing them to test for HIV at home, according to a presentation at the recent British HIV Association (BHIVA) conference in Manchester. Marketing on Grindr has been important in driving sales, which have been concentrated in non-urban areas.

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U.S. On Course to End Its HIV Epidemic -- Eventually

If current trends continue, the U.S. may eventually end its HIV epidemic, a mathematical model recently published in AIDS and Behavior shows. In 2009, the average number of people each person with HIV would infect during their lifetime fell below 1, and has now declined to 0.75, the model shows. This means the number of people living with HIV will eventually start to shrink, as more aging HIV-positive people start to die than new people getting infected. For the moment, however, since mortality among people with HIV also continues to fall, the number of people living with the virus continues to grow slowly.

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High Prevalence of Geriatric Conditions Among HIV+ People Over Age 50 in San Francisco

Older HIV-positive people have a high prevalence of multiple age-related problems, investigators reported in the March 29 online edition of the Journal of Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndromes. The research involved people aged 50 years and older receiving outpatient care in San Francisco. Overall, 40% reported difficulties with daily activities, most reported loneliness, many had mild cognitive impairment, and 30% had only poor to fair quality of life.

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Diagnosis of Early HIV Infections May Have Contributed to Fall in Incidence in San Diego

An HIV testing program targeting individuals with acute or early infection likely contributed to a decline in incident or new infections in San Diego after 2008, investigators report in the May 11 online edition of Clinical Infectious Diseases. The Early Test initiative involved negative HIV antibody tests being rescreened using nucleic acid testing (NAT) -- a technique capable of detecting new HIV infections within 7-10 days after exposure.

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U.S. Government Updates Guidelines for HIV Post-Exposure Prophylaxis

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) in April issued their latest guidelines for non-occupational post-exposure prophylaxis (PEP) for people potentially exposed to HIV through sex or shared injection equipment. The update includes new antiretrovirals approved since the last revision, with the preferred regimen now being raltegravir (Isentress) or dolutegravir (Tivicay) plus tenofovir/emtricitabine (the drugs in Truvada).

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