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Isoniazid Alone Prevents TB in People with Advanced HIV, Urine Test May Cut Mortality

Using isoniazid alone to prevent the development of active tuberculosis (TB) in people with advanced HIV disease was equally effective and better tolerated than a common 4-drug empirical TB regimen, according to a study published in the March 19 edition of The Lancet in advance of World TB Day. Another study in the same issue found that a new inexpensive urine test has the potential to help reduce TB-related mortality by enabling faster treatment.

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CROI 2015: Screening May Miss Pre-cancerous Anal Lesions in Women with HIV

Existing algorithms to screen for anal cancer in women living with HIV could be missing many cases of anal high-grade squamous intraepithelial lesions (HSIL) -- abnormal tissue changes that may be a precursor to invasive anal cancer -- according to a study reported at the recent 2015 Conference on Retroviruses and Opportunistic Infections (CROI) in Seattle. 

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CROI 2015: International Ebola Response Too Little, Too Late [VIDEO]

An HIV clinic in hard-hit Guinea saw a 50% drop in people coming to the facility in the midst of the Ebola epidemic, and the global response has been inadequate, researchers said at the opening press conference of the 2015 Conference on Retroviruses and Opportunistic Infections (CROI) taking place this week in Seattle. According to another report, the antiviral drug favipiravir (Avigan) appeared to help some patients with less-severe Ebola virus disease, but more effective therapies are still needed.

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CROI 2015: XDR-TB in South Africa is Largely Spread Person-to-Person, Not By Treatment Failure

The vast majority of people with extensively drug-resistant tuberculosis (XDR-TB) diagnosed in the world’s most extensive outbreak have acquired their infection from another person, not as the result of the failure of treatment for multidrug-resistant strains of tuberculosis (MDR-TB), N. Sarita Shah reported at the 2015 Conference on Retroviruses and Opportunistic Infections (CROI) last week in Seattle.

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Affordable Care Act Open Enrollment Deadline Coming Up February 15

Sunday, February 15, is the final deadline to enroll in Affordable Care Act ("Obamacare") health plans during the annual open enrollment period. Finding the right plan can be a challenge for people with HIV or hepatitis C and those who want coverage for pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP). It is important to balance monthly premium costs, copays, and deductibles to best meet individual needs.

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CROI 2015: XDR TB Transmission in High-HIV-Prevalence Settings [VIDEO]

Most people with extensively drug-resistant tuberculosis (XDR-TB) in South Africa acquired the infection through person-to-person transmission -- including transmission in community settings as well as in hospitals -- rather than due to failure of treatment for multidrug-resistant TB, according to a report at the 2015 Conference on Retroviruses and Opportunistic Infections (CROI) last week in Seattle.

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Ezetimibe Did Not Reduce Liver Fat in NASH Trial, New Therapies Under Study

Ezetimibe (Zetia) did not perform significantly better than placebo in reducing liver fat among people with non-alcoholic steatohepatitis (NASH), according to a report in the December 6 edition of Hepatology. In related news, the FDA has designated Tobira's cenicriviroc -- also active against HIV -- as a fast-track therapy for NASH and Gilead Sciences announced a partnership to enter the NASH arena.

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CROI 2015: Early ART and Isoniazid Preventive Therapy Reduce Risk of Illness and Death in Africa

Starting HIV treatment at a CD4 cell count above 500 cells/mm3 reduced the risk of serious illness, including tuberculosis (TB), and death by 44% when compared to starting treatment according to World Health Organization (WHO) guidelines, results from the 7-year Temprano study show. The findings were presented on at the 2015 Conference on Retroviruses and Opportunistic Infections (CROI) last week in Seattle. The study also found that a 6-month course of isoniazid preventive treatment (IPT) reduced the risk of developing TB by 35%.

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12. New Human Papillomavirus Vaccine Protects Against 9 Strains

In December the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved a new "9-valent" human papillomavirus (HPV) vaccine from Merck that protects against more cancer-causing strains. The new Gardasil 9 vaccine is expected to prevent about 90% of cervical, anal, and genital cancers. The vaccine is approved for young women ages 9-26 and young men ages 9-15.

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