New study: AIDS drug cuts risk of infection by 86 percent

Posted February 25, 2015 by administrator
Categories: Features, Research

 

prep-400x210(Reuters) – Gay men at high risk of HIV who took a daily dose of a Gilead AIDS drug as a preventative measure cut their risk of infection by 86 percent, according to results of a British trial released on Tuesday. Researchers who conducted the trial of so-called pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP) said the results offer real hope of reversing the HIV epidemic among men who have sex with men, one of the highest risk groups.

“These results … show PrEP is highly effective at preventing HIV infection in the real world,” said Sheena McCormack, a professor of clinical epidemiology at University College London and the study’s lead investigator.

PrEP involves people who do not have HIV but who are at high risk of becoming infected and seek to protect themselves by taking a single pill, usually a combination of two antiretrovirals, every day.

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Diagnoses of HIV Infection in the United States 2013 is now available online

Posted February 25, 2015 by administrator
Categories: Features, Research

map2The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC) annual HIV Surveillance Report titledDiagnoses of HIV Infection in the United States and Dependent Areas, 2013, is now available online [PDF 2.9MB]. The report summarizes information about diagnosed HIV infection from 2009 to 2013 representative of all 50 states, the District of Columbia, and six U.S. dependent areas. Overall, HIV diagnosis rates remain stable yet disparities persist among some groups.

The report shows that the annual rate of diagnosis in the United States remained stable with 15.0 per 100,000 in 2013 compared to 15.3 per 100,000 in 2009.

Despite this, disparities persist—and in some cases—rates have increased among certain groups. As evidenced by this report and other previously released data, gay, bisexual, and other men who have sex with men (MSM); young adults; and racial and ethnic minorities continue to bear the disproportionate burden of HIV…

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New approach to blocking H.I.V. could be the answer we’ve been waiting for

Posted February 20, 2015 by administrator
Categories: Features, Research

From the New York Times

A new compound has blocked H.I.V. infection so well in monkeys that it may be able to function as a vaccine against AIDS, the scientists who designed it reported Wednesday.

H.I.V. has defied more than 30 years of conventional efforts to fashion a vaccine. The new method stimulates muscle cells to produce proteins that somewhat resemble normal antibodies, which have Y-shaped heads. These proteins have both a head and a tail, and they use them to simultaneously block two sites on each “spike” that the virus uses to attach itself to a cell.

If both sites can be blocked on every spike, the virus becomes helpless and drifts off unattached into eventual oblivion by the immune system.

“It’s a twofer,” said Dr. Anthony S. Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, which supported the work. “It’s very impressive, and the method is quite promising. But it’s still just in an animal model, so we’ll need to see evidence of whether it works in humans.”

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Knowing HIV status crucial in cancer treatment

Posted February 18, 2015 by administrator
Categories: Research

From the Journal of the American Medical Association

JAMA. 2015;313(7):660. doi:10.1001/jama.2015.238

People living with HIV infection have a high incidence of AIDS-related cancers—Kaposi sarcoma, non-Hodgkin lymphoma, and cervical cancer—and they’re at increased risk for other cancers as well. Yet only 41% of cancer survivors have been tested for HIV, including nearly half of patients with AIDS-related cancers. Clinicians should know a cancer patient’s HIV serostatus to improve cancer outcomes, reduce mortality, and identify secondary cancers that may result from co-infections with hepatitis B and C and Epstein-Barr virus.

Read more.

Pitt Men’s Study’s own Jessica McGuinness featured in Post Gazette series nominated for GLAAD award

Posted February 17, 2015 by administrator
Categories: Features, Media, PMS Matters

Jess

Clinic specialist Jess McGuinness

“An Identity to Call Their Own” series nominated for GLADD media award

A series of six Pittsburgh Post-Gazette articles focusing on the lives of transgender individuals was recently nominated for Best Newspaper Article by the Gay & Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation.

The series of three articles, An Identity to Call Their Own was written by Michael A. Fuoco and focuses on 6 individual stories, including the moving testimonials of activists Jessica McGuinness, Sarah Parlow and Rayden Sorock. You can find the nominated series on the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette Website

The GLADD Media Awards honors film, television and print media for their “fair, accurate and inclusive representations of the LGBT community.” The 26th Annual GLAAD Media Awards will be held on March 21st in Los Angeles and also on May 9th in New York.

More information about Trans-related nominations, check out GLAADs Website

February 7 is National Black HIV/AIDS Awareness Day

Posted February 6, 2015 by administrator
Categories: Community, Events, Features

From AIDS.gov

Like so many Americans, I have seen the tragedy first hand, of friends lost to HIV/ AIDS. I’ve also seen the hope of those living with HIV as we continue to work toward an AIDS free generation.

Each February 7th, we mark National Black HIV/AIDS Awareness Day (NBHAAD). It’s an opportunity for all of us to honor the memory of those we’ve lost, and to call attention to the fact that HIV continues to disproportionately affect African American men, women, and youth.

The numbers are startling: African Americans represent only 14 percent of the U.S. population, but account for almost half of all new HIV infections in the United States per year, as well as more than one-third of all people living with HIV in our nation.

NBHAAD Banner

This year’s NBHAAD theme, “I Am My Brother’s/Sister’s Keeper: Fight HIV/AIDS” challenges all of us to work to eliminate these unacceptable health disparities by ramping up our HIV prevention efforts, encouraging individuals to get tested, and helping those who are living with HIV to access the life-saving medical treatment they need.

One of the ways the Department of Health and Human Services is responding to this charge is by launching a new four-year demonstration project funded through the Secretary’s Minority AIDS Initiative to address HIV disparities among men who have sex with men (MSM), including men of color.

We are focusing on HIV disparities among MSM, including MSM of color, because black gay and bisexual men—particularly young men—remain the population most heavily affected by HIV in the U.S. Young black MSM account for more new infections (4,800 in 2010) than any other subgroup of MSM by race/ethnicity and age. These shocking figures demand that we take action.

The cross-agency demonstration project will support community-based models in strengthening HIV prevention efforts, addressing gaps in care for those living with HIV, and helping meet the health care needs of MSM, including MSM of color. More specifically, the funding will support state and local health departments in providing MSM of color, and other MSM, with the health and social services they need to live healthy lives free of HIV infection. For those already infected, the funding will support community-based services that help MSM of color, and other MSM, get diagnosed and linked to the right care—including substance abuse and mental health treatment as well as necessary social services, like stable housing. Helping people access and remain in HIV care is good medicine and important to our public health—since it lowers individuals’ risk of passing HIV to others.

We all have a role to play in working toward an AIDS free generation. Education and understanding prevention and treatment of HIV is important. And HIV testing is also critical as we continue to tackle this disease. One thing we can all do is speak out – speak out against HIV stigma whenever and wherever you encounter it. Stigma and shame continue to prevent too many people from seeking testing and getting the health care they need to live healthy, active lives.

Read more about HIV among African Americans and efforts to prevent and treat this disease at CDC.gov.

Early HIV treatment advantage is lost if treatment is interrupted

Posted February 4, 2015 by administrator
Categories: HIV care, Research

From AIDSMEDS.comAnti-Retroviral-AIDS-Drug-006

The immune recovery benefits conferred by starting antiretrovirals (ARVs) for HIV shortly after infection are lost if treatment is later interrupted, aidsmap reports. In a recent study, there was no difference in terms of immune reconstitution between those who started treatment immediately and later interrupted it for a time and those who waited to start treatment. Publishing their findings in the journal AIDS, French researchers measured the CD4 to CD8 cell counts, and determined the ratio between them, among 727 HIV-positive people in the PRIMO cohort study.

CD4 cells are also known as “T-helper” cells, and are key to instigating the body’s immune response to an infection. CD8, or “T-suppressor,” immune cells are involved in killing off infected cells. Healthy HIV-negative people HIV typically have more CD4s than CD8s, meaning their CD4 to CD8 ratio is greater than 1.0—usually between 1.0 and 2.0. The ratio for an HIV-positive person is typically below 1.0.

continue reading on AIDSMEDS.

Read the study abstract here.


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