Intervention improves HIV med adherence among Blacks and Latinos

Posted April 21, 2015 by administrator
Categories: HIV care, Research

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From AIDSmeds.com

A counseling-based intervention has succeeded in improving adherence to antiretrovirals (ARVs) among HIV-positive blacks and Latinos who are reluctant to start treatment. Publishing their findings in AIDS and Behavior, researchers recruited 95 HIV-positive, treatment-naive African-American and Latino adults whose CD4 counts were below 500 and randomized them into either an intervention or a control arm.

The intervention included three individual counseling sessions, up to five support groups with other study participants, and personalized patient navigation for 12 to 24 weeks, depending on their needs. This “pre-adherence” intervention was designed for people who have refused to start ARVs or who believe they are not ready to take them. The control group was assigned to receive HIV treatment under standard protocol.

Eight months into the study, 60 percent of the intervention participants were adhering to ARVs seven days a week, according to drug concentrations in hair samples, compared with just 26.7 percent of the control participants. Additionally, the intervention participants had, on average, a nearly 10-fold lower viral load than the controls.

The researchers concluded that future study of this intervention is warranted.

To read the press release, click here.

To read the study abstract, click here.

An era of new possibilities: HIV prevention for gay and bi men

Posted April 7, 2015 by administrator
Categories: Commentary, Features

From aids.gov

By Eugene McCray, M.D., Director, Division of HIV/AIDS Prevention, CDC

CDC McCray_Eugene_2007_301_hiresWe have achieved some hard-won victories against HIV in recent years. New infections among women and injection drug users are declining, people with HIV are living longer, and more people than ever know their HIV status.  But one population — gay and bisexual men –is seeing infections rise, driven by increases among young gay men.

As I wrote last year, reducing new infections among gay and bisexual men, who bear the brunt of the new infections, is CDC’s top HIV prevention priority.  If we are to bring down new HIV infections from 50,000 per year, we must focus on the tools with the greatest potential to slow the spread of the HIV – including powerful new prevention approaches that weren’t on our radar just a few years ago.

To help meet this challenge, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has announced new prevention initiatives up to $125 million to expand use of two potent but underutilized tools to slow the spread of HIV among gay and bisexual men, particularly men of color.  One is pre-exposure prophylaxis, or PrEP.  The other, called Data to Care, is a new way of using surveillance data to help people living with HIV stay in care, protect their health, and reduce the risk of transmission to others.  These two approaches reflect how CDC is reshaping its HIV prevention strategies in an era of new possibilities.

Continue reading on aids.gov.

Can HIV accelerate age-related conditions?

Posted April 6, 2015 by administrator
Categories: Features, Research

From MedicalExpress.com

To answer that question, researchers at the UCLA AIDS Institute and Center for AIDS Research and the Multicenter AIDS Cohort Study investigated whether the virus induces age-associatedepigenetic changes—that is, changes to the DNA that in turn lead to changes in expression of gene levels without changing the inherited genetic code. These changes affect biological processes and can be brought on by environmental factors or by the aging process itself.

In a study published online in the peer-reviewed journal PLOS ONE, the researchers suggest that HIV itself accelerates these aging related changes by more than 14 years.

“While we were surprised by the number of epigenetic changes that were significantly associated with both aging and HIV-infection, we were most surprised that the data suggests HIV-infection can accelerate aging-related epigenetic changes by 13.7 to 14.7 years,” said Beth Jamieson, professor of medicine in the division of hematology/oncology at the David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA and one of the study’s senior authors. “This number is in line with both anecdotal and published data suggesting that treated HIV-infected adults can develop the diseases of aging mentioned above, approximately a decade earlier than their uninfected peers.”

Read the full article.

Dr. Charles Rinaldo and Alan Jones of PATF talk about the beginning of the AIDS epidemic

Posted April 3, 2015 by administrator
Categories: Features, Media, PMS Matters

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Charles Rinaldo, PhD – Chairman and Professor, Dept. of Infectious Diseases and Microbiology at the University of Pittsburgh

Pitt Men’s Study’s Dr. Rinaldo talks with NPR’s Essential Pittsburgh

Dr. Charles Rinaldo was part of a team of researchers investigating the rise of AIDS in Pittsburgh, research that at that time was called a “natural history study.” Through his subjects, Rinaldo developed an understanding of the severity of the spread of HIV , and became an early advocate for AIDS education and prevention. He joins Alan Jones of the Pittsburgh AIDS Taskforce to discuss what the social and medical landscape was like when AIDS was first appearing among the gay communities of Pittsburgh.

Listen to the interview here.

Real HIV stories from real people

Posted March 27, 2015 by administrator
Categories: Commentary, Community, Features, HIV care, Stigma, video

From HIV.gov

A series of real stories from real people about their unique experiences along the HIV Continuum of Care.

See more at Positivespin.HIV.gov.

Free AIDSINFO drug app: HIV-Related drug information for health care providers and consumers

Posted March 16, 2015 by administrator
Categories: Features, HIV care, Tech

Healthcare providers and consumers need HIV-related drug information and, increasingly, they depend on mobile devices to access that information. AIDSinfo is meeting both needs with the release of the AIDSinfo Drug App. Using data from theAIDSinfo Drug Database, the drug app provides information on more than 100 HIV-related Food and Drug Administration (FDA)-approved and investigational drugs. The AIDSinfo Drug App—provided free from the National Library of Medicine at the National Institutes of Health—is available for iOS and Android devices.

The information on the AIDSinfo Drug App, offered in English and Spanish, is tailored to meet the needs of both healthcare providers and consumers. The app works offline, ensuring that healthcare providers and consumers can access vital drug information anywhere—even in healthcare facilities that may not have an Internet connection.

The AIDSinfo Drug App pulls FDA labels from Daily Med for approved HIV-related drugs. The app also integrates information on drug nomenclature and chemical structure from ChemIDplus. Information from the labels is condensed in easy-to-understand summaries in English and Spanish for consumers.

Users can also access information on HIV-related drugs under investigation via the AIDSinfo Drug App. The investigational drug summaries, which are developed from the latest clinical trial results, are tailored by audience: technical, more detailed summaries for healthcare providers and less complex summaries in English and Spanish for consumers.

Users can also personalize the AIDSinfo Drug App. According to their needs, users can set pill reminders, bookmark drugs, or add personal notes:

  • Set pill reminders: Medication adherence is crucial to successful HIV treatment, and the app’s medication reminder can help those taking HIV medicines stay on schedule. Choosing from a menu of alarms, app users can set pill reminders for any time of the day and any day of the week.
  • Bookmark drugs: Busy users can bookmark frequently referenced drugs. No more searching for the same drugs again and again.
  • Add notes: App users can also customize drugs with personal notes. For example, patients can add notes during medical visits; healthcare providers can add relevant information useful at the point of care.

Stay tuned as AIDSinfo updates the app with additional features. Visit AIDSinfo to download the drug app to your iOS or Android device. And keep us posted on your experience with the app. We welcome your questions and comments at ContactUs@aidsinfo.nih.gov.

Most HIV infections from those not treated

Posted March 9, 2015 by administrator
Categories: Features, Research

From the Washington Blade

protection-from-HIV-1-infection-in-human-CD4+-T-cellsA new study from the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) found that more than 90 percent of new HIV infections in the U.S. are passed on from HIV-positive people who are not in medical care or treatment, the Journal of the American Medical Association reports.

The study, published Feb. 23, “estimates that 91.5 percent of new HIV infections in 2009 were attributable to people with HIV who were not in medical care, including those who didn’t know they were infected. In comparison, less than six percent of new infections could be attributed to people with HIV who were in care and receiving antiretroviral therapy,” the Journal reports.

“We were shocked to see that the number was as high as it is — nine out of 10 new HIV infections in 2009 occurred this way — over 91.5 percent” said Michael Weinstein, AIDS Healthcare Foundation President. “Such off-the-charts numbers suggest that HIV/AIDS resources, funding and energies must be directed toward far more aggressive and proactive HIV testing, linkage to medical care and antiretroviral treatment for those already infected rather than to the more expensive and esoteric HIV prevention methods such as PrEP. We’ve known for over four years that ‘treatment as prevention’ works. Until this study, we just didn’t know how great the need was for us to fully deploy ‘treatment as prevention’ to get as many HIV-positive individuals in care and on treatment as possible in order to break the chain of infection.”


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