Category Archives: HIV care
People who are immunocompromised should get an additional dose of COVID-19 vaccine
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommended that people who are moderately to severely immunocompromised get an additional dose of the Moderna or Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine after the initial two doses. Widespread vaccination is a critical tool to help stop the pandemic.
- Recipients of organ or stem cell transplants
- People with advanced or untreated HIV infection
- Active recipients of treatment for cancer
- People who are taking some medications that weaken the immune system
- And others
We spoke with Harold J. Phillips, Director of The White House Office of National AIDS Policy, about what people with HIV need know. “There are three key messages we need to share,” he said:
- Everyone over 12 years of age, regardless of HIV status, get vaccinated
- Those with advanced HIV disease and/or not on medications, get a third dose of the vaccine
- Those in HIV care and treatment who are virally suppressed, talk with your health care provider about the need for an additional dose.
“By working together and spreading the word,” he continued, “we can help keep everyone in our HIV community safe and healthy.”
Join a research study to help understand how sleep can affect the health of people living with HIV
The aim of this study is to understand how sleep can affect the health of people living with HIV through effects on the immune system. We hope information from this research will help us find ways to improve sleep or lead to treatments that could reduce the bad effects of poor sleep.
The study involves two (2) visits to Montefiore Hospital. Each visit is about one (1) hour.
On the first visit, subjects would complete questionnaires and get a watch-like device similar to a Fitbit. Subjects would wear the device for two (2) weeks to track their sleep patterns. Subjects would also answer a few questions in a diary each morning about their sleep. At the end of two (2) weeks, subjects would return the watch, complete more questionnaires and provide a urine and blood sample.
Subjects will receive up to $100 for their participation. Parking vouchers or bus fare will also be provided.
Please remember that subjects may choose whether they would like to participate in the study. It is completely voluntary and there are no consequences if subjects decide not to.
To learn more about the study, please call the study team at 412-330-1453 or email them at firstname.lastname@example.org. You can also download the study flyer pdf for more information.
Protect Yourself from the Flu: Important Info for People with HIV
Getting a flu vaccine during 2020-2021 is more important than ever because of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. When you get vaccinated, you reduce your risk of getting sick with flu and possibly being hospitalized or dying from flu. This season, getting a flu vaccine has the added benefit of reducing the overall burden on the health care system and saving medical resources for care of COVID-19 patients.
People with HIV—especially those who have a very low CD4 cell count or who are not taking antiretroviral therapy—are at high risk for serious flu-related complications. For this reason, it is especially important that people with HIV get a flu shot annually. (The nasal spray flu vaccine is not recommended for people with HIV.)
In addition to getting a flu shot every year, people with HIV should take the same everyday preventive actions CDC recommends of everyone, including avoiding people who are sick, covering coughs, and washing hands often.
Switching HIV treatment to delstrigo is safe and effective
People with HIV who switch from a stable antiretroviral (ARV) regimen to Delstrigo (doravirine/tenofovir disoproxil fumarate/lamivudine) had a high rate of full suppression of the virus at the three-year mark in a large Phase III clinical trial.
Princy Kumar, MD, of Georgetown University, presented findings from the open-label, randomized, active-controlled, noninferiority DRIVE-SHIFT trial at the virtual HIV Drug Therapy Glasgow meeting.
Delstrigo contains the relatively new non-nucleoside reverse transcriptase inhibitor (NNRTI) Pifeltro (doravirine), which, like Delstrigo, was approved in September 2019.
People with HIV are living longer
The HIV population in the United States is aging. This can be seen as a sign of success as people with HIV are living longer because they are engaged in care and benefiting from effective treatments. Consider these data from the HRSA Ryan White HIV/AIDS Program (RWHAP) fact sheet, Older Adult Clients: Ryan White HIV/AIDS Program, 2018
- 46.1% of individuals getting RWHAP care are over 50 years old, similar to the age demographics of all Americans diagnosed with HIV
- 91.5% of those aged over 50 are virally suppressed, exceeding the RWHAP average of 87%.
The aging trend has been underway for many years and is projected to continue. In 2018, RWHAP clients aged 55 and older accounted for 31% of all clients, up significantly from 16.6% in 2010. A large proportion of RWHAP clients (45-54 years old) are on the cusp of joining the 55+ age group.
The trend is likely to continue. By 2030, 64% of RWHAP clients are projected to be 50+. See the CROI 2019 poster Projected Growth and Needs of Aging People Living with HIV in HRSA’s Ryan White HIV/AIDS Program , presented by HRSA staff and summarized in the HIV.gov blog HRSA Analyzes Growing Ryan White Client Population Over 50 Years Old .
PA Commission on LGBT Affairs submits recommendations to the state regarding LGBTQ senior care
In a letter to Robert Torres, Secretary of Aging Pennsylvania Department of Aging, representatives of the PA Commission on LGBT Affairs wrote:
In February, the Aging Workgroup of the Commission on LGBTQ Affairs developed a survey to hear from aging service providers and LGBTQ consumers across the Commonwealth. The survey was completed by over 400 individuals, representing both service providers and older Pennsylvanians. The Workgroup used this survey data to craft the recommendations […] LGBTQ older adult respondents expressed great concern over being able to access LGBTQ-friendly resources and services. A strong majority indicated they would more readily access these services if they knew providers had completed LGBTQ cultural competence training. Providers also identified the need for greater training within the aging network to develop the knowledge and skills needed to more effectively serve LGBTQ older adults and individuals living with HIV. They reported wanting more resources that they could share with co-workers to improve their agencies, and resources to share with clients to help them connect to LGBTQ-friendly services. Providers and consumers both identified the need for non-discrimination protections, improved data collection, and greater support for LGBTQ people in the long-term care system.
A formal document regarding recommendations to the Department of Aging, at the Pennsylvania Department of Health, include:
- Expanding LGBTQ cultural competence within all levels of care providers
- Develop training opportunities and resources on the topic of HIV & Aging
- Support advocacy efforts for LGBTQ older Pennsylvanians
- Establish mechanisms for collecting data on sexual orientation and gender identity
- Provide training materials for aging services providers
- Identify opportunities to partner and support LGBTQ affordable, inclusive housing initiatives
- Develop and share resources related to LGBTQ aging with all levels of care providers
- Develop programs that deal with social isolation, including training seniors on the use of social media technologies
You can find out more in the official document, with the full list of recommendations, submitted to the Department of Aging here. For more information about the Department of Aging, go here.
NIH bolsters funding for HIV implementation research in high-burden U.S. areas
The National Institutes of Health has awarded approximately $11.3 million to 23 institutions across the United States to collaborate with community partners to develop locally relevant plans for diagnosing, treating and preventing HIV in areas with high rates of new HIV cases.
The awards will help enhance the implementation science knowledge base needed for the proposed Ending the HIV Epidemic: A Plan for America. The plan aims to leverage the powerful data and tools now available to reduce new HIV diagnoses in the United States by 75 percent in five years and by 90 percent by 2030. President Donald J. Trump announced this bold new initiative during the State of the Union Address in February. If funds are appropriated by Congress, the 10-year initiative will begin in fiscal year 2020. The awards announced today are one-year awards to support pilot and formative studies to prepare for more extensive implementation science research proposals expected in 2020.
“With existing, powerful HIV treatment and prevention tools, we can end the epidemic in the United States,” said Anthony S. Fauci, M.D., director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID) at NIH. “The new initiative is a practical, achievable implementation plan. By working directly with health departments and other community organizations, researchers can find the best ways to use the highly effective methods at our disposal to diagnose, prevent and treat HIV in the United States.”
Study: People with HIV more likely to have high blood pressure
People with HIV are more likely than people without the virus to have high blood pressure, in part because of treatments and repercussions of the condition itself, a new review of research shows.
Learning more about the underlying mechanisms of high blood pressure in people with HIV is critical in preventing one of the leading conditions that can cause premature cardiovascular disease in those adults, the researchers said. The implications are important in a population that has seen the rate of people dying from heart disease and stroke skyrocket over the last decade.
“I think that we really need to pay special attention to this population,” said Dr. Sasha Fahme, the study’s lead author and a global health research fellow at Weill Cornell Medical College in New York City. “Now that people [with HIV] are living longer, we are seeing the non-infectious consequences of HIV, and hypertension [high blood pressure] is one of them.”
In the Weill Cornell Medicine-led research review, published May 18 in the American Heart Association journal Hypertension, Fahme and her colleagues included 24 medical articles published between 2005 and 2017 that looked at high blood pressure among adults with HIV and those who didn’t have the virus. The study populations included the United States, Brazil, China, Italy, Tanzaniaand other countries.