More diverse vaginal microbiomes in South African women may underlie increased risk
12 January 2017 | Ragon Institute
Since the start of the HIV epidemic, there have been speculations as to why HIV and the immunodeficiency syndrome it causes have spread so much more in Africa than in other countries around the world. Scientists have now, for the first time, confirmed one reason for this: in a cohort study conducted in Tanzania, they discovered that an infection with the filarial nematode Wuchereria bancrofti increases the risk of HIV infection by two to three fold.
16 August 2016 | Eurekalert Inf Dis
Acute HIV infection (AHI) contributes significantly to HIV transmission and may be important for intervention strategies seeking to reduce incidence and achieve a functional cure. In a study by the U.S. Military HIV Research Program (MHRP), Walter Reed Army Institute of Research, published in The New England Journal of Medicine, scientists enrolled and intensively followed a cohort of high-risk individuals, tracking their HIV status and characterizing the disease through the acute stages of HIV infection.
19 May 2016 | EurekAlert!
In a new study, scientists at The Wistar Institute have found that continued semen exposure in these sex workers sustains changes in the cervical and vaginal microenvironment in a way that may actually increase HIV-1 resistance. This information may lead the way to better preventative strategies that block the transmission of the virus and improved designs for future HIV vaccine studies that can monitor the described changes when recruiting sex workers into vaccine trials.
09 December 2015 | Eurekalert Inf Dis
FS surveyed 3,140 gay men and found 44% of HIV-negative men that would not have sex with an openly HIV-positive man. So we decided to reach out to these men and ask them directly, why?
02 December 2015 | FS
The benevolent powers of the vaginal microbiome are even greater than we thought. In addition to aiding fertilization and protecting fetuses during pregnancy, healthy vaginal mucus that’s full of good bacteria can trap and immobilize HIV particles. The study examined the cervicovaginal mucus, or CVM, of 31 women and tested its ability to immobilize HIV particles. CVM samples that contained higher concentrations of D-lactic acid, which only bacteria can produce, did far better than others. The D-lactic acid wasn’t itself a barrier to HIV, but an indicator of something else going on that made certain types of CVM better at trapping the virus than others.
That something was Lactobacillus crispatus, a species of bacteria that could change the way we think about HIV prevention.
08 October 2015 | Slate
HIV-1 infection with multiple founder variants points to poorer clinical outcomes than infection with a single variant, according to a paper published today in Nature Medicine. In the study researchers analyzed large sample sets from two important HIV vaccine efficacy trials -- the Step HIV vaccine clinical trial (HVTN 502) and RV144, the landmark vaccine clinical trial conducted in Thailand -- to evaluate whether genetic characteristics of the founder viral populations could influence markers of clinical outcomes.
01 September 2015 | Eurekalert Inf Dis
Why is one of the most common gynaecological conditions in sub-Saharan Africa, schistosomiasis, misunderstood, under-researched and under-reported? It is a significant risk factor for HIV acquisition in women.
06 July 2015 | 50.50
"The rigor of the placebo-controlled iPrEx trial gave us access to the necessary data and specimens to address that question. What we found was what people have been looking for, for a long time - a correlation between future infection risk and a measureable immune response."
23 June 2015 | Medical Xpress
New UCLA research offers further evidence that cocaine use disrupts the immune system, making people who use it more likely to become infected with HIV.
19 June 2015 | UCLA press release