New HIV infections halved after scale-up of HIV treatment and circumcision in Uganda's hardest-hit district
The rate of new HIV infections has halved since 2011 in a Ugandan community following large increases in male circumcision, antiretroviral treatment and viral suppression, Joseph Kagaayi of the Rakai Health Sciences Program told the 25th Conference on Retroviruses and Opportunistic Infections (CROI 2018) in Boston, USA.
MK-8591 or EFdA is a novel and exceptionally long-lasting and potent HIV drug, being developed by Merck. It is a nucleoside reverse transcriptase translocation inhibitor (NRTTI). Its potency and longevity are due to the fact that it acts at two stages of the HIV lifecycle: as well as blocking HIV from making a DNA copy of its genes that can be inserted into a human cell, it also blocks integrated HIV DNA inside cells from being turned back into viruses.
HIV self-testing is feasible and acceptable for men who have sex with men and transgender women, engaging more people than usual testing services, according to the results of a randomised trial in Burma presented to the conference.
A presentation at the conference describes what appears to be another case of infection with HIV in someone consistently taking pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP). However, a lack of monitoring and a failure to give the subject an HIV test around the time he experienced what may have been HIV seroconversion symptoms means that it is difficult to be 100% certain that this is a case of PrEP failure.
A study presented at the conference aims to quantify how many people with HIV there might be in the community who both have a detectable HIV viral load and also have significant resistance to tenofovir and emtricitabine, the two drugs currently used in pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP).
Ibalizumab, a long-acting monoclonal antibody that prevents HIV from entering cells, is active against virus strains that have developed resistance to multiple other antiretrovirals, according to a poster presentation at the conference.
Both HIV-positive and HIV-negative people who use statins to manage cardiovascular disease risk also have a lower risk of cancer, according to research presented at the conference.
The vaginal ring: more HOPE to the DREAM? Higher adherence and better effectiveness seen in open-label ring studies
Two open-label, parallel studies of vaginal rings used to prevent HIV in women released interim results at the conference. Although, as open-label studies, there was no placebo arm and so no direct comparison with no intervention, the researchers estimated that in both studies there were 54% fewer HIV infections than there would have been on a placebo.
The antiretroviral drug efavirenz significantly reduces the levels of both hormones in the vaginal ring contraceptive in women with HIV, Kimberly Scarsi of University of Nebraska Medical Center reported at the conference.
The average time from HIV diagnosis to treatment initiation in San Francisco shrank from 35 days to six days between 2013 and 2016 as the city implemented its RAPID programme to speed up treatment starts, Oliver Bacon of San Francisco Department of Public Health reported at the conference.
Transgender women in Los Angeles are more likely to be in high HIV incidence clusters than any other group
A phylogenetic study of HIV infections in Los Angeles has found that transgender women (TGW) are more likely than any other risk group to be in a genetically connected cluster of cases, which is a marker of high HIV risk. But they are less likely than gay men and other men who have sex with men (MSM), who also tend to be in transmission clusters, to be diagnosed.
The number of people taking HIV pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP) in the United States is steadily increasing, exceeding 77,000 in 2016, according to figures released by AIDSVu in conjunction with the conference.
People who switched to a single-tablet regimen containing the integrase inhibitor bictegravir were as likely to maintain an undetectable viral load as those who stayed on their current suppressive regimen containing dolutegravir, according to a presentation at the conference.
Starting treatment at home, on the day of diagnosis, proved acceptable in rural Lesotho and resulted in improved linkage to care and viral suppression compared with routine care, Niklaus Labhardt of the Swiss Public Health Institute reported at the conference.
Twice-daily dosing of dolutegravir when combined with the tuberculosis (TB) drug rifampicin is safe and effective and will allow dolutegravir to be used alongside TB treatment as part of first-line antiretroviral therapy (ART), according to results of the INSPIRING study presented at the conference.
Antiretroviral drug levels in a sample of hair were the strongest predictor of response to HIV treatment, and this method also holds promise for monitoring adherence to pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP), according to research presented at the conference.
A one-month course of the antibiotic rifapentine combined with isoniazid was just as effective as a nine-month course of isoniazid in preventing the development of tuberculosis (TB) in people with HIV in a large international study presented at the conference.
A US study of HIV gene sequences in networks with a particularly high HIV infection rate has found the highest rates in groups containing more young gay men, which is not unexpected, but also in more Latino than black men, which may signal a shift in the demographics of those most at risk of HIV.
Screening for tuberculosis (TB) and intensified follow-up of TB cases in people starting antiretroviral therapy and urine-based screening of inpatients with HIV both have the potential to significantly reduce deaths and improve rates of TB treatment in people with HIV, according to results of two large studies presented at the conference.
Study finds that women are much more vulnerable to HIV infection during pregnancy and in the months after giving birth
A study presented at the conference found that women in two prevention studies were nearly three times more likely to become infected with HIV while they were pregnant, and four times as likely in the six months after giving birth, compared with the risk of HIV infection at other times.
Treatment with a broadly neutralising antibody plus an immune-stimulating drug led to long-term viral remission after interrupting antiretroviral therapy in a monkey study, according to data presented at the conference.