HIV diagnoses have increased by 80% in the European region since 2004, and three quarters of new HIV diagnoses in the European region are occurring in Eastern Europe, yet the scale and targeting of HIV prevention, testing and treatment in Eastern Europe are inadequate, a European meeting on standards of care for HIV and co-infections in Europe heard last week in Rome, Italy.
No new HIV infections have occurred among more than 500 users of the Kaiser Permanente healthcare provider system in the US in members using pre-exposure prophylaxis – better known as PrEP.
HIV most often passed on by younger gay men who have undiagnosed HIV, are not on treatment, and have an ongoing partnership
A modelling study based on the UK’s HIV epidemic among gay men estimates that two-thirds of infections originate in men with undiagnosed HIV, 85% in men who are not taking treatment and 90% within the context of an ongoing sexual partnership. Moreover, HIV transmissions most frequently involve men under the age of 35 who report relatively high levels of sexual activity, according to the study published online ahead of print in AIDS.
The largest cohort study ever to look at CD4 count and viral loads in HIV-positive people around the time of diagnosis has found evidence that HIV, at least in Europe, has become more virulent over time. The average time taken to reach a CD4 count below 350 has halved over the last 25 years, researchers calculate.
Difficult-to-treat hepatitis C patients with liver cirrhosis who were not cured with a prior course of first-generation HCV protease inhibitors had a sustained response rate of 96-97% when re-treated with sofosbuvir/ledipasvir with ribavirin for 12 weeks or without ribavirin for 24 weeks, researchers reported at the American Association for the Study of Liver Diseases (AASLD) Liver Meeting last month in Boston, United States. Sofosbuvir/ledipasvir also worked well for people previously treated with other sofosbuvir-containing regimens.
Poor weight gain during first year of ART associated with increased mortality risk for children with HIV in resource-limited settings
Poor weight gain after starting antiretroviral therapy (ART) is associated with increased mortality risk for children with HIV, investigators report in the online edition of AIDS. An international team of researchers developed a model to examine the association between weight gain and mortality risk for children starting ART. Poor weight gain was associated with increased mortality risk, independent of other factors.
Reduced physical function significantly increases mortality risk of middle-aged people living with HIV
HIV infection is associated with reduced physical performance, investigators report in the online edition of AIDS. They also found that people living with HIV who had reduced physical function had a significant increase in their mortality risk.
Safer injecting practices would be better promoted by focusing on pleasure and practical concerns – not the risk of infection
Harm reduction interventions often fail to engage people who inject drugs because they over-emphasise infection and risk, Magdalena Harris of the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine told the recent HIT Hot Topics conference in Liverpool. Her interviewees frequently adopted safer injecting practices, but were more motivated by a desire to have a quick, pleasurable hit than by concerns about blood-borne viruses.
Sofosbuvir/ledipasvir with ribavirin cures most people with hepatitis C recurrence after liver transplantation
An interferon-free regimen of sofosbuvir plus ledipasvir (Harvoni) taken with ribavirin for 12 or 24 weeks led to sustained virological response in nearly all HCV genotype 1 patients with fibrosis or less-advanced liver cirrhosis, researchers reported at the American Association for the Study of Liver Diseases (AASLD) Liver Meeting last month in Boston, United States. Response rates fell for people with more severe cirrhosis and signs of liver decompensation, but still a majority were cured.
Regimens containing sofosbuvir (Sovaldi) – including sofosbuvir plus simeprevir (Olysio) – work well for people with hepatitis C genotype 1 in real-world use, which to date has included some of the patients most urgently in need of treatment at the dawn of the interferon-free era, according to a pair of presentations at the American Association for the Study of Liver Diseases (AASLD) Liver Meeting last month in Boston, United States. Sofosbuvir plus ribavirin alone is highly effective for people with genotype 2.