News from aidsmap

Sweden the first country to achieve UNAIDS/WHO 90-90-90 target

Sweden has become the first country to achieve the UNAIDS/World Health Organization (WHO) 90-90-90 target, research published in HIV Medicine shows. At the end of 2015, 90% of HIV cases in Sweden were diagnosed, 99.8% of people were linked to care and 95% of people taking antiretrovirals for at least six months had a viral load below 50 copies/ml.

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New York clinic outlines how to improve uptake of PrEP by transgender people

Dedicated efforts are needed to engage transgender men and women with clinical services and to encourage them to use PrEP, Asa Radix of the Callen-Lorde Community Health Center in New York told the recent 21st International AIDS Conference (AIDS 2016) in Durban, South Africa.

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Ugandan experience shows TB detection can be successfully incorporated into community HIV testing campaigns

Community health campaigns provide an opportunity to detect previously undiagnosed cases of tuberculosis (TB), investigators report in the online edition of the Journal of Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndromes. Research conducted in rural Uganda showed that incorporating TB screening into community health campaigns offering universal HIV testing led to the diagnosis of undetected TB cases. Overall, approximately 3000 people need to be screened to identify one new case of TB, but among people with HIV and chronic cough, the yield was one new TB diagnosis per 80 screens.

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Where would gay men prefer to take their next HIV test?

Among English gay men who have never previously taken a test for HIV, self-testing and self-sampling are the most popular options for a future HIV test, but a significant proportion would use a sexual health clinic, the best-established site of HIV testing in the country. Men with higher levels of sexual risk (who tend to test more often) would be most likely to return to a sexual health clinic, but there is interest in self-testing too.

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Managing non-communicable diseases among people living with HIV

Non-communicable diseases (NCDs) – including cardiovascular diseases, diabetes, cancers, and other illnesses – will represent a significant challenge for HIV care in low- and middle-income countries as the population of people on HIV treatment grows and ages, the 21st International AIDS Conference (AIDS 2016) held in Durban heard in July.

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Delays in updating HIV treatment guidelines in Africa blocking early treatment for millions

Delays in adopting the World Health Organization (WHO) 2015 recommendation of HIV treatment for all threaten the achievement of the 90-90-90 targets for HIV diagnosis and viral suppression by 2020, research carried out by the International Association of Physicians in Aids Care (IAPAC) indicates.

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London gay men anticipate some pros and cons of different PrEP methods – but optimal efficacy is key to acceptability

When presented with a range of possible HIV prevention technologies – a daily pill, pills before and after sex, injections, or a rectal gel – gay men in London have a range of views about which methods they would prefer, but the biggest determining factor was a method’s efficacy. Men felt they might be willing to experience more inconvenience or greater discomfort if a particular method offered them greater protection against HIV than another.

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Acceptability of PrEP for London gay men affected by perception of risk, sexual partners’ attitudes and the stigmatisation of sex

Pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP) is broadly acceptable to London gay men who are at risk of acquiring HIV, with many men seeing its potential to protect them from infection and to reduce anxiety during sex. Nonetheless, the lack of honest discussion about sex and risk with friends, peers and in the wider community is likely to impact the acceptability of PrEP, according to a doctoral thesis by Will Nutland at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine.

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Life expectancy of people starting HIV therapy differs sharply between high- and middle/low-income countries

There are significant disparities in the life expectancy of HIV-positive people starting combination antiretroviral therapy (cART) between world regions, according to the results of a meta-analysis published in HIV Medicine. In high-income countries, a 20 year old starting treatment was calculated to have a total life expectancy of 63 years, but in low/middle-income countries men starting treatment at that age had a total life expectancy of 43 years and women a life expectancy of 53 years. Life expectancy improved over time, reflecting improvements in HIV treatment and care.

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HIV-positive gay and bisexual men have increased risk of hospitalisation with anxiety and mood disorders, a risk factor for later mortality

HIV-positive gay and bisexual men are almost ten times more likely to be hospitalised because of mood and anxiety disorders than men in the general population, according to Australian research published in the online edition of the Journal of Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndromes.

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Statins reduce risk of progression to cirrhosis in people with HIV/HCV co-infection

Treatment with statins decreases the risk of progression to liver cirrhosis in people with HIV and hepatitis C virus (HCV) co-infection, investigators from the United States report in AIDS. The protective effect of statins was most evident in people with normal liver function, with a 30% increase in the amount of time taking statins reducing the risk of cirrhosis by approximately a third. The research also showed that several other metabolic risk factors were associated with progression to cirrhosis, especially in people with poorer liver function.

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News from INHSU 2016

INHSU 2016 opens with focus on hepatitis C prevention and treatment for people who inject drugs

The 5th International Symposium on Hepatitis Care in Substance Users (INHSU 2016) got underway with an overview of the epidemiology of hepatitis C virus (HCV) among people who inject drugs and a look at public health and harm reduction approaches to preventing, treating and managing hepatitis C in this often neglected population.

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Hepatitis C vaccine development shows progress but scientific barriers remain

An effective vaccine may be necessary to eliminate hepatitis C virus (HCV) but development has been hampered by several challenges including the variability of the virus and incomplete natural immunity, according to presentations at the conference in Oslo, Norway. One promising prime-boost viral vector vaccine is currently in clinical trials.

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Effective antiviral treatment reduces fatigue in people with chronic hepatitis C

Fatigue – a common symptom among people living with hepatitis C virus (HCV) infection – is associated with liver inflammation and fibrosis, but antiviral therapy that leads to a cure significantly reduces the likelihood of fatigue, according to a Danish study presented at the conference.

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Editors' picks from other sources

I wrote this piece while getting chemotherapy, because people have started using cancer patients like me as a weapon against gay people

from The Independent

Patient needs should never be pitted against each other and, as a cancer patient and gay man, I see the importance of both my chemotherapy and the need for PrEP as non-paralleled treatments that cannot be compared against each other.

Evidence that "on-demand" PrEP taken before and after sex can prevent HIV

from BETA blog

How many doses of Truvada-based PrEP (pre-exposure prophylaxis) are needed to provide adequate protection against HIV? Might it be possible to take PrEP only before and after sex – instead of every day?

This is what it’s like to be dying of AIDS – and then survive

from BuzzFeed

Twenty years ago, revolutionary new drugs transformed HIV/AIDS, bringing people back from the brink of death. But what happens when you plan to die only to recover? Three people, whose stories span the global epidemic, told BuzzFeed News what it means to have a second chance at life.

Separating myths from facts: donor funding for the HIV response

from Health GAP

As activists we need to fight these devastating cuts, and be ready to counteract rampant myths about international donor funding and the HIV response. Here's our attempt to set the record straight.