News from aidsmap

NHS England announces major new PrEP trial for 2017

NHS England, in collaboration with Public Health England, has announced in a press release that a major new implementation trial of pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP) will start next year. It is planned to enrol at least twice as many as previously anticipated and the funding announced is five times higher than the money for a trial originally announced in March this year.

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Malawi, Zambia and Zimbabwe making strong progress towards the 90-90-90 goals

Malawi, Zambia and Zimbabwe are making strong progress towards achieving the treatment and viral suppression goals set out in the UN 90-90-90 target, and new HIV infections have declined substantially in each country since 2003, according to figures from national household surveys released last week by ICAP at Columbia University.

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Almost half of MSM with HIV/HCV co-infection have HCV in their rectal fluid

Almost half of HIV-positive men who have sex with men (MSM) who have co-infection with hepatitis C virus (HCV) have detectable HCV in their rectal fluid, US investigators report in the online edition of Clinical Infectious Diseases. The presence and level of HCV in rectal fluid was strongly associated with the level of HCV in blood.

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Sofosbuvir-based therapy achieves excellent SVR12 rates among people who inject drugs in Ukraine

People who inject drugs can have an excellent response to sofosbuvir-based therapy for hepatitis C virus (HCV) infection, Ukrainian research presented to the recent 2016 AASLD Liver Meeting shows.

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United States: Syringe service use up, but a third of people who inject drugs still share needles

Use of syringe exchange and distribution services has increased substantially over the past decade in the United States, and HIV diagnoses among people who inject drugs have fallen by nearly half, but just a quarter of drug injectors use only sterile needles and a third reported sharing a needle within the past year, according to the latest Vital Signs report from the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

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Electronic monitoring of antiretroviral adherence in "real time" boosts pill taking and need for intensive adherence support

Electronic monitoring of antiretroviral adherence in “real time” significantly increases the proportion of treatment doses taken on time and reduces the frequency of treatment interruptions, according to a Ugandan study published in AIDS.

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Hepatitis C virus infection is rising among gay and bisexual men in San Diego

The prevalence of hepatitis C virus (HCV) infection among HIV-positive men who have sex with men in San Diego has increased over the past 15 years, especially among men who do not inject drugs but use methamphetamine, according to a study presented at the 2016 AASLD Liver Meeting in Boston. Another study by the same researchers found that post-treatment reinfection is also a concern in this population.

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Survey finds good knowledge of PrEP in Europe and a considerable amount of unsupported informal PrEP use

A large survey of knowledge and use of pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP) in Europe released its preliminary results on World AIDS Day.

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There may be fewer people living with undiagnosed HIV in the UK than previously thought

Public Health England’s estimate of the number of people who have HIV without being aware of it has been lowered, for the second year running. However, this does not necessarily reflect an improvement in the real world situation, but is due to changes in the way this information is estimated.

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CDC releases new data on HIV diagnosis and prevalence in the United States

In advance of World AIDS Day the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) released its latest report on recently diagnosed HIV infections in the United States. The new HIV Surveillance Report, which covers data to the end of 2015, shows that HIV diagnoses have decreased among both women and men, and among African Americans, Latinos and white people, but have risen among young people age 25-29. As people with HIV live longer thanks to effective antiretroviral treatment, HIV prevalence has reached an all-time high of more than 955,000 people.

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Ending the HIV epidemic faces daunting barriers, former WHO HIV chief warns

The difficulty of bringing the HIV epidemic “down to zero” should not be underestimated, Kevin de Cock, former director of HIV for the World Health Organization (WHO), warned earlier this month in a meeting of the European AIDS Clinical Society (EACS) in Brussels.

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World Health Organization urges scale-up of HIV self-testing

HIV self-testing (sometimes called ‘home testing’) should be offered as an additional approach to HIV testing services, the World Health Organization (WHO) recommends in new guidelines issued today.

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Health agencies should challenge the idea that most gay men use drugs

Drug use generally and chemsex more specifically are perceived to be common and normalised behaviours among gay men involved in those scenes in London, but this perception is contradicted by survey data. As social norms influence health-related behaviour, health promotion interventions should challenge the idea that drug use and chemsex are widespread, argue authors from Sigma Research in the International Journal of Drug Policy.

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Editors' picks from other sources

Trump is considering a dangerous radical to lead FDA. Here’s why that’s bad news.

from STAT

Imagine being prescribed a medicine when neither your doctor nor the manufacturer has any clue whether it will actually work – because the government never required it to be tested for effectiveness.

Inside the dark, dangerous world of chemsex

from Buzzfeed

Gay and bisexual men described wide-scale and systematic sexual violence, the deliberate drugging of vulnerable teenagers, the coaxing of impoverished men into a cloaked world of prostitution, frequent mental breakdowns from meth-induced psychoses, overdose victims routinely left to slip into comas, and a pile-up of sudden deaths. Almost no one is coming forward to report incidents to police. And most are not seeking help from services that treat substance abuse or tackle sexual exploitation.

NHS England fudges PrEP access and delays on-demand access to PrEP by years; blocks doctors from prescribing PrEP now

from HIV i-Base

It is difficult to be impressed with this compromise. Rather than meet the real need of people currently at highest risk, it will further delay access to an option to prevent HIV transmission that has clearly passed the criteria for safety, efficacy and effectiveness laid out for other NHS treatments.

Trump leaves AIDS advocates feeling anxious

from Bay Area Reporter

The election of Donald Trump has left many people with HIV, their medical providers, and advocates feeling uncertain and anxious. Although Trump said little about HIV during the presidential campaign, his opposition to the Affordable Care Act and his conservative Cabinet picks suggest many of the advances of the Obama years may be rolled back. But all agreed that it is hard to predict specific details.

Jake Sobo: My life on PrEP – 4 years later

from BETA blog

We couldn’t be more excited to re-connect with one of our legendary contributors, Jake Sobo, for this feature on BETA. Back in 2012, Sobo was one of the first – if not the first – gay man to write openly about his experience taking PrEP for HIV prevention. He quickly became one of our most read and controversial authors – sparking debates online and off. We recently caught up with Jake to get an update on his life, hear his thoughts on the future of PrEP, and find out what he thinks about rising rates of sexually transmitted infections among gay men.