News from aidsmap

Benefits of dolutegravir treatment for all substantially outweigh the risks

Providing an antiretroviral regimen of dolutegravir, tenofovir and lamivudine to all adults living with HIV in sub-Saharan Africa, regardless of viral suppression or plans to have children, would prevent more ill health than policies which restricted use of the regimen in women of childbearing potential or people with suppressed viral load, a modelling study published in The Lancet HIV shows. Moreover, it would be cost saving.

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Managing sexual and survival risks: the impact of inequity and stigma on Jamaican MSM and trans women

Two recent qualitative studies highlight Jamaican men who have sex with men (MSM) and transgender (trans) women’s heightened vulnerability to HIV. These groups are at higher risk of infection as a result of various socioeconomic inequalities – homelessness, lack of employment, the criminalisation of same-sex practices and high levels of stigma and violence.

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Women with HIV have increased risk of missed menstrual periods

Women living with HIV have a significantly higher risk of the menstrual disorder amenorrhea (missing three of more consecutive periods), according to a meta-analysis published in the online edition of AIDS. Infection with HIV was associated with a 70% increase in the risk of amenorrhea, and low body mass index (BMI) emerged as a possible risk factor.

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Stigma, access and testing: why HIV is still rising in Europe

The latest annual surveillance report by the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC) shows that Europe maintains its distinction as the World Health Organization region with the largest increase in HIV cases in a year, and one of only two of the six global regions (the other being the Middle East and north Africa) that has not seen cases decline. Two-thirds of all cases were in a single country: Russia, which had 65.5% of new diagnoses in the European region, even though it only has 16% of its population.

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Ten reasons people stop attending HIV care in Zambia

Patient-provider relationships are strained by poor working conditions and rigid application of one-size-fits-all models of care, according to an in-depth investigation of why people with HIV drop out of HIV treatment services in Zambia, recently published in BMJ Global Health. But patients rate antiretroviral services more highly than traditional healers, who are perceived to have problems of their own.

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Doubt cast on link between tenofovir disoproxil and bone fractures

Treatment with tenofovir disoproxil fumarate (TDF) does not increase the risk of fractures, according to French research published in the online edition of the Journal of Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndromes. Findings of the case-controlled study showed there was no association between TDF and fractures in any of the statistical models designed by the authors.

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How dangerous is gonorrhoea resistance and can it be halted?

The bacterium that causes the common sexually transmitted infection (STI) gonorrhoea develops resistance to antibiotics easily, and some cases of multidrug-resistant gonorrhoea, originating from abroad, were reported from the UK this year, raising concerns that gonorrhoea could become untreatable.

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New BHIVA guidelines on HIV care in pregnancy and after birth

New British HIV Association (BHIVA) guidelines on the management of HIV in pregnancy have been issued this month, emphasising the continuing scientific uncertainty over HIV transmission through breastfeeding despite undetectable viral load, and the importance of financial assistance for women on lower incomes who need to use formula feed.

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Digital health services highly effective in early infant diagnosis of HIV in Kenya

A digital health system combining online services with text messages is highly effective in early infant diagnosis of HIV according to findings from a cluster-randomised controlled trial in Kenya published in The Lancet HIV.

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Editors' picks from other sources

The #MeToo moment inside the UN

from CNN

Laurie Garrett writes: "It makes little sense that [Michel] Sidibé, who has yet to apologize publicly for anything, should remain in power for another six months. With every passing day that he and his cabal of alleged predators and bullies remain at the helm of UNAIDS, the credibility of the organization crumbles. It is inconceivable that men who allegedly countenance sexual harassment and brutal behavior toward their own employees should be respected as voices on behalf of women's rights worldwide in the fight against AIDS."

Statement from Ambassador Deborah L. Birx, M.D., on President Trump signing PEPFAR Extension Act of 2018

from PEPFAR

President Donald J. Trump has signed the PEPFAR Extension Act of 2018, which extends provisions of the United States Leadership Against HIV/AIDS, Tuberculosis, and Malaria Act of 2003 for an additional five years.

Biktarvy's success raises doubts about ViiV's 'new era' of HIV treatment

from BioPharma Dive

GlaxoSmithKline subsidiary ViiV Healthcare believes its portfolio of HIV medications will be competitive as treatment for the virus enters an era of two-drug regimens. So far, however, the company's first doublet has performed modestly on the market compared to a key rival's three-drug regimen.

HIV activists announce alternative 2020 conference in Mexico City

from HIV2020 Alliance

An alliance of key population-led networks, networks of people living with HIV, treatment activists, and supporters has formed to organise an international community-led conference, HIV2020: Community Reclaiming the Global Response. HIV2020 will run concurrently with the International AIDS Conference (AIDS 2020) and will provide a safe alternative for individuals who cannot or will not attend AIDS 2020 due to discriminatory US immigration and travel policies. 

George H. W. Bush’s presidency erased people with AIDS. So did the tributes to him

from New Yorker

The essential demand of AIDS activism was that the war be seen. Visibility is the starting point of politics. Unlike other disenfranchised groups, gay men with AIDS, many of whom were white and not poor and had been closeted, had experienced the shock of elision. George H. W. Bush consistently refused to see them.

Bringing down the house on intellectual property and access

from Treatment Action Group

As the Trump administration makes noise about the high price of pharmaceuticals while doubling down on its commitment to “protect the engine of American ingenuity,” this issue of TAGline dives deep into the rhetoric and realities of intellectual property protections and the current wave of political shenanigans on critical drugs, surfacing the fundamental lies and vested interests that deny medication to those in need in the United States and around the world.

Attorney General of Canada issues Directive regarding prosecutions of HIV non-disclosure cases

from Government of Canada

The Directive issued by the Attorney General of Canada reflects the most recent scientific evidence related to the risks of sexual transmission of HIV, as reviewed by the Public Health Agency of Canada, as well as the applicable criminal law as clarified by the Supreme Court of Canada. The Directive states that, in HIV non-disclosure cases, the Director shall not prosecute where the person living with HIV has maintained a suppressed viral load (i.e. under 200 copies of the virus per millilitre of blood) because there is no realistic possibility of transmission.