News from aidsmap

Combination hepatitis C drugs curing almost all people who complete treatment, real-world studies show

Once-daily combination pills that can treat all genotypes of hepatitis C infection are curing almost everyone who completes a course of treatment, and drop-out rates during treatment are low, large 'real-world' cohort studies reported at The International Liver Congress in Vienna.

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First data on trans people accessing HIV care in England

There is a dearth of data on transgender and non-binary people receiving HIV care in the UK, but Public Health England (PHE) is beginning to redress this: 123 trans people were recorded as accessing HIV care in England in 2017.

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Naltrexone implants provide better HIV treatment outcomes for those with HIV and opioid addiction in Russia

A double-blind, placebo-controlled randomised trial conducted in Russia found that slow-release naltrexone implants resulted in better HIV treatment outcomes for people living with HIV and opioid dependence when compared to orally administered naltrexone.

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Young people born with HIV more likely to have “mild” verbal memory test deficits if they have ever had an AIDS-defining condition

A study presented at this year’s Conference on Retroviruses and Opportunistic Infections (CROI 2019) in Seattle found that young people born with HIV performed worse when given certain neurological/psychological tasks than HIV-negative peers – but only if they had ever had what is called a CDC category C illness, which equates to having had an AIDS-defining condition in adults.

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Older black HIV-positive women have more mental distress than other women with HIV, but get less help for it

A study looking at women aged over 45 living with HIV in the UK has found that while black African and Caribbean women experience greater social isolation and subjective mental distress than white women, they are less likely ever to have been diagnosed with depression or have it treated.

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PrEP should be offered urgently to gay men with a recent STI or multiple condomless partners

Analysis of men who acquired HIV in the deferred arm of the PROUD study highlights two risk factors that are far more important than any others. “A recent history of syphilis or rectal chlamydia/gonorrhoea, or multiple ncRAI [receptive anal intercourse without a condom] partners indicates a high imminent risk of HIV infection,” Ellen White of University College London and colleagues write in Sexually Transmitted Infections. “MSM with any of these characteristics should be offered PrEP as a matter of urgency.”

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US regulators approve new two-drug combination pill for HIV

The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has approved Dovato, a new single-tablet antiretroviral regimen containing the HIV integrase inhibitor dolutegravir (sold separately as Tivicay) and the nucleoside reverse transcriptase inhibitor lamivudine.

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Monoclonal antibody may lead to long-term viral load reduction

An experimental monoclonal antibody called PGT121 led to viral suppression that lasted for up to six months in HIV-positive people who started with a low viral load, according to results from a small study presented at the Conference on Retroviruses and Opportunistic Infections (CROI 2019).

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HPV vaccination for gay men effectively delivered in sexual health and HIV clinics

A human papillomavirus (HPV) vaccination programme targeted at men who have sex with men (MSM) can be effectively delivered using specialist sexual health and HIV clinics, according to an analysis of an English pilot study published in Eurosurveillance. Uptake of the vaccine by eligible MSM was high, relatively few men attended specifically to receive the vaccine and there was no evidence that provision of the vaccine caused disruption to clinics.

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Racism, marginalisation and PrEP stereotypes affect PrEP uptake for black MSM in London

Black men who have sex with men (MSM) in London experience a unique set of motivations and barriers to using pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP), according to the results of a recent qualitative study published in Sexually Transmitted Infections.

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Editors' picks from other sources

Elvitegravir boosted with cobicistat: avoid use in pregnancy due to risk of treatment failure and maternal-to-child transmission of HIV-1

from Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency

Pharmacokinetic data indicate exposure of elvitegravir boosted with cobicistat (Genvoya, Stribild) is lower during the second and third trimesters of pregnancy than postpartum. Low elvitegravir exposure may be associated with an increased risk of treatment failure and an increased risk of HIV-1 transmission to the unborn child, and therefore elvitegravir/cobicistat should not be used during pregnancy.

Long-acting HIV treatment is coming. Our healthcare system needs to prepare

from The Body Pro

New conversations are starting in HIV care as phase III trials have shown that monthly injections of cabotegravir and rilpivirine (Edurant) are non-inferior to a three-drug pill regimen. In 2018, TheBody asked a range of people living with HIV about their willingness to switch to an injectable, and most had mixed feelings. But even if there's widespread interest in this new way of taking antiretroviral therapy (and most likely also prevention, not too far away), it's important to consider not just the willingness of people to move to this new form of treatment, but whether healthcare systems and providers in the US are ready to support this innovation.

England hits WHO 2020 hepatitis C target three years early

from The Pharmaceutical Journal

Deaths from liver disease related to serious hepatitis C fell by more than 16% between 2015 and 2017, according to data published by Public Health England. As a result, England has hit the World Health Organization’s (WHO’s) target to reduce hepatitis C-related mortality by 10% by 2020 three years early.

South Africa: Health department scrambles to stop US cut in HIV funds

from Business Day

In a surprise move barely six weeks after announcing that South Africa was to get an extra $1.2bn to support its HIV/AIDS programmes over the next two years, US global AIDS co-ordinator Deborah Birx said PEPFAR’s programmes are performing so poorly in South Africa that funding should be cut from the start of the next US financial year, which begins on 1 October.

HIV stigma makes Zambian mothers think twice about exclusive breastfeeding

from Global Press Journal

In Zambia, women who are HIV positive are encouraged to exclusively breastfeed their babies, but those mothers say extended breastfeeding is a telltale sign that they have the virus.

Dovato is a newly approved two-drug HIV regimen. Do fewer drugs mean a lower-cost HIV treatment?

from The Body

When HIV drugmaker ViiV announced in late 2017 that it had received FDA approval for Juluca (dolutegravir/rilpivirine), the first effective two-drug, single-pill HIV regimen in the modern treatment era, community activists hoped that its price would reflect the fact that it contained one drug fewer than three-drug tablets like Complera, Genvoya, Stribild and Triumeq, all of which are generally priced between $2600 and $3500 a month in the US. But that wasn't the case at all.