News from aidsmap

In unique case, Australian man appears to have cleared his HIV infection

Researchers in Sydney, Australia have identified a patient who appears to have spontaneously cleared his own HIV infection without any medication, many years after he was first infected. However, “Subject C135” appears to have a unique combination of fortunate circumstances that only serve to show how difficult it is to eliminate HIV infection once it is established. The researchers warn that we do not yet know if the same characteristics could be re-created in other people with HIV by artificial means such as genetic engineering and vaccines.


Injectable hormonal contraceptive does not raise HIV risk, large trial finds

A large trial has found no difference in the risk of acquiring HIV for women using three different types of long-acting, reversible contraception in sub-Saharan Africa. Findings from the ECHO study were published in The Lancet and presented at the South African AIDS Conference in Durban.


Antiretrovirals do not cause neurodevelopmental harm to uninfected infants

In the first five years of life the neurological development of HIV-exposed but uninfected infants, exposed to maternal antiretrovirals before and after birth and throughout breastfeeding, is comparable to that of HIV-unexposed uninfected infants from similar socio-economic backgrounds. These findings, from a prospective cohort study in Uganda and Malawi, are published in The Lancet HIV.


No HIV infections over two years among MSM and transgender individuals taking event-driven PrEP

No HIV infections occurred over two years of follow-up among individuals taking event-driven pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP) in a demonstration study conducted in Amsterdam, investigators report in The Lancet HIV. The study recruited men who have sex with men (MSM) and transgender individuals who were given the option of taking daily or event-based PrEP. Two HIV infections were documented, both involving individuals who opted for daily PrEP, one of the infections happening after they had stopped PrEP.


What challenges must Nigeria overcome to eliminate vertical transmission of HIV?

Despite impressive health system-related achievements in the prevention of mother-to-child transmission of HIV (PMTCT) in the last decade, Nigeria contributes the greatest number of infants infected with HIV worldwide. Elimination of mother-to-child transmission of HIV in Nigeria requires the implementation of feasible, culturally acceptable and sustainable interventions and policies addressing a series of health system-related challenges, according to a review published in International Health.


Frequent drug-drug interactions in older people with HIV in France

Drug-drug interactions are common in people over the age of 65 living with HIV and this substantially increases healthcare costs in France. Published in Open Forum Infectious Diseases, a new study has revealed that as many as 17% of ageing individuals had an identified drug-drug interaction, costing as much as $2693 per year, per patient. The researchers also identified a disturbing number of ageing individuals who had no record of receiving any antiretrovirals in the year of the study.


PrEP reduces HIV infections by over 95% in US ‘real world’ study

A study of people prescribed pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP) over a four-year period at a large centre in Los Angeles has found that HIV incidence in people taking PrEP was more than 95% lower than among service users who discontinued PrEP, and at least 92% lower than among the clinic population in general.


Study illuminates PrEP treatment pathway and its facilitators and barriers for women in the Bronx

Self-perceived HIV risk, learning about pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP) via trusted sources, positive healthcare experiences and health insurance coverage are facilitators of PrEP initiation and continuation for at-risk minority women, according to research conducted in New York City and published in the Journal of the Association of Nurses in AIDS Care.


ART for treatment-experienced people with virological failure can omit NRTIs if three active drugs available

Treatment for HIV-positive individuals with persistent viral replication despite therapy with multiple regimens is effective and safe over two years when it omits nucleoside reverse transcriptase inhibitors (NRTIs), provided patients have three active alternative drugs available, according to research published in the Journal of Infectious Diseases.


US insurers must now cover PrEP

An influential guidelines body in the United States has put its full weight behind pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP) to people at high risk of HIV. The grade A recommendation of the United States Prevention Services Task Force (USPSTF), published in the Journal of the American Medical Association today, means that private insurers must now, by law, pay for PrEP, without any deductibles, co-pays or co-insurance costs falling on the consumer.


Editors' picks from other sources

Exclusive: UNAIDS executive shortlist

from Devex

Five candidates are competing for the top job at the Joint United Nations Programme on HIV/AIDS to replace Michel Sidibé, who led the organisation since 2009 and left in May this year amid controversy. The shortlist includes only one woman and four men.

The slow rollout of PrEP is denying gay men their right to human dignity

from Huffington Post 

Gay men are already a socially marginalised and stigmatised group – their health can no longer continue to be sacrificed, National AIDS Trust's Yused Azad writes.

The three big studies pushing at the frontiers of HIV prevention

from The Conversation

New, effective prevention strategies are essential to reducing HIV transmission. This is why researchers around the world are working hard to find a vaccine that is safe and effective. A number of these are underway at the moment, running at different sites in 12 countries across four continents.

HIV epidemic in children in Pakistan raises concern

from The Lancet (free registration required)

More than 730 people, including almost 600 children, have been diagnosed with HIV in Ratodero, southeast Pakistan, since an outbreak of the virus was reported in late April, according to the Pakistani Government. Experts warn the number might continue to grow as most of the more than 25,000 people who have been screened are women and children, leaving a large portion of the adult population who have not been tested.

HIV project in South Africa reaches 90-90-90 target one year ahead of deadline

from MSF

MSF’s project in Eshowe, South Africa, has achieved and surpassed UNAIDS’ 90-90-90 HIV testing and treatment target, one year before the 2020 deadline. The project achieved results including 94% of HIV-positive people on treatment, and 95% of those having no detectable HIV virus.

Botswana scraps gay sex laws in big victory for LGBTQ rights in Africa

from CNN

Botswana's High Court has overturned a colonial-era law criminalising consensual same-sex relations in a landmark victory for Africa's LGBTQ movements. The court in the southern African country unanimously ruled that the legislation was discriminatory, unconstitutional and against the public interest.