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Stigma persists in the undetectable era
by Roger Pebody, 2016-07-28 08:00
In an era of widespread HIV treatment and undetectable viral load, stigma remains a persistent feature in the lives of almost half of people living with diagnosed HIV in the UK, according to findings from The People Living with HIV Stigma Survey UK 2015 reported at the 21st International AIDS

Reducing clinic visits can support retention in HIV care, African studies show
by Keith Alcorn, 2016-07-26 18:50
Interventions which reduce the need for people to attend clinics are proving highly successful in retaining people in care and supporting adherence to HIV medication in southern Africa, the 21st International AIDS Conference heard last week. Measures to reduce the burden of seeking health care are also critical to improving the capacity of health

High-dose rifampicin for TB treatment regimen may improve survival in people with low CD4 cell counts
by Theo Smart, 2016-07-26 17:20
More aggressive TB treatment using high dose of rifampicin, in addition to ARV treatment, could reduce TB/HIV mortality among co-infected TB/HIV patients with a severe immunocompromised state, according to Corinne Merle of the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine who presented the results of the three-arm RAFA trial last week at the 21st International

Early HIV treatment: mothers say they need time to think
by Carole Leach-Lemens, 2016-07-26 16:50
Findings from the first randomised controlled trial to date evaluating postpartum antiretroviral therapy (ART) for women with high CD4 cell counts (over 400 cells/mm3) highlight a critical need to increase treatment acceptance in this population. Despite counselling and prior exposure to intense ART education and HIV monitoring within a highly-resourced clinical trial setting over a third

Mapping local HIV epidemics can help target resources to areas with the greatest need
by Roger Pebody, 2016-07-26 16:30
Global health agencies have recently put a new emphasis on geography. UNAIDS have called for programmes to focus on “location and population”. PEPFAR says there is a “need to do the right things in the right places at the right time”. The Global Fund believes there is a need to “target resources to

Women with HIV have higher risk of loss to follow-up and death after delivery
by Keith Alcorn, 2016-07-26 15:20
Despite the widespread implementation of Option B+ (lifelong antiretroviral therapy (ART) for pregnant and breastfeeding women regardless of CD4 cell count) postpartum HIV-positive women remain at higher risk of loss to follow up and death, studies from South Africa and Botswana presented at the 21st International AIDS Conference in Durban last week show.

Women with HIV have higher risk of loss to follow-up and death after delivery
by Carole Leach-Lemens, 2016-07-26 15:20
Despite the widespread implementation of Option B+ (lifelong antiretroviral therapy (ART) for pregnant and breastfeeding women regardless of CD4 cell count) postpartum HIV-positive women remain at higher risk of loss to follow up and death, studies from South Africa and Botswana presented at the 21st International AIDS Conference in Durban last week show.

Phone and home visit follow-up and appointment trackers improve retention in HIV care for pregnant women and new mothers
by Carole Leach-Lemens, 2016-07-26 15:00
Phone and home visit follow-ups, improved use of appointment books to track attendance and patient-held appointment calendars resulted in significant increases in retention in care among HIV-positive pregnant and postnatal women and HIV-exposed infants in rural Uganda, Jessica Joseph speaking on behalf of the Clinton Access Health Initiative and the Ugandan Ministry of Health told participants

Once-daily raltegravir works as well as twice-daily for initial HIV treatment
by Liz Highleyman, 2016-07-26 11:00
A new formulation of the integrase inhibitor raltegravir (Isentress) taken once daily suppressed HIV viral load as well as the older formulation taken twice a day in people being treated for the first time, according to findings from the ONCEMRK study presented in a late-breaker session at the 21st International AIDS Conference (AIDS 2016)

Bone loss partially recovers after stopping PrEP, twice-yearly kidney monitoring is enough for most
by Liz Highleyman, 2016-07-26 10:20
Young adults taking Truvada for pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP) experienced a modest decrease in bone mineral density early on, but this stabilised after a year and those who stopped taking it began to see a reversal of the decline, researchers reported last week at the 21st International AIDS Conference (AIDS 2016) in Durban, South Africa. Another

Dolutegravir plus lamivudine dual therapy works well as initial HIV treatment
by Liz Highleyman, 2016-07-25 09:50
A two-drug regimen of dolutegravir and the well-tolerated NRTI lamivudine led to sustained viral suppression for most people starting antiretroviral therapy (ART) for the first time in a small pilot study, according to a late-breaker presentation at the 21st International AIDS Conference (AIDS 2016) last week in Durban, South Africa. As people with HIV

Access to HIV home tests doubles the frequency of HIV testing in Australian gay men
by Roger Pebody, 2016-07-24 17:50
A randomised trial conducted with Australian gay men has shown that easy access to self-testing kits can double the frequency with which men test for HIV, with an even greater increase in men who used to test infrequently. Muhammad Jamil of the Kirby Institute presented the results to the 21st International AIDS Conference (AIDS

'Test and treat': large study fails to show an impact on new HIV infections
by Roger Pebody, 2016-07-23 09:50
The first major research study of ‘test and treat’ as a public health intervention to report its final results has found that the strategy failed to reduce new HIV infections in the communities where it was provided.Speaking to to the 21st International AIDS Conference (AIDS 2016) in Durban, South Africa on Friday, François Dabis

Earlier HIV treatment is not over-burdening health services
by Keith Alcorn, 2016-07-22 11:40
Earlier treatment initiation is not overwhelming rural health services in South Africa, but changes in treatment eligibility criteria alone may not increase the number of people on treatment substantially, and more investment will be needed in testing and linkage to care to reach treatment coverage goals, research presented this week at the 21st International AIDS

Long-acting injectable drugs work well for HIV maintenance therapy
by Liz Highleyman, 2016-07-22 09:10
Two long-acting injectable antiretrovirals – cabotegravir and rilpivirine – administered once every 4 or 8 weeks maintained viral suppression in people who switched regimens with undetectable viral load, according to 48-week results from the LATTE-2 trial presented yesterday at the 21st International AIDS Conference (AIDS 2016) in Durban, South Africa. A related qualitative analysis showed

Viral load pilot study shows roll-out will depend on an educated workforce
by Keith Alcorn, 2016-07-22 08:20
For viral load testing to prevent treatment failure, drug resistance and onward transmission, treatment programmes will need to invest in better record-keeping and clinic procedures, human resources, demand creation and decentralisation of second-line treatment provision, a large pilot study of viral load provision in southern Africa has found. Findings from the study, funded by UNITAID,

World’s largest study of HIV self-testing gets off the ground
by Roger Pebody, 2016-07-22 07:00
Early data from STAR, the largest study yet of HIV self-testing, suggests that there is a strong demand for self-testing in rural Zimbabwe, the 21st International AIDS Conference (AIDS 2016) heard this week. Other studies examined whether self-testing kits can help the male partners of pregnant women to test and whether such use might