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Harm reduction prevents HIV, national evidence from Ukraine and Greece shows
by Mara Kardas-Nelson, 2014-07-30 12:10
Two presentations given at the 20th International AIDS Conference, held in Melbourne, Australia July 20-25, 2014, provide significant evidence that harm reduction programmes successfully prevent HIV infection among people who inject drugs (PWID). Other barriers remain, however, to keep these programmes in place in the long term, and to ensure that sexual as well as

Switching from first-line ART with suppressed viral load linked to treatment failure
by Liz Highleyman, 2014-07-29 11:10
 People who switch away from their initial antiretroviral therapy (ART) regimen when their viral load is undetectable may have a higher likelihood of subsequent virological failure, researchers reported at the 20th International AIDS Conference last week in Melbourne. However, the association varied across groups and the researchers suggested their findings may reflect issues such

Gay men interested in taking PrEP already report high-risk behaviour
by Roger Pebody, 2014-07-29 11:00
Surveys of gay men in the Netherlands and Australia suggest that some would use condoms less frequently if they were taking PrEP – but that these men are generally not using condoms consistently anyway. The data, presented to the 20th International AIDS Conference in Melbourne last week, suggest that PrEP may give men at

Young people with HIV respond well to human papillomavirus vaccine
by Liz Highleyman, 2014-07-29 10:50
The quadrivalent human papillomavirus (HPV) vaccine worked as well for teens and young adults with HIV as it did for their HIV-negative counterparts, according to study findings presented the 20th International AIDS Conference last week in Melbourne. Human papillomavirus is a common sexually transmitted infection that causes abnormal cell growth. High-risk strains, including type 16

What needs to be done to make HIV self-testing a reality?
by Roger Pebody, 2014-07-28 11:40
Self-testing for HIV has great potential to broaden access to HIV testing, the 20th International AIDS Conference in Melbourne heard last week. But for self-testing to play a key role in reducing undiagnosed infection, the most appropriate models of service delivery need to be defined, systems for linkage to care need to be established, the

Nearly half of young gay men in Bangkok not using condoms consistently acquire HIV within five years of starting sex
by Gus Cairns, 2014-07-28 11:30
A survey of young gay men and transgender women (MSM) in Bangkok has found that HIV incidence amongst them is running at 9% a year in those who don’t used condoms consistently – and 2% a year in ones who say they do.   The survey also found higher-than-average incidence in MSM who lived

NAM European HIV prevention survey: final results
by Gus Cairns, 2014-07-28 11:20
A pan-European survey of opinions about HIV prevention methods, conducted by NAM last year and answered by prevention experts and advocates from 20 European countries, has found that expanding HIV testing was universally regarded as the prevention priority that was accorded the most importance in their area, with condom provision as the second most important.

Of guidelines, targets and resources: the documents that defined the 2014 International AIDS Conference
by Gus Cairns, 2014-07-26 15:40
If there was a phrase that defined the 20th International AIDS Conference, one that surfaced in every few presentations and kept turning up in documents, it was “Key Affected Populations”. The World Health Organization (WHO) actually released its new Consolidated guidelines on HIV prevention, diagnosis, treatment and care for key populations on 11 July,

Interferon-free hepatitis C treatment works for people on methadone or buprenorphine
by Keith Alcorn, 2014-07-25 16:20
People with chronic hepatitis C who are using methadone or buprenorphine to manage opiate addiction can be safely and effectively treated with AbbVie's 3D all-oral direct-acting antiviral regimen plus ribavirin, resulting in a 97% cure rate, according to a report this week at the 20th International AIDS Conference in Melbourne. Hepatitis C virus (HCV) is

Interferon-free hepatitis C treatment works for people on methadone or buprenorphine
by Liz Highleyman, 2014-07-25 16:20
People with chronic hepatitis C who are using methadone or buprenorphine to manage opiate addiction can be safely and effectively treated with AbbVie's 3D all-oral direct-acting antiviral regimen plus ribavirin, resulting in a 97% cure rate, according to a report this week at the 20th International AIDS Conference in Melbourne. Hepatitis C virus (HCV) is

Weight gain on ART may raise risk of heart disease and diabetes
by Liz Highleyman, 2014-07-25 16:20
People with HIV in the normal weight range who gain a substantial amount of weight shortly after starting antiretroviral therapy (ART) may have an increased risk of cardiovascular disease and diabetes, according to findings from the D:A:D study presented this week at the 20th International AIDS Conference in Melbourne. Several observational studies - including

Most gay men who don’t use condoms are mindful of HIV and attempt to reduce their risk
by Roger Pebody, 2014-07-25 14:20
Three-quarters of Australian gay and bisexual men who report unprotected anal intercourse with casual male partners say that they “often” or “always” employ some sort of risk reduction strategy with those partners. Many attempt to select partners who they believe have the same HIV status as themselves (serosorting); a significant proportion use condoms most

Efavirenz use not linked to neurocognitive impairment
by Liz Highleyman, 2014-07-25 14:10
People who use antiretroviral regimens containing efavirenz (Sustiva or Stocrin, also in the Atripla coformulation) were not at higher risk for impaired neurocognitive function, either overall or when looking at specific functional domains, researchers reported on Thursday at the 20th International AIDS Conference in Melbourne. Efavirenz, which is widely recommended for first-line HIV treatment, has a

How will people use PrEP? iPrEx users talk condoms, pills, anxiety and relief
by Gus Cairns, 2014-07-25 12:10
Interviews with participants in the US sites of the iPrEx study of pre-exposure prophylaxis show that participants who took it mainly used it as an additional source of reassurance rather than to replace whatever risk management strategy they were currently using to avoid HIV infection. There were participants who used it as their sole

The more drugs gay men have taken, the more likely they are to have unprotected sex
by Roger Pebody, 2014-07-25 11:20
The probability of gay men in England having unprotected anal intercourse is strongly associated with the number of recreational drugs they have taken at the time, according to a study presented to the 20th International AIDS Conference in Melbourne this week. Although the finding will confirm many people’s common sense beliefs it has not

Tackling moral judgments about sex and sexuality is vital for HIV prevention
by Roger Pebody, 2014-07-25 11:00
Scientific advances in biomedical prevention and treatment will not reach transgender people, men who have sex with men and other populations with the greatest needs without parallel efforts to improve human rights, the Filipino activist Laurindo Garcia told the 20th International AIDS Conference in a powerful plenary speech yesterday. He noted that since the

ART demand up to 16.8 million by 2016
by Lesley Odendal, 2014-07-24 17:40
The projected demand for ART will increase to 16.8 million person-years by the end of 2016 in low- and middle-income countries, including 15.7 million person-years of adult and 1.1 million person-years of paediatric formulation, according to a study presented on behalf of the global ARV Forecasting Technical Working Group at the 20th International AIDS conference

Strong performance on HIV drugs for mothers doesn't guarantee optimal care for infants, survey shows
by Carole Leach-Lemens, 2014-07-24 17:30
The significant increase in access to antiretroviral therapy for all pregnant women living with HIV in Malawi after implementation of Option B+ contrasts with low coverage of early infant diagnosis (EID) and uptake of cotrimoxazole prophylaxis in HIV-exposed infants, Priscilla Idele of UNICEF told delegates on Wednesday at the 20th International AIDS Conference in Melbourne. She

HIV is increasing in gay men in London because of lack of testing, comparative study finds
by Gus Cairns, 2014-07-24 16:20
A study presented at the 20th International AIDS Conference in Melbourne today compared the HIV epidemics in gay men in San Francisco and London and confirmed that while HIV incidence in San Francisco was falling, it was static and rising in London. The chief reason appeared to be that gay men in London not only

Dolutegravir demonstrates good efficacy despite resistance
by Liz Highleyman, 2014-07-24 15:30
Antiretroviral regimens containing the recently approved HIV integrase inhibitor dolutegravir (Tivicay) demonstrated high rates of viral suppression even in treatment-experienced people who were resistant to NRTIs. Among people starting treatment for the first time, no resistance was detected through 96 weeks, according to study findings presented at the 20th International AIDS Conference this

Could HIV treatment mean safer sex?
by Gus Cairns, 2014-07-24 14:30
A meta-analysis of every study that has looked at the sexual behaviour of people after starting HIV treatment has found not a single instance of so-called ‘risk compensation’ – the idea that if people start taking HIV treatment they will fear transmitting HIV less and so start taking more risks.  On the contrary:

More data suggest increased risk of HIV infection for women using contraceptive injections
by Roger Pebody, 2014-07-24 13:20
A sophisticated meta-analysis, pooling individual-level data on 37,000 women, has found that the use of DMPA injectable hormonal contraception is linked with a higher rate of new HIV infections in women, the 20th International AIDS Conference in Melbourne heard today. However the World Health Organization announced at the same session that

Reduced treatment delays for people with drug-resistant TB and HIV co-infection through decentralised care and rapid Xpert MTB/RIF test
by Lesley Odendal, 2014-07-23 18:30
Decentralisation of drug-resistant tuberculosis (DR-TB) management and use of the Xpert MTB/RIF test improves the time from clinic presentation to treatment from 50 days to 7 days in a population with a high burden of HIV and TB co-infection, according to a study from Khayelitsha, South Africa, presented at the 20th International AIDS Conference

Anal lesions often resolve without treatment in HIV-positive gay men
by Keith Alcorn, 2014-07-23 17:50
High-grade anal dysplasia is common among gay men living with HIV, but it often resolves spontaneously and routine treatment may not be beneficial, according to results from the Australian SPANC study presented on Wednesday at the 20th International AIDS Conference (AIDS 2014) in Melbourne. Anal cancer and its precursors, anal dysplasia and neoplasia (abnormal cell