Monthly Archives: May 2015

START findings highlight treatment divide

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“It’s just more scientific evidence to back what we’ve been saying for a long time.” Dr. Anthony Fauci, Director, National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, announcing the conclusion of the START trial, which began in 2011 to assess “the best time for healthy HIV-infected people to begin antiretrovirals.” The announcement from the National Institute […]

START Trial data support starting antiretroviral treatment for HIV as early as possible

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An international trial has shown that starting antiretroviral treatment for HIV early significantly lowers risks of serious illnesses, including AIDS, compared to waiting for immune cell counts to drop. The START — Strategic Timing of AntiRetroviral Treatment clinical trial — which enrolled 4,685 people living with HIV at 215 sites across 35 countries over the […]

As future of Trans-Pacific Partnership moves to the House of Representatives, we’re reading about the selling of a treaty and its trade-offs

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Following the Senate vote last week allowing White House trade promotion authority, or “fast-track” authority to push the Trans-Pacific Partnership and future trade deals through Congress without amendment or debate, the House of Representatives will consider the legislation. In the meantime, we’re reading continuing questions surrounding the TPP, and surrounding support for a deal reached […]

Large-scale study underscores value of routine Xpert testing on TB, MDR TB case finding

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A study of more than 100,000 patients with suspected tuberculosis at 18 sites across India showed that routine testing using Xpert molecular technology rather than the most commonly used — and oldest — diagnostic tool of examining a sputum smear under a microscope, increased detection of TB by 39 percent and led to five times […]

Ebola takes center stage in Geneva a year after first appearance in Conakry

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Meanwhile, crisis continues, while future readiness remains an open question Ebola had already hit the big time, making its first appearance in a capital city nearly two months earlier, when the 67th World Health Assembly convened last year. Still, the highly infectious and deadly viral disease, which by then had been reported in three west […]

Study asks: What if a “concentrated” HIV epidemic is bigger than 1 percent?

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In a “generalized HIV epidemic,” what if all transmission during sex work stopped? Call it a different kind of 1 percent — the kind that doesn’t connote privilege. In the definition that sets the course of HIV programming, an epidemic is considered “concentrated” among specific populations, (i.e. sex workers, people who inject drugs, and men […]

Budget cuts threaten HIV vaccine development, say experts

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New HIV infections would decrease by 40 percent within ten years after the launch of an HIV vaccine, experts said at an HIV Vaccine Awareness Day event on Monday hosted by AVAC, IAVI and the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. Advancements in technology have paved the way for an effective HIV vaccine, but progress is threatened […]

A research renaissance, the landscape and the art of science . . . We’re catching up on research for HIV Vaccine Awareness Day

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Defeating the Virus – Why a vaccine is necessary, why the quest is complicated, and why different approaches are yielding promising signs are all addressed in this Scientist Magazine piece by International AIDS Vaccine Initiative Chief Scientific Officer Wayne C. Koff. The Trimer Transformed – If you are not a scientist, and if your first obstacle […]

Court clears HIV treatment and human rights advocate Paul Kasonkomona in case highlighting free speech, recognition of men who have sex with men

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A Zambian High Court today affirmed the acquittal of human rights activist Paul Kasonkomona today in a case that highlighted obstacles to HIV prevention and treatment services in a country where sex between men remains a crime. Kasonkomona was arrested in 2013 shortly after speaking on a local talk show about the need for Zambia […]

First all-oral XDR-TB drug regimen trial launches in South Africa

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The TB Alliance Wednesday announced the launch of the first clinical trial testing an all-oral regimen to treat extensively- drug resistant tuberculosis. With a three drug combination the Nix-TB regimen trial seeks to cure patients within six to nine months. The trial will launch at three sites in South Africa and will include patients as […]