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February 29, 2008
GSK Comments on ACTG 5202 Study Changes
GlaxoSmithKline (GSK), the maker of Epzicom (abacavir plus lamivudine), has issued a statement responding to changes the AIDS Clinical Trials Group (ACTG) made last week to study A5202.
HIV Treatment Increases Survival, Not Heart Attack Risk
Antiretroviral treatment does not increase a person’s risk for developing heart disease or heart attacks, but does significantly increase survival, say the authors of a large study published in the March 1 issue of the Journal of Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndromes.
February 28, 2008
Epzicom Efficacy Concerns Lead to ACTG Study Changes
A data and safety monitoring board (DSMB) for the AIDS Clinical Trial Group (ACTG) has recommended changes to a large clinical trial comparing Epzicom (abacavir plus lamivudine) to Truvada (tenofovir plus emtricitabine) in combination with either Sustiva (efavirenz) or Norvir (ritonavir)-boosted Reyataz (atazanavir).
February 27, 2008
Safe for Some to Switch to Viramune With Higher CD4 Counts
People who achieve undetectable viral loads and high CD4 counts while using antiretroviral therapy may safely switch to a regimen that contains Viramune (nevirapine), say the authors of a study published in the March 15 issue of Clinical Infectious Diseases.
February 26, 2008
New Prezista 600 mg Tablet Approved
The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has approved a 600 mg tablet version of the protease inhibitor Prezista (darunavir), sold by Tibotec, thus reducing the number of pills a person must take each day.
GeoVax Vaccine to Move Forward
The HIV Vaccine Trials Network (HVTN), part of the National Institutes of Health (NIH), has decided to proceed with a phase IIa safety study of an HIV vaccine produced by the company GeoVax.
February 25, 2008
Growth Hormone Boosts Thymus T-Cell Production
Recombinant human growth hormone (rhGH), manufactured as Serostim by Serono Laboratories and approved for the treatment of AIDS-related wasting syndrome, may also prove to be useful as an immune-based therapy in people living with HIV.
February 22, 2008
Discordant Responders Have Faster Disease Progression
HIV-positive people who have discordant responses to antiretroviral therapy—for example, an undetectable viral load but a blunted CD4 immune response—may progress faster to AIDS or death than those who respond both virologically and immunologically to treatment, according to a new study to be published in an upcoming issue of the Journal of Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndromes.
February 21, 2008
Drug Use Linked to Infection With Resistant Virus
Gay and bisexual men who used ecstasy, GHB and/or crystal were more likely to be infected with HIV that is resistant to antiretroviral drugs, say the authors of a study to be published in a forthcoming issue of the Journal of Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndromes.
February 20, 2008
Dipstick Kidney Test Less Accurate in HIV
A urine dipstick test used to detect abnormal levels of protein in people with HIV and kidney disease was found to be largely inaccurate, according to new data from a study published in the February 1 issue of the Journal of Acquired Immune Deficiency (JAIDS) and reported by AIDSmap.
Study Links Zerit and Retrovir With Diabetes Risk
People taking the nucleoside reverse transcriptase inhibitors (NRTIs) Zerit (stavudine), Retrovir (zidovudine) and Videx (didanosine) were found to have a higher risk of developing diabetes mellitus, say the authors of a large international study published in the February 11 issue of Diabetes Care.
February 19, 2008
Starting Treatment With Higher CD4s Cuts Death Rate
People who start antiretroviral treatment with CD4 counts above 350 have the lowest risk of disease progression and death compared with people who start at CD4 counts below 350, say the authors of a study published in the February 1 issue of the Journal of Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndromes (JAIDS) and reported by AIDSmap.
February 15, 2008
HIV Treatment Improves, but Doesn’t Restore, B Cells
Most types of B cells return to normal levels within 12 months after starting antiretroviral therapy, leading to a partial—but incomplete—recovery of the immune system, say researchers of a new study published in the Journal of Infectious Diseases.
February 14, 2008
Suppressing HIV Improves Kidney Function
Reducing viral load using antiretroviral therapy can greatly improve renal function in people with HIV and kidney disease, according to a new study published in the February 19 issue of AIDS.
February 13, 2008
Acyclovir Doesn’t Reduce HIV Infection Risk in HSV-2-Positive People
The anti-herpes drug acyclovir did not reduce the risk of acquiring sexually transmitted HIV when given to men and women infected with herpes simplex virus-2 (HSV-2), according to the authors of a study reported last week at the 15th CROI in Boston.
February 12, 2008
Extended-Release Viramune Begins Study
Boehringer Ingelheim, the maker of Viramune (nevirapine), announced that it has begun enrolling participants in a clinical trial of an extended-release formulation of the drug for once-daily dosing.
VIRxSYS Gene Therapy Makes Progress
Researchers have reported encouraging results from a clinical trial of a gene therapy approach to treat HIV.
Women & HIV Treatment
Regan Hofmann talks with Judith Currier, MD, about treatment and research advances in women living with HIV, and learns that many women are doing quite well.
World of Prevention: Vaccines and More
Regan Hofmann talks with Susan Buchbinder, MD, of the San Francisco Department of Public Health about new data on circumcision, vaccines, microbicides and other possible HIV prevention tools.
Condom-Free Sex? Controversial Swiss Declaration
Regan Hofmann talks with Bernard Hirschel, MD, of the University Hospital, Geneva, Switzerland about a controversial Swiss position paper declaring that HIV-positive people with undetectable viral loads cannot transmit HIV.
February 11, 2008
New Hope for Treatment Experienced
David Evans talks with UCLA researcher, David Hardy, MD, about the latest data on antiretroviral options for people who are heavily treatment experienced and learns that the treatment landscape has changed radically.
February 09, 2008
Prezista Effective and Safe in Positive Kids
Prezista is showing promise for treatment-experienced HIV-positive children between the ages of six and 17, according to early data from a clinical trial reported this week at the 15th CROI in Boston.
Durable Efficacy and Safety With Isentress Treatment
Year-long follow-up data from two Phase III clinical trials of Isentress were reported this week at the 15th CROI, confirming that the drug offers durable antiretroviral activity to those in need of new treatment options.
Good Bacteria Reduces Vaginal HIV Levels
Healthy bacteria (Lactobacillus) limits the amount of HIV detected in the genital secretions of women infected with the virus, Seattle and Rochester researchers report.
February 08, 2008
HIV & Your Heart: Part I
David Evans talks with St. Luke’s Roosevelt’s Donald Kotler, MD about the role of inflammation in heart disease and surprising research on Ziagen and heart attacks.
HIV & Your Heart: Part II
David Evans continues his discussion with Donald Kotler, MD, talking about diet, lifestyle and new treatments to combat belly fat.
Morris Jackson: Survivor and Treatment Activist
David Evans talks with long-term survivor and treatment activist, Morris Jackson, about conference highlights and the benefits of getting involved.
February 07, 2008
Prevention and Women: HIV-positive and HIV-negative
Regan Hofmann talks with Harvard’s Valerie Stone, MD, about the challenges and opportunities in working with women, both HIV-positive and HIV-negative, to prevent HIV transmission.
Once-Daily Viramune Is at Least as Efficient as Twice-Daily Dosing
Once-daily Viramune is at least as effective as twice-daily dosing of the non-nucleoside reverse transcriptase inhibitor (NNRTI), according to a review of data from two European cohort studies.
Durable Efficacy Seen in Studies of New NNRTI Intelence
Forty-eight weeks of treatment with Intelence, combined with an optimized background regimen, is associated with greater viral load reductions and CD4 count increases compared to placebo among HIV-positive patients with limited treatment options due to drug resistance.
Nanotechnology May Yield Long-Lasting Meds
Some of the most exciting news to emerge from the 15th CROI this week in Boston involved the fruitful discoveries stemming from the fusion of two modern sciences: drug discovery and nanotechnology.
February 06, 2008
Male Circumcision Doesn't Reduce Women's HIV Risk
Male circumcision may reduce men’s risk of being infected with HIV, but it doesn’t appear to curb the transmission of the virus from men who are already positive to their female partners, according to new data reported earlier this week at the 15th Conference on Retroviruses and Opportunistic Infections in Boston.
TDM-Guided PI Dose Increases of Limited Benefit
Using therapeutic drug monitoring to guide protease inhibitor dosing in treatment-experienced patients was generally considered to be ineffective, but with benefits seen in black and Hispanic patients, according to the results of a recently completed ACTG study. 
Refining HIV Treatment for New Med Takers
David Evans talks with Los Angeles HIV specialist, David Hardy, MD, about research to refine and enhance treatment for people taking HIV medications for the first time.
February 05, 2008
AIDS Survival: Progress Not Perfection
David Evans talks with Douglas Ward, MD, about success in controlling AIDS-related complications and progress still to be made.
Once- vs. Twice-Daily Kaletra Tablets: Similar Safety and Potency
Once- and twice-daily doses of Kaletra tablets have similar tolerability and comparable efficacy, according to 48-week results from a clinical trial reported yesterday at the 15th Conference on Retroviruses and Opportunistic Infections (CROI). 
Epzicom Comparable to Truvada as First-Line NRTI Choice
Epzicom is comparable to Truvada in people starting HIV treatment, according to data from the first head-to-head comparison of the two leading NRTI options.
February 04, 2008
Vicriviroc Shows Well in Treatment-Experienced Patients
Forty-eight weeks of therapy with the CCR5-blocking entry inhibitor vicriviroc, notably a 30 mg once-daily dose of the drug combined with a Norvir (ritonavir) booster, leads to greater viral load reductions compared with placebo among HIV-positive patients with limited treatment options due to drug resistance.
Abacavir, Didanosine Linked to Increased Heart Attack Risk
Abacavir—the active drug in Ziagen and a component of Epzicom and Trizivir—may double the risk of a heart attack in HIV-positive people currently using the drug, a potential concern for individuals with other major heart disease risk factors.
Norvir/Reyataz Comparable to Kaletra for First-Line Therapy
Early data from a study comparing Norvir-boosted Reyataz to Kaletra suggest that both drugs have similar effectiveness in HIV-positive patients starting therapy for the first time.
Sexual Reinfection With HCV Following Treatment
Reinfection with the hepatitis C virus (HCV), after undergoing successful treatment for the liver infection, can occur following a subsequent sexual exposure to the virus, according new data involving eight gay and bisexual HIV-positive men reported today at the 15th CROI. 
February 01, 2008
Parasitic Drug Shows HIV-Fighting Promise
A drug used to treat parasitic infections in developing countries may play a valuable role fighting HIV alongside standard antiretrovirals, according to new research published January 31 in the online scientific journal Retrovirology.
Gilead Loses Key Patents on Tenofovir
The United States Patent Office has rejected four key patents to Gilead Sciences for its antiretroviral drug tenofovir DF (found in Viread, Truvada and Atripla), according to widespread news reports.
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