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HIV-AIDS

U.N. Report: Over Half of People with HIV Having Treatment for First Time

London, July 31, 2017 — The Associated Press’ Maria Cheng reports that that, for the first time in the global AIDS epidemic that has spanned four decades and killed 35 million people, more than half of all those infected with HIV are on drugs to treat the virus, the United Nations said in a report released in Paris on July 20.

AIDS deaths are also now close to half of what they were in 2005, according to the U.N. AIDS agency, although those figures are based on estimates and not actual counts from countries.

Experts applauded the progress, but questioned if the billions spent in the past two decades should have brought more impressive results.  Continue reading

NIH Co-funds First New HIV Vaccine Efficacy Study in Seven Years

aids-hiv-vaccineBethesda, MD, November 29, 2016 — The National Institutes of Health (NIH) yesterday announced that the first HIV vaccine efficacy study to launch anywhere in seven years is now testing whether an experimental vaccine regimen safely prevents HIV infection among South African adults.

The study, called HVTN 702, involves a new version of the only HIV vaccine candidate ever shown to provide some protection against the virus.

HVTN 702 aims to enroll 5,400 men and women, making it the largest and most advanced HIV vaccine clinical trial to take place in South Africa, where more than 1,000 people become infected with HIV every day. Continue reading

Rutgers and Dartmouth Researchers: Pursuing the Destruction of HIV-infected Cells

HIV AIDS research wordsNew Brunswick, May 27, 2016 ― Dory Devlin at Rutgers University reports that an oral drug used to treat an illness unrelated to HIV eradicated infectious HIV-producing cells in lab cultures while sparing uninfected cells — and suppressed the virus in patients during treatment and for at least eight weeks after the drug was stopped, according to results of a clinical pilot trial and researchers at Rutgers University and Dartmouth College.

The findings, published May 18 in the scientific journal PLOS ONE, point to development of a promising HIV treatment that could destroy the HIV DNA harbored in HIV-infected cells.  Current HIV-AIDS treatments center on antiretroviral drugs that, when taken in combination for all of a patient’s life, can prevent the growth of the virus but not kill or cure it. Continue reading

FDA Approves Diagnostic Test to Differentiate Between Types of HIV Infection

HIV Ribbon and WordsWashington, DC, July 24, 2015 ― The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) yesterday approved the Bio-Rad BioPlex 2200 HIV Ag-Ab assay, the first FDA-approved diagnostic that differentiates between HIV-1 antibodies, HIV-2 antibodies, and HIV-1 p24 antigen in human serum or plasma specimens.

Two major types of HIV have been identified:  HIV-1 and HIV-2.

HIV-1 is responsible for most HIV infections throughout the world. HIV-2 is found primarily in West Africa; however, cases of HIV-2 infection have been identified in the United States. HIV-1 and HIV-2 are similar, but distinct viruses. Continue reading