Medical | Body Positive News

Undetectable equals Uninfectious (U=U)

25Jan17
Body Positive is celebrating the most significant development in the HIV world since the advent of effective combination therapy 20 years ago – people living with HIV who maintain undetectable viral loads through adherence to treatment can confidently declare to their sexual partners “I’m not infectious!”  Read More...

Pharmac funds new HIV drug in New Zealand - Dolutegravir (Tivicay)

Dolutegravir (Tivicay)
Body Positive is thankful to Pharmac for adding Dolutegravir (Tivicay) to its list of Anti-Retroviral for the treatment of HIV effective November 1st 2016. Dolutegravir is a relatively new drug which was approved by Medsafe in 2014. Read More...

No new HIV infections seen in San Francisco's Strut PrEP programme

Study with 1200 clients on PrEP and no HIV infections to date
A community-based sexual health clinic in San Francisco has offered nurse-led pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP) services to more than 1200 clients and has seen no HIV infections to date, according to a presentation last month at the 21st International AIDS Conference (AIDS 2016) in Durban, South Africa. Read More...

Efavirenz appears to be associated with elevated suicide risk in START trial

efavirenz had an increased risk of suicidal and self-injuring behaviour
Participants in the START treatment-timing trial who took antiretroviral regimens containing efavirenz had an increased risk of suicidal and self-injuring behaviour than those not using efavirenz, though the number of events was small and the effect was mainly seen among people with a prior psychiatric diagnosis, according to research presented at the 21st International AIDS Conference (AIDS 2016) last month in Durban, South Africa. Read More...

Still no transmissions seen from people with an undetectable viral load in PARTNER study

PARTNER Study - still zero transmissions
Odds of seeing a transmission now even lower, but more data still needed on gay men, say researchers

The PARTNER study, which two years ago created headlines by establishing that the chance of an HIV-positive person with an undetectable viral load transmitting their virus was very low and quite possibly zero, released new data at the 21st International AIDS Conference (AIDS 2016) that further refined this estimate. Read More...

Third of people with HIV who use drugs intentionally miss doses of HIV treatment when planning to use drugs

25Aug15
Beliefs about possible toxic interactions between antiretroviral therapy (ART) and illicit drugs are causing large numbers of people living with HIV who use drugs to intentionally miss doses of their HIV treatment when planning drug use, US investigators report in the online edition of the Journal of Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndromes.

The prospective study involved 530 people reporting current drug use in Atlanta. All were taking ART and approximately a third reported missing treatment doses because of beliefs about potential interactions with drugs and alcohol. This planned non-adherence was associated with sub-optimal compliance to treatment and poor control of viral load. Read More...

Depression strongly associated with risky sex in UK gay men

03Jun15_1
HIV-negative gay men who have several symptoms of depression are more likely to report sex without a condom, according to a study presented to the British Association for Sexual Health and HIV (BASHH) conference in Glasgow.

Several past studies have shown that poor mental health is frequently experienced by gay men. Some American studies have found an association between depression and risky sex, or depression and seroconversion to HIV, but there has been little data on the issue in HIV-negative gay men in the UK. Read More...

START trial finds that early treatment improves outcomes for people with HIV

03Jun15
Starting at a CD4 count over 500 cells/mm3 is safer than waiting till 350 cells/mm3.

A major international randomised clinical trial has found that people living with HIV have a considerably lower risk of developing AIDS or other serious illnesses if they start taking antiretroviral treatment (ART) sooner, when their CD4 cell count is above 500 cells/mm3, instead of waiting until their CD4 cell count drops below 350 cells/mm3. Read More...

US guidelines shift to integrase-based combinations for first-line treatment: Atripla relegated due to side effects

20May15_1
The latest update of the leading US treatment guidelines, produced by a panel from the Department of Health and Human Sciences (DHHS) was published online on 9 April 2015.

These comprehensive, evidence-based guidelines now run to almost 300 pages including over 30 tables previous. This is the first update since May 2014. Read More...

No HIV transmissions from HIV-positive partner seen in Australian gay couples study

01Mar15
An Australian-based study of gay male couples of opposite HIV status (serodifferent couples) has so far seen no transmissions from the HIV-positive partner within the couple in a two-year interim analysis.

The Opposites Attract study started recruiting in May 2012. It recruits gay male serodifferent couples regardless of whether the HIV-positive partner is on antiretroviral therapy (ART) or has an undetectable viral load, and also regardless of whether or not they use condoms. Read More...

HIV treatment at CD4 above 500 beneficial in African study

27Feb15
Starting HIV treatment at a CD4 cell count above 500 reduced the risk of tuberculosis, other serious illnesses and death by 44% when compared to starting treatment according to World Health Organization (WHO) guidelines.

The Temprano study, conducted over seven years in Ivory Coast, was designed to test the safety and efficacy of early treatment initiation compared to standard treatment initiation in a lower-income setting with a high prevalence of tuberculosis and bacterial infections. There may be particular benefits to starting HIV treatment early in settings where such infections cause substantial ill health in people living with HIV. Read More...

A game-changer: 86% fewer HIV infections in two PrEP studies

26Feb15
The most exciting news from CROI concerns pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP), the use by HIV-negative people of antiretrovirals to prevent HIV infection.

Two studies of PrEP in gay men and trans women have demonstrated that the availability of PrEP reduced the rate of infection by 86%. This amounts to the highest effectiveness yet seen for PrEP and is superior to most other HIV prevention interventions. Extraordinarily, two separate studies which provided PrEP in very different ways found exactly the same level of effectiveness. Read More...

HIV most often passed on by younger gay men who have undiagnosed HIV, are not on treatment, and have an ongoing partnership

17Dec14
A modelling study based on the UK’s HIV epidemic among gay men estimates that two-thirds of infections originate in men with undiagnosed HIV, 85% in men who are not taking treatment and 90% within the context of an ongoing sexual partnership. Moreover, HIV transmissions most frequently involve men under the age of 35 who report relatively high levels of sexual activity, according to the study published online ahead of print in AIDS.

But the findings suggest that men with primary infection contribute less to onward transmission than is sometimes thought. Read More...

HIV reinfection has limited impact on disease progression

28Oct14_4
Superinfection with a second viral variant after initial HIV infection has been described in various cohorts. However, it is currently unclear whether superinfection is associated with a clinically significant impact on disease progression or management.

In this study, Keshet Ronen from the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center, University of Seattle, examined a well-characterised, prospective cohort of HIV negative women sex workers in Mombasa, Kenya, for cases of superinfection. Read More...

Unique Health Care Challenges for Older Adults with HIV

28Oct14_3
Individuals with HIV may be at a greater risk of developing age-related health conditions such as cardiovascular (heart) disease, chronic pulmonary (lung) disease, osteoporosis (bone density loss), and cognitive impairment (changes in memory and thinking) than similarly aged peers without HIV.

Oftentimes, multiple chronic conditions in an aging individual create health effects that are more detrimental than would otherwise be expected, making it even more critical for HIV care providers to take into consideration all of their patients’ clinical needs in addition to HIV concerns. Read More...

Learning about additional HIV prevention methods doesn’t undermine gay men’s intentions to use condoms

28Oct14_2
Typically, health education messages encourage individuals to take a single course of action, without considering alternative options. However a ‘combination prevention’ approach may involve advocacy of more than one possible course of action. There has been little previous research on how receiving multiple prevention messages affects attitudes and intentions to use condoms. Condoms remain a particularly cheap and effective way of preventing HIV transmission in those who are happy to use them. Read More...

Every person living with HIV should be tested for Hepatitis

28Oct14_1
Hepatitis C virus (HCV) infects the liver, causing inflammation. Over time as HCV-related inflammation continues, parts of this vital organ degrade as healthy tissue is replaced with useless scar tissue. This can lead to an increasingly dysfunctional liver. In turn, complications can develop, including serious infections, internal bleeding, kidney dysfunction and a greatly increased risk for liver cancer. Read More...

High effectiveness seen in English PrEP trial

28Oct14
The Steering Committee of the PROUD trial of pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP) in gay men in England announced today that participants currently on the deferred arm of the study, who have not yet started PrEP, will be recalled to their clinics and offered the opportunity to begin PrEP ahead of schedule. This is because the effectiveness seen in the trial has exceeded the threshold set for trial continuation.

Although the exact effectiveness seen in the trial is yet to be established pending analysis and follow-up of participants, the indications are that it is considerably in excess of that originally anticipated by the researchers. Read More...

Second analysis concludes that we can’t eliminate the long-term possibility of HIV transmission from someone on treatment

14Jul14
A study that estimates the risk that someone living with HIV and taking antiretroviral therapy could transmit the virus reports that, on the basis of the few transmissions from heterosexual partners on treatment that have been reported, it is not possible to dismiss the risk of infection as zero.

The analysis by French researchers in Clinical Infectious Diseases estimates that the highest-likely risk of HIV being transmitted is between 8.7 and 13 transmissions per 100,000 sex acts; in other words, from one in about 11,500 to one in about 7700 acts. However, the researchers stressed to aidsmap.com that this is the highest-likely risk: the actual risk may be lower than this and could indeed be zero. Read More...

Australia announces new National Strategy and targets the elimination of HIV by 2020

08Jul14_2
Substantial investment from all the State and Federal Health authorities will see targets set to have 90% of People living with HIV on treatment as soon as possible. The elimination of HIV transmission totally by 2020 with a 50% reduction by 2015 – just this time next year. These goals are to be included in the development of Australia’s Seventh National Strategy. Included in the strategy is the availability of medication from community based pharmacies whereas today they can only be dispensed from hospital pharmacies. Read More...

Under 26 years of age? Then this message is for you..

02Jul14
The Government has announced that People Living with HIV under the age of 26 years are now to get free Gardasil Vaccinations. This is to protect against infection from the Human Papillomavirus (HPV) which can cause cancers and People Living with HIV are particularly vulnerable to this. Gardasil is also used to vaccinate women from the age of 12 against the virus that causes Cervical cancer. Read More...