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FDA Approves 2 New Boosted Protease Inhibitor Coformulations for HIV

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) this week approved 2 new fixed-dose coformulations of HIV protease inhibitors with a cobicistat booster. Bristol-Myers Squibb's Evotaz contains atazanavir (sold separately as Reyataz) plus cobicistat, while Janssen Therapeutics' Prezcobix contains darunavir (sold separately as Prezista) plus cobicistat.

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Truvada for PrEP Not Linked to Kidney Impairment, Resistance Is Rare

Truvada (tenofovir/emtricitabine) used for pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP) was not associated with clinically relevant declines in kidney function through 36 months in a large clinical trial, researchers recently reported. A related study found that drug resistance is rare among PrEP users, but it can occur in people who have acute HIV infection when they start Truvada and those who become infected despite PrEP.

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FDA Approves Roche's Simultaneous Blood Test for HIV, HBV, and HCV

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has approved Roche Diagnostics' new cobas TaqScreen MPX screening test, which can simultaneously detect genetic material of HIV, hepatitis B virus (HBV), and hepatitis C virus (HCV) in donated blood and plasma, the company recently announced.

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Kaiser Study Shows No Elevated Heart Attack Risk for People with HIV

A previously reported increase in the risk of myocardial infarction or heart attack among people living with HIV has been reversed in recent years, according to an analysis of nearly 25,000 Kaiser Permanent members published in the January 18 edition of Clinical Infectious Diseases. In 2010-2011, HIV positive patients were at no greater risk than HIV negative people.

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San Francisco Stakeholders Flesh Out 'Getting to Zero' HIV Plan

Public health officials, healthcare providers, and community advocates provided more details and raised more questions about San Francisco's Getting to Zero plan for eliminating new HIV infections at a recent Board of Supervisors hearing. Attendees emphasized that funding for the new initiative should not come at the expense of existing HIV services.

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Elite Controllers Have Higher Hospitalization Rate, HIV May Hide in B-Cells

Elite controllers -- people who naturally maintain viral suppressed without antiretroviral treatment -- had higher rates of hospitalization than people with HIV on antiretroviral therapy, most commonly for cardiovascular conditions, researchers reported in the December 15 Journal of Infectious Diseases. A related study showed that B cell follicles may act as a reservoir for an HIV-like virus in elite controller monkeys.

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Broad-Spectrum Killer T-Cells May Be Needed to Fight Latent HIV

Cytotoxic T-cells with a wide spectrum of activity may be necessary to detect and destroy memory CD4 T-cells containing inactive reservoir HIV from people who start antiretroviral therapy (ART) during chronic infection, according to research reported in the January 7 edition of Nature. People who start treatment very early, however, may still have non-mutated virus that is susceptible to detection by normal killer T-cells -- and a therapeutic vaccine may help boost immune responses in those treated later.

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Only 1 HIV Infection Due to Occupational Exposure Since 1999

A total of 58 confirmed and 150 possible cases of occupationally acquired HIV infection among healthcare workers were reported to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) between 1985 and 2013, but only a single confirmed case has occurred since 1999, according to a report in the January 9 Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report. Investigators attributed the recent lack of infections to improved precautions and antiretroviral post-exposure prophylaxis (PEP). 

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Southern States Have Higher HIV Diagnosis Rate and Lower HIV/AIDS Survival

A group of 9 states in the southern U.S. had a higher rate of HIV diagnosis compared to the country as a whole; had more women, African-Americans, and young people living with HIV; and had a higher death rate among people with HIV or AIDS, according to a study recently published in the Journal of Community Health. The researchers suggested that socioeconomic disadvantages, stigma, and discrimination contribute to these disparities.

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