News from aidsmap

Tenofovir alafenamide approved for hepatitis B in Europe

The European Commission has granted marketing authorisation for tenofovir alafenamide, to be sold under the brand name Vemlidy, for the treatment of chronic hepatitis B virus (HBV) infection, according to an announcement from Gilead Sciences.


Regular small incentives can improve adherence to ART

The provision of regular low-value economic incentives can improve adherence to antiretroviral therapy (ART), according to research conducted in Uganda and published in the online edition of AIDS. People were eligible for prizes worth approximately $1.50 if they attended their clinic appointments or took at least 90% of the ART doses as evaluated using electronic monitoring.


What are the key steps to effective delivery of PrEP care?

Providing pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP) to people who need it entails at least nine key steps, which can be conceived of as a PrEP continuum of care, according to an article published online ahead of print by Amy Nunn and colleagues in AIDS. This continuum can help define benchmarks by which progress in implementing PrEP in different programmes can be compared.


Many older people living with HIV in the UK worried about poverty, loneliness and social care

People over the age of 50 now represent one third of all people living with HIV, but the social care, healthcare and welfare systems aren’t ready for this growing cohort, according to research published by the Terrence Higgins Trust. They describe the situation as a ‘social care timebomb’.


Vitamin D deficiency reduces statin potency, increases risk of muscle pain in people with HIV

People living with HIV who take statins are less likely to experience cholesterol reductions and more likely to develop painful muscle damage as a side-effect if they have vitamin D deficiency, studies published this month in two journals show.


People taking ART in the UK have an accurate understanding of their viral load

The vast majority of people taking antiretroviral therapy (ART) in the UK have an accurate knowledge of their current viral load (VL) level, investigators report in HIV Medicine. Overall, 96% of people who told researchers their viral load was undetectable had a clinic-recorded viral load below 50 copies/ml, with 99% having a viral load below 1000 copies/ml.


Implants and injectables: PrEP in the future

Last month’s announcement that the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation will give up to $140 million to a Boston drug device manufacturer to develop an implantable mini-pump to deliver drugs for pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP) against HIV infection has focused attention on the future of PrEP. Is the future all about implants, or will it offer multiple options for people who want to use PrEP?


Risk of pregnancy loss among smokers much higher for women with HIV

Smoking “dramatically” increases the risk of pregnancy loss – miscarriage or stillbirth – in HIV-positive women, US investigators report in the online edition of AIDS. Researchers from the large Women’s Interagency HIV Study (WIHS) examined the impact of smoking on pregnancy loss in HIV-positive and HIV-negative women over a 20-year period. The effect of smoking on pregnancy loss differed dramatically by HIV status, increasing the absolute risk by 19% in HIV-positive women compared to 10% in HIV-positive women.


Risk score accurately predicts which pregnant and postpartum women would benefit most from PrEP

A risk score based on routine assessments carried out during antenatal care in resource-limited settings can accurately predict which pregnant and breastfeeding women have an especially high risk of infection with HIV and would therefore benefit from pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP), investigators report in the online edition of Clinical Infectious Diseases.


Editors’ picks from other sources

Person-to-person contact may cause most drug-resistant TB cases

from Reuters

The worst form of drug-resistant tuberculosis isn’t just arising from inadequate treatment, it’s mostly being spread from person to person, according to a new study of hundreds of cases in South Africa.

Tragedy would unfold if Trump cancels Bush’s AIDS programme

 from The Atlantic

A questionnaire from the president-elect’s transition team asked whether the extraordinarily successful PEPFAR had become a “massive, international entitlement program,” and whether it was worth the investment.

PrEP: a dream deferred

 from Poz

PrEP is largely failing to help those who need an HIV prevention game changer most desperately, namely black men who have sex with men, in particular those younger than 25.

The US Government should buy Gilead for $156 billion to save money on hepatitis C 

 from Forbes

The US Government could cure most Americans suffering from hepatitis C infections if it simply bought drug maker Gilead Sciences on the stock market rather than purchasing its products in the drug market.

Why addicts take drugs in ‘fix rooms’

 from BBC

Britain could soon see its first “fix room” for drug users – a safe space where addicts can take illegal narcotics under medical supervision. But who uses such places and how do they work?

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